How to set your guitar's intonation

18th Sep 2009 | 14:06

How to set your guitar's intonation
The tools

If your guitar’s intonation isn’t set correctly your playing will sound pants. To set it all you need is a screwdriver and a guitar tuner.

The first thing to do is connect your guitar to your tuner. You’ll also need to make sure your guitar is equipped with a fresh set of strings.

How to set your guitar's intonation
Harmonic

Play the harmonic at the 12th fret on the high E string. Make sure it’s in tune. Now fret the high E at the 12th fret. The harmonic and fretted notes should be the same.

How to set your guitar's intonation
Compare intonation

If the harmonic is in tune but the fretted note is flat or sharp then you know your guitar’s intonation is out. You’ll need your screwdriver for this next bit…

How to set your guitar's intonation
Screwdriver time...

If the fretted note’s flat, use your screwdriver to move the bridge saddle closer to the pickups to shorten the string. If it’s sharp, move the saddle away from the pickups to lengthen the string.

How to set your guitar's intonation
Correct intonation

When the harmonic and fretted notes match on the tuner you know your intonation is good. Then repeat for all six strings – it’s as simple as that!

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