Love the new SG but why won’t it stay in tune?

Discussion in 'Other Guitars, other instruments' started by burntfrijoles, Aug 31, 2019.

  1. TeleFunk Man

    TeleFunk Man Tele-Afflicted

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    My 2004 SG Standard is one of my best guitars due in part because of its amazing tuning stability. As others have pointed out, make sure your SG is properly setup (I use GHS 10-46), apply a small dab of Big Bends Nut Sauce lubricant in the nut grooves and saddles (I do this to all my guitars each restring), this helps prevent strings from pinching at the nut and anywhere their is friction. A small tube of nut sauce will last years (by the way, no affiliation just a happy customer).

    Enjoy!

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2019
    Telecaster88 likes this.
  2. moosie

    moosie Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Glad you got it. Sounds like that did it. Graphite is likely to be temporary, and you'll either apply more, or get the nut fixed.

    I was offering the neck itself as an issue because it's hard to tell on the internet, what the person's exact problem is. The necks on SGs are usually extremely flexible. It's a combination of shallow neck joint (giving all that upper fret access), skinny neck profile, and the usual Gibson lack of wood around the headstock break angle.

    It shouldn't be a problem, long as you don't drop it, but the flex can feel less stable than another guitar you might be more used to, depending on your playing style, and what you normally play. It's just different.
     
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  3. kLyon

    kLyon Tele-Meister Gold Supporter

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    We used to call it "Gibson's Disease."
    Everyone is right about the nut; they almost always need attention.
    But really, with SGs, its often the flimsy factor, as pointed out here.
    All the best SGs I've had/played have been the ones that snuck through with baseball necks: they were rigid enough to survive simply putting your hand on them (or even standing up))
    Juniors don't have that problem.
     
  4. rze99

    rze99 Poster Extraordinaire

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    The nut MUST be right and then lubed
    MUST stretch strings to buggery test that that do not go out when pulled before playing
    Don't bend that SG neck unless you mean it (Pete Townshed...etc).
     
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  5. studio1087

    studio1087 Telefied Silver Supporter

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    If you previously played Fender guitars with smaller fret profiles you may have to lighten up your grip on the Gibson neck with bigger frets. If you grip a Gibson really hard with your left hand you can push strings out of tune. I take a Tele or Strat and one SG to every gig. I have a Fender guitar and an SG at every show. I have 5 SG’s and every one has great intonation. No nut filing or nut lubricant or pre-stretching of strings. The biggest challenge for me with SG’s was learning to play chords and licks without squeezing really hard. I had to think a little while practicing and it became second nature. From playing a lot of acoustic and Fender electrics I had developed a mega death grip in my left hand. I can’t do that on Gibson’s because the tuning goes goofy.

    Just a suggestion. It may not apply to you but it was a thing for me.
     
  6. drmmrr55

    drmmrr55 Tele-Holic

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    You are quite correct in that the neck on the SG, is quite flexible, because of where the neck joins the body, and the tenon is generally, quite short. But at the same time, if the joint is a good solid one, it should go back to it's original position when the flex pressure is released. If it's a poor joint, then it could definitely affect tuning. But when I play mine, I sometimes flex the neck for a little coloring of the open note/s I'm playing, (sort of a slow trem effect), by grabbing the headstock, and pushing and pulling, and it always goes back in tune when I release it.
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2019
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  7. paulo6

    paulo6 Tele-Meister

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    i have a 2007 Standard and have fitted the String Butler which has vastly improved the tuning. I'm curious why the earlier poster who included a photo installed his "upside down" though?
     
  8. burntfrijoles

    burntfrijoles Poster Extraordinaire

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    As I posted earlier, the graphite has helped a great deal. Also, I am more aware of the pressure applied with my fretting hand. I finally experienced the neck flex issue when I noticed my picking forearm resting too heavily on the lower bout and I've adjusted my technique slightly. It's not the size of the SG's frets. None of my Fenders have the smaller vintage frets. Now, the SG's frets appear to be almost flat as compared to being curved like a Fender.

    As an aside, the guitar itself is excellent. Great playability and warm tone. I think the burstbuckers must be a little brighter than classic 57s or Lollars. This SG increasing my GAS for a 335 with a similar neck profile but I've never liked the way a 335 feels against my body or how it plays under my fingers. So I guess the SG will be my only humbucker guitar.
     
  9. ifallalot

    ifallalot Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    I've had 4 Gibsons, and I think it is just hit or miss whether you can keep them in tune, but the SGs were the worst

    2016 Faded SG- would not keep the G string in tune, even after a pro setup.
    2016 Les Paul 60s and 2006 Faded SG- would stay in tune when the strings were new, however, as soon as they were 2 or 3 weeks old I'd have to change them. This is stark contrast to my Fenders and Reverends where I don't change the strings until they're way past the time I should have
    2016 ES339- stayed in tune like a Telecaster

    I never tried heavier strings though, maybe I should have
     
  10. jonnyfez

    jonnyfez Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    I was disappointed when I got my first Les Paul Jr. Wouldn't stay in tune. Coming from Teles there was a learning curve. Stretching the strings A LOT and lubing the nut are all key. Once I learned that I haven't had any problems. Now I have a LP and two SGS - no tuning issues. Enjoy that SG - it's the tele of Gibsons.
     
  11. stevemc

    stevemc Tele-Holic

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    i love the tuning stability on my flying v:)
     
  12. FenderGuy53

    FenderGuy53 Poster Extraordinaire

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    New strings?
     
  13. MonkeyJefferson

    MonkeyJefferson Tele-Holic

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    Man oh man, nothing could be more true. Especially if you're a Fender Person just pulling in to Gibsontown. I got a new 339 a few years ago, played the HECK out of it, LOVED it, GIGGED it, even. Took it to a pal for a setup, and I was stone cold embarrassed at how much better it was after a proper setup. It's so smooth now, lesson learned there for me.
     
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  14. Treynor

    Treynor Tele-Holic

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    These locking tuners ended my minor tuning issues. I had one bent tuning peg anyway, and decided to give the locking Gotohs a shot.

    30CE6D1B-1F27-43C3-BD9F-865DC3ED8BB0.jpeg 61BB3DBA-E390-44D4-8F05-D1A0320C740C.jpeg
     
  15. 41144

    41144 Tele-Afflicted

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    Give it a year burntfrijoles!

    I've got the 2018 SG Standard, with '61 pickups.
    Spent the first few months obsessing over the D & G strings not staying in tune. Made sure it wasn't the way I put it in or took it out the case, not knocking the headstock in use etc, eventually got the tuners and nut checked - no problem found, problem persisted then suddenly, after about 6 months that problem went.
    Next up, wouldn't seem to hold it's setup, bridge kept dropping a fraction on the bass side; almost imperceptible to measure , but it was there. On the verge of trading it and the bridge decided to hold the height I put it at, no more unaccountable buzzing.

    Had it about 18 months now and do now feel bonded with it and enjoy now actually playing it, but it was touch and go!

    btw - in another thread (about SGs and Metal) MilwMark commented about "rubberneck" SGs, and poor SG neck joints. Definitely wasn't a problem on my SG but possibly something else to look into?
     
  16. Kontaktmoi

    Kontaktmoi Tele-Holic

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    Or.... tune at at the 3th fret (not open strings) . You will have a more "pleasant" sound because lots of your chords happen in the cowboy frets. LOL
     
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