Les pauls tuning issues

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mruniverce

Registered User

Joined: 03/24/13

Posts: 45

I just bought a new Les paul standard pro epiphone guitar ...It sounds amazing and I love it. But I can't keep the G string in tune. I took the guitar back to the store and told the guy I wanted to exchange it with the same model. tried 3 different guitars of the same model and they all kept going out of tune. looked it up on the internet and come to find out the gibsons/lespauls are notorous for having tuning problems. what can I do to fix this problem, without having to buy a (string Butler) and yes they exist google it.

#1

I just bought a new Les paul standard pro epiphone guitar ...It sounds amazing and I love it. But I can't keep the G string in tune. I took the guitar back to the store and told the guy I wanted to exchange it with the same model. tried 3 different guitars of the same model and they all kept going out of tune. looked it up on the internet and come to find out the gibsons/lespauls are notorous for having tuning problems. what can I do to fix this problem, without having to buy a (string Butler) and yes they exist google it.

JeffS65

Full Access

Joined: 10/07/08

Posts: 1553

Originally Posted by: mruniverce

I just bought a new Les paul standard pro epiphone guitar ...It sounds amazing and I love it. But I can't keep the G string in tune. I took the guitar back to the store and told the guy I wanted to exchange it with the same model. tried 3 different guitars of the same model and they all kept going out of tune. looked it up on the internet and come to find out the gibsons/lespauls are notorous for having tuning problems. what can I do to fix this problem, without having to buy a (string Butler) and yes they exist google it.

Got a Les Paul (Gibson) a handful of months ago and the G was a bit vexxing for me too. I've been playing for decades and my first guitar was a Les Paul with Grover Kidney-style tuners. Never had an issue with my old Les Paul. But when I got my first/old Les Paul, it had been played a lot. So it didn't have a funky little issues.

My new Les Paul? G has been a bit of a pain. I'm not going to say that Les Paul's can't be a pain but the issue is generally overstated. My first/old Les Paul nearly never went out of tune. A couple of thoughts though;

1) I have locking tuners and I'm not sure I dig them. Something about almost no wrap around the string feels unstable for me. I might be wrong but something about that is not overly groovy for me.

2) Stretch the strings out. Gotta learn how much stretching you can do on a string but when new strings are put in a guitar, they are not at their most stable state. They will stretch naturally and will create tuning instability until their at their 'final' stretch'. Just learn to pull up on your strings to help them along to that. This does mean that you'll pull>stretch>tune>pull>stretch>tune>pull>stretch>tune>pull>stretch>tune. That is; until you finally get the string to the final stretch. This goes for any guitar and strings. Even more in a Floyd Rose guitar. So, just learn to work with new strings.

Also, there are other factors in getting your guitar to its most stable tuning. A good setup by a pro. Make sure that the nut is smooth and the bridge saddles are smooth. That your intonation is good and all that stuff.

If your having issues with multiple guitars, its not the model. Otherwise pros would not use them. And lets face it, the Les Paul is kind of a biggie. It's getting it set up right and learning how to work with it overall.

#2

Originally Posted by: mruniverce

I just bought a new Les paul standard pro epiphone guitar ...It sounds amazing and I love it. But I can't keep the G string in tune. I took the guitar back to the store and told the guy I wanted to exchange it with the same model. tried 3 different guitars of the same model and they all kept going out of tune. looked it up on the internet and come to find out the gibsons/lespauls are notorous for having tuning problems. what can I do to fix this problem, without having to buy a (string Butler) and yes they exist google it.

Got a Les Paul (Gibson) a handful of months ago and the G was a bit vexxing for me too. I've been playing for decades and my first guitar was a Les Paul with Grover Kidney-style tuners. Never had an issue with my old Les Paul. But when I got my first/old Les Paul, it had been played a lot. So it didn't have a funky little issues.

My new Les Paul? G has been a bit of a pain. I'm not going to say that Les Paul's can't be a pain but the issue is generally overstated. My first/old Les Paul nearly never went out of tune. A couple of thoughts though;

1) I have locking tuners and I'm not sure I dig them. Something about almost no wrap around the string feels unstable for me. I might be wrong but something about that is not overly groovy for me.

2) Stretch the strings out. Gotta learn how much stretching you can do on a string but when new strings are put in a guitar, they are not at their most stable state. They will stretch naturally and will create tuning instability until their at their 'final' stretch'. Just learn to pull up on your strings to help them along to that. This does mean that you'll pull>stretch>tune>pull>stretch>tune>pull>stretch>tune>pull>stretch>tune. That is; until you finally get the string to the final stretch. This goes for any guitar and strings. Even more in a Floyd Rose guitar. So, just learn to work with new strings.

