WTH is up with the G string!!?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by blownirocz, Feb 2, 2012.

  1. blownirocz

    blownirocz Suppoutin' Memba Since Dem Oud Dayz... Silver Supporting Member

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    No, not that kind of g-string you dirty old men!

    I own several Les Pauls, and for the life of me I can't get any one of them to keep the G string in tune! Not a one! Is there some sort of conspiracy against the note of G that I'm unaware of? I feel like I'm most of the way to crazy town! Anyone else have this issue?

    Sorry if this topic has already been discussed in another thread -- tried searching but somewhat difficult with the term "G String". If there is one, please point me to it and I'll delete this one.

    Also, before any of you ask, yes the guitars have all been professionally set up and sound great. And no, they're not brand new, or really old, strings.
     
  2. stratman89

    stratman89 Supporting Member

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    Lube the nut with this,

    [​IMG]

    The string is binding in the nut.
     
  3. Space Hammer

    Space Hammer Member

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    There is a technical reason of many of the problems relating to a plain G string (tuning stability, intonation, sound etc)

    from here

    "The reason that the electric guitar’s standard, unwound third string has all of these problems is because, when tuned to the standard "G" pitch, it is being placed under an insufficient tensile load for its strength; it is just too slack for it to perform correctly"

    It bugged me for ages before I finally took the plunge and started setting up my guitars with sets with wound 3rd - now all my guitars have them.

    You don't have to get super heavy sets either Gibson (and probably others) make a set of 10's with a wound 3rd - these (i'm using the 11's in E flat and they are great).
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2012
  4. RSRD

    RSRD Member

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    I find it Ironic that a guy from "RIGHT BEHIND YOU" comments on a thread with G STring in the title....
     
  5. Jesus freak

    Jesus freak Supporting Member

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    I had this problem on an SG snd a 70's RI Strat, lube didnt help one bit for me, my other guitars seem ok, and dont do it.
     
  6. omfg51

    omfg51 Member

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    Nut binding. You can lube the nut, but that corian just isn't a very good material in my opinion. Getting a new nut made of better material will last longer and work better. Might I suggest a graphtech TUSQ XL. Good stuff
     
  7. mhuxtable

    mhuxtable Member

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    It's not necessarily nut binding at all....how you guys automatically come to this conclusion is beyond me.

    OP, do you get the tell tale "ping ping" sound when trying to tune? If so, it's binding at the nut.....more than likely it not and it's the issue Space Hammer put. An unwound G is under very low tension.

    All my guitars hve a wound 3rd and I never have tuning issues.
     
  8. MartinC

    MartinC Member

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    How have you found bending a wound G string ... given you've adapted ... any diffculties there?

    Also, wouldn't a heavier gauge unwound G achieve the same thing ... and possibly leave the door open wider to bending?

    Just curious

    Just for context, to the OP, I have a Suhr Classic (Tusq nut) with a set of 9's ... so my G string is probably under very very low tension (relatively speaking). I have no issues with the G going out of tune after bending. I would think it's not all down to lube ... the cut of the G slot in the nut might need attention.
     
  9. Space Hammer

    Space Hammer Member

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    It took me about 2 weeks to fully get used to wound 3rd, was a little hard at first but the sound/tone improvement forced me to keep it up (plan 3rds to me kinda go 'thud', wound 3rds 'ring') also chords now sound massive.

    If you start increasing the gauge of a plain staring the more they kinda 'thud' - guess this has to do with the stiffness of a thick solid string and how it vibrates.
     
  10. Motterpaul

    Motterpaul Tone is in the Ears

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    Funny, I play a Les Paul and have no problems keeping my G-string in tune. Are you talking about when playing lead or chords? The only time have a challenge is when I'm playing a scale (blues pent. will work as an example) where the IV note ends up on the G string. Then I have to be careful not to warble (vibrato) it too sharply, but that is true on all guitars.

    I just don't have the problem. Now I have noticed my G-string is intoned farther back than the rest of the strings on the bridge, but that is just part of having a good setup. I assume you know how to do intonation?
     
  11. blownirocz

    blownirocz Suppoutin' Memba Since Dem Oud Dayz... Silver Supporting Member

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    Hey Guys - Thanks for all the good discussion. It's not the nut (I wish it were that easy). I use high quality lubricant on the nut, and it's been set up for my specific gauge of string (10-46). None of the "pinging" sounds you usually hear when the string is binding in the nut. Yes, the guitars are all very well set up, including intonation. And remember, it happens (in varying degrees) on all my LP's.

    Space Hammer - That was an interesting read and suggestion. I wasn't aware of that issue, but it makes complete sense. So I assume that the nut will need to be refiled to accommodate the new larger diameter wound string, is that correct?
     
  12. jota

    jota Member

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    I don't like wound 3rd.
    Makes the sound more soft and round!

    But I always have problem with that string, specialy on short scale guitars.
     
  13. Echo

    Echo Member

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    The strings I buy come with a wound and unwound G, and both are of very similar diameter, so I don't think you will need to do any filing to make the switch. (I actually think in the case of the ones I use the wound G is smaller)
     
  14. unfunnyclown

    unfunnyclown Member

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    Yeah I've noticed that the G stays in tune much better on guitars with Fender-style headstocks.

    Gibsons are nice though. Oh well.
     
  15. =JL=

    =JL= Member

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    When you bend the G string does it return sharp or flat?
    I always stretch my strings when I fit them, but I stretch the G string to the point where my wife can't bear to watch! If your string is going flat after bends this will cure it, if it stays sharp then it's probably the nut.
     
  16. Jura

    Jura Member

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    +1 wound G was the solution for me..
     
  17. blownirocz

    blownirocz Suppoutin' Memba Since Dem Oud Dayz... Silver Supporting Member

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    It almost always goes flat. I do also stretch the strings pretty thoroughly after putting on a new set. But even a set that's been on for a few weeks has the same issue.
     
  18. Pietro

    Pietro 2-Voice Guitar Junkie and All-Around Awesome Guy

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    That plain G intonates with more difficulty for me, too, on all my guitars. Symptom of this is what happens on my new Variax. on 12-string emulations, the harmonic on the G-string SOMETIMES goes wacky with pitch (on the octave-up sound). Why? Something about that low-tension plain string just makes for a difficult time making the note.

    They stay in tune for me okay, but it's true, when I think that just one string is out, that's the first one to check.
     
  19. musicofanatic5

    musicofanatic5 Supporting Member

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    The lowest pitched plain string (whether there are three or four wound strings in the set) is always the most problematic. I would suggest trying a set-up from a different tech, one with many years of experience with Gibson gutars. Different techs have different orientations/specialties/areas of expertise. When I first started mine was acoustic guitar. I had to learn a lot, quick, and usually the hard way about setting up electrics.
     
  20. Lublin

    Lublin Senior Member

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    Your nut is improperly cut (normal with Gibsons, unfortunately). Clean up the slot with the proper nut file and lube it up with nut sauce or good 'ol pencil graphite (my favorite).
     

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