42 votes

Guitar strings feel electrified

STOP PLAYING You should not feel any electricity when playing guitar. There could be many reasons, including electrical equipment malfunction or incorrect electric installation in your room. There ...
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  • 11.8k
31 votes

Is it better to choose 440 Hz or 432 Hz to tune an acoustic piano?

It might extend string life, and it might make the piano sound rather dull since the strings may be designed for the tension at which A is 440 Hz or even higher. Whether it's better is a matter of ...
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  • 13.8k
29 votes
Accepted

Should I loosen the tension on the bow for a break?

As a bowmaker, I would like to temper these answers a bit. Yes, if you leave a bow under tension too long, it will lose its camber (bend) faster. So that's true: one should get in the habit of ...
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25 votes

Is it a good idea to leave my guitar tuned over night?

I leave all ten of my acoustic guitars tuned all the time. In most cases it is not a problem to leave your guitar under the full tension of standard tuning for days or even weeks at a time. ...
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21 votes
Accepted

Why do guitarists re-fret their guitars?

Why do guitarists re-fret their guitars? We re-fret guitars because you can get fret wear from playing. The most common type is when the upper frets of the guitar, usually around 17-20, will wear ...
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  • 1,784
21 votes

Should I loosen the tension on the bow for a break?

I'd add to Dr. Mayhem's list: You never know when something will interrupt your plans. You might be 20 mins into a planned 1-hour break, and then the doorbell rings, you welcome a friend, ... next ...
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19 votes

Changing the strings: one by one, or by taking all strings off at one time?

While I've read several different sources recommending not removing all the strings at once, I've never read a good reason why not, and I've always restrung by removing all the strings first. The main ...
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  • 51.5k
18 votes
Accepted

Why do people in tutorials destroy/cut their old strings when restringing?

The reason people in tutorials often cut the guitar strings is because they are often professionals whose goal is to change a set of strings as fast as possible. They aren't concerned with re-using ...
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  • 6,423
17 votes

Is it a good idea to leave my guitar tuned over night?

Imagine what chaos there would be in a guitar shop close to closing time every day! And even worse at opening time! Just smile sweetly at your friend, and let him carry on wrecking his guitar and ...
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  • 174k
17 votes

What's the best way to fly commercially with a guitar?

There is no protection on earth that will protect 100% against a baggage handler having a bad day :) Some things to look at; Buy the guitar a seat. If my guitar was incredibly valuable, this would ...
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  • 1,880
17 votes

Guitar strings feel electrified

This could be a lethal problem. It's just not safe to continue. Firstly, check the socket you usually use. Socket testers are very cheap, and worth having. When I was gigging several times a week, the ...
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  • 174k
16 votes

Changing the strings: one by one, or by taking all strings off at one time?

I think the main reason why people dissuade from taking off all strings is historical: on violin-family instruments as well as many archtop guitars, the bridge is not fixed on the instrument at all. ...
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16 votes

Is it better to choose 440 Hz or 432 Hz to tune an acoustic piano?

When playing period music, on period instruments, they are tuned to the standard of that time, if at all possible. Partly to be authentic, mostly to be kind to the instruments. Understandably. Given ...
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  • 174k
15 votes

Do pianos really need to rest before tuning, after being moved?

I am a Registered Piano Technician with the Piano Technicians Guild. Pianos go out of tune during a move due to humidity differences and/or the different shape of the floor. The floor can slightly ...
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15 votes
Accepted

Does every piano need tuning every year?

If the piano's passed an inspection that meticulous, then it doesn't need a tuning. "Once a year" is general advice to correct for seasonal variations of humidity. In climates with a significant ...
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14 votes

Piano sustains when the pedal is not pressed

The sustain (damper) pedal on a studio piano pushes a rod which connects to the lever which connects to the dampers. This is adjustable with a screw, to allow the dampers to rest on the strings (apart ...
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  • 174k
14 votes

Should I loosen the tension on the bow for a break?

I would always loosen it off for that one hour break, for two reasons: Over time, tension will eventually damage the bow. Keeping tension on when you don't need to will just shorten the lifespan of ...
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  • 36.3k
13 votes

Why do guitarists re-fret their guitars?

If you play a steel string guitar enough, the steel strings eventually wear down the frets to a point where the intonation is out of balance because the frets lose their crown (which provides a ...
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13 votes
Accepted

Is olive oil good for oiling a guitar fretboard?

Short answer: no. As a non-drying vegetable oil, it will eventually become rancid and not be fun. Same as safflower, peanut, sunflower, coconut, palm, etc. A better choice is a "drying oil" such as ...
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  • 1,859
13 votes
Accepted

Do pegs for stringed instruments require holes?

Yes, holes need to be added for the strings. Pegs for violin family instruments are usually sold as "blanks" that are ready for shaping and setting. Because of the wear and use of the pegs, the peg ...
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12 votes

How should I tune a 12 string acoustic guitar?

Twelve string guitars have basic tuning the same as a 6 string (EADGBE) but the pairs are arranged a little differently: For the thickest 4 pairs (EADG) the thinner string of each pair should be an ...
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  • 36.3k
12 votes
Accepted

How do you effectively clean rust from guitar pick-ups?

I'm assuming you mean the individual pole pieces have rust on the top of them, as Stratocasters don't tend to have pickup covers (which can be easier to clean and polish) First off, remember that ...
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  • 36.3k
11 votes
Accepted

Is it okay to sit on guitar combo amplifier?

No, there is absolutely no risk. You may have seen such amplifiers being stacked on stage during festivals/concerts, and those burdens can get heavier than what you weigh. Just make sure you're not ...
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  • 5,744
11 votes

What is causing this weird distortion coming from my amp?

Basic troubleshooting demands isolation and substitution. You need to do some homework before anyone can render a meaningful answer. Here is your assignment: 1) substitute the guitar with another ...
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  • 4,014
11 votes
Accepted

Is it okay if I play guitar/bass with wet fretting hand?

Dirt, oil, and moisture accelerate the wear on your instrument’s strings and finish. Wet hands will make your strings wear out faster and may damage the finish of your neck. Moisture will also soften ...
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  • 6,567
11 votes

How do I fix a broken bridge pin without going to the guitar shop?

Do not try to force the peg out using the string, the ball presses against the peg to lock it in place and you can damage your peg slot by forcing it. Here's how we do it at the shop: Loosen all the ...
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11 votes

Violin fingerboard issue

It's hard to tell from the photographs* whether the entire neck has 'simply' sheared off, or whether there's some body collapse to go with it. Either way, it needs a professional. Price up the cost of ...
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  • 22.9k
10 votes
Accepted

Guitar less resonant than when new; humidity problem?

It's quite likely to be the strings themselves. They are sacrificial, in that they need changing to retain that brightness. Try a new set of strings, and wipe them down after each session, and you ...
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  • 174k
10 votes
Accepted

Ιs my tone knob holder broken?

Yes, I'm afraid that's broken. It's not just a "knob holder", the body of the potentiometer (variable resistor) sits underneath the pick-guard, with just one part of it sticking up for the knob to ...
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