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David Biggers


From:
Texas, USA
Post  Posted 4 Dec 2019 9:46 am    
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Steel guitar tuning issue when try to play on a cold stage 42 degrees with forced air heaters blowing across the stage.
Up 3 % and down 4%
up 4% and down 3%
up 3% and down 4%
Over and over.
What do you guys do ???
I know there must be some kind of a formula
other than playing out of tune.
I was playing my Carter SD 10.
Metal neck

Please let me know.
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Ian Rae


From:
Redditch, England
Post  Posted 4 Dec 2019 12:14 pm    
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Sounds like a lot of turbulence causing marked temperature fluctuations. All I can thing of is to try to insulate the pull rods somehow from the warm gusts. This is purely theoretical as I've never had to deal with anything so severe, but maybe a piece of foam cut to fit underneath?
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richard burton


From:
Britain
Post  Posted 4 Dec 2019 12:32 pm    
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Play a ZB.
ZB's are tuned at the changer, so any expansion /contraction of the pull-rods is immaterial
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Erv Niehaus


From:
Litchfield, MN, USA
Post  Posted 4 Dec 2019 12:35 pm    
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The same with Emmons p/p's. Very Happy
Erv
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Fred Treece


From:
California, USA
Post  Posted 4 Dec 2019 12:50 pm    
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Ian Rae wrote:
Sounds like a lot of turbulence causing marked temperature fluctuations. All I can thing of is to try to insulate the pull rods somehow from the warm gusts. This is purely theoretical as I've never had to deal with anything so severe, but maybe a piece of foam cut to fit underneath?

That’s a really good idea. Maybe some small diameter foam pipe insulation could fit around the pedal rods too. Might look kinda funny, and might change the feel of the pedals. But it probably already feels odd playing in those conditions.

Sounds like a really horrible gig Whoa!
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Erv Niehaus


From:
Litchfield, MN, USA
Post  Posted 4 Dec 2019 1:41 pm    
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I don't know how to handle the fluctuations in temps. but it was said that Buddy Emmons used to take a hair dryer and warmed up the bottom side of his pedal steel. Very Happy
Erv
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Ian Rae


From:
Redditch, England
Post  Posted 4 Dec 2019 1:54 pm    
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Fred, the pedal rods don't come into it.
Erv, the hair drier warm-up demonstrates how sensitive the pull rods are.
Richard, I don't like the all-pull principle where the tuning stability depends on a scrap of nylon, but the world needs it and the builders have made it work, at least under civilised circumstances
Smile
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Lee Baucum


From:
McAllen, Texas (Extreme South) The Final Frontier
Post  Posted 4 Dec 2019 4:31 pm    
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I remember being set up right under an a/c vent on a stage one night. The strings on my Emmons push/pull were constantly going sharp and flat, depending on whether the a/c was on or off. The cold air was blowing straight down on the guitar.

In this case I'm sure it was an issue with the strings.
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Ian Rae


From:
Redditch, England
Post  Posted 4 Dec 2019 4:41 pm    
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In that situation with the downdraft the strings would catch it for sure.
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Bobby D. Jones


From:
West Virginia, USA
Post  Posted 4 Dec 2019 11:40 pm     Steel guitar tuning issue
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If it is hot or cold a steel guitar will stabilize and can be tuned and stay close to tune. But if you get a change in temperature every few minutes the guitar will come and go in and out of tune.
Try to pick a place on stage where there is no big temperature change to set up, Or place something to block the offending blow of heat or cold away form your guitar.
Good Luck in finding a cure for this problem, Happy Steelin.
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Rick Abbott


From:
Indiana, USA
Post  Posted 5 Dec 2019 6:48 am    
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The last time I ran in to that issue I found no way of staying in tune. I was forced to simplify my playing as much as I could and try to use 2-note "chords" that I could hold in tune by ear. It's hard work, but by the end of the night I was doing it with little effort. I was playing an old Sho~Bud at the time. When I played Carters they seemed to me to be much more sensitive to hot and cold issues. Just my opinion, I'm sure others would disagree.

That's not an answer to your tuning, sorry. I have noticed that keeping my hands on the strings helps a little. When I tune up in the cold I rub the strings lengthwise 5-10 times and tune. When they get cold they change. When they warm up from having my hands on them during play they move back towards the tuning I set before. Tricky problem!
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Donny Hinson


From:
Glen Burnie, Md. U.S.A.
Post  Posted 5 Dec 2019 7:55 am    
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Set up, and then let the guitar acclimate to the room temperature for about 10 minutes. Then, just play the guitar, and stop looking at the tuner. Some players will get very frustrated at things that don't matter much. A few cents here or there doesn't matter a hill o' beans, once the bar hits the strings. Rick's advice (above) is also invaluable. Learn to play in tune. It's much easier if you're not constantly wrestling with the tuners.

Below is an example of Buddy Emmons playing a guitar that's very obviously out of tune, and he's obviously frustrated. But, rather that stopping and tuning, he just goes on playing the thing, doing the best he can. That's exactly what a real "trouper" does!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tFuYmuZpFiw
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Jerry Overstreet


From:
Louisville Ky
Post  Posted 6 Dec 2019 10:36 am    
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I'd be very surprised to find the pull rods are causing any fluctuations.

It's probably the strings that are most subject to temp changes so it wouldn't matter which build of guitar you are playing.

I have experienced this condition on more than one brand.

Regardless, there's not anything one can do in this situation but power through and hope for a better environment next time.
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Dick Wood


From:
Springtown Texas, USA
Post  Posted 6 Dec 2019 10:48 am    
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This should do it. Jest slather some unnerneathe yer gitar.


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James Flaherty


From:
California, USA
Post  Posted 9 Dec 2019 11:31 pm    
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Instead of playing a full chord (3 or more strings) just play an interval that uses only 2 strings. My favorites are 3 & 5 and 5 & 6.
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