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Guitar Tuning Tips – Want Some Techniques You Can Use to Keep Your Guitar in Tune? March 29, 2007

Posted by rgordon83 in Articles, Guitar Hardware, Tips, Tuning.
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I don’t have time to write my own post tonight due to the new job i started. But instead of leaving you with nothing I figured I would share this good article with you on keeping your guitar in tune:

(If you don’t already have a guitar tuner you can go to my link at the end of this article to get one)

Guitar Tuning Tips – Want Some Techniques You Can Use to Keep Your Guitar in Tune?
By David O’Toole

Keeping your guitar tuned is THE first step in sounding hot and professional. Tune-up perfectly and THEN play is the order of the day. Tuning tip number one starts right here. Get yourself a decent and well made guitar that naturally stays in tune without constant tweaking. No matter how much you perfect the art of guitar tuning, a cheap instrument will seriously hamper your efforts.

No matter how well you play your latest lick or arpeggio, it won’t sound hot unless your in perfect Guitar Tune Nirvana either! Conclusion: Invest in a good or even great guitar and your halfway there regarding guitar-tuning dilemmas.

To start off, here are 2 simple but BIG tuning tips for any type of six-stringer:

After every sweaty, no-holds barred, gig or rehearsal, CLEAN YOUR STRINGS! It may sound painfully obvious, but this is the biggest guitar tuning problem and string-killer of them all. Some people, including yours truly, can rust and destroy a set of strings overnight, by gigging with them and not cleaning the chemicals and sweat off, immediately afterwards. When this happens, tuning can be almost impossible.

So cleaning your strings is step one to guitar tuning nirvana. This simple precaution lengthens their lifespan, maintains tone AND tuning. Use a lint-free cloth, wrap it under and around each string, one at a time, and wipe up and down, with a slight pressure, cleaning the complete surface.

Use pure alcohol on the cloth if necessary, you can buy a small bottle of Isopropyl Alcohol in the chemists. Squeaky clean!

WARNING: Be careful with this stuff it’s poisonous if taken internally!

Be careful not to run your fingers along the string too, it cuts deep and hurts like hell! I tie the cloth around the neck afterwards (they tend to mysteriously disappear for some strange reason just when needed), and make it a regular habit.

Unless you’re an experienced player, DO NOT PUT NEW STRINGS ON YOUR GUITAR BEFORE A GIG! … hi John ;-). If you must, try and allow about 30-45 Minutes to fit, stretch and warm them and yourself up.

If you have ever played a guitar which sounds fine in the lower regions but goes out of tune as you move up the neck, the answer could well be dirty or kaput strings. If you change them and the problem goes away, then you know. If it doesn’t go away, it could be the guitar intonation. Get a good and trusted guitar-tech to check it for you.

When you put new strings on (if you have a Floating Bridge, do them one at a time, DO NOT take all the old ones off at once), tune them up to concert pitch, then spend about 20 minutes stretching them by hand. Left hand holds everything down at the nut, place 4 fingers of your right hand underneath one string, and slowly pull it out until you feel the tension and gently sort of bounce it forward and backwards, and S-T-R-E-T-C-H…and loosen…and S-T-R-E-T-C-H…and loos…

Slide your hand position up the neck along the string, pull it out at various points and so on, covering the entire length from nut to bridge. Then retune it and do it all again. The first few times the string tuning will drop by as much as an octave. After a few stretch/tune ups you’ll notice it doesn’t drop anymore. If you let this stretching happen naturally, it can take a week or so until the guitar strings stop jumping out of tune every 2 seconds. Your guitar will be as fit as a fiddle.

So adhering to these two simple but effective steps will improve any guitars tuning and even playability. Once you get into the habit of cleaning and stretching your guitar strings and it becomes second nature, you can turn your attention to other important playing points without having to tune up every few minutes. It’s well worth the effort.

