Is it really possible to “tune once and done?”

Discussion in 'Tab, Tips, Theory and Technique' started by dscottyg, May 31, 2021.

  1. dscottyg

    dscottyg Tele-Meister

    Age:
    54
    Posts:
    335
    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2020
    Location:
    Jacksonville
    I see on various forums people mention tuning their guitar and it staying in tune for weeks or month. Comments like, “I just tune it once and never have to tune it again until I change the strings.” I’m thinking these people don’t have a Snark or tuner pedal to check, and they just think the guitar is in tune. I find that after every 4 or 5 songs, even if the guitar sounds ok, I’ll check the tuning with a Snark, and at least 1 usually 2 will need a slight adjustment. Is this tune-once-and-done a myth?
     
    TimT, DugT, stnmtthw and 11 others like this.
  2. Sparky2

    Sparky2 Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    62
    Posts:
    4,378
    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2017
    Location:
    Harvest, Alabama
    It's a rare thing, but I have known some of my guitars to stay in tune for weeks at a time.

    But for months, or for entire string cycles?
    No way.

    Never seen that happen.

    :eek:
     
  3. yegbert

    yegbert Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    6,568
    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2004
    Location:
    Maryland (US)
    Those who believe the “staying in tune” myth don’t play their guitar? :eek:
     
  4. Tarkus60

    Tarkus60 Tele-Meister

    Age:
    61
    Posts:
    406
    Joined:
    May 10, 2020
    Location:
    Salem In
    I have a martin that does a really good job of staying in tune. But for months.....myth for sure!
     
  5. KelvinS1965

    KelvinS1965 Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,140
    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2014
    Location:
    Wokingham England
    Not for months, though often I'll pick my Tele up after a week and check tuning before I start playing to find that it's already in tune. Fairly consistent temperatures/humidity though. It certainly does seem to stay in tune for the duration of rehearsals though, but I can't help checking from time to time to make sure.

    EDIT: Bone nut and properly cut slots, no lub needed, strings properly stretched when I fit them and minimal wraps around the (vintage) tuner posts. YMMV, etc, etc.
     
  6. kbold

    kbold Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,422
    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2015
    Location:
    Australia
    Temperature change = retune
    Doing some bendy-bendy = retune

    Mind you I have one guitar that stays in tune between playing, and another one that never does.
    I blame the machine heads.
    Gotta have something to blame. o_Oo_O
     
  7. Old Deaf Roadie

    Old Deaf Roadie Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

    Posts:
    3,248
    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2017
    Location:
    Oregon Coast
    I have a Carvin bass with Schaller machines that will keep tune most nights unless a drastic temperature change occurs during the gig.
     
  8. DaveGo

    DaveGo Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    247
    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2014
    Location:
    Austin
    Temperature and humidity affect the tuning of my guitars more than anything but in any case they don't go wildly out of tune but do need to be sweetened each day and more often if I'm practicing something with a lot of aggressive bends. In my experience I could go grab one of my Teles that hasn't been played for months (or years) and the tuning would still be reasonably close.
     
  9. naveed211

    naveed211 Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,658
    Joined:
    May 16, 2009
    Location:
    Iowa
    I’ve had some guitars that would stay close to in tune. I still check in between songs, usually just a minor tweak here or there.
     
  10. Marc Morfei

    Marc Morfei Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

    Age:
    56
    Posts:
    2,816
    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2018
    Location:
    Wilmington, DE
    I had a guitar that would stay in tune for an entire 4-hr gig. But temperature changes always require a retune. I’m guessing when people say their guitar never goes out of tune, it’s more about one string drifting out in relation to the others. Some people complain they need to check their tuning after each song. So guitars definitely act differently in that respect.
     
    JustABluesGuy likes this.
  11. Nick Fanis

    Nick Fanis Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    6,656
    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2003
    Location:
    Athens-GREECE
    BS
     
    grzz51, 5haun, stnmtthw and 3 others like this.
  12. northernguitar

    northernguitar Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,278
    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2009
    Location:
    North of Toronto
    They lie.
     
    5haun, Peltogyne, pippoman and 7 others like this.
  13. eddiewagner

    eddiewagner Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    62
    Posts:
    7,649
    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2005
    Location:
    ROCK!linghausen/germany
    No way, unmöglich, nada, Niente al dente
     
    Edgebound, pippoman, BarnKat and 2 others like this.
  14. Nick Fanis

    Nick Fanis Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    6,656
    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2003
    Location:
    Athens-GREECE
    genau :)
     
    Edgebound, 19sixty3 and eddiewagner like this.
  15. 985plowboy

    985plowboy Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    4,696
    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2012
    Location:
    South Louisiana
    Worn in strings stable guitars consistent temp and humidity etc...all can work towards a guitar staying in tune and we pretty much all know that.
    But they don’t stay in tune forever.
    And we pretty much all know that too.
     
    Helmsmn2, TeleMidi, Edgebound and 7 others like this.
  16. radiocaster

    radiocaster Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    8,814
    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2015
    Location:
    europe
    I have definitely picked up a guitar I hadn't played in weeks and it was still in tune. Many times actually. It's not a myth. The key there is to not actually play it.
     
    dscottyg, 5haun, Maguchi and 12 others like this.
  17. Festofish

    Festofish Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

    Age:
    48
    Posts:
    1,908
    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2008
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI
    Carbon Fiber rods ala Carvin or Titanium truss rod ala Ibanez Prestige(?) sure helps! I had a Carvin and it was solid with two carbon fiber rods. One on either side of the truss rod. Im sure many makers employ these tools but you don’t typically see them south of a grand or two. I just watch Darrel Braun’s latest video about his top 5 and he talks about the Ibanez(I think?) being super solid. Good vid.
     
    stepvan likes this.
  18. CajunJ

    CajunJ Tele-Holic

    Age:
    41
    Posts:
    994
    Joined:
    May 20, 2020
    Location:
    NC
    Yep. Same here.
     
    dscottyg likes this.
  19. rand z

    rand z Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,869
    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Location:
    trumansburg, ny
    It depends on your EAR.

    I've known players who didn't know when they were out of tune.
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2021
    PhredE, zeke54, Harry Styron and 20 others like this.
  20. jman72

    jman72 Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,761
    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2013
    Location:
    Central Florida
    I can already tell by the responses that you won't believe me, but it CAN happen. Most of my guitars I tune at least once every playing session (e.g. my Tele, Strat, SG, Jagmaster, Taylor acoustic, etc.). Heck, my electric mandolin and my banjo need tuning sometimes three or four times.

    But my Ibanez JS1200? That thing is MAGICAL. I bought it in 2009, put a new set of strings on it, stretched them out very well, and tuned it up. It has been my main gigging and rehearsing guitar ever since, and I kid you not, I have never changed the strings, and I have tuned it less than 10 times since 2009. And most of those times I just stuck a tuner on it just to make sure that it was still in tune, and without fail that thing is dead on. It has a locking nut and the Edge Pro tremolo (which I seldom use), and that sucker NEVER goes out of tune.

    So believe me or not, and like I said, I'll tune my other guitars all the time (I use a Snark), but that particular JS1200 really is a "tune once and done" guitar.
     
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.