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Misbehaving G String   You are logged in as Guest
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JLNims

Posts: 27
Joined: Mar. 9 2016
 

Misbehaving G String 

A question for the luthiers: I have noticed some tuning issues with my G string. When I strobe tune all strings open they play and sound in tune for ~15 minutes. After that time , I check an open chord, say E major, and the G string is off a bit. Going back to the strobe tuner, the G is slightly sharp while all other strings remain in tune. That's the first part of my question, how can that be?

The second part of my question is if I open strobe the G string, and play the G string at whole notes up the fret board, the pitch grows slightly sharper the way up. At the 12th fret, it is sharp by 2 or 3 cents. But the harmonic at the 12th fret is correct. But only the G string does this. Am I missing some sort of adjustment that was never done during initial setup?

Personally, I have done nothing in the form of setup to this guitar, other than just changing strings; and cleaning the fretboard and frets with a dry clean soft cloth (no chemicals or soaps used). Also while the strings are off during changing (I usually replace each string at a time, leaving the others tensioned, never all at once), I will clean the nut grooves with a wood toothpick IF it looks a bit dirty.

If it weren't for the strobe accuracy, and my ears, I would think voy loco en mi cabeza! Bad G string!!

What say any of you?

-Jeff

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 10 2022 7:52:24
 
Stephen Eden

 

Posts: 905
Joined: Apr. 12 2008
From: UK

RE: Misbehaving G String (in reply to JLNims

The guitar can never really play perfectly in tune but there are ways to make it better.

I don't know why the G is shaprening after tuning though, I've not come across that before.

The G getting sharper as you progress up the finger board is very common and the fix is usually simple. The saddle needs to be compensated to make the length of the G string slightly longer.

It is mainly down to the thickness of the string so the higher tension the more compensation you will need. You will also find if you play carbon strings you will need less.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 10 2022 8:23:00
 
kitarist

Posts: 1551
Joined: Dec. 4 2012
 

RE: Misbehaving G String (in reply to JLNims

quote:

When I strobe tune all strings open they play and sound in tune for ~15 minutes. After that time , I check an open chord, say E major, and the G string is off a bit. Going back to the strobe tuner, the G is slightly sharp while all other strings remain in tune


Nylon strings expand in the radial direction when they get warmer, so this amounts to trying to shorten themselves along their length - the result is getting a bit sharp (extra tension) when warmed up from playing. Probably most noticeable with the thickest string, so that checks out with G doing that.

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Konstantin
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 10 2022 8:59:18
 
JLNims

Posts: 27
Joined: Mar. 9 2016
 

RE: Misbehaving G String (in reply to JLNims

Thanks brothers! Stephen, I'm looking up compensating the saddle now. Doesn't look too awful bad to do. I think I'll purchase a blank saddle to try adjusting instead of attempting, for the first time, to file away on the one I have on the guitar now.

Konstantin, that logic makes sense. Hopefully, when I get my saddle compensated for the gauge that I prefer to play, that effect will be a bit less.

Here's to hoping!

And thanks again!

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 10 2022 9:13:29
 
Piwin

 

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Joined: Feb. 9 2016
 

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Post has been moved to the Recycle Bin at Jun. 10 2022 12:37:00
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 10 2022 11:24:16
 
Ricardo

Posts: 13512
Joined: Dec. 14 2004
From: Washington DC

RE: Misbehaving G String (in reply to JLNims

Probably nothing is wrong. Sure you can compensate…but you can’t do that in two directions at the same time on the same string….unless you use your finger.



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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 10 2022 12:00:57
 
kitarist

Posts: 1551
Joined: Dec. 4 2012
 

RE: Misbehaving G String (in reply to JLNims

quote:

Konstantin, that logic makes sense. Hopefully, when I get my saddle compensated for the gauge that I prefer to play, that effect will be a bit less.


It would be less if you start using carbon trebles, but with either, the effect is there, you just have to re-tune slightly once you have warmed up yourself and the guitar/strings.

About the other question of yours - I feel like it is too little to worry about it. I mean, 2 cents is like 1/20 of a semitone, or 1/10 of a Pythagorean comma. You can vary this reading by just varying a bit the pressure you fret with - use slightly less pressure (as long as still a clean tone), and you will likely eliminate it.

You must have a really accurate tuner, like a Peterson Stroboclip. One thing to try is to measure again at 12th fret but pluck at different points with your right hand - you will see the strobotuner is so sensitive, it will show you 1-2 cent differences just from combined picking up of slightly different intensities of the partials and from subtle changes in pressure because of you plucking the string at different RH positions on the string. To me that says, don't mess with compensation unless you've tried all these other things and Ricardo's advice.

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Konstantin
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 10 2022 17:38:04
 
constructordeguitarras

Posts: 1594
Joined: Jan. 29 2012
From: Seattle, Washington, USA

RE: Misbehaving G String (in reply to JLNims

My G string always gets sharp as I play--from warming. Very annoying. It does this more than the B and high E because it is thicker.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 17 2022 16:17:03
 
Morante

 

Posts: 1934
Joined: Nov. 21 2010
 

RE: Misbehaving G String (in reply to constructordeguitarras

Try DÁddario composite. Some people don´t like it but it lasts forever.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 17 2022 16:30:40
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