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When should guitarists tune?

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  • When should guitarists tune?

    How do you guys handle guitarists who need to tune coming into the second set after the sermon? I need ideas for ways that they can tune and minimize distractions/awkwardness for the congregation.

    Bring your guitar offstage with you and tune?

    Have the keyboardist play while the pastor prays to cover the sound of the strings?

    Buy better tuners?



  • #2
    You didn't specify acoustic or electric so the answer varies dependent on that. Most modern solid state amps or pedalboards have tuners built in or tuner footswitches can be added to silently tune on an electric guitar. Of course you still have the distraction and pause while the guitarist tunes. In the case of an acoustic you're much more limited since it will be heard regardless of the tuner.

    The more important question in my mind is why the guitar is in such need of tuning in the first place? If it's out of tune after sitting for an hour, it probably went out of tune at some point in your first set. Generally guitars should hold their tune pretty well unless exposed to significant changes in temperature or humidity. I suspect the guitar needs to be looked at by a qualified luthier if it's going out tune that quickly. It could be anything from a bad tuning peg to potentially a bad nut or bridge saddle. Clearly if they are new strings there might be some stretching but that can be worked out prior to service. Otherwise, the only alternative is to tune it off stage to avoid distractions. But I'm not sure that fixes the core issue.
    The Posse Band live performance tracks can be heard by CLICKING HERE


    • #3
      I agree. Tuning once before the service *should* be enough. I'm playing a basic el cheapo Squire strat and it's pretty stable. From week to week I barely have to tweak it. I rarely have to tune between morning and evening service

      There are some technique things that can make tuning stability worse- like strings sticking in the nut (too fat of strings and/or low quality nut), tremolo systems not set up right, that kind of stuff.

      Some brands of acoustic or semi-hollow body guitars tend to be fickle as well. A buddy of mine has a guitar that's similar to the Chet Atkins Country Gentleman and he doesn't bring it to gigs because he has to tune it every third song.

      Long and short, there is likely something not right but it's hard to know what it is...
      If we want to go places we haven't been, we will have to do things we haven't done.


      • #4
        If your way out of tune do it asap and quietly.


        • #5
          Bottom Line...tune as often as you need to, to be sure you are in tune at the beginning of every song.
          Love ONE woman...MANY guitars!



          • #6
            My Guitar sits for 5 days most of the time without being played, I tune it prior to Sun. Morn. Practice (or before I play) and then check after practice, IT does not need tuned again (unless I break a string...Then I take it off stage and restring).
            Most Of the time My guitar is IN TUNE when I get it out of the case..

            Get Better tuners...
            The Lord is my ROCK.....


            • #7
              If you play lead and bend / stretch your strings it will need tuning more often.


              • #8
                TBH your guitars seem ancient and of poor quality then?
                Good guitars stay in tune with good gentle guitarists.
                Tuning can be quick and soundless too.

                Are they tuning for the sake of tuning or are the tunings really out of whack?

                Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk


                • #9
                  When should Guitarists tune? They should tune when they get out of tune.

                  I play fretless bass and notice right away when the guitarist is out of tune. Very distracting.

                  The Guitarist who uses a capo should always check tuning EVERY TIME he moves his capo.
                  EVERY TIME! This is the worst offender in our group.


                  • #10
                    I advise my team guitarists (especially my youth guitarists who don't seem to notice they are out of tune, sometimes even badly out) to always tune prior to practice or service (but not 2 minutes before service). That's just Guitar 101 in my opinion. My team often is asked to come back up at the end of services to play and this is not the time to be tuning on the platform as it is a distraction while the pastor is finishing his sermon points and/or praying. Some might say that 8-10 musicians/singers walking back onto the platform is a big enough distraction (and I'd agree), but we are asked to get in place as quietly (and quickly) as possible and then be still. Not an easy task for a bunch of people who like to make noise. Because of this I always take my acoustic off the platform at the end of the worship set, to tune it offstage, even though it usually doesn't need it. You still check it. All types of factors can cause tuning issues...old strings, poor setup, temperature fluctuations, etc. So, when I return to the platform my guitar is already strapped on and all I have to do is plug in, which I can do quietly. It's the standing still part that I struggle with, ha-ha!