Guitar Goes Out of Tune...Sharp

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Guitar Goes Out of Tune...Sharp

Postby hollywoodmark » Tue Jul 27, 2010 12:57 pm

I'm pretty new to guitar-playing, so forgive me for what might be a stupid question. My hollowbody electric, despite its Grovers, keeps going out of tune but always sharp. That seems odd to me. Playing, especially bending strings, would logically make strings go flat, no? Is this something I need to worry about? I mean, I don't mind tuning it every few days, but is this a sign something is wrong with the guitar? Thanks, guys.
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Re: Guitar Goes Out of Tune...Sharp

Postby rustyslide » Tue Jul 27, 2010 3:12 pm

All of the strings or just some of them?
If the latter, it seems to me like the strings in question are binding in the nut.
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Re: Guitar Goes Out of Tune...Sharp

Postby hollywoodmark » Tue Jul 27, 2010 4:24 pm

Interesting theory. I'll try to pay attention to whether it's only certain strngs. Thanks.
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Re: Guitar Goes Out of Tune...Sharp

Postby rossfloss » Tue Jul 27, 2010 4:45 pm

That does seem a bit odd but here's a few important questions to ask. How long has it been doing that? What's the temperature and humidity like there? For a while I was bringing my guitar to practice and every time it would be a bit sharp. This is because the place we were practicing was colder than the room I keep my guitar in. Another thing, it seems like I've met too many guitarists who question the integrity of their guitar because they have to tune it more than they think is necessary. I tune my guitar practically every day before I practice and it's no skin off my ass, especially if you have a tuner. A lot of the time I will only have to tune one or two strings very subtly (a change unnoticeable to the ear) but it's just a good habit to get into because you won't have inconsistent tensions on the neck causing the action to change.
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Re: Guitar Goes Out of Tune...Sharp

Postby ricbleu » Tue Jul 27, 2010 11:47 pm

rossfloss is correct. Strings are made from metal which contracts when it's cold (goes sharp) and expands when it's warm (goes flat). So you'll experience changes in tuning in proportion to the temperature change since the last tuning. And fwiw, I tune my guitars (or at least check the tuning) every time I play. I think it helps to train the ear to be hearing correct tuning all the time. Alas, I don't have perfect pitch, but hearing the guitar in tune every time I play, helps me to perceive when it's out.
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Re: Guitar Goes Out of Tune...Sharp

Postby hollywoodmark » Wed Jul 28, 2010 1:06 pm

My guitar never leaves my air-conditioned house (I live in Florida), so temperature is not the culprit. As for tuning, I agree that regular tuning is good ear-training, and I actually enjoy doing it.

I was only puzzled by the phenomenon of a guitar getting sharper, not flatter, with use. And I wanted to make sure it didn't bode ill for my hollow-bodied baby.
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