If your string is out-of-tune, fix it before starting the intonation process. To compensate for this—and you’ll often hear intonation referred to as ‘compensation’—we make each string a little longer, effectively flattening it. There are 21 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This is something that you can do at home, but if you feel at all uncomfortable doing it, go ahead and take it to a luthier. It usually only costs around $40 to $50.". Saddle on acoustic guitar angles to allow bigger strings more compensation. Never turn it more than a complete turn. To check if your guitar has been warped by lack of humidity in a way that could affect its intonation, lay your guitar on a table and set a ruler across the top of it. The last part of setting up any guitar or bass so it will play ideally for you is to set the intonation. The action could be too high (strings are too high off the fret board) - this can be from the truss rod needing an adjustment, the nut being too high, or the saddle being too high. If you see any cracks or separation at the neck joint, or notice any warping along the width of the neck, take your guitar to an experienced luthier. The 12th fret notes being flat would mean that the strings are too long - it's possible that the slot for the saddle was cut too far away from the nut. A hard case is ideal, but even a good quality soft-sided gig bag is better than simply leaving it out exposed to the elements. You can buy a chromatic tuner at any guitar store relatively cheaply, if you don't already have one. This can help you avoid making mistakes that can take a lot more time and effort to fix. When you buy a new set of strings, check the actual gauge carefully. Carlos Alonzo Rivera is a guitarist, composer, and educator based in San Francisco, California. Old strings can be a problem and can cause issues. Tap the string at the 12th fret to make it chime for the harmonic sound. wikiHow, Inc. is the copyright holder of this image under U.S. and international copyright laws. This image is not<\/b> licensed under the Creative Commons license applied to text content and some other images posted to the wikiHow website. Check your inbox for an email for me—you'll need to confirm your subscription there. It runs around US $25, so it's a worthwhile investment f you regularly set up guitars or basses with OFR style bridges. If you notice any worn or damaged frets, take your guitar to a luthier for repair. Any guitar bought off the shelf, no matter how expensive, may have intonation problems. Since this isn't back in the day, though, I'm going to assume you'll probably be using an electronic tuner of some sort. When raising your nut, start with the smallest sliver – if you raise your nut too high you could adversely affect the tone of your instrument. Before we begin, you should remember that intonation is the last thing you will do when setting up your guitar or bass. Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered. Hold the neck of your guitar at eye level. This can certainly help matters but try to make sure you use a decent one. You may need to do this several times. This is why you can see an acoustic guitar saddle angles back as it goes from treble to bass strings. This image may not be used by other entities without the express written consent of wikiHow, Inc.
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\u00a9 2020 wikiHow, Inc. All rights reserved. You might try using harmonics to tune the guitar to itself. My fixed-bridge acoustic guitar has the same-sounding notes when I hit each open string with their corresponding harmonic at the 12th fret, but when I push down on the 12th fret it's 1/2 step flat. Then, determine if the tone of the fretted string is higher or lower than that harmonic. This image is not<\/b> licensed under the Creative Commons license applied to text content and some other images posted to the wikiHow website. You can preset the basic intonation of your guitar by taking a tape measure and measuring from the inside of the nut to the center of the 12th fret (the fret wire itself; not the fingerboard). Once you've got the intonation set in the first string, go back and repeat the entire process with the second string, and so on, until all of your strings have good intonation. If the pitch is off, your intonation is off. This image is not<\/b> licensed under the Creative Commons license applied to text content and some other images posted to the wikiHow website. A guitar with good intonation will be in-tune everywhere on the fretboard. [1] String compensation. This image may not be used by other entities without the express written consent of wikiHow, Inc.
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\u00a9 2020 wikiHow, Inc. All rights reserved. No, usually the intonation on an acoustic guitar is fixed by the single bridge piece. This stretching sharpens the note by just a little. If you've never set up a guitar or bass before, it's a good idea to take your instrument to a tech who will set it up for you while also showing you what they're doing. When you've finished setting the intonation, check to make sure all screws are tightened. Carlos specializes in the following genres: classical, jazz. wikiHow, Inc. is the copyright holder of this image under U.S. and international copyright laws. We use cookies to make wikiHow great. We know ads can be annoying, but they’re what allow us to make all of wikiHow available for free. You'll have to hold the tremolo in this position the whole time you're adjusting the bridge, so make sure you can do this comfortably. This image is not<\/b> licensed under the Creative Commons license applied to text content and some other images posted to the wikiHow website. This image may not be used by other entities without the express written consent of wikiHow, Inc.
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