What is this intonation? Ive heard the word, but what does it mean Thanks!

EDIT: Spelling Fixed
If you want to jam in/around Mooresville NC message me.
Last edited by 812many at Feb 5, 2007,
Intonation, from my limited knowledge is basically how well the guitar maintains its 'tuning' as you go up the neck.
From what I gather, the easiest way to get an idea of how good your intonation is is to tune your strings to standard and the check that the notes are still in tune (you can allow yourself some tolerance here) at the twelfth fret.
Now if it's it's slightly sharp or slightly flat then you can probably live with it but if it's significantly either way then you can sort out the intonation on a number of guitars with reasonable ease.
How do i adjust that? Like, lets say i play on the E string, 12 fret, and it says im playing E#, is that what we are talking about? How would i adjust it to make it a E?
If you want to jam in/around Mooresville NC message me.
Tune your string to pitch. Let's use the high E for example. Then, check it with a tuner at the 12th fret. If it's sharp, you need to slide the bridge saddle BACK. If it's flat, you need to move the saddle forward. There's a screw at the back of the bridge to adjust this....they're located in different places on different guitars.
If it's out, it won't be anything as drastic as a half or a whole step...just slightly off. If it's that far out, you may be facing worse issues than just intonation.
When a guitar is out of intonation, chords won't sound right when tuned to pitch. Some people can live with a slight difference, but I can't. When a guitar is properly intonated and the chords ring true, there's no better sound in the world. I can't stand it a quaver out....but that's just me.
if you find that you can't move the saddle any farther, you need to adjust your bridge height.

generally speaking, setting your intonation up right is a pain in the ass and getting it perfect really requires a good strobe tuner, which costs over 200 bucks.

best thing to do is go to your local luthier and have him do it for you, it'll only cost 30-50 bucks (anything with a floyd or similar trem system is a lot harder to do, so it costs more)

edit: the stadard comparison pitches for setting up a guitar are the 12th fret and the 12th fret harmonic. that way you're playing the same exact pitch, but one's using half the string, and the other is using teh whole string.