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Strings on brand new Les Paul seem to be going out of tune for no reason Studio Monitors
Old 23rd December 2010
  #1
Gear Nut
 

Strings on brand new Les Paul seem to be going out of tune for no reason

Just bought the 50's tribute studio and like it except for the fact that it seems to slip out of tune VERY easily. Could this be due to the factory strings on the guitar? Haven't changed them yet. I did stretch the strings but it hasn't helped.
Old 23rd December 2010
  #2
Lives for gear
 

Factory strings shouldn't be an issue, unless the shop changed them before selling it, or they weren't installed properly to begin with. Could also be the tuners. You'll always be fighting with that G string tuner, that's just life with a split tuner headstock design.

Is it all strings is just one that's causing the problem?
Old 23rd December 2010
  #3
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by houndog328 View Post
Factory strings shouldn't be an issue, unless the shop changed them before selling it, or they weren't installed properly to begin with. Could also be the tuners. You'll always be fighting with that G string tuner, that's just life with a split tuner headstock design.

Is it all strings is just one that's causing the problem?
All of them sadly.
Old 23rd December 2010
  #4
Lives for gear
 

Sounds to me like they were not installed properly. First bring it back if it's brand new and have the shop set it up, or restring yourself with your brand and gauge strings.
Old 23rd December 2010
  #5
Gear Addict
 

Check the nut and the tuning heads. The Kluson style things they put on modern Gibsons are just plain horrible.

Well, goes with the general horrible vibe of all modern Gibsons...

Have the strings been stretched and given time to settle in?
Old 23rd December 2010
  #6
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dreamsilent View Post
Check the nut and the tuning heads. The Kluson style things they put on modern Gibsons are just plain horrible.

Well, goes with the general horrible vibe of all modern Gibsons...

Have the strings been stretched and given time to settle in?
What do I do to check the nut? What should I be looking for? and yeah I stretched them fairly well and have had the guitar for about 4 days now.
Old 23rd December 2010
  #7
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Unclenny's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by houndog328 View Post
....restring yourself with your brand and gauge strings.
.....and then play it hard for a while. See if you can get in your groove with it.

Give it a little time.
Old 23rd December 2010
  #8
Lives for gear
A lot of folks tie a knot in the string and wrap the end under the string as it winds on the tuner to get it to grip properly. Do they like like that was done?
Old 23rd December 2010
  #9
Gear Head
 

That's completely normal!

New strings go out of tune frequently the first few times you play them. As you keep tuning the strings, the string around the peg tightens up and is less likely to loosen out of tune.

The only other explanation (given we are dealing with Gibson) is that the strings are not wound correctly, which is unlikely.

BEST ADVICE!!! Put some new strings on it, so when you have to change them you know which size/brand were on there before. You want to keep your strings consistent. If you change the string guage you can disrupt the neck tension and you'll need to get it set up.
Old 23rd December 2010
  #10
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ronslaton View Post
What do I do to check the nut? What should I be looking for? and yeah I stretched them fairly well and have had the guitar for about 4 days now.
If a string is binding in the nut or slipping in the tuner you'll often hear them "ping" as you try to tune them up.

Problems at the tuner are usually a symptom of how it's strung. You ideally want (just) a few turns of string around the tuner before it goes through the hole.
Too few turns (less than a full turn, for example) can be asking for trouble, as can too many (gobs of wire with the turns all crossing over each other).

Binding at the nut solved with lube or slot filing for persistent problems.

Stretch new strings a LOT. Grab each one with fingers and pull liberally. Retune. Repeat a few times.
Old 23rd December 2010
  #11
Gear Maniac
 

change the strings. 9 times out of 10 that fixed the problem when I was selling guitars. Modern Gibsons are a bit hit and miss but not some much the tuners, the problems are more in the binding, paint jobs, imperfections in wood grains making finger boards look horrible. More likely a dodgey set of strings than a dodgey guitar.
Old 23rd December 2010
  #12
Lives for gear
are the tuners the kluson style?
Old 23rd December 2010
  #13
Motown legend
 
Bob Olhsson's Avatar
 

Take it to a top notch guitar technician and get it set up properly.
Old 23rd December 2010
  #14
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Jerrick's Avatar
 

Nut lube, new strings, tune, stretch, tune, stretch, tune, stretch, tune, play.

