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View Full Version : Whammy bars and guitars getting out of tune


Dafydd
07-31-2009, 09:45 PM
My brother has an electric guitar that neither of us can play to save our lives, but I think it sounds really really bad no matter what I do. It seems impossible to play in tune, even when on the same string. I don't think the frets are out of place, but it seems the harder you push the strings down between two frets, the higher the pitch gets. Sound familiar? The damned thing has a whammy bar, but even when not used, even when unscrewed and unattached to the guitar the whole bridge/saddle section of the guitar moves as you press down the strings between frets. Does this happen on all electric guitars, or only the ones with whammy bars? Can the bridge normally be fixed so it doesn't move, only this is a particularily crappy guitar so it can't be done on this one? I'm considering getting a guitar of my own so I can finally start learning to play, but if it's going to behave like his does, I think it's a lost cause.

I never had this happen to me using an acoustic, by the way. I'm assuming it doesn't happen on every electric guitar and that people who play it don't always press down the strings equally hard with each finger, that on their guitars the strings don't get out of tune with each other and themselves because they press too hard, but I feel like I have to ask. Again, never had this happen on an acoustic.

audio fidelity
07-31-2009, 09:50 PM
floating bridges are the worse - you can pay a luthier to block them to help with intonation

as for the frets - bad frets may be in order but keep in mind that guitars are naturally out of tune - not by much - you need to make sure to go in and intonate your guitar correctly and as for playing you gotta watch if your bending strings while your playing chords

Nekofrog
07-31-2009, 10:22 PM
Sounds like you got a guitar that had a cheap licensed Floyd Rose trem on it. If you're going to get a tremmed guitar, there are specific things to look for. You want an Original Floyd Rose, a good Schaller, or one of Ibanez's many fantastic Edge/Lo Pro Edge/Edge Pro trems. Anything else is almost always pure crap.

So yeah, string bending, fretting (depending on the action) will cause you to detune a little bit on a cheap tremmed guitar.

Sorry man :(

The only option would be to block the trem somehow. Maybe a tremol-no

DusK
08-01-2009, 01:48 AM
String locks help. They help a lot on my friend's Schecter Damien, anyway.

Lunahorum
08-01-2009, 04:33 AM
don't get a trem unless you already have a normal good guitar already. They are a pain in the ass and you use them once in a blue moon (although they are cooler then hell).

all guitars rise in pitch f you press the strings too hard or rest your hand on the floating bridge too hard. Also make sure the 12th fret and the natural harmonic there are perfectly in tune.

Dafydd
08-01-2009, 03:39 PM
So basically, cheap guitars with whammy bars are crap. So why do they make so many cheap guitars with whammy bars??? It's not like whoever knows how to use one properly would buy a cheap guitar. Meh. It's too bad, because I was really considering getting one of those guitars with USB output, and they all have whammy bars and are cheap. Recording guitars via the mic input on your computer always adds so much fuzz and hum to the recording...

Cuda
08-17-2009, 08:01 PM
Shove a 9volt on the trem....Seriously Ive seen it done.

I have an Ibby RG7620, no nut locks, but then it stays in tune when I abuse it and dive a whole step. Bending doesn't detune the other strings too badly. It's more in the matching string gauges with your trem's spring tensions. You want some springs that aren't crazy tight, with some decent give. Break them in by taking one spring off for a day, then put it back on, take another off, let the ones still holding stretch and break in good. New guitars always have super tense springs.

However, if someone were to tune your 7 string way up or something crazy, it's very hard to get it back into tune. Someone screwed with my guitar this weekend before a show, so lesson learned, get a tremol-no. If I can find one, sheesh.

Nekofrog
08-17-2009, 11:27 PM
Huzzah, another 7 string user. I have a 7621 (but in the past have owned a 7620, 3 7421s, and 3 other 7621s).

Soon enough I'm going to get a UV7bk, my dream 7.

Cuda
08-18-2009, 11:52 AM
Love a 7 string, won't have another 6 string ever. Just put another 620 on layaway at a pawn shop today. lol, gotta have a stage backup >.>

Yeah I want a UV7, but kinda leaning towards the Rusty Cooley dean for price reasons. Kinda torn between them. I don't like active pickups on a guitar, bass is fine though.I plan to slap a tremol-no on my older 620, and try out other stuff on my newer one when I pay it off.

I like the trems on the Ibbys, I don't bother with the bar, just press it down with my palm. I like the feel and response better, but that's just crazy cuda for ya.

Fishy
08-18-2009, 12:14 PM
Huzzah, another 7 string user. I have a 7621 (but in the past have owned a 7620, 3 7421s, and 3 other 7621s).

Soon enough I'm going to get a UV7bk, my dream 7.

I thought that was my dream 7 also but check out the JP7 if you haven't yet, it might change your mind (and thats coming from an ibanez fanboy). I still want both.

Nekofrog
08-18-2009, 02:36 PM
I thought that was my dream 7 also but check out the JP7 if you haven't yet, it might change your mind (and thats coming from an ibanez fanboy). I still want both.

Oh, I'm well aware of the JP7, it's just way beyond my price range :(

Fishy
08-19-2009, 10:26 AM
Yeah its so much. The UV is far enough out of my price range to begin with.

My housemate at uni has one. I have severe 7-envy :(.

Cuda
08-20-2009, 10:19 PM
Look into Agiles. They seem to be all the rage these days. Pretty nice and affordable guitars.

Sixto
08-20-2009, 10:39 PM
UV7's a nice guitar. I was never able to get used to mine or any 7 string, though. For alot of people, it's just too much of a change from a 6 stringer and it's almost like learning a new instrument.

Cuda
08-21-2009, 08:03 PM
UV7's a nice guitar. I was never able to get used to mine or any 7 string, though. For alot of people, it's just too much of a change from a 6 stringer and it's almost like learning a new instrument.

I guess I'm a freak, This year, I went from a 4 string bass, to a 5 in January, then 2 months later a 6 string guitar, then 3 months later a 7. I played an 8 string ESP at Sam Ash and had no trouble with that either.

I need more strings >.>

melody
09-17-2009, 07:43 AM
don't get a trem unless you already have a normal good guitar already. They are a pain in the ass and you use them once in a blue moon (although they are cooler then hell).

all guitars rise in pitch f you press the strings too hard or rest your hand on the floating bridge too hard. Also make sure the 12th fret and the natural harmonic there are perfectly in tune.
this is completely off topic but

your sig is awesome

jabond23
09-17-2009, 10:19 PM
I've always wanted a 7 string do i don't have to tune my 6 down to b. Just sounds easier. Then again, i've never actually played one.