Do you tune your guitar on every session?

Discussion in 'Technical Side of Things' started by old_internal, Apr 30, 2021.

  1. bigjohnbates

    bigjohnbates Gretschie

    Jun 15, 2011
    Check it then tune or play it. But often as any guitar warms up tuning will change a little. My Shure wireless is also an excellent muted tuner. Onstage I suggest engaging with the audience while tuning to avoid silence. Also before every song or every 10-15 minutes in studio. Some guitars barely need adjustment and some need more for many varied reasons
    wabash slim likes this.
  2. Bob Perrone

    Bob Perrone Gretschie

    Mar 7, 2017
    allentown, pa
    "only the g and b were out a little bit"...yeah, like being slightly pregnant....LOL
  3. Electrosynthesis

    Electrosynthesis Gretschie

    May 11, 2011
    São Paulo
    It blows my mind to see Nels Cline tune his guitar in the middle of a solo... see at 4:21
    JeffreyLeePierre likes this.
  4. Ctbillsfan

    Ctbillsfan Electromatic

    Aug 19, 2020
    Winsted Connecticut
    A string out of tune is like fingernails on a chalkboard to my ears. It ruins the whole experience of playing for me. So I do whatever is necessary to ALWAYS be in tune !!
    capnhiho likes this.
  5. EarleG

    EarleG Electromatic

    Dec 19, 2013
    Hendersonville TN
    Usually twice initially on playing. The 2nd time or check is after playing for a few minutes. From there
    just as needed. Most often it stabilizes in tune unless there is a sudden climate change like outside door
    opening or sometimes heat/air comes on from a nearby vent.
  6. Tech21

    Tech21 Electromatic

    Feb 23, 2018
    New Zealand
    If your string posts look like this then they will always be going out of tune.

    Learn how to put the strings on the string posts correctly, I never have any strings on any of my guitars constantly going out of tune.
    Last edited: May 7, 2021
    Bertotti and JeffreyLeePierre like this.
  7. afire

    afire Country Gent

    I check tuning between sets, and of course, in the rare occasion I go audibly out of tune mid-set, I tune up. But I play vintage Gretsches, so they tend to hold tuning better than modern guitars.
  8. JeffreyLeePierre

    JeffreyLeePierre Country Gent

    Actually, I have never fully agreed with that. I've been wrapping much too much string lenght for years and had no tuning problems. I must admit that I used to stretch them like a mental. Several times, then re-tune, then again and re-tune. Once they were fully blocked, the pitch no longer moved that much. Even after long period, it was still pretty close. Only problem: I also broke a few new strings when doing the initial set up :D
  9. wabash slim

    wabash slim Gretschified

    Feb 10, 2010
    lafayette in
    Tune it or die! How can you NOT play in tune?
    I can't say that I have perfect pitch, but it's damn near perfect. Something out of tune is actually painful to me. That's one reason I can't deal with a lot of vocalists. Autotune doesn't help.
    19MGB76, capnhiho and TSims1 like this.
  10. olliethecat

    olliethecat Electromatic

    Jun 12, 2019
    East Yorkshire, UK
    Each to their own but I personally couldn't possibly pick up one of the guitars in my collection to play it without first checking the tuning's an automatic thing I'm afraid, even if it's just a casual practice. My ears simply wouldn't allow me to play it out of tune but I don't necessarily pitch it, which is different to simply tuning it.

    From the late 60s to early 80s I was a full time pro touring solo vocalist guitarist performing on average about 250 gigs per year so both tuning and pitching was routine for each gig or rehearsal with other musicians with whom I worked. Both tuning and pitch were simply an absolute as it would have been pointless for my guitar to be in tune but out of pitch with the other musician's instruments when playing alongside them and of course vice versa.

    These days my playing is merely for leisure and my music room/home studio faces due south and with having no air conditioning and living the North East of England, the room temperature can vary substantially which in turn affects my guitar tuning. Sometimes because of the variable weather it can be freezing in there and I'll need to turn on a heater. Other times I can be sweating like a beach full of Albinos...with the tuning and pitching up and down like a tart's knickers due to the wide fluctuation in temperatures in a relatively short space of time.
    Window blinds do help in keeping out excess sun rays or reduce cooling but sometimes I can pitch and tune a guitar and both will go out during a practice or recording session due to temp fluctuation so I constantly check both when I'm laying down tracks. I've found no guitar or strings can tolerate such temp changes and remain in tune and pitch in my room, my Gretsch being no exception.

