Guitar/BL overtuning during Live Show

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by edencab, Feb 26, 2018.

  1. edencab


    Aug 14, 2013
    Toronto, On
    hi.........our band is booked for a 2nd live show in another month..the last one went fine except the main git player/BL/good friend seemed to think he needed to tune his guitar between every ate into our time slot and messed with the flow of songs and I'm sure caused us to dump at least one song and play the last one in a hurry ..he plays a Gibson SG, so it should stay in tune for a few songs I would hope (he is the rhythm guy, so no string bending solos, but does admit to playing "hard") he is tuning I don't really hear him making much change in the note

    how do I/we tell him it is not a good thing, all this tuning? ..he doesn't tune quite as much when we jam...maybe every 3rd which is sort of ok
    (don't get me wrong, I don't want him playing out of tune, but jeez I find it aggravating)
  2. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Supporting Member

    probably nerves + it's what guitar players do (probably nerves!)

    talk about it with him...if you (and the others) can fess up to things you should be doing/not doing so can he! good luck! :thumbsup:
  3. Nashrakh


    Aug 16, 2008
    Hamburg, Germany
    Don't give him the time. Start the next song without him if you must and let him decide if he'd rather fiddle with the tuners or get into the action. That'll learn him.

    No seriously, talk to him and reassure him that he's not as out of tune as he thinks he is. If he's a reasonable adult he'll understand.
    ImNotJoel, Jewce and ObsessiveArcher like this.
  4. mbasile

    mbasile Mediocre Bassist of a Year Supporting Member

    Mar 16, 2015
    Austin, Texas
    Ask him why he was tuning so much. Were acoustics of the venue causing him to hear himself out of tune? Was he actually out of tune when he checked?
  5. saabfender

    saabfender Inactive

    Jan 10, 2018
    Ever since I had a DB a few years ago, I frequently and generously apply pencil lead to the nuts of all my guitars, especially my Les Paul. The angled pull-though of the nut was a constant source of string binding and intonation issues. When I got it back from being pleked, there was fresh nut material (!) exposed and it reverted back to its old ways. Got the pencil out and it's about back to being pretty stable. More treatment is still in order.
    MattZilla, Aqualung60, equill and 2 others like this.
  6. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    Gibsons are notorious for not staying in tune. Tell him to replace his nut with a bone nut and Google whatever else it is that people do to their Gibson’s to get them to stay in tune.

    Or buy him a Strat.
  7. edencab


    Aug 14, 2013
    Toronto, On
    funny , he just got this a month ago....maybe I'll get him to play it more/see how it stays in tune
    Strat_zpss3hvme8x.jpg [​IMG]
  8. mmon77

    mmon77 Supporting Member

    Jul 9, 2008
    Southern MN

    And be careful. Many Gibsons also feature a removable headstock.
  9. Seanto


    Dec 29, 2005
    Well first you need to determine if his guitar can actually stay in tune. If not, suggestions mentioned like lubing the nut could help. Depending on the guitar it may need some upgrades, like better quality locking tuners.

    If the guitar can stay in tune, then he has no reason to keeping retuning it, and you just gotta ask him to calm it down.
    3Liter, MattZilla and cchorney like this.
  10. craigie


    Nov 11, 2015
    Tune up before sparking up
  11. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    Check during rehearsal - if the guitar stays in tune, tell him he's worrying too much. If not, get it fixed. Either way, have him get a tuner with a bypass, so he can tune silently. Shouldn't take more than about ten seconds, and tuning on stage should be silent anyway. If he doesn't stop doing this, tell him unless you hear something wrong, you are just starting the next song.

    As I've said before, every second between songs seems like 10 or more to the audience.
    ShoeManiac and Spidey2112 like this.
  12. ScrewDevil

    ScrewDevil Guest

    Feb 18, 2018
    Ok, it's not just my imagination! Our guitarist plays a Les Paul and an SG and, at both rehearsals and gigs, he is always checking and tuning every couple songs.
  13. ScrewDevil

    ScrewDevil Guest

    Feb 18, 2018
    Not so much when he brings his Strat.
  14. mmon77

    mmon77 Supporting Member

    Jul 9, 2008
    Southern MN
    Yes, G and D strings especially have issues on Les Pauls and SGs. It has to do with the headstock design. The G and D strings go at a sharper angle and tend to bind in the nut. Also Gibson uses a thicker nut than Fender, so more chance of binding.

    Couple those pre-dispositions with a bad setup, and you have a recipe for constant tuning issues.
    MattZilla likes this.
  15. Mosfed


    Apr 21, 2013
    Washington DC
    Partner - CCP Pedals
    I would much rather someone keep tuning than be out of tune for even one song.

    That said, it’s probably just his G string so if he just checks that one, he should be fine.
  16. Spidey2112


    Aug 3, 2016
    Yep... exactly what I thought when I first read the post...

    (Probably wouldn't hurt to check the number of windings he has on his tuner posts, either)
    edencab, JRA and knumbskull like this.
  17. knumbskull


    Jul 28, 2007
    Yes, agreed - it may not be his guitar that's the problem. unfortunately getting a tech to set up his brain might not be so easy... ;)

    i can't draw flow charts using text-only inputs very well, so bear with me...

    play a chord.
    does it sound ok? yes > play the song
    tune it > play the song
    has it gone out of tune again within the course of 1 song? yes > battle thru the gig and then take it to a tech
    play another song
    return to start, pass go, collect $200

    ... or just get him to learn some jokes and/or learn the fine art of quick tuning while talking to the crowd.
    JRA likes this.
  18. pglaser01


    Mar 19, 2013
    St. Louis, MO
    If only I were that good....
    2nd gig as a band? Or 2nd gig ever?

    Maybe he’s tuning to try to remember how the next song goes.
  19. lfmn16

    lfmn16 Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2011
    charles town, wv
    He's a good friend, but you can't approach him about this? Not much of a friend. Just tell him he needs to stop tuning between every song, it's killing the momentum and the show. How he accomplishes this is his business; He could try a different guitar, different tuners, heavier gauge strings.
  20. It's not a Fender v. Gibson physics/design thing....

    The guitar needs to be properly setup. Yes nuts can be a problem, and usually they're the source of the issue. Have him find a GOOD local Tech and tell him to give it a good setup and have him TALK to the guitar player about maintaining the instrument to avoid tuning issues. And a good setup will set the intonation correctly, something which when not done right will lead players to suspect they have tuning issues even when it is technically in tune.

    The folks who typically have this sort of issue are the ones that are too scared or too lazy to do anything to their instrument other than put new strings on it.

    I used to take the cheapest guitars in the 80's and get them to be able to stay in tune by making sure the nut was cut right and using something in the groove to make sure the string would move through it without binding.

    The other aspect of this is having the sense to tune at the proper time and with the proper gear. You NEED to have a tuning pedal that mutes and when there's a small span of downtime between songs you use that time to tune as much as you can without hindering the flow. That's just called acting like a professional.
    ImNotJoel, MattZilla and Lbsterner like this.
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

    Jun 13, 2021

Share This Page