Intonation – why it’s important for guitarists.
So you’ve tuned your guitar right? – You can play an Open E chord and it sounds great?…Ok now play a E bar chord an octave up – still sound great…? Sounds out of tune? Maybe your guitar’s intonation is out. If your intonation is out then your guitar will sound out of tune the higher up the neck you go so it’s important to get right.
Intonation means that a guitar plays in tune at every fret. To put it right all you need is a little time a screwdriver and a tuner.
So let’s get to it and adjust our intonation.
1. Tune your low E string.
2. Play your low E string at the 12th Fret. If your tuner shows a change in the pitch your guitar is incorrectly intonated and will need adjusting.
3. Where a string is not intonated properly you’ll need to adjust the position of the saddle on for the string on your guitar’s bridge. Electric guitars can have a variety of bridges so you’ll need the correct screwdriver for this task. By tightening the screw you’ll flatten the note and loosening it will sharpen the note. Adjust the screw appropriately.
4. Retune the string to a perfect E.
Now repeat the steps on all strings – depending on your style of guitar and importantly your style of bridge you’ll probably need to repeat this a couple of times to get it right.
So there you go – that’s how to get spot on intonation!
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