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Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by DarkenedGod, Apr 4, 2020.
I think the idea is that the 12th fret is the middle point of the neck.
Save yourself the hassle of "finding" the 24th fret, since as noted most guitars don't have 24. It's the same harmonic as the 5th fret. (Each half of a vibrating string is further divided into the same segments, doesn't matter if you use a higher or lower fret than 12.)
And there's nothing magic about that harmonic. In fact an argument could be made that if you use higher harmonics to tune, you will be less in tune because of how the physics works. (Look up Pythagorean comma.)
I don’t play barre chords on the 24th fret, so no.
I check open, first fret, third fret, fifth fret, 7th fret, 10th fret and 12th fret.
Any higher up than that really has more to do with technique than it does intonation.
Due to the inherent intonation compromises of a traditional design, it depends where on the fretboard you spend more of your time.
I don't use the harmonics when I intonate because it doesn't take finger pressure into account. I noticed I tend to press harder lately on the unwound strings due to how I'm bending at the moment perhaps. I will press harder on those strings when intonating and slightly less on the others.
I'm not a tech or anything, but on my guitar with nickel frets, which wear, I have to average my intonation adjustment, based upon the intonation deviations I observe on the low open-chord frets, around the 5th fret and 7th fret and 12th fret.
This is a problem I do not encounter with my "good" guitars which have stainless frets which keep their crown.
Is this thread is saying that some/most people check their intonation only at the 12th fret using the harmonic and nowhere else? That seems like leaving out a lot of playing territory...
It seems to me that intonation should be checked on all the frets where you want your notes to be in tune, but I'm not trained as a tech/luthier or anything.
It just strikes me as logical.
Ideally every fret would be in tune, 12th, 24th; all of them. Setting up an equal tempered instrument is all about spreading the errors across the 12 notes and across the fingerboard.
There is nothing special about the 12th fret.
Here is how I check/set the intonation:
Fret a B chord at the 7th fret and, as you're fretting the six strings, check the pitch of each note with a tuner.
Adjust as necessary.
...on any fret.
For those intonating with only harmonics' what happens when you fret the note?
I don’t use this method but it does account for fretting pressure. You compare the fretted 12th fret note to the 12th fret harmonic. This is essentially the same thing as using a tuner to check the open note and 12th fret octave.
You're supposed to tune your guitar?
Some internet information on guitar tuning is compromised by commercial interest (that is various 'tuning systems' and special nuts and fingerboards).
So, I think the best information on tuning for equal temperament is under the topic of piano tuning. It is not what one might think.
Octaves are "exempt" from the Pythagorean comma, so 12th fret, 5th/24th should be OK. That said, I've always had better results not using open strings to intonate, so the old "capo on 5th fret, tune to 17th fret harmonics" works out well.
I check mine at the 12th using the open note and the harmonic, then checking that against the fretted note. I have no complaints.
There is nothing magical about the actual frets themselves. For this process, they are simply markers. Even if a guitar doesn't have 24 frets, it still has a position along the length of the strings that would be the equivalent of where a 24th fret would be. You can fairly easily find it by attempting harmonics along the string. Then use some part of the guitar a the "mark" as to where that would be to intonate at that location.
That being said, I still prefer the 12th fret location as that is supposed to be the midpoint of the string length. I've never had issues intonating at that location, so I've never really explored other locations.
Fretted 3rd and 15th for me.
I came here to say the same thing
“But my guitar doesn’t have 24 frets...”
“I don’t check at the 24th fret, I check at the 5th.”