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Intonation for guitar - Tips & Tricks

Intonation

It is quite simple to do, here is how I do it. First, you need a good tuner. For you computer guys - I recommend AP Tuner, a shareware software tuner that is awesome. Any decent tuner pedal should work too (I use my Rocktron X-tune also).

  1. Start by tuning your guitar as normal.
  2. Starting on the first string, press down your finger on the 2nd fret. Now, if the note is not perfectly in tune, use your tuner and tune the string so it's perfectly in tune (for me, a green light indicates when it's right on).
  3. Next, press down your finger at the 14th fret and see if the note is sharp or flat.
  4. If it is flat, turn the saddle screws clockwise so that the bridge saddle moves towards the pickups. This will make the overall string length slightly shorter.
  5. If the note is sharp, do the opposite - turn them counter-clockwise. Make the bridge saddle move away from the pickups, making the string length longer.
  6. Adjust until the note is right on both when fretting the string on the 2nd fret and when you fret the string at the 14th fret.
  7. Repeat for all strings.

It makes it so much more enjoyable to play the guitar! Playing chords higher up on the neck still sounds in tune - what a joy. Mine didn't do that before.

Practice with metronome or drum machine?

Actually, there is a very economical and fun alternative to practicing with a metronome or a " dedicated " drum machine.

These little portable keyboards are great for practice! They may sound kinda crappy, but they are easy to use and provide basic rhythm patterns that are perfect for practicing your chops.

You could also get a keyboard from Musician's Friend:

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