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Bad strings or Bad guitar.

Technique
Mistaluke  
3 Dec 2010 20:00 | Quote
Joined: 23 Mar 2010
Karma: 11
My guitar is messed up.
Basically I've never re stringed a guitar, I know im going to get snarky remarks for saying that.
I just naturally get the guy there when i buy the strings to re-string my guitar.
But the MAIN issue is my guitars strings are way to far from the fret board.
Does it need to be set-up? My uncle who plays live and such just told me to pay 30-40$ to get it set-up and new strings.
AND theres another problem.
It stays Drop D tuning.
Ever since i tuned it drop D
I cant tune it back to EADGBE
Everytime I do it becomes all wonky.
Im not a professional when it comes to guitars.
Just looking for advice.
Also whats your takes on a Les paul special II
Im thinking about getting that cause thats within my budget and it looks nice. :)
case211  
3 Dec 2010 20:59 | Quote
Joined: 26 Feb 2009
United States
Lessons: 2
Licks: 6
Karma: 24
not exactly sure what you meant with the Drop D tuning thing...that's a bit odd. It's definitely the action you are talking about(height from fretboard to strings). Might be worth trying out on your own with the action since that really wont destroy your guitar, but the intonation changes are a pain, so you may want some help. It's definitely worth it to learn how to maintain your instruments on your own, it will save you loads in unneeded expenses per year(if you want to pay someone to set-up and restring your guitar). Restringing is something you should learn anyways, since it's 100X easier to just buy the strings and re-string at your convenience rather than having to wait for a window to open up and take it to someone else to do.

Honestly I would shop a bit more on something a tad more reliable thank a les paul special II. They'd make a great beginner guitar, but I couldn't see it being the most reliable guitar for the money. Tough to shop for reliable guitars at the lower end of the price range, I know, but look for something that you will undoubtedly be happy with for a while(until your next purchase) that way you don't end up 6 months down the road with dying electronics or something worse. I would try out a bunch of different guitars around the same price and pick your favorite of the bunch, since it's hard to rate something by how pretty it looks :P(was going to buy a Kramer after Graduation, and the frets were like razor blades on my hands man haha this was a $450 guitar that was on a special guitar month sale for $250... I know why it was now!)

Good luck with your fixing and testing man! Also, if you want to learn how to do the aforementioned things, ask if you can watch the guitar tech work on your guitar and just ask him what he's doing and such.
Ozzfan486  
3 Dec 2010 22:57 | Quote
Joined: 01 Oct 2008
United States
Licks: 1
Karma: 18
If the action is that bad, it'd be smart to have it set up, or have someone do it, and you watch. It's getting all "wonky" when you try to go back up to standard tuning because the strings get used to a certain tuning and want to stay like that. When you changed the tension that much, you have to keep tuning them over and over. Stretching them out would help a lot in that case though (hold one string down with one hand, yank on it with the other one all over the fretboard. Not too hard, but firmly, then do that for all the strings.).

Hope that helps a bit.

Ozz
Mistaluke  
3 Dec 2010 23:09 | Quote
Joined: 23 Mar 2010
Karma: 11
Wonky is actually a word :P doesnt come up underlined with the red. I got it from my little cousin :)

@Case
I most likely will end up getting a different guitar then that one, just cause when i go to the guitar shop located near me, he always gives me like 50$ off.

@Ozz
Yeah If i get new strings which would you recommend? I think im going to give up on that guitar and buy a new one. Maybe take parts of the guitar and sell it.
The body of the guitar is in good condition. However it came with no brand name.




Now for my last question, How do you exactly restring a guitar? I've played guitar for many years and never really learned.
I have had many mishaps when it comes to restringing, thats part of the reason i make the guy at the store restring it there.
I've seen it done enough to actually try it myself once more But if i dont learn from the professionals I feel uneducated in that region in my opinion.
case211  
3 Dec 2010 23:15 | Quote
Joined: 26 Feb 2009
United States
Lessons: 2
Licks: 6
Karma: 24
best way to learn is to get a hands on approach going. I'd suggest having someone teach you how to do it, but let them show you how to wind one small string(high e) and one wound string(low E) then help you with the rest so you can kind of learn how to do it. Repetition is the real key here though, eventually you won't actually need to think too much about doing it, you'll just sit down with a new pack of strings and some wire cutters and bam 15-20 minutes later you're done! hah

I'd definitely shop around the store a bit more then, look for guitars that a like maybe the next level up from where your budget is at(you can always save up for a month or two longer) just to see if you want to wait longer for a specific guitar, or maybe you don't find anything that you like very much and instead find a guitar that you like in the lower budget areas. Just look everywhere haha
gx1327  
4 Dec 2010 02:19 | Quote
Joined: 20 Sep 2009
United States
Karma: 9
if you are REALLY concerned about it, a $30-40 "set up" is a good investment.

without actually seeing your guitar in person i can't do much more than speculate.

my GUESS is that your guitar is set up for unusually high "action". as pointed out above, "action" is the term that basically means the distance between the strings and the frets. guitars with "high" action have a longer distance between frets and strings. guitars with low action have a smaller distance. which is better? it's all a matter of taste. the first guitar i ever played has comically high action. my strat has such low action that i accidentally ring notes when i'm trying to mute strings.

