View Full Version : Friction tuners from hell

10-30-2015, 06:16 AM
Does anyone know of some kind of resource that will teach me to use friction tuners? What I get on the internet is always 2 things
1) push in as you're turning - has not helped me so far
2) get new tuners, lubricant, etc - a difficult task when I'm starting an instrument which I don't know much about...

Any tricks, elaboration on what angles to use etc?

Should I just give up on friction tuner instruments or have I just had the worst of luck with crappy ones?

Venting time now:

A while ago I bought myself a second-hand student violin which I never managed to play because after two days of unfair battle with the freaking friction tuners I broke a string and gave up. Fine, I got it, tuning a violin is an advanced technique, so how am I supposed to learn to play it? So I came back to my instruments who had no desire to give me a hard time (my ukuleles and guitar) and who had waited for me politely as I experimented with their posh and uncooperative distant relatives.

Today I got a saz (https://www.google.es/search?q=saz&client=ubuntu&hs=pjs&channel=fs&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0CAcQ_AUoAWoVChMIlf250bzqyAIVBX4aCh05rw70&biw=1366&bih=642) as a gift, fairly inexpensive as well I imagine. I've been so enthusiastic to learn it for so long. It has these wooden pegs, most of which would not move AT ALL. After three hours of battling the thing I am, once again, one string short...

Next time I get an instrument with friction tuners I might as well break the strings right away and save myself the hassle.

Pirate Jim
10-30-2015, 06:51 AM
It's not direct experience, but my wife always used to use beeswax on the pegs for her cello. Made them turnable but not too slippy if I rightly recall.

11-09-2015, 04:18 PM
get geared planetary tuners such as Gotoh's

bird's eye view of my ukelele
11-09-2015, 05:15 PM
i'd recommend putting geared tuners on................ but i'm not expecting anyone else to agree with that!

Inksplosive AL
11-09-2015, 05:59 PM
I have an old (1920's was what I was told) banjolele with wooden friction pegs thats a bear to tune. As these pegs are tapered they tighten as you push them in so there is that right there. I've read so much about peg dope and peg drops and so many home recipes with soap and chalk or pumice.

I bought a set of Aquila red banjolele strings for it and have yet to challenge restringing it. It does sound good as is when you can tweak it into tune. LOUD! ITS VERY LOUD! ;)

Bill Mc
11-09-2015, 06:23 PM
Then let me upend your expectations and agree with you birds eye.

bird's eye view of my ukelele
11-09-2015, 07:32 PM
Then let me upend your expectations and agree with you birds eye.



geared tuners ROCK! :rock:

11-11-2015, 11:25 AM
Yeah, friction tuners suck, but sometimes switching to geared tuners isn't feasable (have an antique banjolele like AL, can't permanently modify the instrument). As for wood pegs, they often have to be tapered with sandpaper to fit and work right, have several oddball instruments with these and had to make one from scratch; also some people put some water on them before using (not me).

01-30-2016, 04:14 AM
I made myself a banjo. I just had to have fiddle pegs to tune with,a mistake so far. I went yesterday to a music shop to buy geared tuners. After the sell was done he asked me what I was putting the tuners on. I told him about my tuners slipping real bad. He in a mater factley way said to use chaulk . Said I would have no slipping. I will let you know how it works for me.