G string blues.

Discussion in 'Tele-Technical' started by clayton58, Oct 13, 2019.

  1. teledude66

    teledude66 Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    53
    Posts:
    2,960
    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2004
    Location:
    Lawndale,N.C.
    Is your nut lubed? I've used EB .009 on a B Bender, and never have trouble, I currently use D"Addario .010 with no trouble. I do use either pencil graphite or Big Bends Nut Sauce, I found a tube way cheaper than what it goes for, but still lube the saddles, and nut. I have three teles one with six saddles, two with brass 3 saddle.
     
  2. GuitarKid

    GuitarKid Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    537
    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2013
    Location:
    Here
    A lot of the supposed problems mentioned here can be easily cured with a good intonation with the temperament system in mind. Intonation is a compromise, perfect tuning is an auditory illusion that can be achieved. First we intonate each string precisely. Then we have to season this intonation on all the strings in order to achieve the illusion of the whole guitar being in tune to itself all over the fretboard. If we just intonate precisely and don't season, chances are your most used cowboy chords, especially major, will suffer. Just like a piano tuner never leaves each key on its precise pitch, or it will sound awfully out of tune as a whole.
    Don't detune strings to season tuning. This will solve the problem on a region and put other regions off.
    What solved all my tuning problems once for all was following this advice I got from Eric Johnson.
    Intonate low E slightly flat. Intonate G and B slightly flat. Make micro adjustments to other strings until the illusion of even tuning has been achieved.
    Remember - a guitar will never be mathematically in tune. But with the illusion of even tuning nobody will notice, and will even tell you how perfectly in tune your guitar sounds.
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2019
  3. fenderchamp

    fenderchamp Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,170
    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2008
    Location:
    omaha
    High E? and how flat is slightly flat?

    So are you saying

    1. take a screwdriver and lengthen the top three strings a little bit by turning the saddle adjustment screws clockwise. tune them back up to pitch.
    2. Then play cowboy chords and adjust the strings using the tuners or using saddle adjustments? until it plays in tune.
     
  4. howardlo

    howardlo Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    666
    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2011
    Location:
    Hobart, IN
    A wound third string solves many problems. Have used sets with wound thirds since the '50's (the only way they came back then). D'Addario makes 10's with the wound third . I use those and 11's with wound thirds.
     
    clayton58 likes this.
  5. GuitarKid

    GuitarKid Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    537
    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2013
    Location:
    Here
    No, low E. It has a tendency of going sharp with each stroke.

    Slightly flat is really just a hair flat, not a lot. If you use a digital tuner to intonate, it's like leaving the "needle" just one or two degrees behind the precise note upon first attack. There isn't an exact recipe, you have to use your ears.

    Play your most used chords in different regions. Watch out for major thirds and perfect fifths sticking out on your most used chords.

    A seasoned intonation takes into consideration the specific regions, chords and inversions you most use, as well as your particular way of attacking the strings.

    But these general directions can be used to good results.

    In my case, when I played an A major chord, fifth fret, I always found the major third (C#, 6th fret, G string) to be sticking out, even if I had all strings perfectly tuned and the guitar perfectly intonated. The mistake here is - it doesn't have to be perfectly intonated, it has to be within good intonation but seasoned.

    Keep in mind that this is not about detuning strings. Once your seasoned intonation has been achieved, you will tune each string to the correct pitch. It's about small adjustments in the intonation.

    As I mentioned before, a Telecaster with vintage three barrel saddles can be specially troublesome to intonate because we can't move just the G or just the B or just the low E independently. But it can be achieved with some more radical tricks like bending the screw in each saddle in the proper direction - at one's own risk :D.

    As others have mentioned, it's important to make sure your nut is cut correctly.
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2019
    fenderchamp likes this.
  6. muchxs

    muchxs Doctor of Teleocity

    Posts:
    11,883
    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2004
    Location:
    New England
    "G- String Blues":

    Exotic dancers suffering from depression.