If its even decently setup, your strings shouldnt be slipping. Playing in a band, I usually change all my strings out before a bigger show, sometimes the morning of the show. They will be in tune and not slipping within 10-20mins. And thats on a cheap Epiphone that had its last setup 9 years ago.

If you cant get it yourself, bring it to a tech for a setup, around here I can everything done for about $50, cheaper if its just going to be some trussrod adjusting and new strings.
Old 23rd December 2010
  #15
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Ernest Buckley's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Unclenny View Post
.....and then play it hard for a while. See if you can get in your groove with it.

Give it a little time.
Yeah, if my strings are out of tune for more than a day or two, I`ll play it fairly hard and beat the strings into submission. They want to be stretched so they can eventually relax into tune.
Old 23rd December 2010
  #16
Gear Head
 

If you don't have graphite to lubricate the nut, you can loosen the strings, then write on the slots with a sharp pencil (mostly graphite these days). That should tell you if lubrication is the issue.
Old 23rd December 2010
  #17
Gear Addict
 
molson's Avatar
 

I have had several Gibsons, 2 Les Pauls, 3 SG's, 2 Les Paul Juniors and only one of them really stayed in tune that well.... Hard to beat the tone though for many styles of music...
Old 23rd December 2010
  #18
Gear Addict
 

My Les Paul (57 re-issue) is incredible for getting in tune and staying in tune, best guitar I've ever played for that. As others have said, try a new set of strings, with me this has never even been slightly an issue. Not sure what it is like with modern Gibsons but a guitar of that quality should not slip easily in my experience.
Old 23rd December 2010
  #19
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kennybro's Avatar
Maybe best to take it to a pro. Everything in the chain of tuning stability has been mentioned, and it could be one or a combo causing your problem. Could be something as simple as a bad re-string, and that's usually it.

If you tune down with the tuning key and the pitch doesn't drop until you pull the string, it's catching somewhere. The nut usually. Slots are too narrow. Nothing else to catch on a LP. Unlikely that it's keys; not 6 bad ones on one guitar, but anything's possible.

If they're all just constantly slipping flat, probably the way they were installed. Not enough winds around the post. I always put 5-6 descending winds, very clean; no overlapping, and I have no tuning issues. Tying a knot will also stop slip, but it's a pain to undo in the middle of a gig when you break a string.
Old 23rd December 2010
  #20
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doorknocker's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Olhsson View Post
Take it to a top notch guitar technician and get it set up properly.
+1

But also try a new set of strings. I recently bought a cheap Ibanez mandolin for live use and I had a set of GHS strings lying around. The mandolin sounded TOTALLY out of tune with them, even with open strings. Seemed like the string itself was 'not in tune'. I then put on a set of D'Addarios and like magic, the mandolin sounded rather decent. Funnily enough, the D'Addario set even had a thicker G string but still intonated much better.

When folks lecture about 'all string rands are the same' I just ROFL now. There are HUGE differences in quality, feel, lifespan,etc. And you have to match the strings to the guitar. My '59 Gibson LG-2 sounds great with Curt Mangan 12s but my J-185 doesn't but sounds great with Gibson strings.
Old 23rd December 2010
  #21
Gear Head
 
Hollywoods's Avatar
 

Alot of people replace stock tuners with Grover Tuners. They seem to stay in tune better.
Old 23rd December 2010
  #22
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Avening's Avatar
 

If you're on the strings that came with the guitar, that's your problem. They could have been on the guitar for a year, and you wouldn't know it. Plus, unless someone at the store you bought it at intonated it properly, you can bet that it's out too.

When you buy new strings, make sure to be consistent with what gauge you buy. A Les Paul Studio likes a medium gauge string (.011 - .049). You'll need to have the guitar intonated to these diameters. Using lighter/heavier strings will throw out your intonation.

When you restring, do not overlap the string on to itself on the machine head unless you like changing strings often. It should be a perfect coil, wrapped downwards towards the base of the post.

A good way to get all the slack out of strings is when you string the guitar, crank up the tension of the fresh strings a couple steps or more, and leave it overnight. The next day, tune them back down, stretch them by hand a bunch, and then tune/intonate. They will wear in much easier and quicker. Also a good idea when you have like 10 guitars to prep before a session. Saves time.

As someone said already, the G string will always be an issue. Gibson and Fender alike, no matter the design of the headstock ... Gibson being a little worse. It's a pain in the ass.

