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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 ...
user1079505's user avatar
35 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 ...
phoog's user avatar
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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 ...
Scott Wallace's user avatar
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 ...
John's user avatar
  • 1,974
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 ...
Carl Witthoft's user avatar
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 ...
Peter's user avatar
  • 6,506
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 ...
PeteCon's user avatar
  • 1,920
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 ...
Tim's user avatar
  • 194k
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 ...
Tim's user avatar
  • 194k
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 ...
Camille Goudeseune's user avatar
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 ...
Doktor Mayhem's user avatar
  • 36.9k
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 ...
Rockin Cowboy's user avatar
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 ...
dwoz's user avatar
  • 1,878
13 votes
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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 ...
Alphonso Balvenie's user avatar
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 ...
Doktor Mayhem's user avatar
  • 36.9k
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 ...
Doktor Mayhem's user avatar
  • 36.9k
12 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 ...
Alphonso Balvenie's user avatar
11 votes
Accepted

Playing the saxophone in the rain

I've run into this situation before. Long story, but I was playing in a marching band, in the middle of Shanghai, in the rain, with my tenor, for about four hours. I think the reed is the least of ...
endorph's user avatar
  • 9,629
11 votes

Order of valves in a trumpet

Take all the valves out. Then place one of the valves in the third valve casing. Turn it until the valve guide "clicks" then blow (gently!) into the horn. If air goes through, then depress ...
Aaron's user avatar
  • 90.2k
10 votes
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Should I let my violin bridge tilt forwards?

The bridge has feet which need to be properly in contact with the violin body. If it tilts, then chances are that it's not completely so. It can be moved, slowly ('untilting') so that it's ...
Tim's user avatar
  • 194k
10 votes

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

"A lot of tutorials even cut and therefore destroy the strings after tuning down in order to remove them. " Because cutting a string which is up to tension isn't gentle on the guitar. Also, if you ...
PeteCon's user avatar
  • 1,920
10 votes

Guitar strings feel electrified

Do not touch a microphone/stand or any grounded equipment or go anywhere wet - you may die. Incidentally I had a similar sensation with my last mobile phone (a Huwawei). When it was plugged into the ...
chasly - supports Monica's user avatar
10 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 ...
Tetsujin's user avatar
  • 27.8k
10 votes

How to clean the bathtub after cleaning brass instruments

You don't specify whether you have an enamel or plastic bath tub, so an abrasive cleaner that would work well on enamel would damage plastic. When I've borrowed really dirty cornets I've washed them ...
Brian THOMAS's user avatar
  • 11.6k
9 votes
Accepted

Cork in the base of a violin's chin rest

Pre-cut 'violin chin rest cork' is offered from several suppliers. Yes, you just loosen, insert new cork, tighten. Glue is optional. Or you can buy sheet cork from a craft store and cut it yourself. ...
Laurence's user avatar
  • 94k
9 votes
Accepted

Is Violin Outfit safe in a Airplane Cargo

It's always going to be a gamble. I've had a case marked fragile arrive squashed, with obvious tractor tyre marks over it. For many years after that all my cases were marked "Fragile - please throw ...
Tetsujin's user avatar
  • 27.8k
8 votes

How does one change bow hair?

First off, I would seriously consider having it done by a professional. Violin bow rehairing can cost about $50 with cello and bass bows costing a bit more. Given that it is quite a skilfull operation,...
Jackalope's user avatar
  • 556
8 votes

Piano: Will my piano strings break if my cat walks on them?

The hammers hitting the strings, particularly on sfortzando playing, will stress the strings far more than a cat gently pussyfooting around on the strings. A bigger problem will occur when he finds ...
Tim's user avatar
  • 194k
8 votes
Accepted

What's the use case for a thickness measurement tool in a guitar toolkit?

Those are called “feeler gauges” and can measure all kinds of things. Distance between strings and the fingerboard or the frets is one common use for them. I just used my set yesterday to measure ...
Todd Wilcox's user avatar
  • 57.2k

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