I have an Ibanez GRX55B electric guitar. Its a low range guitar and doesn't have fancy stuff like a Floyd bridge, etc. For quite some time I've been noticing a lot of string warble on the G string. It sounds dissonant, out of tune with itself. I have tried two things I found on the internet in an attempt to fix this: changed my brand of strings, reduced pickup height to reduce magnetic pull of the pole pieces ("Stratitis"), but to no avail.

After a bit of thinking and experimentation, I believe that increasing string tension should make the string tauter and reduce this warble. I could get higher gauge strings, but I'm comfortable with the gauge I have now (I forgot the gauge number though). Instead my plan is to simply tighten the string, but to compensate for this and keep the pitch same, I'll have to increase the length of the strings, a.k.a: scale length.

My first attempt was to turn the screws on the bridge saddle for the G string to increase the length. I maxed it out and thankfully got a little improvement in the tone, but sadly not near enough. And with that, I was out of ideas, but at least my explanation for the string warble seems correct.

Is there any other way to increase the scale length of my electric guitar? Or is getting a higher gauge my only option now? Or is there some other solution for my problem that I missed? All help will be greatly appreciated.

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    I don't know what the problem is, but I'm reasonably sure it has nothing to do with insufficient string tension. If that were the problem, the warble should vanish if you pluck the strings very softly. Does the problem only occur on the empty string, or also on any fretted notes on this string? Do you also get warble on other g-notes (d-string 5th fret, A-string 10th)? – leftaroundabout Aug 29 '17 at 17:05

You are creating another, unrelated problem. The intonation will be out, as the saddles should be in their optimum position whereby the 12th fret wire is exactly under the centre of the open string's length. Moving the bridge/saddles may unwarble the string/s, but the guitar will only ever be in tune at the open string position.

While this doesn't strictly answer the question posed, it might be answering your next one - why is my guitar so out of tune?


Tim pointed out the problem with your approach. I'd just like to speculate on the possible reason for your warble. If it's not affected by the kind of string, try playing it with the pickups turned off. If it still warbles, it might be a problem with the nut: occasionally the slot in the nut can wear in such a way that the string has more play in one plane (side to side or up and down) than the other. This creates two effective lengths for the string, depending on how it's vibrating, which can create a warble. Try holding the G string down in the slot with your fingernail while plucking it and see if the warble disappears. If so, off the luthier.

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    The OP should also take the plate off the back and try damping/touching the tension springs for the tremolo. Chances are high that they are vibrating sympathetically somewhere around G, giving rise to an interference pattern that causes the warble. – Yorik Aug 29 '17 at 16:42
  • @Yorik - didn't think of that, but it seems quite likely. – Scott Wallace Aug 29 '17 at 18:04

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