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!