Tuning

Guitar Tricks Forum > Guitar Basics > Tuning

omaof3

Registered User

Joined: 08/27/11

Posts: 14

When I tune my guitar (with an electronic tuner, some times check with the organ) and it is in tune - then when I play it doesn't sound quite right. Checking with the tuner; for instance, the C on the B string, the note is sharp, while the B is in tune. Anybody know what causes this?

I also find my guitar easier to play with the capo on - the strings are closer to the fretboard then - do the better quality guitars have the strings situated closer to the fretboard? Is that why they are said to be easier to play?

#1

When I tune my guitar (with an electronic tuner, some times check with the organ) and it is in tune - then when I play it doesn't sound quite right. Checking with the tuner; for instance, the C on the B string, the note is sharp, while the B is in tune. Anybody know what causes this?

I also find my guitar easier to play with the capo on - the strings are closer to the fretboard then - do the better quality guitars have the strings situated closer to the fretboard? Is that why they are said to be easier to play?

hunter1801

Registered User

Joined: 01/26/05

Posts: 1331

Could be that your intonation is off. Check the open string, to the 12th fret. They should be the exact same pitch. If it is sharp/flat then it is a problem with intonation. You would have to adjust the saddle and move it back if the string is sharp, forward if it's flat.

Better quality guitars are of course going to be set up better. Not sure what kind of guitar you have so can't comment on it being "cheap" or not.

#2

Could be that your intonation is off. Check the open string, to the 12th fret. They should be the exact same pitch. If it is sharp/flat then it is a problem with intonation. You would have to adjust the saddle and move it back if the string is sharp, forward if it's flat.

Better quality guitars are of course going to be set up better. Not sure what kind of guitar you have so can't comment on it being "cheap" or not.

omaof3

Registered User

Joined: 08/27/11

Posts: 14

Thanks, I'll check that.
My guitar is an acoustic Hawthorne by Walden. I paid $200 for it and thought that was plenty for a beginner guitar not being sure I would like it. But then I was looking around on the 'net and found guitars in the $2000 and more range! Other than the body being made of solid wood I wonder what all the differences are. I wouldn't mind playing one of those just to feel the difference ;-)

#3

Thanks, I'll check that.
My guitar is an acoustic Hawthorne by Walden. I paid $200 for it and thought that was plenty for a beginner guitar not being sure I would like it. But then I was looking around on the 'net and found guitars in the $2000 and more range! Other than the body being made of solid wood I wonder what all the differences are. I wouldn't mind playing one of those just to feel the difference ;-)

Ben Lindholm

Guitar Tricks Instructor

Joined: 02/02/02

Posts: 980

The solid wood makes a difference, but mainly for the top of the guitar. I have played many VERY good guitars with just a solid top, and laminate sides and back.

More expensive instruments are usually set up really well, and intonated perfectly for a certain string gauge (most often .12s). You will also hear that the tone is more balanced, and a lot of the extra noise you get from cheap guitars is gone.

If the guitar has a pickup system, more expensive guitars usually have a better one.

You don't need to go as high as $2000 though to find a close to perfect acoustic guitar. There are many very good guitars for around $1000 that are good enough for professionals.

A lot of the extra $$$ you pay above $1000-1500 can be for purely cosmetic improvements like inlays and the most beautiful pieces of wood.

I have played guitars that cost $5000 that didn't feel good at all.
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#4

The solid wood makes a difference, but mainly for the top of the guitar. I have played many VERY good guitars with just a solid top, and laminate sides and back.

More expensive instruments are usually set up really well, and intonated perfectly for a certain string gauge (most often .12s). You will also hear that the tone is more balanced, and a lot of the extra noise you get from cheap guitars is gone.

If the guitar has a pickup system, more expensive guitars usually have a better one.

You don't need to go as high as $2000 though to find a close to perfect acoustic guitar. There are many very good guitars for around $1000 that are good enough for professionals.

A lot of the extra $$$ you pay above $1000-1500 can be for purely cosmetic improvements like inlays and the most beautiful pieces of wood.

I have played guitars that cost $5000 that didn't feel good at all.
My newest tutorials:
Pentatonic Speedster
Funk Lick Library A2
Bat Country
Funk Lick Library A1
Tapping: Level 4
Tapping: Level 3
Alternate Picking: Level 2

Find all of my lessons here:
Complete Lesson Catalog

hunter1801

Registered User

Joined: 01/26/05

Posts: 1331

Well if it's an acoustic, it's more complicated if it's an intonation issue. You are kind of stuck to a certain extent. On electrics, you can adjust the saddle back and forth easily. Acoustics don't have the same set-up so you don't have a saddle that you can move to adjust each string.

I would take it in to a shop and ask them to have a look at it.

