Why Does Bending My Guitar Strings Cause It to Go Out of Tune?

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Do you ever find yourself bending your guitar strings to create that desired sound, but then the guitar goes out of tune? You’re not alone! In this blog post, we will discuss the reason why bending your guitar strings causes them to go out of tune and how you can prevent it from happening.

1. Your string is getting caught in the nut

The first and most common reason why your guitar strings go out of tune when you bend them is that the string is getting caught in the nut or saddle.

When you bend the string, it puts more tension on that particular string which can cause the string to get caught on the nut or saddle.

This can be easily fixed by making sure that your nut and saddle are properly lubricated. You can do this by using a graphite lubricant like the StewMac Guitar Grease you see to the right (or above on mobile).

2. You have new strings

If you have just put new strings on your guitar, they will take some time to stretch and settle. This is because the new strings are still tight and need to adjust to the tension of the guitar. Bending the strings will speed up this process, but it also means that your strings will go out of tune more often in the beginning.

To avoid this, make a practice of always bending your strings when you first install the strings (kinda like the picture you see to the left), tune the guitar, bend them again, and continue to tune them back until they don’t go out of tune anymore.

You can try tuning your guitar before you start playing and then tuning it again after you have played for a while after doing this step. This will help the strings stretch evenly and stay in tune longer.

3. Your strings have gotten old

On the flip-side of you having new strings on your guitar, it might be that your strings have aged too much! Over time, your strings will start to stretch and become loose. This is because the metal in the strings starts to oxidize and break down. When this happens, the strings are more likely to go out of tune when you bend them.

To avoid this, make sure to change your strings regularly. Most guitarists recommend changing your strings every 2-3 months, or whenever they start to sound dull. However, if you are someone that plays alot, think about changing out your stings more often.

If you on the hunt for a new pair of acoustic guitar strings, I really like these ones.

4. Your tuning pegs are bad

If your guitar is constantly going out of tune, even after you’ve tried all of the above tips, then your tuning pegs may be bad, and are causing the tuning pegs to move backwards when you put the extra strain on the string.

To fix this, it is actually quite simple! You will want to remove all of the strings from your guitar, and then take a small screw driver and back the screws out from the tuning pegs on the head of the guitar, repeat this until you have the pegs completely removed from the guitar.

You will then replace them with a new set of tuning pegs (from here) and do the previous step backwards. From there, you will re-place a new set of guitar strings onto the guitar. Don’t forget to stretch out the new strings until they no longer go out of tune, otherwise your guitar will frequently go out of tune, but for reason #2 on this list instead.

5. The neck profile and truss rod need adjusting

If your guitar’s neck is not set correctly, it can cause your strings to go out of tune when you bend them. This is because the tension on the strings is not evenly distributed, which causes some strings to be tighter than others.

To fix this, you will need to adjust the neck profile and truss rod. This is a job for a qualified technician, so take your guitar to a guitar shop and have them adjust the neck for you.

I generally would no recommend doing this one at home, and an expert is going to be the best solution for you. Doing it yourself could damage your guitar, and result in many more reasons for your guitar to not be in tune very long!


So there you have it, that is the top 5 reasons why your guitar might be going out of tune when you are bending the strings!

If you are new to playing guitar, make sure to surround yourself with people that are better at guitar than you, as they will all be more than happy to help you learn things like this, and be able to bounce ideas off of each other.