March 24th, 2012, 01:53 PM
Got an outdoor gig in the morning next weekend in DC, and hopefully it stays this warm, but you never know, we might get a last cold snap. I'll be bringing the Tele and a Strat and using one while someone tunes the other, but it occurs to me that I don't know if new strings or slightly old ones (~2 months) are more likely to stay in tune. What do we think?
March 24th, 2012, 02:47 PM
If you're cool with the older strings then I say leave them on as most of the 'normal' stretch has gone out of them. I play outside a lot in both cold and heat - w/o a tech and yeah, it's a PITA. *(I use a Peterson Strobo Stomp for not only it's accuracy but also it's note tracking speed and the it's super bright display.)
One of the problems with playing in either cold or hot is not only your strings reacting to the temperature but also your neck and fretboard (even the fret wire to some extent). If you have a rosewood board on a maple neck, especially birds eye, you'll notice the most change. The two different woods have different coefficient of expansion/contraction.
Having said all that it's just something that you deal with.
If you have two guitars and one will be tuned while the other one gets played then you're minimizing the issue in the best way you can.
March 24th, 2012, 03:09 PM
try to acclimate your guitar to the ambient temperature before you play ... don't bring a warm guitar on a cold stage and vice-versa ... i just made this up, but it sounds like a good idea to me ...
March 24th, 2012, 04:13 PM
We play first at 8am, and I'll probably have the guitars outside at 6am. Hopefully 2 hours will get them to adjust but I'm not counting on it ...
March 24th, 2012, 07:46 PM
It's a tele?
Tune it at home. Drive to the gig. Take it out. It will still be in tune.
March 25th, 2012, 06:27 AM
Aclimatising for 2 hours should be more than enough to get everything settled.
We used to leave guitars lying overnight in the van no matter what the weather, into the venue, case kept shut to allow slow change, then opened, tuned, sound check and that was it. At worst you might have to check tuning a few times, but its a Tele you're talking about!
March 25th, 2012, 08:53 PM
I'd be worried about the action instead!
I usually try to replace my strings every 3 gigs or so, not just because I seem to have corrosive sweat, but because it seems that they are pretty stressed from bending/tuning when they get older
April 16th, 2012, 03:01 PM
I always cringe at bringing my tele in the cold weather. I would think older strings would keep better in tune than new strings.
April 17th, 2012, 02:24 AM
I wouldn't worry too much. Earlier this winter, I played at the place pictured in my avatar, and the temperature was about -18C°. My hands got pretty cold, and the mugs of hot water I would hold in my hands between songs kept turning to ice, but the guitar (strat) was fine. Just leave it outside for the whole gig.