    When I was gigging full time, if I was playing in a smaller venue with a high capacity audience, as the night wore on, invariably the room would get hotter from their body heat and so it was often necessary to re-pitch the guitar as invariably the pitching would go slightly flat and when working with keyboards with a fixed pitch, the change in guitar pitch was noticeable.

    If I need to record a track as part of several tracks, then obviously I will pitch the guitar or bass as well as tune them but if it is only to practice then, I will just tune it rather than adjust pitch and then tune it to pitch when necessary.
  11. TSims1

    TSims1 Gretschified

    Jun 18, 2013
    I don't care if you can burn the barn down if you are out of tune. It's immediate rain on a parade. I'd rather you suck in tune than burn out of tune.
  12. Highroller

    Highroller Country Gent

    Jun 11, 2015
    Portland, OR
    Only if you want to sound good.

    These days, clip-on tuners make it so easy to be in tune there’s no real excuse not to be. They’re inexpensive and will be way easier to deal with then plugging into a computer app. You might want to look into getting one. Best $20 you'll ever spend.

    Btw, if you don’t happen to know how to tune by ear you should work on learning that. It’s one of those basic fundamental guitar skills and will guarantee that even if you’re not in perfect concert pitch, your guitar can always be in tune with itself. In a lot of situations, that's really enough.

    Good luck with it.
    Last edited: May 12, 2021
  13. fender62custom

    fender62custom Gretschified

    Mar 3, 2012
    Helidon, Australia
    Yes & Yes....

    I've become such a Yes man :rolleyes::D
    Bob Perrone likes this.
  14. hogrider16

    hogrider16 Gretschie

    Oct 18, 2017
    charles town wv
    I had a drummer friend sitting in for a band that was playing about a mile from me. He said I should come for the entertainment value. They were laughably bad. The guitar play/singer hits a big open chord to start Elvis' Love me Tender and it was so out of tune I literally cringed. Does he stop and tune?? HELL NO, he plays the whole song out of tune. These are guys in their 50's that have been playing their whole lives. They have no excuse for such amateur hour buffoonery.
  15. 19MGB76

    19MGB76 Gretschie

    Jul 31, 2018
    It's like dropping trou before delivering a #2 and doing the paperwork before resuming, if you don't do it, you're kind of a special case.
  16. juks

    juks Synchromatic

    Nov 26, 2020
    Fremont, California
    I tune a guitar every time I pick one up and while playing if needed. With a clip on. I can tune by ear but it'll take 10x time compared to clip on. My ear isn't that great:)
  17. englishman

    englishman Gretschified

    Apr 5, 2014
    Some of you young whippersnappers have never had to joy of pulling a crusty set of these out of your bag and sticking them in your mouth.

    Electrosynthesis likes this.
  18. Highroller

    Highroller Country Gent

    Jun 11, 2015
    Portland, OR
    Ha! Pitch pipes ... they had those round disk ones too, so popular with choir teachers everywhere. Kind of like a round harmonica.

    I just used a tuning fork. Carried it anywhere the guitar went. Probably still have one ... someplace.


    Shoot. Now I'm gonna spend all morning looking for it! :rolleyes:
  19. Bertotti

    Bertotti Friend of Fred

    Jul 20, 2017
    South Dakota
    I take my chosen instrument out and play a few licks if they sound right I leave it but if even one sounds off I tweak it. I have a couple that just seem to hold their tuning very well. And yet a couple of others that like to dance around. I attribute most of it to the ability of the case to isolate the instrument room changes while not being played.
  20. Bertotti

    Bertotti Friend of Fred

    Jul 20, 2017
    South Dakota
    Agreed! I kind of liken it to the old blind date, " Oh you'll love them so much fun a great personality" I have heard people say a parallel to a musician who great tune and kind of fun but I wish they could play better as compared to they just stink. in most cases, I can remember the, just stink, was someone with bad tone and no skills.
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