What is a Locking Tuner and How You Are Probably Using it Wrong

Author: Lachlan Bush  Date Posted:13 November 2020 

Just what is a locking tuner?

Locking tuners are tuners that have a pin or retaining mechanism that locks the string in place and prevents your string from coming loose. These types of tuners are usually adjusted by tightening or loosening a knob on the back of the headstock. Something that a lot of people miss though is the fact that using locking tuners saves you from the trouble of having to wrap the string around the tuning posts.

Artist TC59 Headstock with Locking Tuners

When you wrap strings around the post with a locking tuner, you will encounter some problems when bending a note or using your tremolo. This will cause the winding on the tuning posts to become slightly unwrapped. Once you unbend the string or return the tremolo to the zero position, the wrapping of the string on the post has now moved slightly. This will give you some tuning instability and may cause the pitch to change on the string. This is a common mistake which is still something that is not realized by a lot of people.


So how do you use a locking tuner?

  1. Remove the old string by loosening the locking tuner. (It will actually save you some time yourself from later adjustments by changing one string at a time.)
  2. Insert the new string through tailpiece/bridge or tremolo block and remember to pull the string all the way through.
  3. Make sure to line up the hole in the post with the string in order for the string to go straight through the tuner. Unlike standard tuners, the hole in the tuner should be in a straight line with the neck before you put the string through. Make sure to pull on the string with enough tension.
  4. Tighten the locking tuner plenty to ensure that the string will not slip out of the locking tuner.
  5. Tune-up the new string using a tuner. It should not wrap around the tuning peg more than about once.
  6. Clip the new string approximately 1/8” from the hole


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I hope this article has helped. if you need any assistance please email:

sales@artistguitars.com.au or call us on 1300 489 816

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