#1 Reason Why Your Guitar Keeps Going Out Of Tune

tuning Sep 27, 2023



If you're a guitar player, you know how frustrating it can be when your beloved instrument goes out of tune frequently. Tuning your guitar is essential to producing great music, and an out-of-tune guitar can lead to a terrible playing experience. But fear not! In this blog post, we will delve into the number one reason behind your guitar's tuning issues and explore a simple technique to keep your guitar sounding pitch-perfect.

The Problem: Tuning Up or Down?

The critical aspect that often leads to guitars going out of tune is the way they are tuned. Many players unknowingly make a common mistake: they tune their guitar either up or down to reach the desired pitch. But professionals, including guitarists and symphony players, know the secret to maintaining proper tuning.

The Solution: Tuning Up to the Note

The correct method of tuning your guitar involves tuning up to the desired note, not down. Let's understand why this is crucial for keeping your guitar in tune.

The Mechanics of a Guitar String

A guitar string is wrapped around the tuning peg and then passes through the back of the guitar, often through a tremolo system or tailpiece. When you pluck a string, it vibrates between the saddle and the nut, producing the sound. However, there is some extra string length beyond the saddle, leading to potential tuning issues.

Demonstrating the Problem

Imagine we have a slightly out-of-tune guitar. When we pluck a string, we can observe that it's flat. Although tuning up helps, there is often still some slack left in the string, affecting the tuning.

The Solution: Giving the String a Tug

To resolve this issue, we need to give the string a slight tug after tuning it up to pitch. This tug removes any slack in the string, ensuring a more stable and accurate tuning. Pluck the string again after the tug, and you'll notice that it’s often flat.  Doing this until it no longer goes flat will remove the “slack” from the string helping with tuning stability.

Applying the Tug Technique to All Strings

Go through each string, applying the tug technique as needed. With practice, you'll master this process, and your guitar will stay in tune for longer periods.

Factors That Affect String Stretch

New strings will stretch more, requiring frequent tugs during the tuning process. However, as strings age and break in, they will need fewer adjustments. Additionally, drastic temperature changes can impact string tension, leading to potential tuning problems.

Using the Tug Technique in Different Situations

In live performances, studio recordings, or even casual jam sessions, the tug technique can be a lifesaver. It allows you to quickly fine-tune your guitar without having to rely solely on the tuning pegs.


Your guitar going out of tune is a common issue faced by many players. The number one reason behind this problem is the way you tune your guitar. Remember to always tune up to the desired note, and apply the simple tug technique to remove any slack in the strings. With a little practice, you'll find that your guitar stays in tune much better, enabling you to focus on creating beautiful music without constant tuning distractions. So, give your guitar some love, keep it in tune, and rock on!


Start Your Journey: Get started today with my Build a Solid Foundation mini-course!
Click Here to Get Started