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The Fabled Les Paul/Gibson tuning issues?

El Gringo

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 8, 2015
Messages
4,482
All I can say is that in my experience, of over 25 years of playing gibsons, owning and gigging about 20 of them, from Melody Makers to LPs, 335s and Vs, plus hundreds of the ones we build in our workshop with similar headstocks and tuners layout ; tuning issues are non existant as long as nuts are cut properly and strings mounted and STRETCHED properly. Stretching is in capitals because I believe it is the most important and oftentimes the most neglected.
Only tuning issues I had were with un-stretched strings and/or dead strings.
Applies just the same for Fender or Fender style guitars. Any guitar actually. My Rickenbaker 360 was the same.
So much common sense right here in your post that often gets overlooked or down right ignored . I mean this is basic 101 of guitar playing yet some get all hurt and rant about trivial nonsense .
 

wild.joz

Active member
Joined
Mar 19, 2008
Messages
1,928
So much common sense right here in your post that often gets overlooked or down right ignored . I mean this is basic 101 of guitar playing yet some get all hurt and rant about trivial nonsense .
Agreed 100%.
Best investment a guitarist can make, other than a good guitar, amp, and cable, is Stew Mac’s book and a few basic tools. Read it, learn it, do your setups properly and STFU! 😜
Or hang around at a nice luthier workshop if there’s one nearby and learn by watching. Pay him/her a beer now and then, that won’t hurt.
best way to learn and save money in the long run.

It’s unbelievable how someone with a quite successful YouTube channel, a bunch of subscribers etc… can trick listeners/watchers, into believing so much crap and that these are design flaws. Get a Floyd rose with a locking nut and be done with it! 🙄 (and with the Floyd, there goes another shitload of setup/tuning issues 🤣🤣🤣)
 

Angeldeville

New member
Joined
Apr 17, 2021
Messages
12
a set of nut/saddle files and problem fixed on all of your stringed instruments.

I guess there are peeeples that drive cars and can't fill up the gas tank, check the oil or change a tire.
 

El Gringo

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 8, 2015
Messages
4,482
Agreed 100%.
Best investment a guitarist can make, other than a good guitar, amp, and cable, is Stew Mac’s book and a few basic tools. Read it, learn it, do your setups properly and STFU! 😜
Or hang around at a nice luthier workshop if there’s one nearby and learn by watching. Pay him/her a beer now and then, that won’t hurt.
best way to learn and save money in the long run.

It’s unbelievable how someone with a quite successful YouTube channel, a bunch of subscribers etc… can trick listeners/watchers, into believing so much crap and that these are design flaws. Get a Floyd rose with a locking nut and be done with it! 🙄 (and with the Floyd, there goes another shitload of setup/tuning issues 🤣🤣🤣)
The other thing is that some folks don't have the technical skill and know how and that is where good techs come in very handy . It's better to have a reliable pro to look after and care for your instruments as it will surely save time and aggravation .
 

Vics53

Member
Joined
Jan 21, 2021
Messages
51
I have 2 LP's. Except in temperature fluctuations I've never had a tuning problem. However, with both LP's I had an issue with the way the nut was cut on the G strings. The only way I can describe the sound is; you know when you're tuning by harmonics and that you hear that "waver" you get when the string isn't quite in tune? That's how the open G strings on both LP's sounded when using any amount of gain. Awful sound. Took both guitars to a top notch tech in Ann Arbor Michigan who recut the G string nut slots and the problem was solved.

In January of 2019 I bought an Epiphone SG Pro and have had NO problems. Guitar stays in tune fine and I must say the nut slots and the fretwork were immaculate.
 

mjross

Member
Joined
May 11, 2019
Messages
76
It's not a design flaw. I've played Les Pauls since '72. I've owned dozens and have close to a dozen now.

I'm no bedroom playing naybob, once in a blue moon part time annual gigmeister. Before my issues it was decades of 3-4 nites a week 4 sets a nite of hard playing. Les Pauls were legendary for stability and holding tune. It is a recent bullshit fact promoted by ignorant self proclaimed interweb experts engaged in self puffery, that claim tuning is an issue.
Got you beat! Played 6 nights a week, 4 and sometimes 5 sets. Did it for more years than I care to remember (69 now and quit due to covid). No expert but LOTS of experience and played a butt load of guitars.

