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Hy Bound
02-22-2010, 04:20 PM
Ok, so this is most likely a super noob-y question, but I'm getting a little frustrated...

So, I have a couple guitars I've been practicing on and attempting to record stuff with. However, when I try tuning them, i go halfway up the frets and its showing that its out of tune by like 23 ct... Now, I don't have the absolute most expensive guitars available, but they're pretty damn good ones, so it doesn't seem like they should be off by that much. I'm getting frustrated chopping each tuned note out of a recorded series to hopefully get it to sound natural (and in tune). Am I missing something?

AMT
02-22-2010, 04:41 PM
Sounds like your intonation is off. It's pretty easy to get roughly in order by yourself, check it out:

http://www.projectguitar.com/tut/intonate.htm

It's a good thing to learn how to do yourself. If you don't have the time / tools or want it to be done perfectly, take it to a guitar shop and get a basic setup. That usually costs around $35 or so.

Level 99
02-22-2010, 05:40 PM
Besides intonation, you might also want to check the strings you're using, how hard you're pressing the strings, and if you're accidentally bending the strings while pressing. I've found that, a number of times, I might be pressing too hard or pressing in a way that causes the string to go a little out of tune through bending. It does happen with guitars, and intonation is an issue that becomes more prevalent over time and through guitar usage, but check the other possible culprits first before you take it to get repaired. You might not need it.

The lighter the string, the more likely a hard press will bend it further out of tune. What gauge string are you using?

Also, is it getting out of tune only when playing on the frets, or does playing make it out of tune completely? Example: you tune it, you play a note, that note is out of tune. does the open string stay in tune or also go out of tune?

Edit: WHOA! DBS! Did you change your remixer name?!

AMT
02-22-2010, 05:48 PM
Indeed I did! I thought I'd mention it whenever we submit something, but I'm going to use this name for mixes / etc, so I figured I should change my username to match.

LuketheXjesse
02-22-2010, 06:07 PM
The lighter the string, the more likely a hard press will bend it further out of tune.

This.

Also the better your bridge/tremolo is, the better it will stay in tune.

SnappleMan
02-22-2010, 08:43 PM
Intonation is a bitch sometimes. It doesn't matter how good your guitars are, if you don't get them set up professionally, you wont get good results out of them.

Hy Bound
02-23-2010, 05:41 AM
Thanks guys! It turns out the intonation thing is what the problem was. I'll keep everything else in mind as well.

GarretGraves
02-23-2010, 11:57 PM
Yeah intonation can really mess up your sound. Even the best guitars out there can sound outta tune with bad intonation.

prophetik music
02-25-2010, 11:40 AM
Yeah intonation can really mess up your sound. Even the best guitars out there can sound outta tune with bad intonation.

AHAHAHAHA intonation = tuning, knucklehead! know your werdz!

incidentally, what guitars are you playing, hy bound? if they're No Child Left Behind-quality (a la walmart or kmart), that's half your battle right there.

my intonation issues are invariably caused by just using shitty strings for months too long, more than anything else.

Hy Bound
02-25-2010, 06:57 PM
I have an Epiphone Hollow-body and an Ibanez Bass Guitar. Both were about 500 buckaroos, so hopefully it wasn't too much because of quality...

On the other hand, my acoustic was $20 about 30 years ago at a pawn shop. My dad gave it to me, so that one is definitely because of quality...

SnappleMan
02-26-2010, 04:46 AM
AHAHAHAHA intonation = tuning, knucklehead! know your werdz!

incidentally, what guitars are you playing, hy bound? if they're No Child Left Behind-quality (a la walmart or kmart), that's half your battle right there.

my intonation issues are invariably caused by just using shitty strings for months too long, more than anything else.

Strings don't cause intonation problems. Changing string gauges does because the balance between neck strain and relief is thrown off. Leaving strings on your guitar for too long can rarely cause intonation problems if they're on there for a REALLY long time. If your strings are causing intonation problems after only a couple months then you're not tightening them correctly and they're slowly wearing away at the points where they're secured on the guitar.

Anyway, like I said above, to solve intonation problems the best thing to do is take your guitars for setups at a decent luthier. It'll cost about $30-50 per guitar, and unless you make major string gauge changes you shouldn't have to get another setup for at least a couple years. If you don't have the $50 it's relatively easy to do this yourself.

First thing you should do is tune the guitar to pitch on just the open strings then fret at the 12th fret, the note should be EXACT to the open string, if it's sharp that means that the string is too short (the length of the string is measured from the nut to the bridge, more specifically from the points of contact with the nut and bridge). If it's sharp then adjust your bridge saddle so it moves away from the neck slightly (the saddle is the little part on the bridge that holds the string in place, there should be adjustment screws on the end of the saddle, since it vaires by bridge I can't really tell you were it is exactly). If the string is flat, it's too long, so move the saddle closer to the neck. Every time you adjust, retune your string and check the open and 12th fret. Once both are in tune, you've set the intonation on that string.

The key here is to work in very small increments.

prophetik music
02-26-2010, 04:54 AM
and they're slowly wearing away at the points where they're secured on the guitar

the first guitar i learned on was horrid, and the strings were literally about five or six years old. this happened. i hit my guitar with a hammer and bought a nice one :<

SnappleMan
02-26-2010, 04:58 AM
Yeah man, the same goes with any guitar that has a cheap bridge. If the manufacturer of the bridge doesn't take time to roll the edges a little and produce a better product, you'll always be cutting the strings away with it.

Legion303
03-06-2010, 12:58 PM
First thing you should do is tune the guitar to pitch on just the open strings then fret at the 12th fret, the note should be EXACT to the open string

Pretty sure it should be an octave higher than the open string.

<_<
>_>

I'll just grab my coat on the way out.

-steve