#1
Hi there!

For a long time, I thought my Les Paul had problems with the G string- specifically the A on the G string while playing an Fmaj barre chord. I assumed the intonation was dodgy, but I've checked with my other 2 guitars (one acoustic and one electric) and it sounds exactly the same. I played around with other A's across the fretboard and they all sound a little bit out of tune to me.

Surely, the intonation can't be gone in such a way that only the specific note "A" goes out, on all 3 guitars?

Can anyone suggest why this may be? Honestly, throw things like "tone-deaf" at me and I'll accept it, because this is baffling me!

EDIT: I'm beginning to wonder if- because I'm THINKING and EXPECTING the note to sound out, that I'm making myself think it and it's all in my head. kinda like when you think about ants and you suddenly feel like you're itching

I know this is likely a confusing if nonsensical topic..
Last edited by SilverSpurs616 at Nov 10, 2009,
#6
Why don't you try to just get on with it, maybe if you keep on playing with it like that you'll get used to the sound of the A and maybe it wont sound so bad.
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#7
Quote by branny1982
does your tuner measure your 'A' notes as 'A'??


Yup, perfectly. I'm really baffled by this


I guess I can try and just carry on playing, though it does get distracting
#8
I had a similar problem; always thought that the G string on my Les Paul sounded weird, especially open.
I always just thought it was because I was in Drop B. LOL
But I've gotten used to it and don't even notice it now.

AHAHHAHA I made a dirty pun.
The G String on my Les Paul sounded weird, especially open.
#13
Quote by branny1982
If he had perfect pitch then i thought it may be something to do with equal temperament that was doing it.

by directing him to that site, i was trying to show that the most likely reason is tone deafness!


lol
#14
Quote by deHufter
New strings?


I should have mentioned this. Yes they've been on 2 days- now that you mention it, I've gone from 9's to 11's. Perhaps I'm simply not pressing hard enough, or the difference in strings is causing it? Last time I used 11's (back in March) I also had problems like this. The intonation seems to be fine, before anyone suggests it.

I dunno, I'm starting to go loopy over this. It's really frustrated me and I'm having a very negative week :L
#16
I'm struggling to understand here.

Can you clarify exactly what 'sound' is annoying you?
Is it-

1) ANY 'A' note on your guitar neck
2) ANY 'A' chord
3) Any note on your G string
4) Just the 'A' note on your G string

???

Do you have a keyboard at home?
#17
Quote by branny1982
I'm struggling to understand here.

Can you clarify exactly what 'sound' is annoying you?
Is it-

1) ANY 'A' note on your guitar neck
2) ANY 'A' chord
3) Any note on your G string
4) Just the 'A' note on your G string

???

Do you have a keyboard at home?


I've really confused myself to be honest. At first, it seemed like the G string was always out. That would normally be an intonation issue. It also seemed to be just the lower frets of the G string, then for some reason my ears kept focusing on the note A played on the G string during an Fmaj barre chord. From there, I've somehow convinced myself it's all the A's across the neck...crazy talk, I know. I'm just gonna ask a guy in college (used to work in a guitar shop) about it, it's more than likely the intonation and my mind playing tricks on me
#19
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#20
If the A sounds different when you are making an F chord over just fretting an A on the G string, I'd guess that you may be pressing down harder using one of the methods and pulling the note sharp.

If it sounds the same for both ways, I have no idea what would cause a different intonation.
#21
A is the third of the chord. It's probably off because thirds are hard to get exactly in tune, sometimes you need to lower/raise them to make them sound 'in tune' even if the tuner says they're zero'd.
#22
Sometimes if I've been playing for a long time, almost all the notes sound wrong to me, so I have to put the guitar away for the rest of the day. It happens on my keyboard too, so it's not a tuning issue, just a bitta craziness.
#23
Quote by Declan87
Sometimes if I've been playing for a long time, almost all the notes sound wrong to me, so I have to put the guitar away for the rest of the day. It happens on my keyboard too, so it's not a tuning issue, just a bitta craziness.


Well, that's re-assuring :L
#24
Quote by Disturbed_EMG
I had a similar problem; always thought that the G string on my Les Paul sounded weird, especially open.
I always just thought it was because I was in Drop B. LOL
But I've gotten used to it and don't even notice it now.

AHAHHAHA I made a dirty pun.
The G String on my Les Paul sounded weird, especially open.


I think you probably just don't like the tone of a thick plain string open. I have the same thing.
#25
about a year ago before I got my amazing tuning ear :P, I had an issue like this.. but the real issue was I was relying on a tuner for band gigs and it was the tuner that was off because when I plugged into the amp and used that tuner it made the problem go away...

so if you use a tuner I guess just try another one, or find online tuner to match sound with.
#26
You mentioned that you changed the strings from .09 to .11. Do the strings sit properly in the nut? I've seen this happen before when the nut slot (slotted for a thinner gauge) is too narrow and the heavier gauge strings sit high in the slot. This raises the effective string height at primarily the lower frets.