    :lol: :lol: :lol:
     
  7. edvard

    edvard Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,235
    Joined:
    May 15, 2016
    Location:
    Bremerton, WA
    I have had struggles with the G string ever since I started playing. It doesn't matter if it's a "real" guitar, or a 60's no-name pawn shop plank. I remember reading about "Strat-itis" and cranked my pickups down to the deck. No change. I've intonated six ways from Sunday, still no dice.
    My #1 guitar is strung with a custom set of Kaliums and powered by Firebird-style mini 'buckers and I'm finally seeing some progress. Maybe it's the Super Slinkies I've been loyal to all these years?
     
    clayton58 likes this.
  8. schmee

    schmee Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    7,847
    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2003
    Location:
    northwest
    I don't have a ton of issues with a plain G string. But I change often. I use an 015 G in a 10-46 set. If anyone wants a bunch of 017 G strings let me know!
     
    telemnemonics likes this.
  9. clayton58

    clayton58 TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    36
    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2009
    Location:
    On the Bayou Teche
    Thanks all.
    I will try another set of strings and check the pick up height. The nut seems fine and the bridge is a vintage 3 saddle. (52 AVRI).
    The guitar sounds so good through my Twin. It’s just that one little string issue. So, they do still sell sets with a wound 3rd. Going to look into getting some.
     
  10. clayton58

    clayton58 TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    36
    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2009
    Location:
    On the Bayou Teche
    So you have to buy the wound 3rd separately?
     
  11. schmee

    schmee Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    7,847
    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2003
    Location:
    northwest
    It's plain not wound. I've never seen wound that small, do they even exist? I used to buy the 015 strings a dozen or so at a time off Ebay. I now buy strings from "Just Strings" in whatever set mix I want.
     
    clayton58 likes this.
  12. clayton58

    clayton58 TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    36
    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2009
    Location:
    On the Bayou Teche
    I will definitely look into Just Strings.
     
  13. schmee

    schmee Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    7,847
    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2003
    Location:
    northwest
    They seem just as good as DiAddario or Ernie Ball so far.
     
  14. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Age:
    60
    Posts:
    17,805
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2010
    Location:
    Maine
    Interesting about the lighter G intonating better or simply ringing clearer than a heavier G.
    I never really had a problem setting up guitars to players satisfaction with a .017 G, and while it's always been an annoying string to feel in tune, when playing it never really made my experience bothersome.

    I'm fairly sensitive to pitch in terms of knowing when I'm a little out of tune, but don't do the sort of playing that makes it worse like clean fingerpicking in quiet music.
    I feel for those who are constantly upset by the inherently imperfect tuning of the guitar.
    We might think it's an internet issue where repeated Tele intonation issues make players nervous, but I can accept that some players just hear pitch with such extreme precision that they find an imperfect instrument like the guitar to be uncomfortable to hear.

    A year or so ago I went from almost 40 years fo playing tens to nines due to my aging hands condition, and half expected the worse tone that's popular in guitar mythology, where many claim heavier strings sound better and lighter strings sound wimpy.

    For the player who can't stand the pitch of their own guitar playing, I'd suggest asking others how bad they really sound.
    Our OP checked out of the thread after deciding to switch to Fender brand strings at the suggestion that they work fine.
    I suspect they will not solve the problem!
    Sometimes another player that's also a guitar tech can better identify what exactly is wrong and target a fix.
    Here we don't know if one of the many parts that need to be set correctly are off a bit, or if the player is just finding themselves unhappy with the imprecision of stretched wires pressed against curved wires.

    I'll say that of all the improvements made to the guitar over the years, the staggered pole Fender pickup is one anachronism that needs to be corrected!

    To my ear that durn G string tall pole sets my guitar way way out of whack more than any other part.
    Compensated saddles do not fix the raised G pole low B pole problem!
    And for me the flat pole pickup is not a great solution either as I love the staggered pickup sound with the fatter stronger tone on the middle strings, as opposed to flat poles that accentuate the high and low E strings due to the middle strings being further from the magnets on vintage radius boards.

    Of course on a modern neck with flatter radius, the vintage stagger sounds exaggerated, but for a 7.25 or 9.5 radius board, staggered Fender pickups do a beautiful thing creating the fatter toned middle strings of the guitar.

