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Author Topic: “Why won’t my guitar play in tune?!”  (Read 571 times)
pakhan
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« on: July 17, 2009, 03:36:40 PM »

Hi folks,

This week, Scott Freilich, luthier and owner of Top Shelf Music has kindly contributed a fairly comprehensive piece on Playing in Tune.

Unfortunately, I don't have permission to reproduce his content on external sites, but thought you guys would find it interesting.
Do pop by to catch it here:
http://guitarbench.com/index.php/2009/07/15/why-won%e2%80%99t-my-guitar-play-in-tune-scott-freilich/

Terence
www.guitarbench.com
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lw216316
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« Reply #1 on: July 17, 2009, 05:57:49 PM »

nice article. 

good description of intonation, the guitar being an equal temperament instrument, and why no guitar is ever exactly in tune.

If you watch a classical guitarist for example, you may see them retune before starting a new song.
Its not always because they were 'out of tune' for the song they just did -
but may be because their next song is in a different key -
and so - they will re- tune to be 'more in tune' for the key they are going to play in.

It can also explain why you play a song on your guitar and it sounds ok.
...then you play another song in a different key and you discover a string that suddenly seems out of tune.

A note is at a certain frequency -
on the guitar we play a C# and a Db as the same note - because we use a fretted instrument.
...but the frequency of a C# is slightly different than the frequency of a Db.

Those 2 different frequencies can be played on an instrument that is not limited by frets -

so if you play slide guitar and over-ride what the frets normally do then you can hit any frequency you want. (within the range of the instrument)
or if you use a violin

or even if you use a fretless guitar like Chet Atkins did in one video I saw of him.
A fretless bass can also hit notes (frequencies) that a bass with frets can not.

On a fretted guitar you can bend a note to change its frequency - but that just works for one note where its appropriate in a song like a blues song - but even then you can only get there by slurring the note.

When I was young and picked up a fiddle for the first time -
my first thought was .....I don't know where to put my finger to make a note - cause there are no frets to guide me !

I'm still in wonder of people who play fretless instruments.

- Larry

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RoundLakeDT
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« Reply #2 on: July 17, 2009, 06:04:13 PM »

Any advice for a guitar that just won't play the right notes (whether or not they're in tune)?   
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Trinity Guitars
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« Reply #3 on: July 17, 2009, 07:47:06 PM »

Any advice for a guitar that just won't play the right notes (whether or not they're in tune)?   
   Change the player!
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Jim Holler, Luthier
" What we do in this life will resound throughout eternity"

www.TrinityGuitars.com
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