$200 is fine for a beginner guitar. I wouldn't even really consider it a "cheap" beginner guitar. Paying like $50-100 would be cheap and would almost guarantee that there are going to be huge differences in playing.

#5

Well if it's an acoustic, it's more complicated if it's an intonation issue. You are kind of stuck to a certain extent. On electrics, you can adjust the saddle back and forth easily. Acoustics don't have the same set-up so you don't have a saddle that you can move to adjust each string.

I would take it in to a shop and ask them to have a look at it.

$200 is fine for a beginner guitar. I wouldn't even really consider it a "cheap" beginner guitar. Paying like $50-100 would be cheap and would almost guarantee that there are going to be huge differences in playing.

firewalkerb4

Registered User

Joined: 01/23/12

Posts: 12

I had posted on here earlier; I was having somewhat of the same issue. I took my guitar to a music store where they lowered the bridge and replaced the strings with Martin strings. My guitar was just under 200.00. The cost was under 20.00 and made a world of different in the performance of the guitar. The F major was killing me, trying to get it for a week. After the above adjustments were done; making it a lot easier. I still cant just roll with F Major, but can play with some concentration.
I also had a problem with the tuning, using a Shark Electric Tuner. The tuner would show that the strings were on the money, but when I strummed them you could tell that they were not right. Thats when I got to thinking, a guitar has 7 Major notes right A,B,C,D,E,F,& G, how many times can I produce a E on string 1. Well I found out that you can tune the 1st string to play 3 different levels of E, the same applies to the other 5 strings and their respective note. This is what happened with me, Im a beginner so Im struggling with learning, but having fun. My wife has showed me some new faces I had not seen before, you would think after 28 years of marriage proceeded by 2 years of dating I would have seen them all by now. Wrong Just kidding. I hope this helps,
Mike

#6

I had posted on here earlier; I was having somewhat of the same issue. I took my guitar to a music store where they lowered the bridge and replaced the strings with Martin strings. My guitar was just under 200.00. The cost was under 20.00 and made a world of different in the performance of the guitar. The F major was killing me, trying to get it for a week. After the above adjustments were done; making it a lot easier. I still cant just roll with F Major, but can play with some concentration.
I also had a problem with the tuning, using a Shark Electric Tuner. The tuner would show that the strings were on the money, but when I strummed them you could tell that they were not right. Thats when I got to thinking, a guitar has 7 Major notes right A,B,C,D,E,F,& G, how many times can I produce a E on string 1. Well I found out that you can tune the 1st string to play 3 different levels of E, the same applies to the other 5 strings and their respective note. This is what happened with me, Im a beginner so Im struggling with learning, but having fun. My wife has showed me some new faces I had not seen before, you would think after 28 years of marriage proceeded by 2 years of dating I would have seen them all by now. Wrong Just kidding. I hope this helps,
Mike

Razbo

Full Access

Joined: 03/02/09

Posts: 1562

From your description, I think you need to have a set up. Regardless of technique or string type, if your geet is set up too high, it stretches the string more than it should to fret it, making the note go sharp. Nut slots: That's your problem. Smilie Get them reslotted by someone with the right tools.
...so ever since then, I always hang on to the buckle.

#7

From your description, I think you need to have a set up. Regardless of technique or string type, if your geet is set up too high, it stretches the string more than it should to fret it, making the note go sharp. Nut slots: That's your problem. Smilie Get them reslotted by someone with the right tools.
...so ever since then, I always hang on to the buckle.

firewalkerb4

Registered User

Joined: 01/23/12

Posts: 12

What is a geet on a guitar? I'm new to playing and learning about a guitar.

#8

What is a geet on a guitar? I'm new to playing and learning about a guitar.

hunter1801

Registered User

Joined: 01/26/05

Posts: 1331

Originally Posted by: firewalkerb4
What is a geet on a guitar? I'm new to playing and learning about a guitar.


"Geetar" would be my guess

#9

Originally Posted by: firewalkerb4
What is a geet on a guitar? I'm new to playing and learning about a guitar.


"Geetar" would be my guess

Ben Lindholm

Guitar Tricks Instructor

Joined: 02/02/02

Posts: 980

Yeah, "geet" or "guit" is just short for guitar. Smilie
My newest tutorials:
Pentatonic Speedster
Funk Lick Library A2
Bat Country
Funk Lick Library A1
Tapping: Level 4
Tapping: Level 3
Alternate Picking: Level 2

Find all of my lessons here:
Complete Lesson Catalog

#10

Yeah, "geet" or "guit" is just short for guitar. Smilie
My newest tutorials:
Pentatonic Speedster
Funk Lick Library A2
Bat Country
Funk Lick Library A1
Tapping: Level 4
Tapping: Level 3
Alternate Picking: Level 2

Find all of my lessons here:
Complete Lesson Catalog