Next we look at some Fender Stratocaster whammy bar tips, Lee Chang specials to avoid, and how a humble home pencil can save your guitar life :). [Note: this is not refering to my blog. The author of this article wrote that].

***

David O’Toole is a guitar player, music fan, and musician from Ireland. He is the webmaster at the UniGTR­+ Center and editor at the BellaOnline Musician Site

A keen player and experienced guitar teacher, he is also the author of the popular standard, lefthand, reverse guitar, and piano / keyboard series of Basic Chord Families — Not just another random selection of 1000s of chords, but the key to fast learning and playing 1000s of songs with under 60 chords!

This article may be freely reproduced as is, provided it is keep it intact, and that the above resource box is maintained – thank you.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=David_O’Toole

Click the image below to buy a guitar tuner!


Getting to know your guitar’s hardware March 16, 2007

Posted by rgordon83 in Beginner, Guitar Hardware, Introduction.
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If you are not already familiar with your guitar’s hardware then you should read this post. Knowing your guitars hardware is important because the more familiar you are with your instrument, the more control you will have over it. You should know all the main hardware for your guitar. (Especially if you ever consider making any modifications to your guitar).

We are going to be looking at my guitar’s hardware as an example. It is important to note that not all guitar hardware is the same. For instance Les Pauls, Fenders and Ibanezs all tend to have slightly different hardware. But most all electric guitars have mostly the same parts.

Lets take a look at my guitar, which is a Hofner Verythin semi hollow body from 2005:

guitar hardware basics overview
The guitar is divided into 3 major parts: the headstock, the neck, and the body.

A. The headstock. On the headstock there are two main components:
1. The tuning pegs (or tuning machines), which allow you to tune the guitar by twisting the knobs.

2.The nut, which holds the strings in place and keeps them the proper distance from one another

B. The neck. On the neck there are 3 main components:
1. The fretboard. The fretboard is the wood that the frets are placed into. The fretboard can me made of various types of wood, but the most popular are rosewood, maple, and ebony. Different woods produce slightly different results.
2. The frets. These are the steel lines that are put into the fretboard that allow you to play different notes by pressing in between any two frets.
3. The inlays. Thsese assist you in knowing what fret you are playing. They are commonly found on the 3rd, 5th, 7th, 9th, 12th, 15th, 17th, 19th, and 22nd frets of the guitar.

Body
C.
This is the area on the body there the tone knobs, volume knobs, and generally the pickup selector switch are located (on Les Paul model guitars the pickups selector is usually to the left of the D section of the guitar).
1. These are “f” holes. These are only found on hollow body and semi hollow body guitars. They allow for the sound to resonate out of the guitars body, functioning similarly to the sound hole on an acoustic guitar.

2. Tone and Volume knobs. These allow you to control the sound of your guitar. Some guitars have tone and volume knobs for both the neck and bridge pickups, some just have one volume and one tone knob that control everything.

3. Pickups selector switch. This allows you to select which pickup your guitar’s output is using. There are two types of pickup selectors: 3 way switches and 5 way switches. Here is a diagram on how 3way and 5way switches work:

3 way pickup selector switch positions on guitar
5 way pickup selector switch on guitar

D. In this section of the body are the pickups, the bridge, and the tailpiece.
Pickups are what capture the vibration of your guitars strings and send that sound to your amp.
1a. This is the neck pickup, it has a thicker sound with more bass.
1b. This is the bridge pickup. It has a thinner, sound with more treble.
NOTE: Some guitars have a middle pickup that is in between the Neck and Bridge pickup
2. This is the bridge. This is where the bottom of your strings rest. This is also what determines how high or low your guitar’s “action” is. (The action on your guitar refers to how far away from the fretboard your strings are. Some player prefer higher action on their guitar, some prefer it lower. It’s a matter of tatse.)
3. This is the tailpiece. It is where your guitar strings are anchored in.

That is a basic outline of the important hardware on your guitar. If you have any questions about your guitar’s hardware please post them to the comments section below.