Tom May Posts

Using Pegs To Tune Your String Instrument

Tuning an instrument equipped with pegs instead of tuning machines can be a frustrating task when problems are present.

First of all the strings must be in good condition. Worn or frayed strings cannot be tuned well.

It is essential that the pegs be fitted well, and lightly lubricated if needed. Use peg dope or peg compound when the pegs squeak when turned. No lubrication is preferable to too much. “Peg Drops” is a useful product for a quick, temporary fix to slipping pegs.

When the peg is first turned, it is good to feel and/or hear a click.  This tells us that the peg will stick correctly after tuning.  After the click, the peg should turn smoothly.

The peg is fitted on a taper with the thicker end toward the peg head. It is the nature of this tapered peg to push its way out.  The string will quickly unwind if this is allowed to happen.  It is also essential that the pegs be held in while tuning.  If you have to hold the instrument with both hands and push the peg in very hard in order to get them to stick, or if your pegs are constantly slipping, consider taking the instrument to our shop for correction and adjustment.  Firmly holding the pegs in while turning should suffice.

If the string is just a half step or less off, just use the fine tuners.  

Pegs whose string holes are too far to the wrong side of the peg box can and will keep the pegs from being held in.  These pegs must have new string holes drilled in order to function correctly.  This is a delicate process best handled by a luthier/string technician.   

 Paige’s stringed instrument repair shop is here to help you keep your instrument in its best condition.  Play well and enjoy!

Should My Bridge Be Bent Like This?

cello-bad

Your bridge is an important component on your stringed instrument.  It is critically important to the sound, and playability.  It is a beautiful thing when it is right and an obstacle when it is not.  A warped bridge is not correct.  Even a slight warp will cause intonation problems.  The front of the bridge gives the impression of a lean toward the tailpiece.  It is shaped this way to give it the correct thickness, weight and to add to the beauty of the instrument. The back of the bridge should be perpendicular to the top of the instrument.

Tuning An Instrument With Pegs

Tuning an instrument equipped with pegs instead of tuning machines can be a frustrating task when problems are present.

First of all the strings must be in good condition. Worn or frayed strings cannot be tuned well.

It is essential that the pegs be fitted well, and lightly lubricated if needed. Use peg dope or peg compound when the pegs squeak when turned. No lubrication is preferable to too much. “Peg Drops” is a useful product for a quick, temporary fix to slipping pegs.

When the peg is first turned, it is good to feel and/or hear a click.  This tells us that the peg will stick correctly after tuning.  After the click, the peg should turn smoothly.

 

The peg is fitted on a taper with the thicker end toward the peg head. It is the nature of this tapered peg to push its way out.  The string will quickly unwind if this is allowed to happen.  It is also essential that the pegs be held in while tuning.  If you have to hold the instrument with both hands and push the peg in very hard in order to get them to stick, or if your pegs are constantly slipping, consider taking the instrument to our shop for correction and adjustment.  Firmly holding the pegs in while turning should suffice.

If the string is just a half step or less off, just use the fine tuners.  

Pegs whose string holes are too far to the wrong side of the peg box can and will keep the pegs from being held in.  These pegs must have new string holes drilled in order to function correctly.  This is a delicate process best handled by a luthier/string technician.   

 Paige’s stringed instrument repair shop is here to help you keep your instrument in its best condition.  Play well and enjoy!

Should My Bridge Look Like This? – FAQs

cello-bad

Your bridge is an important component on your stringed instrument.  It is critically important to the sound, and playability.  It is a beautiful thing when it is right and an obstacle when it is not.  A warped bridge is not correct.  Even a slight warp will cause intonation problems.  The front of the bridge gives the impression of a lean toward the tailpiece.  It is shaped this way to give it the correct thickness, weight and to add to the beauty of the instrument. The back of the bridge should be perpendicular to the top of the instrument.

violin-good

cello-good

 

The bridge can become warped over time, mostly due to the pressure of the strings and the drag of the strings across the bridge when tuning.  It is important to pull the bridge back into the correct position after tuning.  This is especially important when you change strings or when the strings have come completely loose, but straightness should be checked frequently and corrected when it has been pulled out of place.

Straightening a warped bridge is possible up to a point.  A very warped bridge will need to be replaced.  It is preferable to learn how to pull the bridge back into place.  The bridge notches must be smooth and preferably lubricated with pencil lead.   Brace the instrument against your body, grasp the bridge with both hands and pull gently back until it is straight.  The bridge feet should then be flat against the top.

 

If it is difficult to move the bridge, then there is a problem with the string or bridge notches.  Consult your technician to correct this.

Good care will greatly benefit your instrument.  If there are problems, the technicians at Paige’s Music are uniquely capable and happy to help you maintain your instrument in peak playing condition!