There is no such thing as one type of guitar staying in tune better than another. Certain issues affect these instruments without exception, and going out of tune is one of them.
Any type of guitar that is fitted with locking tuners, a good quality guitar nut, a fixed bridge, or a locking tremolo system will stay in tune for longer. Several factors, such as movement, weather, long periods of disuse or even overuse, can affect the tuning of the guitar.1
Guitars normally require tuning every 2–5 days, depending on how the instruments have been handled and the kind of climate they have been exposed to.2 Guitars that stay in tune longer usually have a good setup and are of higher quality. Tuning a guitar can be tedious, but it’s an essential part of your music journey.
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What Type of Guitar Stays in Tune Better?
Depending on the quality of the material, construction, and setup, certain guitars stay in tune a lot longer than others. Some factors that add to a guitar’s tuning stability are:
Guitars with locking tuners stay in tune longer. Locking tuners hold the strings in place with a mechanism that keeps the string in place by tightening or loosening a knob below the headstock. Locking tuners can be used on any type of guitar.
Even though it is a small part of the guitar, the nut plays a vital role in keeping the strings in place. Guitars that have nuts which are built out of quality materials, carved with skillful precision, and lubricated regularly stay in tune better than guitars that have low-quality nuts. Guitar nuts made of bone and graphite are the best for tuning stability.3
Locking Tremolo System
Tremolo systems are specifically for electric guitar tuning stability and are used to raise and lower the pitch of an electric guitar.4 Although there are several variations of tremolos, guitars with the Floyd Rose locking tremolo will hold their tuning for much longer since its mechanism clamps down on the strings at the bridge and nut, keeping them in place.5
The pitch is controlled by pushing the bridge up or down using a bar that is part of the mechanism of the Floyd Rose tremolo bridge. A tremolo bridge is also known as a floating bridge as it is built to move according to the pressure applied by the bar attached to it.6
A fixed bridge is bolted in place on the body of the electric guitar. Guitars with a fixed bridge have better tuning stability than those that are fitted with a floating bridge. Bending the strings on a floating bridge can cause the other strings to go out of tune. This technique is more suitable for a guitar with a fixed bridge as it can handle the string tension much better than an electric guitar with a floating bridge.
Guitars with heavier gauge strings will stay in tune longer, as they don’t bend as much as lighter gauge strings, making them more resistant to stretching. Most electric guitars use light strings, and heavier strings are usually used on acoustic guitars.
Any guitar that is well assembled, built out of quality material, and is well maintained will stay in tune longer than guitars that are constructed with low-standard materials and craftsmanship. There are other factors that affect the tuning stability of a guitar beyond those mentioned here, and some of them are unavoidable. Therefore, the sooner you allow this fact to sink in, the better it feels to learn how to play a guitar and tune it every time it goes out of tune.
For more such articles on guitars, pianos, and talented artists, visit the BYJU’S FutureSchool Blog or take your curiosity a step ahead and start your music journey today by booking a free trial with BYJU’S FutureSchool’s expert guitar instructors.
- Keep Your Electric Guitar In Tune (Which Ones Stay In Tune The Best) – Guitar River. (n.d.). Retrieved June 3, 2022, from https://www.guitarriver.com/keep-your-electric-guitar-in-tune/
2. 12 Reasons Your Guitar Won’t Stay In Tune (And How To Fix It). (n.d.). Retrieved June 3, 2022, from https://indiepanda.net/guitar-wont-stay-in-tune/
3. 5 Main Types of Guitar Nuts – Main Differences Including Materials Used. (n.d.). Retrieved June 3, 2022, from https://zinginstruments.com/types-of-guitar-nuts/
4. Bigsby vs. Floyd Rose vs. Floating & More: 7 Tremolo Systems Explained – YouTube. (n.d.). Retrieved June 3, 2022, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=thvguqiZW3Y
5. What is “Double-locking Tremolo System”? (n.d.). Retrieved June 3, 2022, from https://www.sweetwater.com/insync/double-locking-tremolo-system/
6. Tremolo VS Fixed Bridge | HOW IT’S USED – YouTube. (n.d.). Retrieved June 3, 2022, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r91JG2zWpIU