The problem with this is when you hold down a string.....or hold down a chord for that matter.......the increased string height causes the strings to stretch when fretted. This cause the notes to become sharp. What makes things worse is all the strings do not stretch at the same rate due the gauge thickness.

To check if this is the issue, get your tuner and check the individual notes on each string at the first fret. Tune the low E to the tuner....then fret the 1st fret and check to make sure the F is not sharp. Do the same for all the other strings.
#27
maybe you are use to A being a different htz? most people use A 440, but maybe you are use to it being, i unno, 445?
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#28
This makes no sense.
Oh yeah.

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#30
Common problem and you have good ears to detect it. The thick unwould G syting is the most obvious one to do it but all do it to a lesser extent. It is simple that you press the string close to the nut: in this case 2nd fret which causes more extra tension than it does at the 12th fret where you check intonation. A company called Buzz Feiton make a special nut system that mostly corrects this by slightly shortening the space between the nut and the first fret. This brings the strings into better tune all along the neck, but is still not quite perfect. I have seen guitars that have staggered frets that also compensate for each string but they are specially made for one string gauge. Going from 9s to 11s has exaggerated your problem.
The only solution is a compromise tuning that gets closer at all positions with the open G note a bit flat, but having a Buzz Feiton agent fit a purpose made nut will improve the matter a good bit.
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#32
I know what you're talking about TS, I'm never happy with the sound of the open G string. But oddly enough on the cello it sounds fine to me.
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#33
It wouldn't be perfect pitch, but relative pitch causing him to spot the "off" A in relation to the other notes of the chord.
#34
Quote by timeconsumer09
A is the third of the chord. It's probably off because thirds are hard to get exactly in tune, sometimes you need to lower/raise them to make them sound 'in tune' even if the tuner says they're zero'd.

This I would assume.Major thirds need to be lowered slightly to be in tune with the chord, minor thirds need to be sharpened.
#35
You probably just have a good ear, Major 3rds and to a lesser extent, Perfect 5ths are noticably out of tune in our tuning system. (Infact, every interval but the octave is out of tune0 I do have a hell of a time getting my major chords to sound right, for me the F# on the high e is always out of tune when I hit a D chord.
#36
Quote by Lurcher
Common problem and you have good ears to detect it. The thick unwould G syting is the most obvious one to do it but all do it to a lesser extent. It is simple that you press the string close to the nut: in this case 2nd fret which causes more extra tension than it does at the 12th fret where you check intonation. A company called Buzz Feiton make a special nut system that mostly corrects this by slightly shortening the space between the nut and the first fret. This brings the strings into better tune all along the neck, but is still not quite perfect. I have seen guitars that have staggered frets that also compensate for each string but they are specially made for one string gauge. Going from 9s to 11s has exaggerated your problem.
The only solution is a compromise tuning that gets closer at all positions with the open G note a bit flat, but having a Buzz Feiton agent fit a purpose made nut will improve the matter a good bit.


There is also a 'zero fret' on some guitars which is supposed to correct this problem. It essentially has a fret after the nut (like 2mm after or something small like that), and the way the nut is situated, the string is always 'pressed down' at the zeroth fret.
#37
Quote by SKAtastic7770
This I would assume.Major thirds need to be lowered slightly to be in tune with the chord, minor thirds need to be sharpened.


And to top it all off, an unwound G string rings out pretty strong. I have the same problem all the time with my guitars. That's why I either tune it down a little or just use alternate voicings when I know I'm going to have tuning issues.
#38
I restrung and re-checked it all, and noticed this- ALL the A's and A#s are becoming sharpened as I fret them (according to tuners) I spent an hour adjusting intonation, it's now spot-on (again, according to tuners) yet as soon as those notes are fretted...

I'm taking it in for a setup soon, it's likely I've buggared up the intonation something awful
#39
I'm not exactly sure we're having the same problem, but I've noticed my G string is really... odd. When I play all open strings, the G string stands out as being exceptionally crap and chords tend to sound like crap with the open G string as well. I haven't noticed anything wrong with my A notes, but the G string itself just makes me want to punch an infant. It's like a rebel, and it's done it with both string sets I've used.

Since I don't know much about the guitar's technical aspects or intonation, I haven't done anything to try and remedy it, I've just decided it's because my guitar's a royal POS. Because, really, it is. A $280 amp/guitar combo (the Epiphone Special II lol) just sucks.
#40
Quote by SilverSpurs616
I restrung and re-checked it all, and noticed this- ALL the A's and A#s are becoming sharpened as I fret them (according to tuners) I spent an hour adjusting intonation, it's now spot-on (again, according to tuners) yet as soon as those notes are fretted...

I'm taking it in for a setup soon, it's likely I've buggared up the intonation something awful


How hard are you pressing the string down?