Having a guitar is not just learning and playing songs, there are also a lot of things regarding the instrument as an entire assembled piece.
For instance, things such as correct preservation and proper maintenance should be known for every guitar player.
For experienced players, these aspects may be obvious but for those who are giving their first steps might be confusing.
Having said that, let’s discuss the question above and some others that may come up, should I tune my guitar every day? Is it useful? Will it be damaged?
In short, is quite normal to tune a guitar regularly, regardless of the quality of the instrument; you must do it every time you are going to play. In addition, tuning an instrument frequently could also help you develop your ear.
Of course, this is just the tip of the iceberg and there are more aspects we will cover through this article.
From how often is common to tune your guitar or if it can be damaged by tuning it to the problems that could cause your guitar to go out of tune.
How often is it normal to tune your guitar?
When you pick up your guitar the first thing you may do is tune it if necessary, so every time you want to play you will be tuning your instrument.
What is more, guitars could go out of tune while playing, mainly when you bend the strings.
Some experienced players can realize if the guitar needs to be tuned just by listening to but beginners could not notice the difference.
That’s why I suggest you check your guitar to adjust tuning every time you are going to play.
Is there something wrong with your guitar if you have to tune it every time?
If your instrument goes out of tune regularly or you have to tune it every time, it may be something working wrongly on it.
It is common for stringed instruments to go out of tune overnight or when kept in their case so, if you tune your guitar and it stays in tune there is probably nothing wrong with it.
However, if the guitar keeps going out of tune despite having recently tuned, it might have something wrong.
Some components could be damaged, old, or even inferior in terms of quality.
Why does a guitar go out of tune?
Although you may think that your guitar is spoiled because it doesn’t keep tuning, that wouldn’t be the only option, it could go out of tune due to different reasons.
First, it may sound obvious but if your strings are not broken in you will have poor tuning stability.
Another remarkable aspect could be the quality of the strings.
Low-quality strings are not always the best option because they don’t provide a good playing experience plus they don’t keep the desired tuning.
Climate changes not only affect the instrument but also its tuning, as they are wooden pieces temperature and humidity truly influence the tuning.
If you preserve your instruments in a cool environment and take them to play in a warmer place, it will cause tuning issues.
Following the previous concept, when you pick a guitar and the strings are cold, your hot hands heat them.
That will influence the strings making them dilate and altering their tensions resulting in tuning problems as well.
Can you damage your guitar by tuning it?
Some players think that they can damage their guitar just by tuning it but in fact, it is really unlikely to happen.
What does happen is that you can break your strings if you tune them up to the limit, surpassing the endured tension.
If you enjoy trying different tunings (drop D, standard Eb, standard D, etc.) what might happen to your instrument is that those changes will alter the guitar, resulting in tuning issues.
Strings tend to settle down to a certain tuning, and constantly changing it will not favor it.
Needless to say, it won’t be such a great problem but after some time doing it, you might notice that the tuning stability is not as good as if you stayed with a single tuning long term.
Finally, perhaps, your guitar might be damaged by the snap of a breaking string due to excessive tension when tuning up.
That snap could be in contact with the wood, chipping the paint and ruining it but it would be hard to happen.
Is it bad for the guitar to be kept out of tune?
Keeping your guitar out of tune is not necessarily something harmful to your instrument but is not a good thing to do either.
That is because if you keep it out of tune your guitar will be accustomed to that tension and it will give you a headache any time you want to tune it properly.
Besides, I would like to ask you something, why would you do that? There is no point in doing such a thing.
The guitar could end up having sound or tuning problems and unwanted noises or vibrations.
What is even worse, you might require to have the guitar serviced by a technician if the neck later fails to adjust properly to the “correct” tension and, although is not expensive at all, it will cost you some money.
Should you de-tune your guitar after playing?
Actually, you don’t need to de-tune your strings or loosen them when you are not playing.
Some players may think that would be useful to prevent the neck from supporting the tension, but this wouldn’t be required due to guitars are designed to withstand that.
Something to take into consideration is that, if you detune your instrument for long periods of time you could affect its setup.
As guitars are designed and set up to resist the normal string tension everything is balanced.
Furthermore, by releasing the tension on the neck, the wood is likely to bend in the opposite direction.
It would be something innocuous when changing a set of strings but keeping string tension off the neck for long periods will likely result in the loss of its current setup.
However, if you intend to store a guitar for an extended time, maybe some months, without playing it or changing strings it could be a good idea to detune it or reduce the tension.
That’s because constant tension over time plus harmful weather conditions could warp the neck of the instrument making it unplayable.
In any case, it would be nice to have the instrument serviced if you find issues with its playability.
Is it ok to leave your guitar tuned overnight?
Most guitarists will agree that leaving the guitar tuned overnight is completely normal and even quite helpful.
By doing that, your strings will be thankful because you are allowing them to settle into their proper tension which will be great to preserve the instrument in the long run.
My advice: leave it tuned, it will be not only helpful for the instrument but also for you.
Otherwise, you will find it harder to get a good tuning the next day and you will struggle with your guitar when you pick it up for playing.
Hello there, my name is Ramiro and I’ve been playing guitar for almost 20 years. I’m obsessed with everything gear-related and I thought it might be worth sharing it. From guitars, pedals, amps, and synths to studio gear and production tips, I hope you find what I post here useful, and I’ll try my best to keep it entertaining also.