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I Can't Tune

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FrettinNoize
(@frettinnoize)
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Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 4
Topic starter  

I have no Idea what a tuned string sounds like. I mean I can tune along with my professor but when I'm on my own time I can't tell whether or not the last E string is in tune so that I can proceed to tune the rest of them. I tried an electronic tuner but it sounds out of whack. Any suggestions? :oops:

Music is the only gospel that everybody know ~the inside of a 4th Ave. Jones CD notes


   
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jtb226
(@jtb226)
Estimable Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 106
 

next time you are with your teacher, explain your problem to him/her and ask if they can help. not sure why you coulnd't get the electric tuner to work...

"Heavy decibels are playing on my guitar
We got vibrations comin' up from the floor
We're just listenin' to the rock
That's givin' too much noise....
Rock and roll ain't noise pollution"
~AC/DC


   
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margaret
(@margaret)
Noble Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 1675
 

Maybe take the electronic tuner with you to the lesson and ask for some help. Maybe it's got an adjustable calibration and is not set to, what is it supposed to be, 440 Hz?

Does your electronic tuner have a jack where you can put the guitar directly into the tuner, rather than having the tuner "listen" to the guitar through the air?

Margaret

When my mind is free, you know a melody can move me
And when I'm feelin' blue, the guitar's comin' through to soothe me ~


   
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Smitty420
(@smitty420)
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Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 7
 

if you have a korg chromatic tuner then you can just plug your guitar into it and slowly tune the string to tune. you can also hold the 2nd fret on the A string (second from top) and it is E aslong as your A is in tune. but if it isnt it will still work with your flat A because it will be a flat E! atleast you will sound ok until you get your tuning problems out hehe but if you dont have a korg "chromatic tuner" i suggest you get one because you can plug in and do the button beep sound for acoustics but its great and its under 20 dollars. also your E string 11th fret should sound like your 3rd string from the top D. i donno ive only been playing for a year and this seems to be my direction so far. i can tune if i have a string in tune to use by finding the note on another string so if that doesnt make sense then dont mind me lol..


   
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smokindog
(@smokindog)
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Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 5345
 

Try tuning to this first :D
http://www.8notes.com/guitar_tuner/default.asp?sstring=e1
If you can get the guitar close to being in tune, it might be easier to use your tuner to get it the rest of the way in tune. It can be hard to use a chromatic tuner if your guitar is way off tune to begin with.--the dog

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Wes Inman
(@wes-inman)
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Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 5582
 

If you use an electronic tuner, tune all strings to correct pitch, but still your guitar sounds way out of tune, then most likely your intonation is way off. Intonation very basically means your guitar is in tune over the complete fretboard.

Take your guitar to your local shop and have them set it up for you.

But if you want to set intonation yourself it is not difficult, you just have to take your time and not hurry. Once you do this one time it will be very easy after that.

1) Tune all open strings to correct pitch.

2) Tune the open 6th string to pitch (bass E string).

3) Fret the E string at the 12th fret and see if it is still in tune. If the fretted note at the 12th is sharp (very likely) compared to the open string, then you need to loosen the string a little slack, and adjust the saddle for that string back toward the rear of the guitar. Retune the open string to pitch, then try the string fretted at the 12th again. It may take you several attempts, but you will be able to get the notes to match almost perfectly. If the fretted note at the 12th fret is flat compared to the open string, then you need to move the saddle forward toward the headstock. Always loosen a string a little slack before you adjust a saddle. Then tune back up to check the intonation. It's a little work and hassle, but well worth it.

4) Go through the other 5 strings like this.

If you do this carefully you will find your guitar sounds great and in tune over the entire fretboard.

If you know something better than Rock and Roll, I'd like to hear it - Jerry Lee Lewis


   
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Smitty420
(@smitty420)
Active Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 7
 

wes, is that for tuning with a flloyd rose? because if so i see what your saying but whatabout a fixed bridge or something of that same design.


   
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Wes Inman
(@wes-inman)
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Joined: 19 years ago
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Smitty420

Intonation applies whether you have a fixed bridge or floating Floyd Rose type bridge. You can have more problems with a floating bridge than a fixed.

The term "fixed" does not mean you cannot make certain adjustments to it. It just means the bridge doesn't rock like a Floyd Rose with tremelo bar.

Very basically, your 12th fret should be in the center of your entire string length from the nut to the saddle. That is not really true, you actually add just a little length from the 12th fret to the saddle, about 1/16 inch. But you shouldn't use a scale or ruler to set intonation, use a tuner.

Different things can affect your intonation. If you raise or lower your saddles to adjust your action, this can change your intonation. If you do not have your floating bridge set up properly, this can really throw off your intonation. A floating bridge should float parallel to the guitar's body when the guitar is in tune.

Lots of players like down tunings today. So they will tune their strings down a half, full, one-and-a-half, or even two steps below normal tuning. This decreases string tension, often the springs underneath your floating bridge will pull the bridge down in the rear (looking from the top of the guitar). This will cause the top of your bridge (the saddles) to rock back toward the rear. Well, this lengthens the distance from the 12th fret to the saddle, now your fretted notes will often be flat.

If the distance from the 12th fret to the saddle is greater than the distance from the nut to the 12th fret, fretted notes (especially up high) will be flat. If the distance from the 12th fret to the saddle is shorter than the distance from the nut to the 12th fret, fretted notes will be sharp.

Does that make sense? The shorter the string length, the higher the pitch.

Anyway, it is not that complicated. Just fret a note at the 12th and compare it to the open string. If the fretted note is sharp, move the saddle toward the rear of your guitar. If the fretted note is flat compared to the open string, move the saddle forward toward the headstock.

Always loosen strings slightly slack before adjusting a saddle.

Here is a good article with pictures on adjusting intonation. It is not difficult at all.

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

Usually, when you have the saddles adjusted correctly, they will not look straight. They will usually look staggered and angled sort of like this:

The angle is exaggerated there, but you get the idea. The bass E string saddle will be a little further back than the A and D strings, and the G string saddle will be further back as well. You usually get two angles like that.

Here is a pic of a properly intonated saddle, they will almost always look very similar to this when properly adjusted.

If you know something better than Rock and Roll, I'd like to hear it - Jerry Lee Lewis


   
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