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My guitar seems to be out of tune everyday.

Is it because of the bad quality of this guitar, or is this normal?

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4 Answers

You're correct in thinking that inexpensive guitars will go out of tune more quickly. For the most part, how much this happens depends on the quality of the guitar, how well they're set up, and how well you strung them.

I can leave some of my guitars for a week and they'll still be mostly in tune, although high humidity will often mean they're sharp. In low humidity, they'll often go flat just a touch.

But having to tune the guitar every day isn't unreasonable at all, if you're tuning no more than, say, a half-step per day. (Even that seems like a lot, actually.) If it's more than that, I'd be concerned.

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Whether that is good or bad will depend a lot on the type of guitar and where you use it.

Type of guitar:

  • An electric with locking nut will stay an tune a lot better than most other guitars.
  • A cheaply built guitar often uses poorer quality wood and may warp (very slightly) in different conditions
  • Acoustics flex more than solid bodied electrics. Steel strings hold pitch better than nylon

Conditions:

  • If the guitar lives in a humidity and temperature controlled room it will stay in tune longer than if in a room with widely varying temperature and humidity.
  • If you take the guitar to gigs then home etc. it will detune faster.

So think about where your guitar fits in to the above and you can get a good idea whether tuning it every day is appropriate.

As an indicator, my main gigging guitar only needs very minor tuning between gigs 2 weeks apart: it is a very nice Ibanez with a locking nut, Floyd Rose and Elixir strings and it lives in a room which has a pretty constant temp between gigs.

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One thing I'd add to this is that many problems with guitars going out of tune can be brought down to how well the strings were put on (or not). In short: make sure they were wound up neatly, around 4-5 turns for the treble and 2-3 turns for the bass strings, with no spaces between windings. Stretch them out when tuning to make sure there's no room for movement in the windings or gears and ALWAYS tune up to pitch. –  Faza May 10 '11 at 2:43
    
+1 @Faza - good point –  Dr Mayhem May 10 '11 at 7:40
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In my case, I have a strat with standard bridge and I have to tune it up after every song.

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I'm not quite sure if that counts as an answer... Anyway, you got a massive problem with your tuning stability. You should get new tuners, like the Grover Mini Robomatic Locking-Tuner (I got mine for just 65€ (like $80 I guess), they work just awesome) and maybe your springs. –  Anonymous May 9 '11 at 13:02
    
Yeah, another spring or two should hold the bridge to the top. –  luser droog Nov 3 '11 at 5:38
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Depends both on the instrument and the conditions. Surprisingly, my stable of cigar-box guitars stay in tune better than my "real" instruments.

I have to tweak my little Taylor GS Mini nearly everytime I take it out of the case, but my Cigar-box resonator will stay in tune for weeks....

Go figure.

Humidity, temperature, construction of the instrument... All play thier part.

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