July 4th, 2012, 05:07 PM
I just did my first bit of intonation on my guitar and the 12th fret on the high e is sounding perfect alright. However the further I go the more it strays from being in tune. Is this normal? I'm assuming it's impossible for every fret to be absolutely perfectly in tune.
Any help would be greatly appreciated!
July 4th, 2012, 05:42 PM
Should be, yes. Is it normally? Not always. Intonating is a series of compromises; when it's perfect at one note it's often imperfect at others, so you have to figure out where it's most important for you to be in tune and get those notes as close as you can, while keeping the notes acceptable at other locations.
That said, on a guitar that's been set up well, it's often possible to get the entire fretboard range pretty damned close.
Before you do the intonation, you need to check the relief, the nut slots, and the action, in that order. If any of those are off, it will throw off the intonation.
I rarely worry about the registers above about the 15th fret unless a note is noticeably out of tune. It's rare that a player will hold a note there long enough to sound badly out of tune, it's rare that a note that high is part of a chord, and it's common that a note up there has been bent a little (or a lot), so perfect intonation at those higher frets is often not as important.
July 4th, 2012, 05:53 PM
It's a dark science.
Whatever you do don't get an electronic tuner and start trying to intonate it perfectly at every fret because you will wake up a week later in a facility for the mentally ill.
If it's good enough at the 12th and the rest of the setup is good then I leave it there.
July 4th, 2012, 09:38 PM
No, you're not seeing things. This is what a 'true temperament' guitar looks like.
Get your intonation close, and faggedaboudit.
July 5th, 2012, 04:55 PM
I was thinking all this, but it is still a relief to hear it! Thanks guys.