Also, there are other factors in getting your guitar to its most stable tuning. A good setup by a pro. Make sure that the nut is smooth and the bridge saddles are smooth. That your intonation is good and all that stuff.

If your having issues with multiple guitars, its not the model. Otherwise pros would not use them. And lets face it, the Les Paul is kind of a biggie. It's getting it set up right and learning how to work with it overall.

mruniverce

Registered User

Joined: 03/24/13

Posts: 45

I play alot of neoclasical stuff, and Like I said I love the sound of my les paul. I think I have solved the problem. I have used pencil grahphite on my bridge and the end part(not sure what the proper name is) of the guitar string. and beleive it or not its staying in tune. I have a fender strat that stays in tune. What I was refering to about mutiple guitars was...I tried 3 guitars of the same model (les paul standard pro) and all off them had tuning problems.

#3

I play alot of neoclasical stuff, and Like I said I love the sound of my les paul. I think I have solved the problem. I have used pencil grahphite on my bridge and the end part(not sure what the proper name is) of the guitar string. and beleive it or not its staying in tune. I have a fender strat that stays in tune. What I was refering to about mutiple guitars was...I tried 3 guitars of the same model (les paul standard pro) and all off them had tuning problems.

JeffS65

Full Access

Joined: 10/07/08

Posts: 1553

Originally Posted by: mruniverce

I play alot of neoclasical stuff, and Like I said I love the sound of my les paul. I think I have solved the problem. I have used pencil grahphite on my bridge and the end part(not sure what the proper name is) of the guitar string. and beleive it or not its staying in tune. I have a fender strat that stays in tune. What I was refering to about mutiple guitars was...I tried 3 guitars of the same model (les paul standard pro) and all off them had tuning problems.

Yep and I did understand that it was three guitars but what that means is that the nut (the white thing at the top of the neck) on those guitars was not properly filed. If you put graphite in the slot and that helped, it does mean that you should probobly have a good guitar tech file that nut slot smooth. Good thinking on the graphite, it's an old guitar player's trick. It does tell you that that slot is not smooth enough currently and just needs a little smoothing out.

#4

Originally Posted by: mruniverce

I play alot of neoclasical stuff, and Like I said I love the sound of my les paul. I think I have solved the problem. I have used pencil grahphite on my bridge and the end part(not sure what the proper name is) of the guitar string. and beleive it or not its staying in tune. I have a fender strat that stays in tune. What I was refering to about mutiple guitars was...I tried 3 guitars of the same model (les paul standard pro) and all off them had tuning problems.

Yep and I did understand that it was three guitars but what that means is that the nut (the white thing at the top of the neck) on those guitars was not properly filed. If you put graphite in the slot and that helped, it does mean that you should probobly have a good guitar tech file that nut slot smooth. Good thinking on the graphite, it's an old guitar player's trick. It does tell you that that slot is not smooth enough currently and just needs a little smoothing out.

seay.james

Full Access

Joined: 02/06/17

Posts: 17

Hey there,

The reason is how much the D and G strings are "bent" between the nut and the tuning peg. They catch and then suddenly let go. Les Pauls are notorious for it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gNpyCG32aGI

If you are brave, the fix is taking some really really fine sand paper (1000 grit), wrapping it around your string. and sanding out the divot in the nut where the string goes. focus on the area opposite the fretboard. (I have never done this myself as I find I can only play Fender necks very comforatbly.)

Good luck!

#5

Hey there,

The reason is how much the D and G strings are "bent" between the nut and the tuning peg. They catch and then suddenly let go. Les Pauls are notorious for it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gNpyCG32aGI

If you are brave, the fix is taking some really really fine sand paper (1000 grit), wrapping it around your string. and sanding out the divot in the nut where the string goes. focus on the area opposite the fretboard. (I have never done this myself as I find I can only play Fender necks very comforatbly.)

Good luck!

maggior

Registered User

Joined: 01/26/13

Posts: 1723

Originally Posted by: seay.james

Hey there,

The reason is how much the D and G strings are "bent" between the nut and the tuning peg. They catch and then suddenly let go. Les Pauls are notorious for it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gNpyCG32aGI

If you are brave, the fix is taking some really really fine sand paper (1000 grit), wrapping it around your string. and sanding out the divot in the nut where the string goes. focus on the area opposite the fretboard. (I have never done this myself as I find I can only play Fender necks very comforatbly.)

Good luck!

I experienced this problem with my first Les Paul. The issue is usually "binding at the nut" thanks to the steep angle between the head and the fretboard. A tell tale of this is if you hear the string pinging when you are tuning it up, or when you bend.

