Is learning how to stop guitar strings from slipping really that a big deal? Although there are many things to consider in maintaining a guitar, is mastering how to stop guitar strings from slipping on the top of the priority list? Let’s find out.
Guitar is one of the most maintenance-heavy instruments globally and is one of the most overlooked parts of its ownership. Acoustic guitars can last for more than ten years, while electric guitars can last for more than 20 to 30 years, but changing guitar strings usually takes only every 90 days or three months.
Guitar strings, when left unreplaced, can have bad repercussions for you. If the current strings you are using are already damaged, they can go out of tune while you are on performance, but they can also break easily, which is the worst case for any guitar player playing live.
Although replacing guitar strings can really be easy for most guitar players, others are also experiencing difficulty in replacing strings with their guitars, especially those who are still a novice in playing the guitar. Sometimes, the new strings slip from their tuning pegs when the restringing is not done correctly.
When a string slips from the tuning pegs, especially when you are performing, you can really expect for the worst. Your guitar can go out of tune after any of the strings slips away from its tuning peg. This will result in your guitar producing a horrible, annoying sound, which you will hate when you are in the middle of a performance.
Although this rarely happens for experienced guitar players, it does not mean it can’t happen, especially when the guitar used is not frequently and adequately maintained. This scenario usually happens to those who are still beginning how to use a guitar, which is why restringing and maintenance skills are very important to master in the early stages of learning how to play the guitar to avoid any problems in the future.
Why my guitar strings are slipping?
There are many possible reasons why your strings are slipping from the guitar’s tuning pegs. These things are essential to learning to avoid any problems like this in the future.
The first reason is that maybe screws in your guitar’s tuning pegs are starting to loosen. Every guitar tuning peg comes with a small screw that is used to hold it to the guitar. When the screw is tighter, there is more resistance when you are tuning the guitar. It also makes it more difficult for the strings to quickly pull the pegs loose.
So, when the screws in the pegs are a little loose, there is a possibility that the strings can slip in the guitar’s tuning pegs.
The second reason depends on how you tied your guitar strings. There are many ways to tie your guitar strings when you are replacing them with newer strings, but when it is wrongly done, there is a huge possibility that the guitar strings can slip out of the tuning pegs.
The third reason could be too much tension on the strings. When you frequently use a capo when playing and leave them on the guitar or forget to take them off for a very long time, it applies great pressure on your strings, resulting in greater tension on the pegs, which can cause your guitar strings to slip from it.
The fourth reason could be from the sudden environmental changes in your place. When it is too warm, the strings on your guitar will also expand and contract, and these changes can also change the tuning of your guitar. Because of the effects on the strings it can also cause them to slip out in their tuning pegs.
If your guitar is also exposed to too much humidity, the wood on your guitar can possibly warp or crack, and if the tuning pegs or the part surrounding them warps, it can also change the sound of the guitar, making it a little harder to tune.
The last possible reason could be that the guitar has old and worn-out strings. Frequent use of the strings will eventually make them loose and worn out for some time. Time will come that it will be impossible to tighten the strings without getting out of tune because they will keep stretching until they break.
How To Keep The Guitar Strings From Slipping Out Of The Tuning Pegs?
The first way to prevent the strings from slipping out of the tuning pegs is to tighten the screws in the pegs. If you want to tighten the screw, you will need a small screwdriver and a stable hand. Use an appropriately sized screwdriver to avoid any slip in the head, as it can also damage the head of the screw when you are using inappropriate screwdrivers.
When you tighten the screws, you should also consistently check the tension, as you should avoid tightening it to the point that it would be difficult to tighten or loosen the guitar’s strings. If you are not sure about what you are doing, it will be best to take your guitar to a highly skilled luthier to have them take a look at your guitar.
The second is to tie the strings to your guitar’s tuning pegs correctly. There are very many ways to tie your strings correctly, but one way is to place a few inches of the string to the hole, then bend the tail end up to 90 degrees. Next, you start to wrap the string around the peg at least three to four times to make sure that the tail is covered as you wrap the tuning peg.
This method is a great way to keep the guitar strings secure, as the bending and the wrapping will keep the tail in place, so it will not slip. Still, if you do not leave enough excess for the tail and the wrap around the tuning peg, there is a high possibility of slipping, as there is less security as there is less string to grip the peg.
The second is if you are also using capo, never forget to remove it from the guitar to avoid too much tension on the strings that can cause them to slip from the tuning pegs.
Next, if you live in areas with high humidity, then it is necessary for you to use a humidity control tool to where you are storing your guitar, like your room. You can also use materials like silica gel or charcoal packs and put them in your guitar’s hard case or gig bag to help maintain the humidity inside.
The last is always to remember to replace your old, worn-out strings. It is also highly recommended to use lower gauge strings to have a lower tension in your tuning pegs.
Overall, learning how to stop guitar strings from slipping is an essential skill that guitar players should know, especially those who are still inexperienced. Imagine if any of your guitar strings slipped out of the guitar’s tuning peg during a live performance just because you did not take care of it; what an embarrassment to you that would be.
This is why mastering the ways on how to stop guitars from slipping is really important for all guitar players.