#1
What would cause a note to be very sharp when I finger it on the first fret? Particularly the G String. I noticed it the other day when I put a capo on the first fret and strummed some open strings and it sounded aweful. I took the capo off and fingered the first fret of the G string and it was very sharp. I checked the intonation at the 12th fret and it was spot on. The further I get down the fret board the better it gets. The guitar is an Epiphone ES-335 Pro. Any ideas?
#2
The nut slot might be too high. Don't try to fix that-get a luthier to do it. And not one who works at a chain store.
#4
Yeah, as both guys above said it is most likely your nut.

I had to replace the nut on my Epi LP because the stock one was beyond any hope, things got way better after that, I think it is a very recurring issue with Epiphone nuts (both mine drove me insane back in the day).
ceci n'est pas un guitariste.
#5
Quote by wobi_vengeance
…I think it is a very recurring issue with Epiphone nuts (both mine drove me insane back in the day).


It’s common with most guitars. Manufacturers don’t know how a guitar will be set up after it leaves their factory. They don’t know how high your action will be, what strings you’ll use, or if you’ll be playing slide. So they tend to err on the side of caution. Gibson is a pretty extreme example—they use short nuts but barely cut out the slots which makes them very prone to binding.
#6
Thanks for the replies. I pressed down on the string and I tried to slide a piece of paper between the string and the first fret and there was no resistance. So most likely the slot cut too high? It does feel like I have to press the string down further on the first fret. Since I don't really want to mess around with it I'll take it to a shop. Any rough idea how much local shops charge to file down or replace the nut? Also, could raising the action help?
#7
Quote by dombar335
Any rough idea how much local shops charge to file down or replace the nut?


That all depends on how much cutting the nut needs. It’s usually cheap if they don’t need to take the nut off to do the cutting.

Quote by dombar335
Also, could raising the action help?


That will make a high nut slot worse.
#8
What gauge is your G string, and more importantly is it plain or wound?

Actually, nevermind. It sounds like a nut issue if you can slip stuff under the strings so easily.
There's no such thing; there never was. Where I am going you cannot follow me now.
Last edited by theogonia777 at Sep 3, 2015,
#9
I'm using these

http://www.amazon.com/DAddario-EXL110-3D-Electric-Strings-Regular/dp/B000EEJ91I/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1441294575&sr=8-1&keywords=d%27addario+electric+guitar+strings

So it looks like the G Strings is .017 unwound. I just switched form a heavier gauge (.018 I think). I don't recall if I had the problem with the other gauge or not. I can't remember if I played anything with a capo on the first fret to really notice it.
#10
It appears to be a problem with the nut slot. Raising the action won't help.

Light strings likely drag out of tune worse than heavier ones, and poor capo placement also makes it worse. - It should be just behind the fret, with only enough pressure to make it work. - I like screw capos like the Dunlop Victor for this reason.
Last edited by Tony Done at Sep 3, 2015,
#11
I'm just using one of those Dunlop clip on capos. At first I thought the capo was the main problem, but I realized when I finger the note it also sounded out of tune.
#12
HOW sharp is it? You're sure you don't have a high fret, say around the second fret?
#13
I'm not sure how to describe degrees of sharpness, but only my Snark clip on the yellow bar goes to about the 2 o'clock position. It's a little better on the 2nd fret and then seems to get better from there.

How would I be able to tell if it's a problem with a fret or the nut?
#15
Quote by Tony Done
If it is a high fret it will be a whole semitone wrong.


So what's a semitone on a Snark?
And if a capo produced a seriously too-sharp note (presumably the same as fretting the note), why would the nut be involved?
#17
Another thing I noticed is that when I slide my finger back and forth between the nut and the first fret on the G String, it really makes a difference in how sharp the note is. None of the other strings seem to have that much variation on the first fret.
#19
And if a capo produced a seriously too-sharp note (presumably the same as fretting the note), why would the nut be involved?


Come on now, I'm surprised you don't know that. Seriously, you know your stuff in general and I know it.

2 things. A high nut will make anything on the first couple of frets tend to be sharp, because you have to pull it down too far to make the note.

Also, a capo can put too much pressure on the strings and pull them sharp no matter where you put it. The older elastic style was notorious for that.

I'm surprised you didn't know that...and no I'm not being derogatory. Just honest.
Hmmm...I wonder what this button does...
#20
Well I'm going to take it into the shop this weekend so I will report back with the verdict.
#22
Quote by jpnyc
It’s common with most guitars. Manufacturers don’t know how a guitar will be set up after it leaves their factory. They don’t know how high your action will be, what strings you’ll use, or if you’ll be playing slide. So they tend to err on the side of caution. Gibson is a pretty extreme example—they use short nuts but barely cut out the slots which makes them very prone to binding.

After I read this thread I pulled four of my guitars to check them. I played an open D chord on the second fret and a D triad on the 10th fret. Sure enough, the three strings were all sharp on the second fret. To be sure I was not bending the strings while fretting, I pressed each one separately as well.

Two of the guitars where Gibsons, two were fenders. One Fender and one Gibson have been set up professionally. Interesting topic.
#25
I just picked it up from the shop. They did a setup on it. He said the nut was a little high but the main problem was the bridge radius was too high on the G string. Honestly, I don't know what that means but he said that was the main problem.
#26
Quote by dombar335
I just picked it up from the shop. They did a setup on it. He said the nut was a little high but the main problem was the bridge radius was too high on the G string. Honestly, I don't know what that means but he said that was the main problem.


I have no idea what that means, either. Or why that would be the problem.
#27
I only got charged for the setup and the problem seems to be fixed. The repair guy wasn't there when I picked it up so maybe next time I'm in I can get a better explanation. I'd be more worried if I got charged extra for some repair I've never heard of.
#28
Quote by dombar335
I only got charged for the setup and the problem seems to be fixed. The repair guy wasn't there when I picked it up so maybe next time I'm in I can get a better explanation. I'd be more worried if I got charged extra for some repair I've never heard of.


Like my wife with the car. "I dunno, they adjusted the tripods, did something with the camel and toes and replaced some pads." "Are you sure you didn't take the car to your gynecologist?" So anyway, the suspension is fixed and the brakes work.

I guess it really doesn't matter what they said as long as the problem isn't a problem any more.
#30
Sorry to bump an old thread, but I went to play the guitar again, with a capo on the first fret, and the G string and B string were still very sharp and it sounded way out of tune. I don't know if I didn't check it properly when I got it back or if the problem was fixed and now it's back again. Could a nut replacement help? I also notice that when I bend notes on the G and B string it always pulls the string flat.
#31
Perhaps my problem is placement of the capo? I've been placing the capo slightly behind the fret, but I tried putting the capo directly over the first fret and it seemed to be much much better.
#32
You should have the capo just barely behind the fret. Not directly on top of it, but extremely close. Like where bottom edge of the capo is lined up with the top edge of the fret or maybe with a tiny little gap.
#33
I tried putting on a wound third string (.18 gauge) and it seemed to help a little bit. But now it seems when I turn the peg to tune it it's doesn't change the tuning very much at all. Then i hear a ping and the note is very flat.