#1
When I first change my strings I intonate them perfectly by playing the harmonic on the 12 fret. I noticed that after a couple of weeks (usually 2 or 3) my High E B and G strings lose their intonation and go flat couple of steps. And there is no way for me to bring the perfect intonation back, the screw is as far as it will go. The only solution is to change the strings completely but it can get rather costly after a while... Is it normal that the intonation isn't holding up after a couple of weeks of non-consistent playing? Do strings just get old or is there something I should be concerned about?
#2
Your intonation goes out by a couple of half steps? Strings go old, which can affect their intonation a bit, but by a couple of half steps? That's very odd indeed.

Are you sure you're not just talking about the strings just going out of tune over time in general? Because that's pretty normal.

Don't bother adjusting the guitar's saddles for intonation if the strings are old. If the intonation goes out by a degree that's actually bothersome, its typically time to change strings anyway.
Quote by TheSennaj
And well yes, I'll enjoy the carpal tunnel and tendonitis, because trying to get one is clearly smarter than any word you have spoken thus far.
Last edited by T00DEEPBLUE at Oct 7, 2015,
#3
Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Your intonation goes out by a couple of half steps? Strings go old, which can affect their intonation, but by a couple of half steps? That's very odd indeed.

Are you sure you're not just talking about the strings just going out of tune over time in general? Because that's pretty normal.

I'm talking about the intonation. Strings obviously go out of tune after a while and that's okay as I always tune them up before playing... But after a while it gets noticeable that the higher frets on thinner strings sound flat.

And I think I phrased that wrongly. The intonation doesn't go out by a couple of half steps. It goes down a bit but enough to notice for my ear. When I put new strings on and check harmonics on a tuner, the arrow is perfectly seated in the middle. After a while it goes more to the left. If I can say so, it drops half of one half step. I hope you get what I mean because I suck at explaining things like these.
#4
I suppose it might help to know what brand and gauge of strings you're using, what guitar you have (to determine tuner, nut and bridge type), where you live (for environmental conditions) and your playing style and duration over those few weeks (I know you said "non-consistent" but does that mean a couple of hours every 3 or 4 days, or 6 hours most days but only a couple on others?).

All of these things could affect how quickly your strings deteriorate, but as T00DEEPBLUE said, your case seems a little extreme.

So far as describing the scale of the problem, tuners will often tell you how many "cents" out you are. It's still quite hard to tell if you're describing a drift off a couple of graduations, which would be quite a small change, or half way to the next semitone, which is slightly more substantial.
#5
I think you mean cents rather than steps.

Adjusting the intonation is always a thing you can do, but honestly it's such a bugbear feeling the need to keep adjusting the intonation just because the strings are getting a little old. Imagine having that habit if you own a Floyd Rose. You'd throw the guitar out of the window.

You may also need to take into account that how hard you pluck the strings affects intonation significantly. Could well be part of the problem.

But other than that and provided you haven't adjusted anything else on the guitar and you keep your strings in good shape to maximise their life, having the strings move their intonation point shy from perfection is just something you have to accept. It's just what strings do as they age. There are too many factors at play which are impractical to control and they can all affect intonation to some degree. Guitars are far from perfect instruments.
Quote by TheSennaj
And well yes, I'll enjoy the carpal tunnel and tendonitis, because trying to get one is clearly smarter than any word you have spoken thus far.
Last edited by T00DEEPBLUE at Oct 7, 2015,
#7
Thank you very much for elaborate answers guys. von Layzonfon you are absolutely right. Half way to the next semitone would be the correct way to say what I meant. I play really inconsistently, it monstly depends on my mood. I usually play like 3 times a week, 2 hour for each session. I live in Europe and it used to be very hot in here but now the temperature is stable and more cold.
T00DEEPBLUE Yea I guess you're right. It just really really bugs me that the string doesn't sound perfectly when I'm doing a solo on high frets. Makes me wanna change the strings immediately lol
Last edited by nitrousable at Oct 7, 2015,
#8
some more info: As you can probably guess by the kind of question I asked I'm not a very experienced guitarist. I use an Epi Les Paul Custom, modified with vintage 496R\498T pickups. I mostly play punk and rock music and I strum pretty hard. I am using 10-46 strings