Ham fisted idiot with a new guitar needs advice

Discussion in 'Electric Instruments' started by Peet, Jan 8, 2018.

  1. Peet

    Peet New Member

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    I have no experience with an electric. I have an acoustic I bought 35 years ago that sat for 30 years and I started playing again 18 months ago. I never was "Good" and still am not. The acoustic strings are 10's and the action is low. It plays great and holds a tune really well.
    Since I'm an old fool that can't really play, I bought the Double Cut Standard SE 24. I don't really know what's normal for an electric. I've found that I'm a bit heavy handed for this guitar and I'm working on that. I'm not sure of exact cause. The PRS is strung with 9's and I don't know if the heavy hand is caused by the 9's, or that it's an electric, or a combination of the two and exacerbated by my proficiency.
    The PRS doesn't stay in tune compared to my acoustic. I can play my acoustic for an hour and find a string or two barely flat. On this electric I can play for 10 minutes and find a string or 2 or 3 flat. I did stretch the strings and like any new toy, I've spent quite a bit of time playing. Is this caused by me, a new guitar, a bridge with a trem, factory strings, tuning machines or the fact that it's low end guitar? I haven't even used the tremolo and probably never will.
     
  2. Huggy B

    Huggy B Mmmm... nitrates.

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    You'll find an electric is almost a completely different animal when it comes to playing and adjusting things but still tunes under the same principles, if that makes any sense. As for going out of tune and "factory strings", I would restring it, if it still has tuning stability problems get with a guitar tech/repair person to determine if there is any specific reason.
     
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  3. LSchefman

    LSchefman Hears Tones

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    It’s typical that an electric guitar will need retuning after a few minutes of play, especially with new strings, and especially with light gauges.

    All you need to do is see superb pros on stage tuning between songs - as they inevitably do - to realize this is very common, and isn’t really a problem.

    Get a pedal tuner, and make the tuning adjustments you need to make. Don’t worry about it.
     
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  4. Peet

    Peet New Member

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    Thanks guys. I have noticed pros constantly tuning, but their guitars/strings are subjected to extreme conditions compared to my level of play.
     
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  5. bodia

    bodia Authorities said.....best leave it.....unsolved

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    One quick upgrade on the SE line that will,have a major impact on tuning is the nut. Lots of guys order a Core nut from PRS and have it installed (or do it themselves). Makes a big difference.
     
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  6. dogrocketp

    dogrocketp I drank the PRS kool aid, and it was tasty!

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    I'm just gonna say yes........
     
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  7. Herr Squid

    Herr Squid I was severely impressed

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    If you're used to playing acoustic exclusively, you're going to have to be pretty dainty on an electric strung with 9's! Those electric strings probably feel like rubber bands under your fingers...
     
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  8. rmg471

    rmg471 New Member

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    Hey, @Peet. I don’t know how familiar you are with tweaking the setup on an Electric with a tremolo (which should really be called a vibrato), but here’s a nice starting point to go through and make sure the guitar is setup to your preferences.

    P.S.: I always find new electric players have the most trouble with tremolo equipped guitars, because it’s so tempting to grab the bar and go to town. Unfortunately, if you don’t have a good setup and a well-cut nut, you end up out of tune. If you plan to never use the tremolo, then I would recommend decking the bridge and taking that variable out of the equation.

     
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  9. AP515

    AP515 Mostly Normal

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    I have found that the tuning often is due more to temperature differences than anything else. The body warms up as it is laying against you. once it is up to temperature, I don't have to re-tune often.
     
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  10. Iceman101

    Iceman101 There's always room for one more.....

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    Bodia's right. Change the nut. If you use the trem get some locking tuners also. Perhaps ad another spring and change to 10's (the nut is cut for 09's). Good luck :cool:
     
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  11. DreamTheaterRules

    DreamTheaterRules New and improved member

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    Before you change it, at least lube it, and the saddles.
     
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  12. JoeDirt

    JoeDirt New Member

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    I also have the SE Standard 24 which I bought last year. I changed the nut on mine myself, which is fairly easy to do. As far as tuning stability it got really good when I finally took it to a good setup guy. As far as the tremolo goes, if you don't use it then block it. I only go down, not up so I have mine blocked one way. You've got a really good guitar there, it just needs to be tweaked a little.
     
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  13. Peet

    Peet New Member

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    At this point I feel better about the purchase. It looks like my concerns aren't specific to MY guitar. I'm going to play it for a few months to get familiar with it and talk to a shop about a setup. Based on the information here, I'll have an idea what direction to go in. PRS says all the SE models come equipped with 9's. Do many folks use 9's on electrics? Considering I haven't had it a week, I'll restring and lube the nut and saddle for now.
    Thanks for sharing your knowledge and experience.
     
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  14. ScottR

    ScottR If nobody saw it, it didn't happen.

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    Sage advice from all the guys here for sure! I recently went from an SE custom 24 to a SE SC with no Trem...I had my nut replaced and stepped up to 10's, and man I love this thing! I never had any tuning issues with my 24. I read a lot about the inherent nut/tuning issues prior to my purchase. I took it to a tech, he did a proper set-up, cleaned the nut up and lubed it with graphite and outside of the occasional (normal) tuning it was flawless! Bottom line is...you have (IMHO) one of the finest guitars made today, especially at this price point. Enjoy it!
     
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  15. rmg471

    rmg471 New Member

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    I play 9s on my custom 24 and 10s on my 594s. After hanging on the wall for a week, they are all always sharp. This normal.
     
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  16. dmatthews

    dmatthews Dave's not here...

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    I am heavy handed as well. As a rhythm player I love "digging in" and using the pick to get either light or heavy chording depending on the need.
    I started out with 9s for strings, but am much happier with 10s because they take a beating better.
    I'm also slightly happier with a stoptail for the same reason, but the PRS trem is great.
    What amp are you using? Try turning up the volume just a tad, and backing off the hard hitting for a bit.
    Get used to the dynamics of the guitar and pickups, it's a great axe!
     
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  17. Boogie

    Boogie SuperD

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    Don’t feel bad, lots of us beat the @#$* out our guitars. :oops: Consider a bigger gauge string (even, maybe, 11s) but it just takes time and practice. Clamping your hand too hard and knocking things out of tune is common coming from an acoustic and you just need to relax that hand. Give it some time...
     
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  18. Peet

    Peet New Member

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    I'm in the 60 year old sh!ty guitar players club :) Being a novice, and sh!ty one at that, my heavy hand is on the frets. I can control single notes, but I apply too much pressure on chords.
     
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  19. YEM

    YEM New Member

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    Great first post. I laughed!

    I still had tuning issues with 9’s despite fixing everything else. Changing to 10’s was the best thing I ever did. And shouldn’t be hard for you coming from an acoustic.
     
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  20. mad monk

    mad monk Your father's Oldsmobile

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    Also, if you're used to resting your right hand on the bridge of your acoustic (like me), you may be placing a bit of pressure on the bridge. That can cause the variance. It took me a while to get comfortable keeping my palm off the bridge.
     
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