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Been told you need new machine heads because your guitar goes out of tune? You probably don't!! Read on!

June 29, 2014

Hey! Here's something you may not know! Does your guitar go out of tune? Should you get better machine heads? Probably not!! Read on......
At least once a week, someone calls me up and says:
" I need some new machine heads, what've you got?"
"Well, I've got heaps! What's the problem"
Inevitably, the problem is that the guitar won't hold tune. Of course, it's the machine heads fault right!? Well, maybe not, did you know that machines have a ratio of 14 to 1 or thereabouts? That means that to get the string post to spin once, you need to spin the key about 14 times sometimes more on good sets. That's a steep ratio! I can tell you that making them go backwards is nearly impossible and probably not the reason your guitar is going out of tune.
Now, I'm not saying that all machines are equal, they certainly aren't! But think twice before spending big bucks on a new set.

Here are some reasons your guitar is going flat.
1. Birds nest windings.
Instead, put 2.5 winds on the E & A 3 on the D and 4 on the G, B & E please.

2. Spartan windings! That means not enough! see above..
3. Strings not "stretched".

I wrote "stretched" because you're not really stretching them. As hard as you may think you are, lets see you stretch steel with your fingers tough guy! What I mean is this. The string posts are concave (usually) and are designed that way so that when you neatly wind a string on from the bottom of the post up, the strings will crush together on the post and hold each other fast. When you "stretch" them, you are really pulling them tighter around the post and causing them to bind with each other more tightly. See?!

4. Nut too tight.
Strings can bind in the nut and mess with your tuning. A quick rub in the slot with 600 paper may just do the trick, don't over do it, and lubricate. Chap stick will do the trick until you waste your money on some well marketed 'String/nut Lube'. I use Tri-Flow from the bicycle shop, it doubles up on everything else as well.

So as you can see, sometimes an irritating and ongoing problem can be remedied simply and effectively just by learning the ropes.

Alrighty then! Peace out.
Steve.

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