High E String Tuning Challenges - Is there a secret?

loopfinding

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That is a tempering thing people hear that differently

Yeah, but if we are talking about any kind of shared saddle, one string is going to be intonated more perfectly than the other. There is more room for error psychoacoustically with that B being flat against the G, but it sticks out like a sore thumb when you play a fifth up on the E. The basis of 12TET is compensating for the least error with 5ths.

I’m willing to bet OP’s high E sounds more in tune if he takes the B string off and plays chords.
 

nickmm

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Yeah, but if we are talking about any kind of shared saddle, one string is going to be intonated more perfectly than the other. There is more room for error psychoacoustically with that B being flat against the G, but it sticks out like a sore thumb when you play a fifth up on the E. The basis of 12TET is compensating for the least error with 5ths.

I’m willing to bet OP’s high E sounds more in tune if he takes the B string off and plays chords.
That is still tempering
 

fender4life

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You are not capable of hearing 1/100 of a cent.
You are capable of measuring it before you can hear it.
My last comment, as i'm not going to argue about what i hear with someone who doesn't hear thru my ears....i hear it whatever degree it is (and 1/100 at WHAT HEIGHT?!) when action is higher than i have mine, and even sometimes with guitars who's action i can't get as low as i'd like. You can keep telling me i don't hear it if you'd like but i won't be replying anymore because to do so is futile. I know what i hear, you don't. You know what YOU hear. Now that we know you and I don't hear the same thing, can we just end this? It's futile. I'm done.
 

nickmm

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My last comment, as i'm not going to argue about what i hear with someone who doesn't hear thru my ears....i hear it whatever degree it is (and 1/100 at WHAT HEIGHT?!) when action is higher than i have mine, and even sometimes with guitars who's action i can't get as low as i'd like. You can keep telling me i don't hear it if you'd like but i won't be replying anymore because to do so is futile. I know what i hear, you don't. You know what YOU hear. Now that we know you and I don't hear the same thing, can we just end this? It's futile. I'm done.
I'm saying you can measure pitch before you can hear it.
Not open for debate
 
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Boreas

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That is why you temper your tuning and use different finger pressure.
Tempered tuning is subjective.
I think you are both saying the same thing. Some people are more sensitive to the G-B-E dissonances that others. An electric doesn't bother me as much as an acoustic. If it annoys me, I drop the B a few cents for my cowboy chords.
 

chris m.

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I think you are both saying the same thing. Some people are more sensitive to the G-B-E dissonances that others. An electric doesn't bother me as much as an acoustic. If it annoys me, I drop the B a few cents for my cowboy chords.
For cowboy chords and acoustic guitars, here's a tempered tuning method that I really like:

1) Tune the low E, D string at 2nd fret, and high E all to an E.
2) Tune the B string by matching the B string at 3rd fret to the D string.
3) Tune the A string by matching the A string at the second fret to the B string.
4) Tune the G string by matching the G string at the 2nd fret to the A string.

This works wonders for me. Worth a try on any guitar that is giving you tempered tuning woes.
 

Boreas

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For cowboy chords and acoustic guitars, here's a tempered tuning method that I really like:

1) Tune the low E, D string at 2nd fret, and high E all to an E.
2) Tune the B string by matching the B string at 3rd fret to the D string.
3) Tune the A string by matching the A string at the second fret to the B string.
4) Tune the G string by matching the G string at the 2nd fret to the A string.

This works wonders for me. Worth a try on any guitar that is giving you tempered tuning woes.
James Taylor has a nice video on how he tunes his guitars.
 

telemnemonics

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View attachment 1001162
^THIS, or how is the string height above fret 1 when checked fretted at fret 3? The high E should be almost zero when checked like that. If too high it sounds out of tune when fretted.

But multiple guitars? ... hmmm... there may be something with how you hear that note. I know the low E note through low G note on Gibson scale guitars never sounds right to me. Dull and slightly off.
Yeah when I read a player has the same problem like this with multiple Telecasters I tend to think the players hearing may be acute and they are listening too closely to two notes alone in tiled bathroom; OR, it relates to something like depending on the fretboard to regulate how far they squeeze the strings down.

I think before the internet we chose guitars that worked for us.

But today some of us choose guitars like the Tele, that make sounds we are uncomfortable with.
Other signs people who dont really like the Tele for what it is are sales of hot dark bridge pickups and hemp cone speakers to dull the intensely bright clear tone.

