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Intonation tricks

Discussion in 'Tele-Technical' started by loopfinding, Oct 22, 2020.

  1. chris m.

    chris m. Poster Extraordinaire

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    I don’t know about what a strobe would say, but I do know that some guitars have sweeter intonation than others by hearing it with my ear. And True temper necks are uncanny, lapping the field.
     
  2. Tele22

    Tele22 Tele-Meister

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    I’m not sure whether you’re saying you tune so that Am7 plays perfectly at the 5th fret, or that you use Am7 at the 5th fret to determine proper string length for intonation...

    In any event, I made sure that an Am7th at the 5th fret on my classical guitar was in tune, and the results sounded pretty good.
     
  3. darkwaters

    darkwaters Friend of Leo's

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    Yes and yes. I intonate so that the notes of Am7 at the 5th fret for each string are right rather than each note at the 12th being right. Also, when I tune, I make sure that the notes of Am7 are correct. The low E usually comes out a little flat. Sounds right, though.

    Yes, Am7 on my classical is also dead on. All my acoustics have dead on intonation actually. I'd like to take credit, but I guess it's just how they were built.
     
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  4. Edgebound

    Edgebound TDPRI Member

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    Hi all, don’t get on here much, but I found out about this method several years ago and found it works very well (for me and my guitars)-

    Tune D to a known source.

    Pluck 12th fret harmonic on D, and tune G fretted on 7th fret.

    Pluck 12th fret harmonic on D, and tune B on 3rd fret.

    Pluck 12th fret harmonic on G, and tune high E on 3rd fret.

    Tune 12th fret harmonic of A, to 2nd fret on G (pluck harm 1st!).

    Tune 5th fret harmonic in low E to high open E (pluck harm 1st).
    It’s quite interesting to see how close (or not!) the resulting string pitches are to a tuner.
     
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  5. Eric Dalton

    Eric Dalton TDPRI Member

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    Good ol' open string to 12th-fretted note works well for me; but some guitars are better than others. To me, every guitar, no matter how well it is intonated, the low E sounds sharp when fretted anywhere. I tune my guitar and then detune the low E ever so slightly to compensate. There is no perfect answer, because the theoretical method for intonating is compromised by mechanical impurities in real life. I will say that I have had good results with compensated nuts like Earvana, but out of my eight electrics I am not currently using one. Set the intonation as best you can, tune up the guitar, and then play some chords and tweak your tuning accordingly and ever so slightly. Trust your ears (or learn to!).
     
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  6. chris m.

    chris m. Poster Extraordinaire

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    I always drop my low E a scoche as well.
     
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  7. Marblatx

    Marblatx TDPRI Member

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    I intonate normally, open and 12th, but I tune at the third.
     
  8. Telenator

    Telenator Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    Agreed. If there isn't a problem, I don't make one.
     
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  9. Jay Jernigan

    Jay Jernigan Tele-Afflicted

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    Two things have to BE in tune:
    Cowboy chords (G,C, A &D)
    Higher octaves.
    Everything else gets played in tune, anyway.
    (Or not)
     
  10. LoveThatBadd

    LoveThatBadd TDPRI Member

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    Yeah G slightly flat sounds much better than sharp.

    Plus I like using a Peterson Strobe VS-1 or even better the Peterson Strobo Stomp pedal that is very accurate and Since I play a lot in the areas of 5th or 7th Fret If they are out and the 12th is dead on I will slightly tweek intonation so those two are as good as possible without getting the 12th to far off.
     
  11. breadfreak

    breadfreak TDPRI Member

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    Intonation nightmares are in my experience all down to nuts cut too high. The slots don't need to be *any* higher than the frets! Sharp notes at the first few frets are because you are literally bending the string down towards the fret, since the nut is holding it up so high to begin with.

    So I start with neck relief, then cut the nut to match. Once that's out of the way it doesn't matter if you're comparing open strings to the 12 fret, or 1st to 13th, or 2nd to 7th on the previous string or whatever other scheme.

    On guitars without adjustable bridges, or any guitar that I've just picked up cause it was lying around, I tune the guitar to be in tune playing a G barre chord or an Am7 so it's close enough up and down.
     
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