advice on locking tuners


SusanMW
Registered User
Joined: 07/05/20
Posts: 222

I've been thinking about putting locking tuners on my acoustic guitar and am wondering what kinds of things I should be considering. I'd like to go to the guitar store with a little bit of knowledge of them and any first hand knowledge from anyone would be helpful.

Because my left hand is out of commission for quite awhile I have been writing short etudes to work on my fingerpicking skills. I mostly wrote and played for the ukulele this past week because it was easier to tune with my left hand. But I just don't have the strength or dexterity in my left hand to tune the guitar which was a problem when I was trying to stay in standard tuning or experiment with alternate tunings. I had to just give up and focus only on the ukulele.

But it looks like this left hand is not going to be able to do much for quite some time and I really miss the guitar. So I was thinking that locking tuners might be perfect since I could have someone else tune it for me before I play. I just have no idea what to look for or what to consider. I have an Ibanez Acoustic Guitar (AC3400PN). And do locking tuners really keep the tuning in place for awhile?

Thanks for any info. I had a corisone shot in my left wrist a few days ago...some things are better like the stabbing ice pick pains in my fingers but still quite a bit of pain overall and loss of motion. I have an MRI of it this morning and then I'll talk with doc again next week.

I'm trying to stay positive and it has really helped to write these short etudes, even if it is just for the ukulele right now. It gives me something to work on that I can actually play. I have been playing with alternate tunings to get different sounds. And already, my fingerpicking has improved with the uke as I am now using my ring finger more ...before it was super lazy and left it all for the other fingers to do. And I could really use improvement on my guitar fingerpicking.

Thanks again for any info. Here's one of the etudes I've written and played or the ukulele (slow tempo, it's nice and relaxing).. This gives you an idea of what I'm looking to do on the guitar... (Also, new cat is in the audience!) There's a couple more orginal etudes on there as well. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tlE7zqQcJBQ

Susan


“Often, what seems like an impossible climb is just a staircase without the steps drawn in.” Robert Brault, American Operatic Tenor

# 1
snojones
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Joined: 04/17/13
Posts: 675

I have locking tuners on my Parker and I love them. I have some doubts that they will end all your tuning problems. They will stop any string slippage at the tuner and this is good. However there are other factors that come into play with tuning.

Humidity and heat can change the tuning on my guitar. The strings don't slip out of tune but the guitar does. If you are changing tunings frequently, you will probly notice 2 things. 1. You still have to fiddle with your tunning pegs. 2. You will get a lot better at tuning. (This could actually be a good skill to develop if you want to change tunings frequently. ) Locking pegs can help but they are not a be all do all, when it comes to tuning. I also have to ask....How good is your tuner?

Are you are familiar with "Bottle Neck Guitar"? Let me tell you a story that you might find interesting. Greg Allman (who was one of the best improvisational gitarists ever) injured one of his fingers and he had to stop playing guitar for a period of time. HE WENT CRAZY, untill his borther bought him a bottle of excedrin for the pain. Greg, being the guitar monster that he was, ended up using the empty bottle to play his guitar without inflaming his injury. He apparently enjoyed it so much, that he deeply embraced the technique and became one of the best bottle neck players in the world.

I am not suggesting an excedrin bottle will make you an overnight bottle neck mystro. But I watched the fingerpicking clip you sent and I can't help but think bottle neck might give you something deeper to explore, with out too much pain. Playing bottle neck, you don't need to change fingerings to change chords and you can really slide notes with serious power. It might work for your situation, but it might not.... it really depends on the extent of your injury and how much you use it. But if you are already using open tunnings and fingerpicking, it could be a way to get an early parole from guitar prison and get that ax singing once again.

May not be your cup of meed but... I would suggest you google Bottleneck Guitar, Greg Allman, Lowel George, Derec Trucks, or Ry Cooder. There are many others that escape me now, but have a look and see if it catches your fancy... If it does, think about getting a bottle neck. Most guitar stores will carry them. I am pretty sure GT has lessons about it as well.