Change strings often, and learn how to do it properly yourself. This includes intonation. On a normal session playing aggressive rock tracks, we generally go through a set of elixir's every day, per guitar used. Consumables can become very pricey!
Old 23rd December 2010
  #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hollywoods View Post
Alot of people replace stock tuners with Grover Tuners. They seem to stay in tune better.
Exactly what I did to my LP. One of the Kluson tuners kept slipping - brand new guitar - and I quickly replaced them all.

When I took the Klusons off the guitar, closer inspection revealed "made in china" underneath the tuner. They are not real Klusons and the stamp was out of sight underneath the tuner. Very deceptive and not what I expect for paying $$$$ for a guitar.
Old 23rd December 2010
  #24
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doncaparker's Avatar
 

To the OP:

Please don't be offended, but the fact that you have bought an electric guitar, experienced a problem with the strings that came on the guitar, and you ask for advice on the internet before simply changing the strings, tells me that you would benefit from some learning more about the nuts & bolts of your instrument. Not every player needs to know every detail about how his/her instrument works, but some level of knowledge in that regard is really helpful. In my view, electric guitar players need to understand strings pretty well.

Electric guitar strings wear out fast. You need to buy them with that in mind. You can buy in bulk to save money, but really, money needs to not be a factor in your decision of how often you change strings. You need to treat guitar strings as something that you use up and throw away when they don't work well any more, like razor blades. How long they last depends on your body chemistry and how frequently you play, but it varies from a day to weeks. If you play every day and you go more than a few weeks without changing strings, they are staying on the guitar too long. After that, they might not break, but they won't intonate very well and they don't sound very good.

When new strings are put on a guitar, you need to put them on the right way. There are guides online showing how to wind the string down the post. Follow something like that.

Once new strings are on a guitar, they need to be able to pass over the bridge and through the nut (to grandmother's house we go) as easily as possible. When you tune the strings, they can get hung up on the bridge and/or the nut and that messes up the tuning. When you bend strings, they can get hung up on the bridge and/or the nut, and that likewise messes up the tuning. You need a good technician to set up the guitar for you so that these nut/bridge problems don't occur.

While at the technician's shop, get the neck relief, action, intonation and pickup height set the way you want it, or else you will be back.

Every time you change strings, scribble a little pencil lead on each nut slot and bridge slot. It's cheap lubrication and it works.

Every time you change strings, assuming you put them on the guitar the right way and the nut and bridge are in good shape, you should tune the strings to something close to pitch (anywhere within a semitone is fine), then pull up on each string at the 12th fret until it feels like the string is tight (should be a 1-2 inch gap between the string and the fingerboard at the 12th fret). Then tune the guitar again. Then pull again and tune again. After a few times of doing this, the strings will have stretched out as much as they are going to, and they should stay in tune.

If you still have problems after all of what I have outlined, you need to go back to the technician and ask for help.

Good luck.
Old 23rd December 2010
  #25
Old 23rd December 2010
  #26
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by robertshaw View Post
are the tuners the kluson style?
yes I believe they are Glover Kluson style.
Old 23rd December 2010
  #27
Motown legend
 
Bob Olhsson's Avatar
 

Guitars work best when set up and adjusted for a particular type of strings. They generally don't come from the factory properly set up.
Old 23rd December 2010
  #28
Lives for gear
 
Flying_Dutchman's Avatar
 

it needs to be setup... ´till it´s perfect, no question
i play guitar since +20 years (and know how to setup the most things), but i give every new guitar to the my fav. tech, even if a guitar is 200$ and the tech is 100$
LP´s are guitars that got more tuning problems than others i got, espacially the G-string imo
... this should be be no offence, i love LP´s
Old 23rd December 2010
  #29
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Daedalus77's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Olhsson View Post
Guitars work best when set up and adjusted for a particular type of strings. They generally don't come from the factory properly set up.
THIS is your answer (for the third time). But don't think that the "Awesome Set-Up Service!" available at the local banjo mart is what we are talking about.

You need to find a "guy." Everyone guitarist needs to have a "guy." Ask around among good players in your area—or even ask on this forum—and you'll likely find just the person you need.

Where are you located? If you're near Boston, New York, Western MA / CT, or Los Angeles, I have some good recommendations.
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