Skip to content
Slide setup and fre...
Clear all

Slide setup and fretboard intonation

4 Posts
4 Users
Active Member
Joined: 12 years ago
Posts: 3
Topic starter  

As a slide player I like to retain the ability to comp along the changes no matter how elaborate.

I've spent a lot of time re-learning chord grips to accomodate both the open E tuning and the fact that my 3rd finger is bound in brass.

HOWEVER. After setting my action up really high for a nice pure slide tone I have noticed the intonation is pretty poor for fretted chords. Even after lots of tweaking there is still dissonance.

Is this just a reality of having very high action?

Blue Jay
Noble Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 1630

I think so, other players complain. :| IMO, the distance that you push to fret a note stretches the string.

It would be helpful to know if it is electric or acoustic, probably electric, and you have some adjustment. :?

Like a bird on the wire,
like a drunk in a midnight choir
I have tried in my way to be free.

Illustrious Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 4921

It's just a reality of a high setup.

Think about it this way... imagine you're pushing that string down to the fret. Now rotate that image 90º - you're bending the string that much. Just like doing a regular string bend, except in a different direction.

Guitar teacher offering lessons in Plainfield IL

Honorable Member
Joined: 13 years ago
Posts: 549

You can mitigate that reality somewhat by using heavier strings. All my guitars are strung with .012s with action set so that I can slide or fret, and they intonate well. Not perfectly. It seems to be a question of finding that sweet spot between extremes of string height. Sweet spot is bigger with stouter strings.

"You can't write a chord ugly enough to say what you want to say sometimes, so you have to rely on a giraffe filled with whipped cream." - Frank Zappa