I've done the graphite/pencil lead thing and it helped. Taking it to a guitar tech ultimately solved the problem...he widened the nut slot slightly and reworked the slot.

Go here to check out some of my playing
Go here to check out some of my duo's work

#6

Originally Posted by: seay.james

Hey there,

The reason is how much the D and G strings are "bent" between the nut and the tuning peg. They catch and then suddenly let go. Les Pauls are notorious for it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gNpyCG32aGI

If you are brave, the fix is taking some really really fine sand paper (1000 grit), wrapping it around your string. and sanding out the divot in the nut where the string goes. focus on the area opposite the fretboard. (I have never done this myself as I find I can only play Fender necks very comforatbly.)

Good luck!

I experienced this problem with my first Les Paul. The issue is usually "binding at the nut" thanks to the steep angle between the head and the fretboard. A tell tale of this is if you hear the string pinging when you are tuning it up, or when you bend.

I've done the graphite/pencil lead thing and it helped. Taking it to a guitar tech ultimately solved the problem...he widened the nut slot slightly and reworked the slot.

Go here to check out some of my playing
Go here to check out some of my duo's work

matemberkins

Registered User

Joined: 01/06/22

Posts: 1

A wound G string has significantly better tuning stability on a Les Paul. My plain G had bad intonation, went out of tune easily, and had a nasty ringing overtone coming off the bridge.

I switched to a wound string and now it might actually be the most stable of the 6. Better tone, perfect intonation. If you're worried about extra tension making bends difficult, try a .018w, it has the same tension as a .017p. I use .020 or .021 because I like more tension. I'm gonna get a string butler when I can, but short of one of those, the wound G is the best and easiest solution to the inherent problems.

D'Addario makes single strings in all gauges. Stringjoy.com sells singles and you can build custom sets.

#7

A wound G string has significantly better tuning stability on a Les Paul. My plain G had bad intonation, went out of tune easily, and had a nasty ringing overtone coming off the bridge.

I switched to a wound string and now it might actually be the most stable of the 6. Better tone, perfect intonation. If you're worried about extra tension making bends difficult, try a .018w, it has the same tension as a .017p. I use .020 or .021 because I like more tension. I'm gonna get a string butler when I can, but short of one of those, the wound G is the best and easiest solution to the inherent problems.

D'Addario makes single strings in all gauges. Stringjoy.com sells singles and you can build custom sets.

Carl King

GuitarTricks Video Director

Joined: 10/08/07

Posts: 466

This is pretty common. I've used the pencil trick a lot.

You could also try Big Bends Nut Sauce.

https://www.bigbends.com

Although be careful about how much you use -- it's messy and can get all over your guitar if you use too much.

-Carl.

Carl King
GuitarTricks Video Director / Producer

#8

This is pretty common. I've used the pencil trick a lot.

You could also try Big Bends Nut Sauce.

https://www.bigbends.com

Although be careful about how much you use -- it's messy and can get all over your guitar if you use too much.

-Carl.

Carl King
GuitarTricks Video Director / Producer

DraconusJLM

Full Access

Joined: 06/21/21

Posts: 224

Originally Posted by: Carl

This is pretty common. I've used the pencil trick a lot.

You could also try Big Bends Nut Sauce.

https://www.bigbends.com

Although be careful about how much you use -- it's messy and can get all over your guitar if you use too much.

-Carl.

Or you can save lots of money (and mess) by using ChapStick. It works really well and costs very little, although you do need to figure out how to apply it. I just put a little on the tip of a fingernail, then smooth some into the groove on the nut. For the bridge, I simply use 3in1 oil applied with a wooden cocktail stick.

Another great thing about ChapStick is that it doesn't stain the nut or the wood surrounding it.

Six strings, but only four fingers. Twelve simi-tones, but only eight notes to an octive. Part of me thinks mathematicians should steer well clear of guitars.....

#9

Originally Posted by: Carl

This is pretty common. I've used the pencil trick a lot.

You could also try Big Bends Nut Sauce.

https://www.bigbends.com

Although be careful about how much you use -- it's messy and can get all over your guitar if you use too much.

-Carl.

Or you can save lots of money (and mess) by using ChapStick. It works really well and costs very little, although you do need to figure out how to apply it. I just put a little on the tip of a fingernail, then smooth some into the groove on the nut. For the bridge, I simply use 3in1 oil applied with a wooden cocktail stick.

Another great thing about ChapStick is that it doesn't stain the nut or the wood surrounding it.

Six strings, but only four fingers. Twelve simi-tones, but only eight notes to an octive. Part of me thinks mathematicians should steer well clear of guitars.....