    Except for the stupid imbalanced response between the G and B.
     
    howardlo, schmee and Wally like this.
  15. schmee

    schmee Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    7,847
    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2003
    Location:
    northwest
    I didn't mean that, (or maybe you were referring to someone else) I just use the 015 because I bend a lot and I'm old! But the 015 seems to work fine in lieu of the 017. Still a loud string. Been using it for probably 7- 8 years now.
     
    telemnemonics likes this.
  16. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    33,423
    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2003
    Location:
    Lubbock, TX
    Guitar Player had an article in 1973 or 1974 about the G pole problem presented by a vintage stagger when using a plain G. I have been adjusting pole pieces for as long as I have been working on such guitars. In fact, there was a Strat...maybe the Road Worn...that had all 6 poles sitting all at the same height, which was where the D pole would be in a vintage stagger. I adjusted 5 poles on each pickup. Those pickups are Alnico magnets, and after the adjustment are the best ‘modern’ Fender Strat pickups I have heard. A young fellow who heard what my guitar did had me do the same for his identical guitar during a setup.
    Why they still build a vintage stagger is beyond me. Perhaps it is for the rare player who uses a wound G???? About 27 years ago, it came to me that pickups should be built with the strings and radius as part of the design. Kinman started selling such things a few years later....sometime in the late ‘90’s, iirc. I prefer adjustable pole picks unless the stagger is correct or can be made so.

    and...with a plain G and. A vintage stagger, the imbalance is not just between the G and the B. The G sticks out above all other strings in a vintage stagger....it is the hottest output of the 6.
     
    howardlo and telemnemonics like this.
  17. fenderchamp

    fenderchamp Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,170
    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2008
    Location:
    omaha
    I think it's because it looks cool...
     
  18. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Age:
    60
    Posts:
    17,805
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2010
    Location:
    Maine
    Oh OK, I think a couple of references were made to a thinner plain G being better for clarity or intonation, and assumed that was why you chose it.
    When I switched to a .009 set I went with EB because the hybrid slinky is a .009- .046 set and I was skeered of thinner strings sounding wimpy and really only felt strained bending the plain strings.
    But that set comes with .009/ .011/ .016 and I buy single .012 for a heavier B string!
    My idea being that dropping .001 from each of the top three strings made more sense that dropping .001/ .002/ .001 and having the B be more thinner than the E and G.

    Playing today just to listen for any G string horror I might be missing, it occurred to me that the G is just about my favorite string!
    No pun intended, it just has the best combo of fat and clear of all the strings.

    Not sure if this applies to those who complain of tuning/ pitch/ intonation problems with the G, but I find I treat each string differently, along with the area of the neck I'm playing on.

    If I picked all strings the same way the sound would certainly bother me, so I treat the high E differently from the B and G.

    Again though, go to a flat pole or a flat board radius and the whole technique has to change.
    I have a parts Strat with a Warmoth 10-14 radius neck and it sounded tonally exaggerated with the rewound '72 Strat bridge pickup I installed.
    I actually bought a Robert Cray CS bridge pickup for the flat poles and find that doesn't do it for me either, so I bought some Tex Mex Strat bridge pickups to try with the stagger adjusted, as @Wally mentioned. Plastic bobbins allow this without damaging the coil.
    I have another dead pre CBS gray base Strat pickup that I plan to change the stagger on, likely swapping the flush B pole with the E pole to get more height on the B, and also lower the G pole.
    Exactly how much though I need to define first, and I expect the plastic Tex Mex will be handy for trying stagger changes.

    Part of my tone formula is a lot of angle to keep the low E far from the pickup and the high E close, so I get a very strong high E and more clarity from the lowered bass output.
    This also helps get the G pole a tiny bit lower, but it's not really enough.

    Of course as @Wally noted, the D has less output that the G with the stupid vintage stagger, but there I go back to treating each string differently to compensate for the fact the the guitar is inherently imperfect.
     
  19. schmee

    schmee Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    7,847
    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2003
    Location:
    northwest
    You can push the stagger poles down flat if you want. I've done that on mine.
     
    howardlo likes this.
  20. bcorig

    bcorig Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

    Posts:
    1,583
    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2018
    Location:
    Chino Hills CA
    You guys are amazing.
     
    clayton58 likes this.
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.


  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.