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Nut or Bridge - how can I tell?

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by goldenhound, Mar 11, 2020.

  1. goldenhound

    goldenhound TDPRI Member

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    So REALLY over-discussed subject. I must be stupid or something, because I just can't get this to work on my guitar! I've heard plenty of discussion on strings not staying in tune. And, of course, the G string won't stay in tune. So, how can I tell if it's the nut or the trem bridge causing the problem?

    The string doesn't ping when tuning, that would be too easy.

    Got a tremsetter, and using two additional springs.

    Bought roller saddles.

    Watched the video on balancing spring tension vs string tension, and set it up that way.

    No Joy. Ideas?

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. aerhed

    aerhed Friend of Leo's

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    Block it. If it won't stay in tune then it's nut or tuner
     
  3. nomadh

    nomadh Tele-Afflicted

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    See how it plays with a capo. Maybe check the intonation w capo also. It can be very enlightening.
     
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  4. EsquireBoy

    EsquireBoy Tele-Afflicted

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    To see if the string gets pinched into the nut slot, I like to do a bend behind the nut. If it stays sharp after bending, most often the nut is the culprit.
    If it does return to pitch, time to investigate around the bridge saddles.
     
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  5. Stanford Guitar

    Stanford Guitar Tele-Holic

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    Put the G string on the D tuner and see if it remains in tune. If yes, then you may have a bad tuning key.
     
  6. igor5

    igor5 Tele-Meister

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    IMO, most of the times, tuning problems is due to bad nut.
     
  7. LowCaster

    LowCaster Tele-Afflicted

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    Tuner (and stringing technique) - string tree - nut - bridge

    The tremolo would cause tuning problems on all string not only one. So it’s something else, most likely the nut, but it may not be obvious. Widening and reshaping the string slot may be the solution, but it is a specialized job for a skilled hand: see a good tech, or be prepared to replace the nut if you do it yourself.

    The first thing I do is to apply graphite powder in the string slot at the nut, and on the saddle and string tree.

    You should think about the way you wind the strings on the tuners too.

    Sometimes it is the tuner that needs to be tightened or oiled...

    Look at the classic Frudua video, he explains a lot of things and this technique ( pressing the trem arm after tuning each string untill it stays in tune ) really works well for improving tuning stability. So well that if it fails, it is a sign that you’ll have to work on the nut or tuner.

     
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  8. Matthias

    Matthias Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    Get a thin propelling pencil and colour in the nut slots until they’re a nice dark grey. Works wonders, clean and cheap.
     
  9. LowCaster

    LowCaster Tele-Afflicted

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    Yes, pencil, that’s graphite powder (not in the purest form, but it works well enough) ... ;)
     
  10. Matthias

    Matthias Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    Indeed - simply recommending the best applicator in my experience :D
     
  11. FenderGuy53

    FenderGuy53 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Do THIS first. If you still have a tuning issue, then grab the nut file!
     
  12. Doctorx33

    Doctorx33 Tele-Afflicted

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    My guitar guy always angles each slot left and right on the headstock side, it prevents kinking and pinging. Ya gotta know what you're doing though when you attempt it.
     
  13. Preacher

    Preacher Friend of Leo's

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    this is great advice on any string. If you can press the string down to make the string sharp and then release and it goes back to into tune, then your nut is spot on.
     
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  14. schmee

    schmee Doctor of Teleocity

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    Yep, that's what I do. I create a funnel shape, including on the bottom so the string in theory rests only on a short portion of the nut. It's probably overkill. But as long as the string groove is bigger than the string it should stay in tune. The OP should block the tremelo or just tighten it flat to the body and see if the problem goes away. I cannot play a floating tremelo, always tuning. Mine are always decked.
    [​IMG]
     
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