Temporarily tuning each string one whole step up.

Construction and repair of Classical Guitar and related instruments
lacatedral
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Temporarily tuning each string one whole step up.

Post by lacatedral » Mon Oct 09, 2017 11:56 pm

Greetings, English is not my native so excuse my mistakes.
So I usually restring my guitar (all 6 strings) once a month.
What I do, when I finish changing all strings, is tuning all of them 2 to 3 half-steps up.
Say, for instance, F# C# A E B F#

I leave my guitar with that tuning during the night, so when I wake up I detune each string to it's standard afination.
That way I prevent the temporal effect in which each new string (after being inmediately put) starts detuning.

My question is, does leaving the guitar with this tension for 8 hours harm in anyway the strings or guitar?

Thanks.

I use medium and light tension.

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Michael.N.
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Re: Temporaly tuning each strings one whole step up.

Post by Michael.N. » Tue Oct 10, 2017 5:47 am

It's impossible to say. No one knows the properties of your soundboard and how heavy or light it has been made. Tuning every string up a whole tone will add something like 10 to 12 Kg of string tension. That's a significant increase. D'addario EJ43 are their lightest tension strings with EJ52 being extra hard tension. The difference between the two sets is 3 Kg, so you are way above that. It's not worth the risk. Just buy a beater guitar and use that until the strings on the other have settled.
BTW. I have tuned a guitar 1 1/2 steps higher on each string but that was on an experimental guitar and I was destruction testing soundboard/bracing. I was tuning it at that tension every day for around 3 months, so it was constantly at that tension. It surprised me just how well it did hold up but of course the results for that soundboard are irrelevant given that it was my own bracing pattern and soundboard thickness.
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Stephen Kenyon
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Re: Temporaly tuning each strings one whole step up.

Post by Stephen Kenyon » Tue Oct 10, 2017 9:18 am

I wouldn't risk it, but find that every half hour or so for the first evening, tuning them a bit less than a semi tone sharp, and keeping at it for a few hours, settles them in at I'd say the same degree as your method. Doesn't have to be accurately anything sharp, the point is to keep at it.
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Yisrael van Handel
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Re: Temporaly tuning each strings one whole step up.

Post by Yisrael van Handel » Tue Oct 10, 2017 9:33 am

lacatedral wrote:
Mon Oct 09, 2017 11:56 pm
<snip>
What I do, when I finish changing all strings, is tuning all of them 2 to 3 half-steps up.
Say, for instance, F# C# A E B F#

I leave my guitar with that tuning during the night, so when I wake up I detune each string to it's standard afination.
That way I prevent the temporal effect in which each new string (after being inmediately put) starts detuning.

My question is, does leaving the guitar with this tension for 8 hours harm in anyway the strings or guitar?

Thanks.

I use medium and light tension.
I do not know anything specific to guitar strings. But stretching plastic materials causes both plastic deformation (thinner and thicker areas) and microtearing (dislocations that weaken the tensile strength). Both are bad news. I would never stretch a guitar string above its stated operating tension. However, you can check for the amount of damage yourself. If there is plastic deformation, the strings should show variations in tuning at different frets on the same string. You can use an eletronic on-line tuner to check fret by fret (When one note on the string is in tune with the tuner, they should all be in tune.). If there is microtearing, you should be able to see under a microscope that the string is not completely transparent, but shows translucent, milky lines or bruises. If I am wrong and nothing happens, let me know.
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souldier
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Re: Temporarily tuning each string one whole step up.

Post by souldier » Tue Oct 10, 2017 11:45 am

I used to tune a bit higher to make strings settle faster (no more than one semitone), but the high E string snapped on me so I put an end to that practice. I also recognize the potential for intonation issues to develop since you're stretching the strings further than they were designed for. I also wonder if it negatively impacts the tone/life of the strings. Tuning your strings 2-3 half steps up is very extreme and I would never tune that high.

When I put on a new set of strings, I just tune the guitar up to pitch, and tune up frequently especially in the first 2 days. The strings will soon begin to stay in pitch at least within most of the practice session. I have not found this to be an inconvenience and I think it is a much safer option
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James Lister
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Re: Temporarily tuning each string one whole step up.

Post by James Lister » Wed Oct 11, 2017 2:33 pm

I usually tune new strings above pitch to settle them in more quickly. 3 semitones is probably a bit more than I would risk on all strings at once - as Michael says that's a significant increase in total tension. I go for a little under 1 semitone on the basses, and a little over 1 semitone on the trebles. If you keep tuning them up to that pitch over a few hours, then leave them overnight, you'll be pretty close to stability. At that level I've never had any intonation problems with the strings.

James
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mqbernardo
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Re: Temporarily tuning each string one whole step up.

Post by mqbernardo » Wed Oct 11, 2017 4:59 pm

i do it like james. never had a problem. they don´t keep like that for a long time...

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Yisrael van Handel
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Re: Temporarily tuning each string one whole step up.

Post by Yisrael van Handel » Fri Oct 13, 2017 10:59 am

James Lister wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2017 2:33 pm
<snip> I go for a little under 1 semitone on the basses, and a little over 1 semitone on the trebles. If you keep tuning them up to that pitch over a few hours, then leave them overnight, you'll be pretty close to stability. At that level I've never had any intonation problems with the strings.

James
Have you ever checked for damage to the string after overtuning?
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Laudiesdad69
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Re: Temporarily tuning each string one whole step up.

Post by Laudiesdad69 » Fri Oct 13, 2017 2:26 pm

I used to tune up a whole step, but I had intonation problems on the treble strings. They tend not to stretch evenly when tuned higher as some areas of the string may be deformed thinner in some areas. I don't do it anymore. I just tune them up to pitch, and replaced tune the, frequently for the first couple of days. I once over tuned a set of carbons and the high E string snapped.

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James Lister
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Re: Temporarily tuning each string one whole step up.

Post by James Lister » Mon Oct 16, 2017 12:05 pm

Yisrael van Handel wrote:
Fri Oct 13, 2017 10:59 am
James Lister wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2017 2:33 pm
<snip> I go for a little under 1 semitone on the basses, and a little over 1 semitone on the trebles. If you keep tuning them up to that pitch over a few hours, then leave them overnight, you'll be pretty close to stability. At that level I've never had any intonation problems with the strings.

James
Have you ever checked for damage to the string after overtuning?
Yes - I always check the intonation of the strings once they have settled, and not had any problems. Of course I can't say that this will be the case for all makes/types of string, as I normally only use D'Addario EJ45s or EJ46s.

James
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