Intonation question...

Discussion in 'Luthier's Guitar & Bass Technical Discussion' started by atomheartmother, Feb 19, 2006.


  1. atomheartmother

    atomheartmother Senior Member

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    What could be the problem of being in tune open and at the 12th fret, but sounding out of tune elsewhere.
     
  2. bobgoblin

    bobgoblin Supporting Member

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    it may just be me, but your question isn't very clear. are you asking:

    what could be causing me to be out of tune everywhere but open & @ the 12th fret?

    or:

    i'm in tune @ the 12th fret & open, why is it a problem if i'm out of tune everywhere else?

    anyway, here's a suggestion, jerry donahue (killer tele/country/rock guitarist) uses a "stretch tuning" to intonate his tele's according to dan erlewine. it involves having certain 12th fret notes either sharp or flat to compensate for the guitar's less-than-stellar tempered tuning. pick up the book, "how to make your electric guitar play great", lots of suggestions for getting our guits to play & sound better.
     
  3. The_Whale

    The_Whale Member

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    If your guitar has iffy intonation (for whatever reason), you don't need to set the intonation at the 12th fret. You can choose any fret. (I usually set my intonation to the 7th fret).

    You also don't need to tune your guitar to the open strings. You can tune your guitar to a fretted note.
     
  4. The_Whale

    The_Whale Member

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    Does your guitar have a floating bridge?
     
  5. BTO

    BTO Member

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    It may not be an intonation problem, but a tuning issue. I've started using "Equal Temperment Tuning". It's basically the way a piano is tuned. Instead of the individual strings being tuned to pitch, which results in some chords sounding perfect in some positions while others sound like crap, the guitar is tuned to itself. Using this method, every chord played in every position will be relatively in tune with every other chord. It takes a little getting used to. If you are used to hearing a perfect open "E" chord or a perfect open "D" chord, this method doesn't do that. What it does is give you the best sounding open "E" chord possible with the best open "D", if that makes sense.

    Here's a link to some information and instructions on the method:
    http://users.adelphia.net/~cygnusx_1/equal_temperament.html
     

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