How can I fix my intonation?

This article brought to you by
Joey P.
(Joey in the discussion forums)

What is intonation…

  • Adjusting the intonation on your guitar is basically like fine tuning the scale of the guitar. The reason why each string has it’s own saddles and spring is so you can adjust the intonation of each string. Different gauge strings require different intonation position. If you go from using 9’s to using 13’s you will most likely need to adjust the intonation. If a guitar is not propertly intonated it will sound out of tune when 2 or more strings are played together.

Tools…

  • Screwdriver
  • Electric Tuner

intonation

How to…

  • Step #1: Tune your guitar to the tuning you use most. If you tune to standard tuning but also use Drop D occasionally then tune your guitar to standard using your electric tuner.
  • Step #2: Fret your first string at the 12th fret. Using your electric tuner pick the note at the 12th fret. If the note is slightly out of tune at the 12th fret then take your screw driver and adjust the saddle. Move the saddle towards the neck if it’s flat (undertuned) and move the saddle toward the butt of the guitar if it’s sharp (overtuned).
  • Step #3: Retune the string open again using your electric tuner. Fret the guitar at the 12th fret again. If it’s still out of tune then repeat step #2 again. If the string is in tune then move to the next string and repeat step #2.
Bridge View
Bridge View
Saddle Adjustment
Saddle Adjustment

Aftermath…

  • You’ll notice when playing solo’s and messing w/ the octaves on the guitar that the guitar sounds insync w/ the note all around the fretboard. Adjusting the intonation will also make all the chords on the guitar sound better from the 1st to the last fret.

Time…

  • 5-15 minutes

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