No guitar is dead on at every fret.
Choose guitars you like to hear yourself playing, then play with other people and pay less attention to the bright clear delivery of the by nature imperfect guitar.
 

telemnemonics

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I think you are both saying the same thing. Some people are more sensitive to the G-B-E dissonances that others. An electric doesn't bother me as much as an acoustic. If it annoys me, I drop the B a few cents for my cowboy chords.
Personally I LOVE the strings interacting on the electric guitar.

Music is to me like sex.
Music note pitch is like surfing, once you introduce multiple notes into the soundspace.

The stuff that certain overly sensitive players hear as something WRONG?
Not all of us hear the limitations of the guitar, as presented at the extreme with the Tele bridge and bridge pickup, as A PROBLEM.
(I do agree that the pickup angle making the high E extra shrill compared to the G&B can be improved, so I straighten out the bridge pickup on some guitars and then dont have to treat that high E string differently when picking. On a stock Esquire though I absolutely pick the high E differently and sometimes play notes on the B if the tone I want is harder to get on the bright E.)

Same as sex or surfing.
We do not focus on the imprefections of the wave or of our lover.
Instead we marvel, bask, and ride it as best we can.

But maybe we do decide to surf a different beach?
If we are uncomfortable?

Music is an artform.
Go to a museum and look at great master paintings.
Check out the hands in a Rembrandt.
Then either criticize the flaws or bask in the overall experience.

I dont mean guitars should not be properly adjusted, but when a row of Telecasters all make us cringe, we may need to look in the mirror, not at the guitar, for the answer.
 
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Wound_Up

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My last comment, as i'm not going to argue about what i hear with someone who doesn't hear thru my ears....i hear it whatever degree it is (and 1/100 at WHAT HEIGHT?!) when action is higher than i have mine, and even sometimes with guitars who's action i can't get as low as i'd like. You can keep telling me i don't hear it if you'd like but i won't be replying anymore because to do so is futile. I know what i hear, you don't. You know what YOU hear. Now that we know you and I don't hear the same thing, can we just end this? It's futile. I'm done.

it's been scientifically proven that "intervals of less than 3-4 cents are imperceptible to the human ear..."

Its like when you hold two things and try to determine which is heavier. There must be something like a 20% or higher difference in weight before its perceptible by the human hand/nervous system/whatever.
 
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nickmm

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it's been scientifically proven that "intervals of less than 3-4 cents are imperceptible to the human ear..."
But if you hear the 2 notes together you will hear the beat or chorus.
But a strobe tuner will go down to 1/100 of a cent.. we can't hear that. But we can measure it.
 

AndrewG

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I have a few Teles and, with each of them, the high E string always gives me troubles.
- It is tuned / fine tuned just like all of the other strings - but it never sounds 'in tune'
- Yes, it registers correctly on chromatic tuners, but it still sounds off. After using a tuner, I still need to re-tune that E.
- I've sanded the nut slot, used graphite, stretched the strings... it's still a problem
- The guitars have different bridges, tuners, and string trees - so I don't see a common denominator in that regard

Any ideas or suggestions?
Using an electronic tuner will only tell you that each individual string is at the 'correct' pitch, not how it interacts with the others in chords and in varying keys. I always need to tweak and 'sweeten' the tuning a little after using a tuner for that reason. For instance; tune your guitar so a first position D-chord sounds in tune. Now play an Am-it will sound horribly out of tune-and vice versa. There's nothing inherently wrong with our guitars, you just need be aware of the limitations of both an electronic tuner and tempered tuning. Having steel strings with widely-varying gauges adds another layer of complication-hence adjustable bridges. You'll have noticed that classical guitars with string gauges that vary much less in gauge have no saddle compensation at all; just a straight-across bridge.
 
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Wrighty

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Sorry to be sceptical, but if you are hearing ALL of the top Es on ALL of your Teles as out of tune, you’ve either found some hitherto unnoticed flaw in the Fender Telecaster or are, and I don’t intend this to be a nasty comment, edging toward paranoia. I’ve been there myself, something is wrong, you can’t seem to correct it and then perceive other issues with with the guitar or the issue with other guitars. Not sure what the average sensitivity to tuning is, I seem to remember reading somewhere that most begin to hear it around 2 cents either side of ‘bang on’. My advice would be to tune your guitars with an accurate tuner and then, if they sound a little off to you, tweak ‘em ‘til you’re happy. The chances are they’ll sound OK to everyone else as well. Chill, make music and stuff the science and theory!
 




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