I wrote yesterday about how I recently picked my $400 Ibanez Artcore guitar over my $1200 Gibson Les Paul, even though there’s a 3x price difference. It was just the right guitar for the job.
Well, one of the downsides of that Artcore guitar has been how quickly it goes out of tune. It hasn’t been uncommon for me to need to re-tune between songs.
That’s not cool.
Because of this, I had been doing some research online for how to address this. Maybe new tuners and a new nut? Perhaps one of those Evertune bridges that literally never go out of tune?
It would be hard to justify spending several hundred bucks on a guitar that’s only worth $400 or less, but at the same time, if I like the tone of the guitar it’s completely worth it.
So I was considering this in the back of my mind when, one night last week, I consulted the almighty Google to find out what mods and upgrades people had done to their Artcore guitars.
I found a thread.
It gave me an “ah-ha” moment.
This guy was new to playing electric guitar, and he was asking for advice about his Artcore that wasn’t staying in tune.
People gave all sorts of answers, but one guy said something like: “Are you sure the strings are stretched out? Strings will stretch out over time, which will cause the guitar to keep falling out of tune.”
Alarm bells went off in my head.
When I string my guitars, I normally stretch the strings a few times, but then I leave it alone and start playing.
So I performed an experiment. I plugged in my Artcore, and went through a 2-minute “stretch and retune” routine. I would stretch the strings (by pulling up on each string, away from the fretboard, and also wiggling it in all directions to really stretch it out), then I would tune them.
The first several times I did this, the strings would be at least a half-note out of tune after being stretched. But around the 5th or 6th time, I would stretch the string and there would be no change in tuning.
Even though these strings had been on the guitar for weeks, I had never properly stretched them out. And apparently they won’t do this by themselves.
I was literally able to fix the problem without spending a DIME.
And the sucker stayed in tune like a champ.
Simple solutions for the win.
And they work for mixing too, not just guitars.
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