Multiple tunings - one guitar

Siddiq

New Member
Joined
May 3, 2016
Messages
57
Hey guys, I have a Tremonti WL Trem with 10’s that I tune from standard to drop c and half steps in between. Sometimes to Open D tuning down a half step as well.
Basically to play alter bridge songs.
I usually just tune to pitch and play, change the tuning a few days after to play a new song etc.
Is there anything I should be doing to keep my guitar from becoming unstable in the long run? (Truss rod adjustment /trem screws/ springs / not changing the tuning etc?) is there something I’m doing wrong by just tuning on the fly and playing ?

thanks for your advice . Sorry if this is silly
 

dogrocketp

I drank the PRS kool aid, and it was tasty!
Joined
Apr 28, 2013
Messages
4,094
Location
Washington, DC
If you change one string, or something similar, it should be fine. If you change from E to E flat tuning, the trem springs will be presented with a different amount of tension to react to. That will usually cause the guitar to go out of tune rather quickly. This doesn’t hurt the neck or the trem, but may hurt my ears if I’m listening and you’re out of tune.
 

Siddiq

New Member
Joined
May 3, 2016
Messages
57
If you change one string, or something similar, it should be fine. If you change from E to E flat tuning, the trem springs will be presented with a different amount of tension to react to. That will usually cause the guitar to go out of tune rather quickly. This doesn’t hurt the neck or the trem, but may hurt my ears if I’m listening and you’re out of tune.

actually it takes a few turns to get the tuning dead on, but once it’s done, the guitar stays in tune perfectly …

will a stoptail be more suitable to fiddling around with multiple tunings all day?
Note I don’t use the trem… lol
Thanks a lot for your responses
 

alantig

Zombie Four, DFZ
Joined
Apr 28, 2012
Messages
12,699
A stoptail is probably easier to tune since you shouldn't have to retune all the strings, but if you're good with doing the tuning on a trem, go for it.

There is no right way or wrong way, as long as it works for you.
 

alantig

Zombie Four, DFZ
Joined
Apr 28, 2012
Messages
12,699

I used to know the exact number, but the studio version of this has something like 160+ tuning changes. Breathtakingly beautiful as well - not just a novelty thing. One of my great joys in life was getting to see Michael play this live.

One of the times I met him was at a festival at Kent State (got to meet Arlo Guthrie there as well). My buddy and I were talking to Michael, who'd played a set accompanying a guitarist and got to play one of his solo songs, I believe. While we were talking, this girl came up to us, looked at Michael and said, "Hey, aren't you the guy was playing bass a little bit ago?" He said he was, and completely unironically, she said, "You should stick with it. You're pretty good."
 

Siddiq

New Member
Joined
May 3, 2016
Messages
57
Thank you for your advice! Are their really major tonal differences between the two bridges ?
Like I’m trying to figure why one would choose one over the other ? Obvious besides not needing a trem, why would you go for a stop tail etc? (Can elect to just not use the trem). I’m trying to gather info to decide on my next WL. Forgive me. I know I want a stoptail, I just don’t know why as yet !
 

alantig

Zombie Four, DFZ
Joined
Apr 28, 2012
Messages
12,699
Thank you for your advice! Are their really major tonal differences between the two bridges ?
Like I’m trying to figure why one would choose one over the other ? Obvious besides not needing a trem, why would you go for a stop tail etc? (Can elect to just not use the trem). I’m trying to gather info to decide on my next WL. Forgive me. I know I want a stoptail, I just don’t know why as yet !

I can't say I've noticed huge tonal differences between the two, but I've never compared two otherwise similar guitars to see if I notice a difference between the bridges. The trem will give you a bit of an 'onboard' reverb with the resonance in the springs - it's one of the things David Grissom talked about when the DGT came out.

Benefits of the stoptail? It's maybe a bit easier to tune (although I think one tends to adjust pretty quickly to tuning a trem). Bending a string doesn't take other strings out of tune, although again, I think a player can adjust to that and compensate (another thing Grissom has talked about). If you break a string, the rest of the guitar doesn't go out of tune.

Benefits of a trem? Well, it's a trem! They just fun! And you get to tell people you just got a new wang bar (okay, so I haven't advanced past that level...).

I'm generally a trem guy, although I'm not a big trem user - very little in terms of dives, etc. But just about every time I think maybe I don't need one, I find myself reaching for it.
 

Siddiq

New Member
Joined
May 3, 2016
Messages
57
Thank you man! Most of the guitars I’ve seen are all trem.. I’m GASsing for a cu22/24 with rosewood neck and paua inlays! In blue or green finish! I guess maybe a stoptail would be a nice thing since I wanna use this guitar in low tunings!
 

alantig

Zombie Four, DFZ
Joined
Apr 28, 2012
Messages
12,699
You're welcome. I figure, if you're not going to use the trem and you don't get much out of the reverb feeling, you might as well go stoptail. But w/the trem, once you get it tweaked in a lower tuning, it's stable. There are lots of folks who played downtuned trems (to various degrees of downtuning). It's more a hassle if you're changing a lot. But it's like anything else - once you get the hang of it, you can do it pretty quickly. Michael Hedges used to do it w/an acoustic before he had someone changing his tunings and switching guitars between songs.
 

Siddiq

New Member
Joined
May 3, 2016
Messages
57
You're welcome. I figure, if you're not going to use the trem and you don't get much out of the reverb feeling, you might as well go stoptail. But w/the trem, once you get it tweaked in a lower tuning, it's stable. There are lots of folks who played downtuned trems (to various degrees of downtuning). It's more a hassle if you're changing a lot. But it's like anything else - once you get the hang of it, you can do it pretty quickly. Michael Hedges used to do it w/an acoustic before he had someone changing his tunings and switching guitars between songs.
Thank you man! I feel much comfortable now looking for another prs given that it may be a trem!
Was very concerned that it may affect the neck and the trem system flipping between tunings so often!

Thank you!
 
Top