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# 2
ChristopherSchlegel
Guitar Tricks Instructor
Joined: 08/09/05
Posts: 7,920
Originally Posted by: SusanMW

I've been thinking about putting locking tuners on my acoustic guitar and am wondering what kinds of things I should be considering. I'd like to go to the guitar store with a little bit of knowledge of them and any first hand knowledge from anyone would be helpful.[/quote][p]I'm not convinced it's a good choice in your situation.

Yes, they do typically hold tune well. But the issue they are designed to fix is usually electric guitarists doing lots of bending, vibrato & vibrato bar techniques that have the potential or tendency to pull the strings out of tune. Hence locking nuts & locking tuners were invented.

If you put them on your guitar, then it's just going to be one more thing you might have to fiddle with in order to get or keep your guitar in tune.

But it could be good. I think talking to a knowledgable guitar store tech is a good idea!

[quote=SusanMW]Because my left hand is out of commission for quite awhile I have been writing short etudes to work on my fingerpicking skills.

That's wonderful! Grat idea. I watched 2 of your vids & you are doing a great job! Well done. :)[br][br]It occured to me that several classical type right hand exercises might be beneficial. Or at least something else for you to work on!

https://www.guitartricks.com/tutorial.php?input=202

https://www.guitartricks.com/tutorial.php?input=330

https://www.guitartricks.com/tutorial.php?input=354

Hope that helps!


Christopher Schlegel
Guitar Tricks Instructor

Christopher Schlegel Lesson Directory
# 3
SusanMW
Registered User
Joined: 07/05/20
Posts: 222

Ahh, thank you! That info really helps and I'll still talk to my guitar store guy. Thanks for the links to the right hand exercises, I'll definitely work on those.

Sno, I was just thinking about bottle neck after last night's YouTube Live for Guitar Tricks. Mike had briefly played slide and someone mentioned that I think. I will look into it for sure and see if it's something I can handle. Yes, Guitar Prison is terrible! But I'll make the best of it... :D


“Often, what seems like an impossible climb is just a staircase without the steps drawn in.” Robert Brault, American Operatic Tenor

# 4
ddiddler
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Joined: 05/13/20
Posts: 327

Bit off the wall but as it's strength or leverage which is your limitation would a peg winder be of assistance .

I don't know if it would be sensitive enough to fine tune but if you have one handy it could be worth a try

Dave


# 5
snojones
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Joined: 04/17/13
Posts: 675

I think I forgot to consider what kind of tuners you have now. If they are cheap they will be difficult to tune. If the gears are not enclosed in a housing, or they are stiff to turn, or they slip... you might benifit by new tuners even if they are not locking. Might be another thing to talk to you music shop about. Or maybe Steven (the guitar tech on GT) could offer you better adivice on how to evaluate your tuners.

Ddiddler's advice about using a peg winder could also be of value.


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# 6
SusanMW
Registered User
Joined: 07/05/20
Posts: 222

I'll look into the peg winder. I have open gear tuners, they aren't housed in anything. I think a reviewer of my same guitar model said that they replaced the tuners. The first one (first string) is a little on the loose side and the rest are kind of in between stiff and normal.


“Often, what seems like an impossible climb is just a staircase without the steps drawn in.” Robert Brault, American Operatic Tenor

# 7
snojones
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Joined: 04/17/13
Posts: 675

If you can, you should replace those tuners. Locking tuners may be beyond what you need, but GOOD TUNERS are an entirely diffrent. I would suggest you email Steven at "Ask a Guitar Tec" about brands. He will be up to date on what is available. If you are interested in open tunings you really should have good tuners. Using crapy tuners is kind of like attempting to fly to the Moon on a Flexy Flyer.


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# 8
SusanMW
Registered User
Joined: 07/05/20
Posts: 222

Good advice, thank you! New tuners are just what I need it sounds like.


“Often, what seems like an impossible climb is just a staircase without the steps drawn in.” Robert Brault, American Operatic Tenor

# 9
tonisander16
Registered User
Joined: 02/22/21
Posts: 1

A locking tuner is exactly the same as a regular tuner except it has some 'clamping' method to hold the string in the post-hole. Different tuners use slightly different methods of clamping the string but once the string is clamped, the tuner behaves exactly like a regular tuner.

expressHR


# 10