#1
So I've been playing for about a year and a half now, and for the last several months I've been frustrated by some strange issues when tuning. For example, I tune all my strings perfectly in tune to each other (by ear) using the fifth frets (6th on the G). BUT, when I play a note and its octave; the octave is out of tune with the root note. So I'll tune the octaves equal, but then the open strings are way out of tune.

I especially notice this on the higher strings, but on my acoustic (which has a coiled G string), I hardly ever notice it. But the acoustic also has a shorter neck and a smoother, melt-together tone; so I don't tend to notice when my strings are out of tune nearly as much as on my Les Paul.

I also notice the same effect when I play the same note (in the same octave) on two different strings. They'll be loads off, but when I tune them to match the open strings are off.

Do you guys think it's just me or is it my strings/guitar? I heard somewhere that the Les Pauls have an outdated fret spacing. So maybe it isn't just me?
#2
What tuning are you trying to tune to? As standing tuning you tune 5th fret to open on the string above, apart from the G string, which is the 4th fret
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Last edited by pigeonmafia at Nov 11, 2009,
#4
It sounds like your intonation off. You might want to bring it to a guitar shop near you and have them give it a full setup.
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#6
Quote by canvasDude
So I've been playing for about a year and a half now, and for the last several months I've been frustrated by some strange issues when tuning. For example, I tune all my strings perfectly in tune to each other (by ear) using the fifth frets (6th on the G). BUT, when I play a note and its octave; the octave is out of tune with the root note. So I'll tune the octaves equal, but then the open strings are way out of tune.

I especially notice this on the higher strings, but on my acoustic (which has a coiled G string), I hardly ever notice it. But the acoustic also has a shorter neck and a smoother, melt-together tone; so I don't tend to notice when my strings are out of tune nearly as much as on my Les Paul.

I also notice the same effect when I play the same note (in the same octave) on two different strings. They'll be loads off, but when I tune them to match the open strings are off.

Do you guys think it's just me or is it my strings/guitar? I heard somewhere that the Les Pauls have an outdated fret spacing. So maybe it isn't just me?



Its the FOURTH on the G, not the 6th :P
#7
Apart from the fourth fret issue (as opposed to sixth), you could be pressing too hard on the strings when tuning by frets, thus making each open string sharper and sharper on the way up.
#11
What tuning you using? It could be the strings...same thing happen to me when i had a set of 10s. Buy a set of 12s. hardly ever detunes.
#12
Oops, I meant 4th fret. Well the strings I'm using are about 4 months old and are still just fine. Also, I play in drop c but it was also happening when I was in standard. My guitar teacher (who's played for like 40+ years) checked my intonation and said it was nearly spot on at the 12th AND 19th frets.

Btw, I am using Super Slinky's (the ones in the green packaging w/ custom gauges). But on my acoustic (which has a coiled G string), they never go out of tune. NEVAR!!!!!! (sorry, spas attack). Also, I notice this more on certain notes and intervals. For example, the octaves of D, E, and A never really sound right compared to their bass notes. Hope that helps.
#13
If the intonation's fine then I would guess that you're not actually tuning the open strings properly.

From my experience tuning to unisons by using 5th fret and the open string is quite hard to do accurately (eg, you might think each set of two strings sound fine, but when you finish the high and low e strings are out of tune with each other). Try tuning with an electric tuner then see if the problem is still there.
#14
If you have a floating tremolo system, then that can affect your electric guitar tuning.

But if you don't have a floating tremolo, I would just take it in to a guitar shop.
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#15
Quote by GoIrish668
If you have a floating tremolo system, then that can affect your electric guitar tuning.

But if you don't have a floating tremolo, I would just take it in to a guitar shop.


Les Pauls don't have a floating trem.


If the problem is not with the intonation (even though it sounds like it is), its probably due to too light of strings. When you have really light strings for a low tuning like drop C, the strings get floppy, which means that you will be able to push them down too hard easier, which makes the note sharp, or you will accidentally bend it, making the note sharp. I typically avoid using my 7th string past the 15th fret for that reason, its just too easy to put it out of tune (even though I get medium gauge strings and use standard tuning).
#17
The strings are 4 months old - wtf? There's your problem.
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#18
Quote by InfantofPrague
Maybe you didn't string your guitar correctly...? an often overlooked issue:

http://en.audiofanzine.com/electric-guitar/articles/Changing-Strings-on-Electric-Guitars.html


I checked the article. That's exactly how I put the strings on. Maybe because I changed to the Super Slinky custom gauge? I was using D'Addario EXL 140's. But it's still intonated correctly as far as I know?

And how the f*** are 4 month old strings the problem? On my Seagull S6 I've had the same strings for about 8 months and I almost never have to tune it.
#19
Quote by canvasDude
I checked the article. That's exactly how I put the strings on. Maybe because I changed to the Super Slinky custom gauge? I was using D'Addario EXL 140's. But it's still intonated correctly as far as I know?

And how the f*** are 4 month old strings the problem? On my Seagull S6 I've had the same strings for about 8 months and I almost never have to tune it.

As I said before, tune the open strings with an electric tuner, then check the octaves again (with the tuner if necessary).
#20
Quote by 12345abcd3
As I said before, tune the open strings with an electric tuner, then check the octaves again (with the tuner if necessary).


I don't have a tuner nor have I ever used/owned one. But I managed to get it PERFECTLY in tune both octaves and 5th fret-wise. Now to see if it stays that way...

Btw, next time I change strings I'm switching to a coiled G string. It just stays in tune so much better and it feels better/does less damage to your fingers. It's a win/win.
#21
Quote by canvasDude
I don't have a tuner nor have I ever used/owned one. But I managed to get it PERFECTLY in tune both octaves and 5th fret-wise. Now to see if it stays that way...

Btw, next time I change strings I'm switching to a coiled G string. It just stays in tune so much better and it feels better/does less damage to your fingers. It's a win/win.


You might think you're perfectly in tune when you really aren't. If you press too hard on the 5th fret or tune a few cents off, the tuning is going to be way out by the time you do your last string. and since you've always tuned that way, it probably sounds right to you even though it might be out of tune.
#22
Quote by timeconsumer09
You might think you're perfectly in tune when you really aren't. If you press too hard on the 5th fret or tune a few cents off, the tuning is going to be way out by the time you do your last string. and since you've always tuned that way, it probably sounds right to you even though it might be out of tune.


What I meant was that I got all the notes on the 5th frets (4th for the G) to be the exact same note the next string open (really the other way around actually). AND I was able to get all the octaves to sound the same. So even if I'm like a micro tone out of tune, I'm as close you'd ever get.

EDIT: The ****er's out of tune again.
Last edited by canvasDude at Nov 14, 2009,
#23
Quote by canvasDude
What I meant was that I got all the notes on the 5th frets (4th for the G) to be the exact same note the next string open (really the other way around actually). AND I was able to get all the octaves to sound the same. So even if I'm like a micro tone out of tune, I'm as close you'd ever get.

EDIT: The ****er's out of tune again.


Okay, well if you can get it in tune once, the problem could be bad tuners, old strings, maybe the tuning pegs are getting turned when you lay your guitar down, many possibilities. Old strings is the easiest thing to fix, I suggest you try that.
#24
Quote by timeconsumer09
Okay, well if you can get it in tune once, the problem could be bad tuners, old strings, maybe the tuning pegs are getting turned when you lay your guitar down, many possibilities. Old strings is the easiest thing to fix, I suggest you try that.


Yeah, I think it'll be coiled G's for me from now on. And I put a tuner on my x-mas list.