but back to your guitar:

my other guess, and this is just a guess, is that your extra-high action is having an adverse affect on your tuning. guitars are designed to keep x gage strings in proper E-standard tension at proper "action"... yadda yadda.

think of it this way --- if you took a guitar that was properly tuned to E standard, and you dropped D, you might need to re-tune because you just released a lot of tension from the heaviest string.

likewise, if you adjust the truss rod in your guitar to change the action, you will have to readjust your intonation and tuning.

how can you fix this?

the easiest way to do it is to pay the $30-40 to have it professionally "set up". if you don't have that money, get on the internet and just google "your exact guitar model set up". i have a fender strat and an ibanez artcore, and there are a ton of OFFICIAL set up guides on the internet. official is good because it's what the manufacturer has designed their product for.

then... well i hope you're mechanically inclined! no, it's really not that hard. my guess is that you can solve your problem with a simple truss rod adjustment. just read your OEM manual and do what it says!
Mistaluke  
4 Dec 2010 09:41 | Quote
Joined: 23 Mar 2010
Karma: 11
@gx
I would go on the internet to search it up and all, but once again it has no brand name. I think i will pay the 30-40$ and buy a new guitar just so i have 2 new ones basically.

@case
I will most likely learn by the guy at the guitar shop. He is unusually nice to everyone. Once i had 20$ and this tuner one 50$ and he gave it to me :-)
I can hang on to money for long distances I just cant stand playing only my acoustic, or my electric which has issues as most of you can tell.
MoshZilla1016  
4 Dec 2010 10:45 | Quote
Joined: 10 Jul 2010
United States
Lessons: 4
Licks: 19
Karma: 16
Do you have a tremolo or bridge/tailpiece?
Mistaluke  
4 Dec 2010 12:15 | Quote
Joined: 23 Mar 2010
Karma: 11
neither of those well kind of, my brother does but he's selling all his gtar equipment.
case211  
4 Dec 2010 12:44 | Quote
Joined: 26 Feb 2009
United States
Lessons: 2
Licks: 6
Karma: 24
what Mosh means is, is the bridge of you electric guitar a Fender Style bridge with independent saddles and action adjustments, or is it a Gibson style bridge.
Ozzfan486  
4 Dec 2010 13:11 | Quote
Joined: 01 Oct 2008
United States
Licks: 1
Karma: 18
Dude, with Christmas coming, if that's how you celebrate the holidays or whatever, I don't know you, so I'm speculating here, but if you get presents and junk, I'd just ask for a new guitar. Most all electric guitars come with manuals that explain every nook and cranny of the thing, so I think that'd be good. Plus, getting a new guitar is always cool. xD
Mistaluke  
4 Dec 2010 13:19 | Quote
Joined: 23 Mar 2010
Karma: 11
Yeah i celebrate christmas, I'll most likely do so.
and its a gibson style i believe.
case211  
4 Dec 2010 13:23 | Quote
Joined: 26 Feb 2009
United States
Lessons: 2
Licks: 6
Karma: 24
do that man, just be like "Santa/mom/dad/close family... can I get a Gibson Explorer in White with an Ebony Fretboard?! :D" haha

Since this topic is pretty popular and I would feel awkward for a double bump on my post, I'm going to advertise here :P

http://www.all-guitar-chords.com/topic.php?id=4530

^New tune, let me know what you think on the post's page thing. *Not here*
MoshZilla1016  
4 Dec 2010 13:56 | Quote
Joined: 10 Jul 2010
United States
Lessons: 4
Licks: 19
Karma: 16
I guess I shoulda said DO YOU HAVE A WHAMMY BAR???
Mistaluke  
4 Dec 2010 14:11 | Quote
Joined: 23 Mar 2010
Karma: 11
I did but i took it off and i've never been able to reattach it :X
case211  
4 Dec 2010 14:23 | Quote
Joined: 26 Feb 2009
United States
Lessons: 2
Licks: 6
Karma: 24
hmmm...what kind of guitar is it? does it look like a Stratocaster?
MoshZilla1016  
4 Dec 2010 15:39 | Quote
Joined: 10 Jul 2010
United States
Lessons: 4
Licks: 19
Karma: 16
That may be doing the wonky problem. Sometimes if you tune to E standard from drop D your other strings can go flat. But this should affect your action very little if any so I don't believe the entire problem is with the whammy set up. IMO paying for a setup may be your best bet but when it's done get an explanation of the problem. Good luck.
Mistaluke  
4 Dec 2010 16:10 | Quote
Joined: 23 Mar 2010
Karma: 11
Yes it looks just like a strat
Im gonna get it set up and probably buy new strings.
fix it up.
Tune it back to normal and fix the whammy bar if thats a good idea.
just never take off the whammy :P
tinyskateboard  
7 Dec 2010 10:47 | Quote
Joined: 28 Apr 2010
United States
Karma: 11
Mista Luke: If the guitar you have is worse than a Les Paul Special II i recommend you get a better guitar soon. Try to get a used one, new guitars for less than $350 are always kinda sucky.

In the mean time I would try to fix your's yourself and squirrel away the $40 for the replacement guitar. Then you will learn to string, do setups and maintain your guitar through hands on experience and will hopefully never spend money on a setup again.

There are a lot of helpful sites out there.

http://www.projectguitar.com/tut/action.htm


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