Squire telecaster going out of tune

I started learning to play the guitar in June 23, and not knowing anything about guitars, I bought a Squier affinity telecaster. I like this guitar a lot but it needs tuning every day before practice. I thought this is normal on a guitar of this price. However, while being away from home, I borrowed a guitar from a friend. It must have been an incredibly cheap guitar (a no brand guitar - strat copy) bought very cheap. It’s been fine for practicing and it stays very nicely in tune. I hardly ever have to tune it, and then only a slight tweak. This is certainly not the case with my telecaster. So my question is what do I have to do to my telecaster to stop it going out of tune so fast? Is it just a case of changing the tuners on the headstock? Or is there something else I have to look at? If it’s just a case of changing the tuners, does anyone have a good suggestion which to buy? There seem to be many different tuners available. Will I have to drill different size holes in the headstock or will new tuners fit into the holes already there?

Thanks, Ian

I don’t know the answer, and certainly my Fender Tele is very stable, but out of interest, do you find it’s all of the strings that go out of tune, or just selected ones?

All need a bit of tuning every day. Some strings definitely stay in tune better than others. The worst are G and string 6 (E). The best is String 1 (E).

I find my guitars (steel and nylon acoustic) need tuning most days. The biggest factor being stability of the environment.

Lots of things affect the need to tune.

Newer strings need more tuning as they settle. Older strings need more tuning as they approach the ends of their lives.

The number and manner of wraps on the tuning post makes a difference. I wrap as few times as possible. Definitely helps a lot.

The type of string can as well. Nylon, steel, silk and steel, round, hex…

Temperature makes the biggest change for me. After the strings settle. Our thermostat goes down at night so guitar room temperature goes from 71F to 66F and back up. That needs tuning. If it doesn’t change, my strings may not need tuning for days.

Relative humidity also has some, but less effect. It can swing pretty wildly in an uncontrolled home.

If you have a floating bridge, all the above effects can be amplified.

So, I guess just tune your guitar.

I need to tune some more than others, daily, and if I have large changes in weather from morning to evening, then maybe even twice in a day.

@Jamolay has nearly everything I can think of in his list. I’ll add some of my experiences.

  • I doubt you need new tuners, but make sure the nut that holds each one is tight. I had trouble with tuning stability on my Ibanez until I noticed the nuts were loose.
  • You have a post about pressing too hard. Are you using very light strings and still pressing hard? you will hear chords go out of tune on the fretted strings if you press too hard, and the lighter the string, the easier it is to press it out of tune.
  • I have two floating bridges. One of them tunes fairly cleanly, but the other requires me to go over each string 3 to 4 times before I get them all in tune. It is the movement of the bridge due to tuning one string that then de-tunes the others so it needs to be iteratively tuned. This makes small changes in temperature send it out of tune easily. Just holding it for 20 minutes first thing in the morning will send it a little out of tune as it warms up.
  • messy string wrapping on tuners can cause some trouble. make sure the strings are wrapped without overlapping on the tuner
  • I find strings start to get temperamental after about 8 weeks of playing them maybe 30 minutes a day or more. If your strings haven’t been changed in a long time, that could be what you notice. I find I like the sound of old strings on one guitar, but they do drift a lot.

String instruments go out of tune. It’s not a problem unless it happens every 5 minutes. Tuning should be the first thing done every time it’s picked up. It’s just automatic at this point. Only takes 15-30" and it’s free ear practice. Orchestras retune after each piece is played.

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I have just picked up my Squier T Affinity and tuned only the D & G string, that is it, all the rest were in tune. This is after around a week of not playing that particular guitar, of which I do like the belly cut. Something all T style guitars should have IMO.
This is not always the case though. As some have already stated; guitars are picked up tuned, then played. Not a problem. It is doubtful the guitar is faulty, perhaps requires a setup by a competent luthier, other than that simply tune the instrument when picked up, play and enjoy. :smile: :smile:

I have a Stratocaster that’s giving me tuning problems. I’ve stretched the strings, tightened the tuners, still goes out of tune while playing. I think it might be a nut problem, and maybe some intonation issues. I’m taking it to a luthier tomorrow to see what they think.

OK thats 6 months, are these the strings that came with the guitar or did you restring it? If so photos might help.