1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  

Question regarding tuning..

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Deaky, May 29, 2012.


  1. Deaky

    Deaky

    Oct 24, 2006
    Hi all

    Is it normal for strings to go slightly out of tune after playing a couple of songs. I tune the bass up before i play then check the tuning after I run through a couple of songs and all 4 strings are out of tune albeit not that much.

    Is this a normal thing to happen or am I being just a bit too paranoid!!

    Cheers

    Deaky
     
  2. Catbuster

    Catbuster

    Aug 25, 2010
    Louisville, KY.
    Yes, it is.
     
  3. Deaky

    Deaky

    Oct 24, 2006
    Yes it's normal or yes I'm paranoid!! :)
     
  4. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism

    Nope, not normal at all. The first couple songs on fresh strings might change a little, but nothing too major.

    Could be a few things, are the strings new? Are they properly wrapped around the posts without too many or too little loops? And most importantly, is it a cheap bass? If you've answered yes to all of them, you tuners are slipping.
     
  5. famousbirds

    famousbirds

    Aug 3, 2009
    Honolulu
    That's a bit more than normal.

    1. New strings take time to stretch, and will eventually stabilize
    2. Old strings eventually lose their ability to stay in tune
    3. A proper setup will keep strings stable, making sure they are properly wrapped around the post, that your nut and bridge slots are well cut and lubricated, that the strings have witness points set at the break
    4. Cheap tuners can have problems staying in tune

    When was the last time you changed your strings? Had a setup? If you never have, take it to a store where someone will change the strings and tweak the action, and ask them to watch so you can do it for yourself in the future.

     
  6. Deaky

    Deaky

    Oct 24, 2006
    It's a Fender American Deluxe P bass. The strings are Dunlop Nickels and they are fairly new. I got them a couple of weeks ago and only played them a dozen times. Playing time bout half hour each time.
     
  7. Darnell Jones

    Darnell Jones Inactive

    Aug 29, 2011
    It's not normal at all. It is however a common result of tuning incorrectly. You should always tune below pitch and then finish by tuning up to pitch. If you tune down to pitch the tuners can let the string go slightly flat.
     
  8. famousbirds

    famousbirds

    Aug 3, 2009
    Honolulu
    +1, forgot about this
     
  9. If they're brand new strings, they do at first and the weather can mess them up too. It might also be the tuners, if you have really bad ones, they'll contribute to your strings going out of tune. But nothing is perfect, you know, so they're going to go out of tune at some time.
     
  10. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism

    When you put new strings on are you making sure to put them INTO the machine head hole, and wrapped or did you just put them through the slot and turn? Do you have 4-5 wraps on the G, descending down to 1-2 wraps on the E? I had an old guitar player who would wrap all his strings once around the post and wonder why the slipped.

    Sorry if this seems like an insulting question but you never know.

    Your issue most definitely lies within the setup aspect, those are good tuners and those strings are not old enough to go that badly out of tune.
     
  11. gigslut

    gigslut

    Dec 13, 2011
    St Louis, Mo
  12. Deaky

    Deaky

    Oct 24, 2006
    They are not grossly out of tune but perhaps end up slightly flatter after a couple of songs.
    I have the strings in the hole of the tuners and have 2-3 wraps around each post.
     
  13. ddnidd1

    ddnidd1 Supporting Member

    Yes it is common for the strings to detune slightly after you initially pick up your bass and play a few songs. As you play, the strings warm a bit from the body heat of your hands and the strings go slightly flat.

    One thing you can try is to run your flat palm up and down the length of the strings creating some friction as well as a little heat to warm the strings before you first start playing songs. Then do your final tuning and then start to play. The strings will stay in tune.
     
  14. Deaky

    Deaky

    Oct 24, 2006
    Ok. It's only slightly flat after playing a couple of songs to begin with. It's not a huge noticeable change.

    Some are saying it is normal and some say not!
     
  15. gigslut

    gigslut

    Dec 13, 2011
    St Louis, Mo
    If it is just a few cents off, follow ddnid1's advice. Check the tutorial above to see if your strings are installed correctly.
     
  16. ddnidd1

    ddnidd1 Supporting Member

    While we're talking about very small changes in temperature and frequency, it all boils down to the laws of physics. As things warm up they expand (flat). When they cool down they contract (sharp).

    The colder your strings are when you start to play, the more this effect is noticeable. Warm your strings with your hand before you start to play and you'll see the difference.

    Try it.
     
  17. mrbell321

    mrbell321

    Mar 26, 2012
    N. Colorado
    It depends on how out of tune you mean. I'm in the "yes it's normal" crowd. Strings expand and contract w/ temperature changes. The wood can even even expand and contract(also, w/ humidity).
    Your hands are warmer than the strings. Bending metal(which is what happens when the string moves) produce internal friction which is converted to heat and even the magnetic field of the pickups produces a small amount of heat(tho I don't think this would be at all noticeable). As the string heat up from use they're going to get longer and therefore get flatter.
    So it will go out of tune.
    However, it shouldn't change much. If you're dropping like an octave, something is wrong :)
     
  18. mech

    mech

    Jun 20, 2008
    Meridian, MS, USA
    It's totally normal. Strings are made of metal which will expand and contract with temperature. You tune the strings when they are "cold". you play a few tunes and the strings warm up from your hands. You re-tune the strings while they're warm. Everything's now fine. You sit the bass down for a while and the strings cool off by radiating the body heat they've absorbed into the environment and they contract. You pick up the bass and lo and behold the strings are sharp. You tune the strings when they are "cold". You play a few tunes and the strings warm up from your hands. You re-tune the strings while they're warm. Everything's now fine. You sit the bass down for a while and the strings cool off by radiating the body heat they've absorbed into the environment and they contract. You pick up the bass and lo and behold the strings are sharp. Rinse and repeat as often as necessary.

    mech
     
  19. Deaky

    Deaky

    Oct 24, 2006
    Mech that sounds right on.

    Cheers
     
  20. For whatever reason my 78 Pbass stays in tune almost indefinitely, through gigs, practice, rehearsal etc. plug it in the tuner any time and it will be spot on. I use the whole string as supplied, not trimming at all, right down into the hole in the tuner and winding down from the top the post. This gives me 5 winds on the E string through to 3 winds on the G string. Temperature seems to have no effect. I do tune up before each gig, but it's more for show than from necessity, just in case of knocks etc.
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.