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Why does a guitar go out of tune?
sudhir izzman
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I was really curious.I'd really like to know.

" sh*t happens to people who say 'sh*t happens' "

Post Date: 6/2/2005 @ 10:49 am
RE: Why does a guitar go out of tune?
lukybob
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Several reasons: strings stretch, changes in temperature and humidity cause changes in the neck, making the guitar go sharp or flat, tuning keys get bumped, tuning keys slip. Those come to my mind right now. I'm sure there are other reasons as well.

Post Date: 6/2/2005 @ 1:52 pm

RE: Why does a guitar go out of tune?
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TheoDog
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Becasue it is made of wood and under tension of guitar strings.

If a guitar was made of steel or something, it might not go out of tune. If a guitar had no srings on it... it would never be out of tune.

As the wooden guitar body interacts with changing temperature and humdity, the tension of the strigs will change.. thus, the tuning will change.

The guitar never really goes out of tune, just the stings.
That is kind of a zen answer, but if you think about it that way, you might start to satisfy your curiosity.

He who can keep his head when all around are losing theirs... Probably does not understand the situation
Mod Junkie of the International Boutique Pedal Coalition

Post Date: 6/4/2005 @ 9:50 pm

RE: Why does a guitar go out of tune?
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Judy
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my guitars don't go out of tune, unless i hit the tuning keys on something. except after putting new strings on, on a classical. it takes a while for them to stay in tune. I think where i live the humidity is stable. (i'm talking about both electric and acoustic guitars--mine stay in tune indefinitely--months, more.)

I've had guitars that i have trouble getting into tune--bad frets, bad intonation. but those that are tunable tend to stay in tune well. i appreciate that.

Post Date: 6/5/2005 @ 2:54 am

RE: Why does a guitar go out of tune?
JellyRoll Baker
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Quoting TheoDog
If a guitar was made of steel or something, it might not go out of tune.

Nope, they go out of tune. In fact, the tricky buggers, because everythng's sitting on the cone all the stirngs tend to respond in roughly the same way to the cone and all go out of tune by roughly the same amount. So everything seems fine when you check it by ear, but if you don't take the care to tune with the band .... let's just say that it ain't pretty.

-----------------------------------
From the JellyRoll Baker

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Post Date: 6/5/2005 @ 7:54 am


RE: Why does a guitar go out of tune?
Ricochet
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Quoting JellyRoll Baker
Nope, they go out of tune. In fact, the tricky buggers, because everythng's sitting on the cone all the stirngs tend to respond in roughly the same way to the cone and all go out of tune by roughly the same amount. So everything seems fine when you check it by ear, but if you don't take the care to tune with the band .... let's just say that it ain't pretty.

Yeah, what Jelly said. Temperature changes throw the tension on all the strings off together. Playing alone, I find my metal bodied resonator guitar to stay in tune with itself nicely for weeks at a time, but if I check it with a tuner it's way out of tune with standard pitch.

Tuners themselves are often blamed, but rarely slip. It's really hard for a worm gear to be reverse-driven. But strings are commonly improperly installed on the tuner peg and can slip, or loose loops of string wadded up on the peg can straighten out by increments, causing the string to go flat. Commonly, strings bind in the nut slots as you're tuning up. You keep tightening the string with the tuning machine, but the pitch isn't going up as much as it should. You're stretching the section of string between the nut and tuner. It can break if you overdo it. What often happens is there's some residual excessive tension in that segment after the playing part of the string is tuned up to pitch, then later the string slips in the nut slot and equalizes the tension between string segments, making it go sharp.

"A cheerful heart is good medicine."

Post Date: 6/5/2005 @ 12:40 pm


RE: Why does a guitar go out of tune?
sithee
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Many years ago I did physics at College. One lesson was on the forces acting on a length of wire, when under tension from both ends,causing the wire to stretch.They called this the coefficient of linear expansion . Guitar strings/tuning can get very technical, can.t it ?

Post Date: 6/28/2005 @ 2:09 pm

RE: Why does a guitar go out of tune?
Ricochet
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I think the coefficient of linear expansion is the one related to thermal change in the length of the unstretched string. The elastic modulus is the one related to stretching under tension.

Thre are lots of websites on the physics of vibrating strings, if anybody's interested, Google the phrase.
Smiley

"A cheerful heart is good medicine."

Post Date: 6/28/2005 @ 2:42 pm

RE: Why does a guitar go out of tune?
sithee
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Its getting more technical and blowing my mind...I'm off to get my guitar and blast a few riffs off...bye...Sithee.

Post Date: 6/28/2005 @ 6:19 pm

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