#1
hi

(This may not be the correct forum but the 'experts' hang out here.)

Curious. Is this just my 'ear' or is it something to do with the nature of the 3rd (G string).

I've had various guitars from classical to electric. Dozens over the years. The G string is always the most difficult for me to tune and then for it to sound 'right'...especially when finger picking, etc. It isn't a 'big' problem as i can fiddle around with it, but is there something unique about the 'G' that makes it a bit discordant now and then?

Might all be in my head
Last edited by Raptorfingers at Jun 23, 2010,
#2
I know how you feel, it tends to be B for me though. It varies day to day with me sometimes

Im keen to know if any scientific answers emerge, good thread
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#3
Same thing over here...playing for 5 years now and still sometimes have trouble with the G string.
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#4
i concur my g string can be mighty irritating
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#6
Quote by flashmdg
I always fiddle around with my g-string


This.

I've covered this a while ago somwhere.
Basically the G string generally has intonation problems. This is especially noticeable on classics/acoustics. Sometimes if you look at medium higher-range ones you will see compensated bridges (bits of the bridge indented). This basically helps counter it. But yea the G generally tends to go out a bit. Also something to do with when you tune one chord perfectly and play another the other sounds like shit, and the G string is usually the mostt noticeable one out

Steve Vai had a guitar done with a weird fretboard to counter that, check it out on youtube.
Cheers


Oh yea I'm pretty sure scienctific stuffs on intonation will be found on a separate forum somewhere =D
#7
Yeh on my nylon acoustic, it basically just throws the rest of the tunings out - it really pisses me off.

On my electric its perfectly fine, but any form of acoustic is just a constant face palm
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#8
you may want to look into more info about intonation and the equal temperament tuning system.


basically, equal temperament is designed to have all the notes equally out of tune since if it was perfectly in tune in one key all the other keys would be progressively more out of tune. this allows for all keys to sound the same.

I'm assuming that using a tuner to tune the open strings perfectly will interfere slightly with the tuning system because some of them "should" be slightly out of tune. I'm further assuming that the g string just happens to fall in the place where this becomes most readily apparent.
#9
Thanks for the insights. I never have had a good 'ear'....and as I pass the half century mark, it can be even harder to distinguish what is hearing deterioration from the reality of the physical properties of sound.

Thank goodness for tuners...they are a bit like as compass in the woods...sometimes counter to what our senses are telling us.
#10
G-String was bad for me, then I intonated my guitar, and it was sorta fixed. The intonation of the g-string was way off.
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#11
The reason the G string sounds out of tune most of the time tends to be because it's out of tune with itself, at least on steel string electrics. The plain string used for a G is too robust for its tuning. String physics works in a way that the higher the tension on the string is, the more in-tune all of the harmonics it produces are with each other, meaning the ideal string would be at 100% of its breaking tension. Now, that's impossible in reality because all of your strings would break when you tune up, so we compromise and shoot for ~90-95%. The problem is string physics gets more messed up as you use larger, stronger steel strings, and so the plain G string is only at around 80% or so of its breaking tension. While this facilitates those nice two and a half step bends we all love, it's bad for intonation. If you play with a wound G string on your electric you'll notice it tunes better and generally sounds more balanced (especially on vintage-staggered single coils since they were made with a wound G in mind), but you won't be able to do bends as easily or as far. As for issues on acoustics, I honestly don't know. There's no scientific reason for the wound G on an acoustic sounding bad because its harmonics should be in-tune with themselves.
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Last edited by Mike-T93 at Jun 23, 2010,
#12
Quote by The4thHorsemen
I'm assuming that using a tuner to tune the open strings perfectly will interfere slightly with the tuning system because some of them "should" be slightly out of tune


Because of the tempered scale length the open strings are supposed to be exactly in tune, and the rest of the frets are "tempered"

I think anyway, that's what i seem to remember

If you're interested read about the Buzz Feiten tuning system that seems to be the most in depth study of guitar intonation
#13
Actually no, tuning with an electronic tuner will tune them properly. You're not supposed to mix fret-tuning and harmonic tuning, though, because frets are equal-tempered and harmonics use Pythagorean temperament.
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#14
I agree it sounded bad. Switched the thin one on my electric to a nice wound string, sounds fine now.
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