I find that this problem depends on the guitar. I had Les Pauls that had no issues and I had Les Pauls that, lets say, we’re a little finicky! I’m not discounting what you are saying by any stretch. I’m sure that a good share of the problem is “operator head space error”. But I agree, you really need to know your instrument (guitar) and what makes it work!
 

cmsaw83

New member
Joined
Oct 20, 2020
Messages
9
I don't have any tuning issues either. I have a 2013 Gibson Les Paul Standard with Grover locking tuners. I DO believe 100%, based on experience, that locking tuners absolutely DO aid in tuning stability, and that goes for ANY guitar you put them on. In no way is this benefit limited to Gibson Les Pauls only. More importantly for me though, they make string changes a breeze and setups and repairs quite a bit faster and easier to perform. BUT, that having been said.....

The more I see what's going on on YouTube, the more I'm convinced that many of this is born there, among other places. Some individual with a channel talks with someone trying to get a product out there. A string-tree we'll say, since we are on the subject of how difficult it is to keep our Les Pauls in tune. (It also helps when the individual with the channel happens to play Fenders almost exclusively, because those types just love to converse about the endless cons of the Les Paul) Next thing you know, there is a video on the channel about this great string-tree which will work to aid tuning stability on just about any guitar with a 3+3 tuning peg setup, but the focus of the video ends up being how the string-tree suddenly transforms a Gibson Les Paul into a usable, even gig-able instrument. Because, never mind the fact that somehow or another, guitarists have been recording, gigging, practicing, and even playing world tours where their bands are selling out arenas and the like, ALL while playing a, you guessed it, Gibson Les Paul, and this has been going on consistently since the 1950's (perhaps not arenas back then, but I'm going on the assumption we get the gyst). Somehow, because this information is put out there, it's picked up and spread like wildfire. Even people who have owned a Gibson Les Paul for years and who bought theirs because their favorite guitarist growing up played one as well, suddenly feel they are beginning to notice that they are having tuning stability issues. This is all in their head of course, but still, they buy the string-tree, and then they post a review saying how great it is.... And so on, and so on.... And so a fable is born.

At best, this was an issue that was derived from the G string thing, and then just blown way out of proportion. In reality, there is usually a hint of the truth in just about every lie, and that would be the only thing I can legitimately come up with for tuning issues from a Gibson LP. The whole thing is crazy really, and just goes to show you how easily swayed the masses can be. I like to think for myself, and it would seem this is a thread full of individuals who do the same, and that is good to see.
 

Peter M

New member
Joined
Aug 19, 2021
Messages
13
Yes the G string would egregiously slip out of tune... when I was 12 and didn't know how to properly wind and stretch them. But I learned and for 35 years (and counting) all the strings on my Les Pauls stay in tune.
 

somebodyelseuk

Active member
Joined
Jun 10, 2020
Messages
277
I've gigged Strats for over 40 years and never had tuning issues. Keeping a Gibson fettled is child's play, in comparison.
Now my 12 strings...
 

freakyninja

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Joined
Oct 6, 2021
Messages
1
You will never believe this one. The Fabled Les Paul/Gibson tuning issues was indeed true. A study done with Gibson Les Paul’s in 1997, found out that out of the box, two thirds of the Gibsons were sharp by more than 5%. Another report done in 2002 showed that out of the box 40% of the Gibsons were flat by more than 5%.
 

mjross

Member
Joined
May 11, 2019
Messages
76
You will never believe this one. The Fabled Les Paul/Gibson tuning issues was indeed true. A study done with Gibson Les Paul’s in 1997, found out that out of the box, two thirds of the Gibsons were sharp by more than 5%. Another report done in 2002 showed that out of the box 40% of the Gibsons were flat by more than 5%.
Good enough for Rock and Roll! lol…
 

El Gringo

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 8, 2015
Messages
4,482
You will never believe this one. The Fabled Les Paul/Gibson tuning issues was indeed true. A study done with Gibson Les Paul’s in 1997, found out that out of the box, two thirds of the Gibsons were sharp by more than 5%. Another report done in 2002 showed that out of the box 40% of the Gibsons were flat by more than 5%.
Pure BS and totally false . Because ? No instrument that has been in a box for any time will play properly and correctly . With temperature and climate and humidity or lack of will need to be tuned to pitch . This is not rocket science and smacks of ignorance and anti Gibson bias .
 
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