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FDP Forum / The Squier Forum / Squier Mini Strat Tuning Issue

Gaz40
Contributing Member
*****

Toronto, Canada

Papa Ain't Salty
Mar 14th, 2011 03:58 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

My son (9 yrs old) has a mini strat so short scale. He can't really play but although he's had it for well over a year he has recently really become interested in learning. He isn't really doing much of anything per se now - just messing around and making noise. That's all fine with me - he's getting a feel for the instrument.

I am not sure if this is a function of the guitar's scale or that it's just not a high quality guitar, but it just will not stay in tune. He doesn't care - but I do if I have to listen to him flail away!

I had it strung w/ 10-46 strings and wonder if that's partly why it goes out of tune so easily? Would putting 11's on it help? I know that'll make it harder to play and it's a bit of rock and hard lace scenario but does anyone recommend that or maybe have another suggestion?

Standard24
Contributing Member
****

San Antonio, Texas

Mar 14th, 2011 04:16 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Try tuning it to a "G", 3 frets higher than normal. The short scale guitars don't have enough string tension when tuned to A-440.

ted the head

KC

Mar 14th, 2011 07:36 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Putting 11's on will increase the tension which should help some.

Also, the strings may be getting caught up in the nut (which would be worse with 11's). You can check this by alternately bending a string on both sides of the nut with a tuner installed. If they are binding then you can try some graphite in the nut slots, or file/sand the slots if the graphite doesn't work.

huck

us

Mar 15th, 2011 12:30 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

yup. 11s and a good nut will help a lot. i'd also check the bridge screws. several of mine were stripped and the back of the bridge would pull up when tuned to pitch. toothpicks and wood glue took care of it.

Gaz40
Contributing Member
*****

Toronto, Canada

Papa Ain't Salty
Mar 15th, 2011 07:59 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Thanks. I'll put some 11s on it and see. Will also check over everything and put some nut sauce in the nut slots when the old strings are off. I agree that it may be binding at the nut.

I had considered tuning it for him to another tuning like Open G or E but I'd rather *for now* let him fiddle with it in a regular tuning as he's messing with some simple single note tabs for "O Canada" and the "Hockey Night in Canada" TV theme song! I don't want to confuse him...

Standard24
Contributing Member
****

San Antonio, Texas

Mar 15th, 2011 11:39 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Gaz, I didn't mean for you to tune to an open "G", but to raise the pitch 3 frets worth, (as if it had a capo at the 3rd fret). 11's will be pretty heavy srtings for a child. I'd want very light gauge strings for a beginner.

Gaz40
Contributing Member
*****

Toronto, Canada

Papa Ain't Salty
Mar 15th, 2011 03:23 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Ahhh... sorry, I misread your post. That's worth a try also.

I guess my thinking w/ 11's is that they won't feel so bad on a *very* short scale neck. I use 12's on my Epi acoustic and as it's a Gibson scale guitar they still seem pretty slinky to me.

Out of curiosity has anyone who has had or has a Squier mini Strat ever had tuning issues with it?

ted the head

KC

Mar 15th, 2011 08:03 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I played one for about 10 minutes once and it had tuning issues. Then again most Squiers I have played have had tuning issues until the nut is worked on or replaced.

I agree that 11's should still feel OK with that short of a scale. Nothing like 11's on a full size strat.

ConchoBill
Contributing Member
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Universe of Tejas

Bluz Cowboy
Mar 16th, 2011 10:22 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

OTOH 11s may not work very well for a 9 yr old child.

Gaz40
Contributing Member
*****

Toronto, Canada

Papa Ain't Salty
Mar 16th, 2011 10:36 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I put 11s on it last night.
Much better tuning stability - really good, in fact. And shockingly, it's even pretty well intonated. I put some lemon oil on the fretboard, did a little dental floss job on the nut slots, put some nut sauce at the saddle and nut end and under the string trees (it has two) and all seems well. Because it's such a short scale, even 11s feel pretty slinky. He seems OK with it.

The goal for me/him really is just to get him used to making sound on the guitar and get a 'feel' for it... to just get a rhythm going even if it's out of tune or makes no sense. I want him to feel and mute the strings, hold a pick properly and just make noise. he does OK with this. He's not taking lessons and not really doing much of anything - he just for some reason has a rekindled interest and I'm kind of leaving him alone - to his own devices for now. Not forcing anything. He uses my little Roland Micro Cube amp.

If he holds the interest for a period of time then I'll consider a full size better quality guitar and perhaps lessons. He says he wants a Classic Vibe sunburst Strat (maple neck apparently)!

Some of his interest is obviously me and the fact there is a Strat and an acoustic always in the living room but I think Beatles RockBand for Wii has *a lot* to do with it. He loves that thing.

Note - the mini Strats are a PITA to restring! I hate that top loader bridge and trying to thread the string up and through the saddle. I also hate any tuner that isn't an old style Kluson!

(This message was last edited by Gaz40 at 10:41 AM, Mar 16th, 2011)

Twangmeister
Contributing Member
****

"Judge, I leave the

testifyin' to my guitar"
Mar 16th, 2011 10:58 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

.011s shouldn't be too bad on a short scale guitar for a nine year old.

Us old folks did not have the luxury of lighter gauge strings as kids. I started playing at age nine on a Gibson flattop strung with the standard .013s of the late '50s. I didn't see a set of lighter gauge strings until I was 18.

I agree it is most likely a nut issue. If I get a new guitar with a sticky nut I use a scrap of the appropriate-sized string to "floss" the nut groove for a couple of minutes. No more binding.

huck

us

Mar 16th, 2011 10:59 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

there's a trick to restringing these. make a bend about 1/2 an inch from the end of the string. then when you put it through the back of the bridge, the bent end will come up through the saddle.

ours has withstood 2.5 years in the living room as the main guitar for me and my son who's now just turning five. looks like new, and i rarely need to tune it. great guitars for a hundred bucks.

jegler

us

Apr 10th, 2014 08:13 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Fender mini guitars should be tuned G,C,F,Bb,D,G from low to high.

Redlight Records

69tele

Rockin Gibraltar

Thou Shalt Gas !
May 15th, 2014 08:16 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I have one as well, and ended putting on 11s too.

tunes better than with 10s or 9s but still not perfect.



Twangmeister
Contributing Member
*******

E NC

Hoarder of instruments
May 19th, 2014 03:13 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I bought a lightly used mini in pink last week.

Tuned to open G the somewhat high factory string height makes it a great lap steel.

neilp
Contributing Member
******

Austin TX

Jun 26th, 2014 03:27 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Yup. We had one of these when my son was little and I ended up putting 11s on it. It was playable after that but not a great guitar from the stability point of view. He now has a full size. I just wish he'd play it more!

FDP Forum / The Squier Forum / Squier Mini Strat Tuning Issue




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