How often re-tuning between songs when gigging? F Player Precision Tuning Pegs.

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Ögon, May 11, 2021.

  1. Ögon


    Jan 15, 2020

    Just wanted to check something; whenever I'm gigging, it seems that my Fender Player Precision has to be re-tuned a tiny bit in like 1-3 songs. (tiny bit, meaning, it shows one red line and the green line on the tuner, so its not like huge but it's noticeable and annoying when playing.)

    What are your experiences about having to retune when gigging? Is it normal to have to re-tune between like 1-3 songs?

    Is this a tuning-pegs problem? Or might it be caused by something else?

    • It's a bit unpredictable too honestly, sometimes it's okay for like 1 hour of playing, but it often happens that it's not.
    • I am using the standard tuning.
    • Current strings are about 2 weeks old and i always put about 2 string-windings around each tuning-peg whenever I am changing them.

    Thanks in advance,

    Greetings, Rik
  2. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Going flat or sharp...or both? It's normal for tuning to waver a tad as string temp changes but (IME) not enough to warrant re-tuning every 1-3 songs. Instability can usually be traced to a bad set-up and/or bad string install.

    RattleSnack and SgtHulka like this.
  3. mdogs

    mdogs Supporting Member

    Apr 13, 2010
    Constant state of flux
    I check tuning between sets because I feel like I should. I have one bass that sometimes need a slight adjustment at that point, it is 50 years old so I chalk it up to that.
  4. Ögon


    Jan 15, 2020
    Well, there's nothing wrong with the setup or string-install. Would the 2 windings give less stability then 3?

    Yeah, i agree with that thought, but i was just wondering if this was normal behaviour.
  5. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Maybe. Is the string consistently going flat as we'd associate w/ slippage?

    SgtHulka likes this.
  6. Element Zero

    Element Zero Supporting Member

    Dec 14, 2016
    Seems odd. I did many 50+ song gigs with my then 15 year old Ibanez ATK without needing to retune even once. Are we talkin brand new strings that you put on just before a gig or already broken in strings?
    SgtHulka likes this.
  7. BLDavis

    BLDavis May the Tort be with you. Gold Supporting Member

    May 21, 2009
    Ellenboro, NC
    Does this happen in every environment you play? My band plays 95% of our gigs outdoors. In all kinds of weather from 35f with snow/sleet to 100f+ with high humidity. Sometimes we're all tuning between every 2-3 songs. Especially the banjo player and mandolin players.
    Indoor gigs with climate control is a more stable atmosphere so it doesn't effect the instruments as much. Unless you bring your instrument in from the trunk of your car in the summer into an air conditioned room. It may take it a while to stabilize. Since you're in Netherlands, the reverse may be the case, coming from a cold car into a heated room.
    JRA likes this.
  8. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Supporting Member

    - depends on the playing environment (e.g., climate-controlled indoors vs. wacky outdoors).
    - depends on my own anxiety :laugh: (i play fretless and sometimes i like to blame the ax :jawdrop: ).
    - depends on my 'state of alertness' (on a fretless i can adjust for small issues as i play :cool: ).

    all things equal: i tune up before the soundcheck/downbeat and re-check before the beginning of the next set(s). on rare occasions, i'll check during the set (e.g., wacky outdoors).
    BLDavis likes this.
  9. 96tbird

    96tbird PLEASE STAND BY

    Do you ALWAYS Tune UP to pitch, never down to pitch?
  10. RSBBass


    Jun 11, 2011
    How aggressive is your playing? When playing slap and pop I tend to tune more often than when backing a singer/songwriter.
  11. fu22ba55

    fu22ba55 Supporting Member

    Apr 16, 2009
    I tune up between almost every song just to avoid eye contact with the band. I never need to.. it's just like looking at my phone. Bad habit.
    MYLOWFREQ likes this.
  12. dwizum


