How to get strings to settle quickly?

A "classroom" environment for exchanging Technical Questions & Answers, How-To's, music theory concepts, etc.
User avatar
souldier
Posts: 856
Joined: Tue Dec 08, 2015 4:45 pm

Re: How to get strings to settle quickly?

Post by souldier » Mon May 29, 2017 1:18 pm

I always tune to normal pitch as frequently as possible. Tuning a semitone higher I presume would be okay, though this could possibly create intonation issues for certain brands. Also, I would definitely avoid tuning the 1st E string any higher than pitch to avoid snapping the string.

In the end however it is important to remember than nylon strings are just constantly going out of tune. Even strings that are several months old will need constant retuning. If you are performing, you'd still need to check tuning in between pieces. I also find that the strings no matter how old and broken in will still change and respond depending on humidity and temperature.
"Success grants its rewards to a few, but is the dream of the multitudes.
Excellence is available to all, but is accepted only by a few." - Christopher Parkening

User avatar
georgemarousi
Posts: 192
Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2016 8:10 am

Re: How to get strings to settle quickly?

Post by georgemarousi » Mon May 29, 2017 1:20 pm

I almost never change all 6, at least before a performance. I keep the trebles for a very long time anyways :)

As for the 3 basses, I change them about 5 days before a performance. I do the "half step higher" for the first 1-2 days helps very much for a fast settle in. ( Of course I have not noticed any intonation issue because of that.. Or there may be a 0.0001 quality issue, which I prefer from being 0.01 under-tuned inside songs :) )
--Classicals--
Paulino Bernabe Especial 2009
Ramirez 1A 1980
Alhambra Luthier india 2012
Juan Martinez nr 55 (the return @2014)
Yamaha cg 110 (as a kid @88)
--
student again since 2015, to my degree @..? - God bless!

User avatar
lucy
Posts: 1839
Joined: Mon Jun 16, 2008 8:33 pm
Location: England

Re: How to get strings to settle quickly?

Post by lucy » Mon May 29, 2017 2:26 pm

Wow. Such a lot of responses! Thanks everyone. :discussion:
James Lister wrote:
Sat May 27, 2017 9:28 am
Stephen Kenyon wrote:
Fri May 26, 2017 7:32 pm
Tune it every half hour or so if you can, slightly sharp, and keep doing so. I find it takes the stretch out faster than just letting them drop a lot and occasionally bringing them back up a lot.
I do this, and usually tune all the strings a semitone above pitch. I know many professional players who change their strings the day before a performance, and have no problem with tuning stability (well, no more than usual with nylon strings). Once an hour is probably enough if you can't manage every half-hour. After half a day or so the bass strings will be pretty stable, but the trebles will probably take longer.

James
Thanks for this. It seems I'm a bit lazy about constantly retuning my strings! I'll certainly follow this advice. :)
“Do what you can, with what you have, where you are”. Theodore Roosevelt

User avatar
lucy
Posts: 1839
Joined: Mon Jun 16, 2008 8:33 pm
Location: England

Re: How to get strings to settle quickly?

Post by lucy » Mon May 29, 2017 2:29 pm

souldier wrote:
Mon May 29, 2017 1:18 pm
I also find that the strings no matter how old and broken in will still change and respond depending on humidity and temperature.
This is quite true. Just something you have to deal with!
“Do what you can, with what you have, where you are”. Theodore Roosevelt

SteveL123
Posts: 473
Joined: Thu Feb 09, 2017 5:05 pm

Re: How to get strings to settle quickly?

Post by SteveL123 » Mon May 29, 2017 3:10 pm

malc laney wrote:
Mon May 29, 2017 1:14 pm
Someone i knew used to pull them back like a bow and arrow and twang them against the fretboard.Worked for him.
I saw a pretty famous pro guitarist doing that in concert. He was yanking the string about 6 to 8 inches off the sound hole to stretch it out before tuning. That made me clench my teeth. Good that he did not let go and twang it against the top which would have been quite a spectacle. The guitar was an expensive Mathias Damann. I learned later yanking on a string like that exerts undue stress on the top but you do what you have to do to get the guitar in tune in a performance.

Guitar Maniac
Posts: 45
Joined: Tue Sep 22, 2015 5:19 pm

Re: How to get strings to settle quickly?

Post by Guitar Maniac » Fri Jun 02, 2017 10:01 am

One method I've just got from Google and tried with decent result is to put the guitar onto your lap with the sound hole up, tune down each string a bit then at about 12th fret position press the string down using thumb whilst gently pull it up nearby using both index and middle finger (called stretching), repeat the same stretching process for all strings at 3rd, 5th, 7th and 9th fret positions and finally tune the strings back to the correct pitches. Repeating the whole process above each time you pick up your guitar (normally 2-3 times per day).

Using this method my guitar strings quickly settled in just after 3-4 days restringing.

There is even a stretching tool to do this kind of work which is named STRETCHA String Stretcher, the idea is basically the same, putting a specific shape under strings and sliding it along the entire length of them...

Dirck Nagy
Posts: 534
Joined: Sat Sep 28, 2013 4:47 pm
Location: Wisconsin, USA

Re: How to get strings to settle quickly?

Post by Dirck Nagy » Fri Jun 02, 2017 2:37 pm

Just tug on them a bit while you are restringing. Keep tugging on them a little every time you bring the string up to pitch. Making fewer turns around the roller helps a bit too.

Easy as pie, doesnt require special equipment, won't damage your instrument unless you do something ridiculous, and you'll be able to perform on them the next day. (but I think its better to wait 2 days, especially with the nylons)

I keep my nylon strings on for a long time anyway (several months) and just change the basses.

Been doing it for years; works fine.

cheers!
dirck
2015 John H. Dick
1994 Larry Breslin ("Deerhead")
1952 Vincente Tatay

setecordas
Posts: 20
Joined: Sun May 28, 2017 7:05 am

Re: How to get strings to settle quickly?

Post by setecordas » Fri Jun 02, 2017 3:07 pm

I always pull the string (gently) vertically at the 12 fret until it meets resistance, play the string to see if it is flat, and repeat until the string relaxes out of tune very slowly. It only requires a few repetitions. Then I tune the string up a semitone and play the string until it relaxes into the correct note, rinse and repeat until the note stabilizes.

I do this for each string and takes about 30 - 40 minutes, depending on whether it is the 6 string or 7 string. The strings will continue to stabilize over the next two days, but only need retuning once a day.

I haven't had any neck bowing in any of my guitars, or problems with the bridge. It is important, though, to not keep pulling the string when you feel it resist. A new string will be in danger of breaking, and going past that point could potentially hurt the guitar over time if you do that every time, but the guitar is much stronger than your strings. I don't know the effects on very thin tops, however, as I've never owned a doubletop or lattice braced guitar.
198x Yamaha G 55-1 (fretless)
1999 Yairi CY110
2013 Milagro MRS7 7 string

Return to “Classical Guitar Classes”