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GIbson ES 335 - G String Tuning Issues

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  • GIbson ES 335 - G String Tuning Issues

    Great guitar, sound ..... but the G string just won't stay in tune. It goes sharp most of the time. These are the self locking tuners, so I'm pretty sure that stringing technique is not the issue (all the other strings stay in tune fine, with the exception of the B sometimes) ...

    Anyone have any ideas of what I can do about this? If I need to have a guitar tech look at this, feel free to suggest someone good in the Nassau/Queens area.
    Originally Posted by critter cam

    Hey! I resemble that remark!

  • #2
    It is probably the nut slot. Most tuning issues with strings going sharp are caused by this. If you feel comfortable, try filing the slot just a little bit bigger. I always take pencil graphite and shave a little off into the slot for extra lubrication and that does the trick for me.


    • #3
      This worked wonders for my SG Standard.

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      • #4
        In had the same problem on my ES- 335. Get the nut slot filed a bit wider and you're good to go.
        - Gibson ES-335
        - Gibson Hummingbird
        - Fender Strat MIM
        - Ovation Tangent & Tangent Bass
        - Vox AC15C1 - British Racing Green


        Originally Posted by GreatDane

        the player plays, but the instrument should inspire.


        • #5

          I have owned seven gibsons ( LES PAul, SG), and I have played 335's. Each of these guitars have the same thing in common. I have over the years returned all of them back to the dealer because of the same issue.

          I always liked the quality of the Gibson outside of the tuning issue. Most dealers know what the problem is, but the threat of void warranties from Gibson keeps them from making suggestions that would alter the guitar.

          Long story short. After my own reasearch, and working with the local guitar Techs on my last purchase,we found two issues readliy assignable to this problem, both curable.

          When you are tuning, if you hear a ping as you are tuning up or down, this is a problem with a burr in the saddle, although it can be in the nut as well.

          You can clean have an exoerienced tach clean it, or you can try to use the pencil trick, but it will just come back in short order. The answer is for both nut and saddle is to replace , first, the saddles with graphite saddles, like those offerred by TUSQ. The saddle has been foudn to be the most prevalent and most frequent issue in our case. The string travels the greatest distance at the bridge when being struck by a pick and rides up the saddle. The V shape of the saddle is desgined to guide the string back to center. But burrs develop in teh sadlle and the string gets caugh t up on it leaving the G string( most used string in rock an roll) on it.

          The other issue, almost the same, is where the nut has (appraenlty) not been properly hollowed at the factory to relieve and guide the the string back to center. The headstock desing also puts a normal force against the nut alwas cutting in to it. Strraight head stock designs, like fender, rarely, if ever , have this issue.

          In both cases , as you play with alternate or down stoke picking, the string rides up the ramp of the saddle or nut, most often the saddle and gets hooked on a burr.

          What you will notice with a tuer is that the G has gone sharpe, not flat.

          If it is always going flat, this is likley a string issue. Seldom are the tuners the problem.


          I attached this issues with a Derik Truck SG. I had the tuners replaced with locking heads. Problem still there. I had the nut hollowed out. Problem still there. Changes to graphite saddles. Problem gone.

          The thing to always realize, is that any fix, given enough time to wear, will likely fail again, like your brakes on your car. So periodic change of the saddles every four to five years wouldnt be a bad bit of maintenance.





          • Pine Apple Slim
            Pine Apple Slim commented
            Editing a comment

            Poorly cut nut. I would take it to somebody good, prob a tech or luthier known to be very good with acoustics and have a properly cut brand new bone nut installed.

            Its never the tuners.