2016 G5420T doesn’t stay in tune


I recently bought a used 2016 G5420T in Fairlane Blue. They guy was an acoustic player and didn't bond with it so he sold it for half of a new one! His loss, my gain.

I suspect one reason he didn't bond with it is the intonation was way off. I adjusted it and sound got much better. However, the B and G strings keep going out of tune... especially the G. I will get it in tune, play one chord (not even a bend) and it will be way flat. I changed the strings and everything was fine for a week or two, but now its back to going flat all the time. If I tune sharp, then it seems to stay in tune.

Is this a tuning key issue? Nut issue? Any other thoughts?


My guess without seeing it is it's probably a nut issue.


I use a wound G string...stays in tune now..


Likely the nut but check the bridge as well. Pic's?


Rub a pencil's lead in the nut sluts and bridge saddle slots to lubricate the points at which the strings make contact. I make a sludge out of powdered graphite and light oil (zoom spout oil) and draw it up in a syringe. Works like a charm.


How many winds do you put on a tuner's post before you reach concert pitch? If you have too many winds, you can encounter tuning instability.


How many winds do you put on a tuner's post before you reach concert pitch? If you have too many winds, you can encounter tuning instability.

– Ric12string

Hmmm. That's really an overstatement and not necessarily correct. I use the over/under method and put several winds around the post and have zero tuning issues.


I have tried using some nut lubricant but not pencil lead.

I use this technique for locking my strings when I change them.


Does it make sudden jumps in pitch or other "ping" type noises when tuning?

My 5120 has had an issue on the G string since I got it. Recently I took it to a tech who pointed out that the nut was cut poorly. He pointed out a hump in the middle of the back part of the G slot, which he took it out with a file.

He was not impressed with the nut overall.

It seems a little better now.


Seems like I had a similar situation with my 5120, perhaps not as drastic, but disconcerting nevertheless. I was going to have a bone nut installed in any event. And that seemed to solve everything. So yeah, it might be the nut.


Yes, a new nut should do it. I also put locking tuners on any guitar that has a vibrato. Gretsch should do this from the get go...


The nuts have it. That's beyond my pay grade... looks like it goes to the guitar tech.


Good luck with the repair. I'd be interested to hear how this works out.


Nut is the likely culprit. Nut sauce is just graphite (pencil lead) suspended in a light oil. It works. We used powdered graphite to lube everything from door locks to carbon arc lamphouse gear drives. It works, hands down.



I had the exact same problem with my 5420T. Every time I bent up a whole note and sometimes even half the strings would go out of tune. I found a quality Luthier in my neighborhood. Its definitely the poor quality nut that is causing most of your problem. The head stock of the older electromatics are insanely wide and the nut is not cut properly for such an extreme angle. The other thing he noticed was the the saddles for the B & G strings were off causing unwanted tension. I got a custom bone nut and a set up and the guitar plays like a dream. Your guitar can be fixed!

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