Gibson Explorer Tuning Issues

Discussion in 'Guitars' started by jamest, Jun 10, 2018.

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  1. jamest

    jamest Member

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    Hi guys, I have a Gibson Explorer made in 2009.
    Since the first time that I played it, there's this problem: the G and E (thinner) strings don't stay in tune very well. I mean, after a little, they get out of tune.
    The guitar is the typical Explorer with tune o matic and grover tuners, as it comes from the factory.
    Did someone notice same issues? How to solve?
     
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  2. heltershelton

    heltershelton Active Member

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    try putting some lube in the nut slots. i use chapstick. just take a toothpick and get some in there.
    also, most tuners have a screw in the top of the peg. make sure its not too loose. i tighten mine a little but dont overtighten it to where its a bitch to turn.
    last thing.....make sure your strings are stretched out well.
    oh, and make sure the nut slots are cut right. if you dont know how to do it take it to someone who does.
     
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  3. heltershelton

    heltershelton Active Member

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    one other very important thing i forgot to mention.....always tune up to pitch...never tune down to pitch. if you are tuning and go a bit sharp, start over by tuning below the pitch then tuning back up.
     
  4. jamest

    jamest Member

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    Thanks, I didn't know this thing.
     
  5. John BNY

    John BNY Well-Known Member

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    What heltershelton means is detune each string so that it's flat to the note you are trying to tune to, and then tune up until you are in tune. You don't want slack, which you can get if you tune down to hit your note.

    Generally and in my experience, guitars don't stay in tune if the gear head in the tuning machines wears down, or the nut is not cut properly. If you hear pinging noise when tuning, that means the string is getting stuck on the nut, which can cause tuning problems. The more common problem is the nut being cut right. You can try using nut sauce to lubricate the nut, but the better long term solution is to file the nut. Unless you know how to file the nut, I suggest you take it to a luthier.
     
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  6. DPTONE5

    DPTONE5 Well-Known Member

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    Exactly John. My LP was so frustrating until I got the nut properly cut. Made all the difference in the world!!
     
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  7. jamest

    jamest Member

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    When you talk about to file the nut, do you mean to file the grooves where the strings sit?
     
  8. John BNY

    John BNY Well-Known Member

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    Yes, but you shouldn't do it unless you know what you are doing. Take the guitar to a luthier and explain the problem. Good luck.
     
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  9. ampmadscientist

    ampmadscientist Well-Known Member

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    a. put the string thru the tuner hole, and leave about 2-3 inches slack in the string.
    b. lock the string in place by looping tying it around itself, then wind the rest of the string DOWN the string post.
    c. tune the string to pitch, then pull on it till it slips out of tune.
    d. re-tune the string and pull again, till it slips out of tune.
    e. continue pulling the string, retuning, until the string stops slipping and holds pitch when it's pulled on...(pull on the string fairly hard to make it slip)
    f. Do this for ALL the strings, until they are locked so they won't slip.
    G. now the strings should hold in tune, even when the string is pulled / whammy bar is pulled...

    This is the Dan Armstrong "locking string" method. (Dan Armstrong, designer of the real USA SVT amp)

    This method was NOT created by Paul Reed Smith...I actually taught him HOW to do this myself.

    If you follow this method, you will never need a "locking nut" or a "locking tuner." The guitar will stay in tune without any of that stuff.
    (locking nut is a gimmick which nobody really needs)

    Study the video instruction, and learn it.

     
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  10. Jethro Rocker

    Jethro Rocker Well-Known Member

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    I have run the tip of string under the top wind in a tie and tuned so it winds underneath for years. Stretch em over and over till no slip. You can still have a nut problem. Also, my Gibby's seem quite susceptible to temperature changes and can fall out during a show.
    Other guitars I have are bullet proof with this method.
    A locking nut is still useful. Hit the whammy till the strings fall completely slack and shake the entire guitar by the arm ala Steve Vai. That's what a locking is for. A Strat won't stay in tune for that, I don't care how you tie your strings.
     
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  11. heltershelton

    heltershelton Active Member

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    this is exactly how i do it.
     
  12. heltershelton

    heltershelton Active Member

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    i think the original fr is the best system there is, however a stock strat can be set up to stay in tune with hard whammy use. here is a vid i made with a stock mim strat to prove it. there is no way im gonna hold it up by the bar and shake it.....not because it wont stay in tune but because if you try that with a strat bar it will probably snap off. but i did go pretty hard on it. a lot of people dont know how to set up a strat properly, and thats why their strats go out of tune with just a little wiggle.
     
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  13. ampmadscientist

    ampmadscientist Well-Known Member

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    You would be surprised how many people don't know how, and the guitar is constantly slipping out of tune.
    But it's an easy thing to learn.

    I learned this from an Ampeg news letter when I was about 12.
    (before dinosaurs walked the earth) (before cordless drills)
    Dan Armstrong used to write articles for musicians, and I think that's who I learned it from.
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2018
  14. heltershelton

    heltershelton Active Member

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    i like watching the frudua stuff on youtube.
     
  15. jamest

    jamest Member

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    Thaks guys, when I will change the strings, I will try this method!!
     
  16. Coronado

    Coronado Well-Known Member

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    Damn, not bad at all! Hell, some of my Floyds don't stay in tune that well! :D
     
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  17. Coronado

    Coronado Well-Known Member

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    I have a 2016 Gibson Explorer, had similar problems. Nut was in somewhat ruff shape, actually snapped my string. Had to get my nuts fixed. :nono: I mean get the nut filed a bit. :D Out the box, it would do that "ping" when I tightened the string, which was a telltale sign.

    Once you get in the habbit of tuning up, you will see a big difference. After a while, it will become second nature to you. Best of luck! :yesway:
     
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  18. jamest

    jamest Member

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    I don't understand the reason why, if you pay over 1000$ for a Gibson, they have these problems. I mean, I paid 1200$ for mine, then I want PERFECTION. Men, c'mon, I'm talkin' about Gibson, the biggest guitar brand in the world. If they continue to make mistakes like that, they will lose customers.
     
  19. Herbert Mitchell Pearrow

    Herbert Mitchell Pearrow Well-Known Member

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    Hey brother my explorer does the same thing on the b string, can’t add anything to what the rest of the responses are , but a nut refill fixed it for me
     
  20. mcblink

    mcblink Well-Known Member

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    I have a 2016 Explorer traditional. Guy sold it to me pretty cheaply for a 6 month old guitar because he thought it had major tuning problems. Said it pinged and all that. It still had that chocolatey new guitar scent and everything.

    I took it home, changed the strings, slapped some chapstick in the grooves of the nut, thing works just fine, no problems tuning or holding tune at all. It's since become my favorite axe.

    After looking at some pics I took from before I changed the strings, I realized that the dude didn't even have full wraps around the pegs....actually my current avatar features one of those very pictures I took before the string change, if you look closely enough you can see that the strings don't all wrap around the posts, some of them are only like halfway or so
     

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