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Hi folks, first post. I play with high action and it seems when I'm fretting notes or chords I keep going out of tune. Any thoughts of advise. Why can't I keep these babes in tune? I'm using a long scale martin ruler for frets... I'm at a loss. Sometimes it kills for hours, other times I can't keep it tuned for one song. Help!
If your strings sit high above the frets, when you press the string down, it will have a tendency to go sharp on you. This may happen more so on the first fret or two from the nut. If the notes are going flat, then you may have string slippage or other problems. Hard to tell without seeing the instrument....
I'll put up a pic tomorrow Dan, Thanks for the reply. I had a feeling that could be it. Do you think heavier strings could help? Also you have any Idea how to ground these? Buzz like crazy
Great! Thanks Michael, I'll do that. How do you have you neck on there?
Crazy thought here but it popped in my head when you mentioned that it's not a consistent problem. Is there any chance that your neck might be a little to thin (especially the part that's in the box)? Changes in humidity could potentially affect your neck bowing and pull things out of tune. It's probably nonsense though.
The most likely explanation is that the high action is causing you to stretch the strings, pulling them out of tune when you get down to the frets. You could try lowering the action slightly, especially at the nut and also learn to play with a lighter touch, only pressing down the strings far enough to make contact with the frets but not any harder than necessary as this can also pull them sharp.
Actually, the neck is thinner through the body and I was playing it at a weekly gig outside. So perhaps this is the case. I'll have to look. I took a hunk out of the neck at the pick up to drop it in. Then I reenforced the neck with glue and wood screws, Does the neck need to be same thickness all the way through? If so how do you drop a pickup in?
So I lowered my action substantially, and it is better now I have fret buzz. uggh tips?
Also I put on heavier strings. I have a feeling my fret job is poor. It only really buzzes after about the 7th fret. all strings buzz at different place. But I'm close.
If the action is too low now, you'll need to make it higher again...sorry but you might have gone over board. Check if your frets are level. I had to tap some in better to get rid of fretbuzz.
I found that if I were to only use a 1x2 and cut away a bit inside the box to let the top vibrate the neck ends up too thin inside the box. What I started doing is to just make the neck long enough to reach just inside the box, double up outside the box to form a heel and run that one through the box. That leaves clearance to the top, most likely room for a pup (although I have not used one yet) and keeps the full strength of a 1x2 through the box. You will have to figure out what to do where it exits the box, regarding string attachment but that should not be difficullt. On a friend's guitar I simply built it back up to desired height and cut off an angle like in the pic:
That is almost what I'm doing, cool. I didn't run it the length of the box, which is altogether a better idea. Thank you for the advice. Do you ever have problems with tuners that are not the very expensive ones?
I have only used the cheap ones from Gitty and the nickel plated a bit more expensive ones...so far so good.