    Dec 21, 2018
    At least you don't need to worry about eye contact with the audience. You know, since we're bass players and all.
    Audiomicrowave and fu22ba55 like this.
  13. Ögon


    Jan 15, 2020
    They are about 2,5 weeks old, i've been playing them for at least 15-20hours with gigging included. So yeah, they are broken in. I do tend to have a bit sweaty hands when its above 21*C / 70*F or when i am playing/played a fast/difficult bassline.
    They go flat, so always up yes. When the weather is hot or the humidity is dry, then my bass and also my guitars tend to go sharp i noticed.
    I don't slap... How aggressive is my playing.. hmm.. well. I have no idea what kind of finger force other bass players use, but my action is not extremely low because it tends to buzz then. It's setup without rasp. You can get rasp, but that's at the point where my fingers are hurting. Let's say, i don't hit my strings with a force that causes the pitch to go up for 1-2 seconds, it's below that force.
    :smug::roflmao: I feel you. One time i was at the front of the stage: i felt like a hero because i got out of the usual corner next to the rhythm section, but also felt like crapping my pants; aaaa people...and eyes :D
    fu22ba55 likes this.
  14. Sid Fang

    Sid Fang Reformed Fusion Player

    Jun 12, 2008
    I pretty much only gig headless graphite basses with Steinberger-style coaxial tuners. I *never* have to retune during gigs, and as often as not the basses remain within a couple of cents for weeks without my touching the tuners.
  15. Ögon


    Jan 15, 2020
    Those are locking tuners right? That's interesting though, it suggests that the need for small re-tuning is caused my the strings slipping somewhere... at the nut/tuners/bridge.. and most people are probably used to it slipping, because it's maybe part of many bass setup designs.
    Last edited: May 11, 2021
  16. 2112

    2112 Supporting Member

    Apr 30, 2005
    I hate messing with tuning a whole bunch during gigs. So, I rotate 4 stage basses to keep from having to take a fresh set of strings on-stage. They all have Hipshot Detuners onto them and I use a Digitech Drop.

    I get to the venue there a bit early and let my basses acclimate. I tune at the top of each set, and that usually squares me away. If I have a long section during a song where I'm not playing or long break between songs where our frontman is working the crowd, I might do a quick spot check while I'm muted out.
  17. Wfrance3

    Wfrance3 Supporting Member

    May 29, 2014
    Tulsa, OK
    I always do 3 wraps on my basses and have pretty good stability. I tune once and done. Med to light touch finger-style, no slap, not angry player...
  18. 75Ric

    75Ric Supporting Member

    Feb 13, 2019
    You said whenever you are gigging you have to retune often. What about at home? I check tuning at the end of each set and sometimes have to make adjustments, sometimes not. I figure it's just the instrument adjusting to to the humidity in the room. At home, I can go days without having to retune. If your tuning is stable at home, it would make me suspect the change in environment. If you have to retune a lot at home, too, it would make me think the tuning machines might be slipping.
  19. Ögon


    Jan 15, 2020
    Oddly enough, i do remember that last year i noticed at home and at gigging, that there were times when i rarely had to retune. (Rarely meaning, only once every-time i played.. )

    Good point. I'm gonna observe the next couple of weeks if that's true, by writing down after every at home session/gig how many times i retuned.
    Last edited: May 11, 2021
  20. Sid Fang

    Sid Fang Reformed Fusion Player

    Jun 12, 2008
    Not locking, but mechanically very different, using a screw instead of a gear to get mechanical advantage over the string. That allows a lot less slippage, and because the ratio is different, the adjustment can be more precise. I attach a picture of Hipshot's Steinberger bridge/tuner clone, which illustrates how it works.

    In addition to tuning key movement and tuner slippage, the other main cause for going out of tune is changes in the guitar geometry due to heat or humidity changes. My headless basses are monocoque graphite structures that just don't change with temperature or moisture. I've done plane trips with the Steinberger in a gig bag in the overhead bin, and the damned thing was still in tune when I got to the destination.

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