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Thread: Mandolin will not stay in tune

  1. #1

    Default Mandolin will not stay in tune

    I bought a new Eastman MD315 last Aug and decided to put new strings on it in Jan. Everything was good until this week when I can't seem to get it in tune and when I do it goes out of tune very quickly.

    I am taking lessons and playing it for an hour every day. I have humidity packs in the case and I keep it in the case when I am not playing.

    I am using light strings.

    Do you think I just need to change the strings or is something else going on?

  2. #2
    Registered User QCS's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mandolin will not stay in tune

    One thing you did not mention is, to what degree it goes out of tune. Are we talking about a little adjustment before playing or is it totally whacked out on a daily basis. Do a close inspection of your instrument, paying close attention to the tuning machines and bridge and tailpiece. String height changed any? I had a tail piece pull out of a Dobro slowly, during a gig. Retuned a few times without noticing that it was coming out, then catastrophic failure. Lesson learned. Be sure to mention this to your instructor and get their thoughts. Why the light gauge strings? That Eastman can certainly handle J74s or J75s. Might be part of your problem. I have never had any use for light gauge myself. Good luck with it and keep up with the practice.

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  4. #3
    Registered User CWRoyds's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mandolin will not stay in tune

    Personally, I would put Mediums on, as they give a better tone than lights on an F5, but that is just my preference.

    Seeing as the strings are already 3 months old, I would suggest it is time to change the strings.
    As strings age they get wonky and do weird things.

    I change my strings every two weeks generally, but change every week if I am playing a lot.
    I can let them go a month if I am playing less, but then I really feel the need to change, especially if I have problems keeping them in tune.
    Three months is a long time to keep strings IMHO.

    Some people love to keep strings on for years, until they are rusty and eventually disintegrate and break.
    I dont understand that way of thinking, but to each his own, as they say.
    Mandolins: Northfield 5-Bar Artist Model "Old Dog", J Bovier F5 Special, Gibson A-00 (1940)
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  6. #4

    Default Re: Mandolin will not stay in tune

    Thanks QCS.

    I chose lights at the recommendation of Susan Gilchrist of Peghead nation while I tried their beginners course.

    The strings go out of tune very slightly, but with 2 strings per note it is very noticeable. It is mostly on the higher A and E strings.

    Since we all have to stay at home for at least the next month, my instructor won't have a chance to look at it.

  7. #5
    Phil Goodson Philphool's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mandolin will not stay in tune

    See frets.com
    Scroll down the page to 'restringing.'
    Always tune UP to pitch.
    Phil

    “Sharps/Flats” “Accidentals”

  8. #6
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    Default Re: Mandolin will not stay in tune

    Well you are playing an hour a day for 3 months, I would say put some new strings on.
    THE WORLD IS A BETTER PLACE JUST FOR YOUR SMILE!

  9. #7

    Default Re: Mandolin will not stay in tune

    Quote Originally Posted by pops1 View Post
    Well you are playing an hour a day for 3 months, I would say put some new strings on.
    That was my first thought.

  10. #8

    Default Re: Mandolin will not stay in tune

    New strings are as close to a silver bullet magic solution as it gets. I know it is time to change strings when I can't get the thing in tune. Then I play like that for a month, finally break down and change strings, and then think, 'huh, shouda done that a month ago.'

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  12. #9

    Default Re: Mandolin will not stay in tune

    Put plenty string on. Have it wound round the machinehead about 5 times at least. Heavier strings stay in tuen better I reckon. New strings take time and quite likely to still be stretching. I prefer to keep strinhs on for 3-4 months. I then get them mellow and don;t ant to change them but I have friends who cha ge every 2-3 weeks.

    Make certain the bridge is 100% in right posotion by using tuner if your ear is not good.

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