Guitar Tuning and Temperament Primer (revised)

Slowrider

STOP Voting!
Yeah, I've never had a problem with any certain string going flat. Most of those problems come from post windings, not done/wound right.
 

Mickster

Well-known member
Ok......I'm sorry to dredge up this thread from so long ago..........but as I read through the previous posts (and links) regarding the physics and science of guitar tuning........I still needed to run my issue by you guys. I have an electric Ibanez. I love the thing.....except that it sucks to play some notes or chords in some of the first 3 fret positions. Not all.....just some. Unless I'm VERY VERY careful about finger pressure....some notes are sharp. The rest of the way up the neck is fine......or seems so to me and my tuner. The guitar has frets like railroad ties........high and square"ish"...........but it's easy enough to play. I have 7 other guitars and a couple exhibit this same sort of 1st thru 3ed fret sharp notes thing........however the problem is much less obvious. Much less. It's tuned properly at the nut and the 12th fret harmonic.

Now I've read all the threads about why this problem occurs......and to some extent they all make sense. I'm thinking that the nut is too high and needs to be replaced but I'm not sure at all. All my other guitars have lower / smaller frets and the actions are low so that the pressure I use to play a note or a chord is not so important.

So......where do I begin? I'm open to a fret job and or a nut replacement or both.........but I keep thinking I'm missing something more basic and obvious.
 

JDOD

therecordingrebels.com
I have an Ibanez RG with massive frets too. Is yours a Wizard neck? These things are built for speed and all manner of fretboard wankery! They're not made for strumming open G chords. When you're fretting notes on a guitar like this you need light finger pressure or you're effectively bending the string over the fret by pressing it. Just be gentle with your fingers, mt fingers don't even come close to touching the fretboard when I play my Ibanez, I ise just enough pressure for the note to ring cleanly. You get used to it and it becomes second nature. It's a habit I've kept up with all my other guitars and my guitar playing in general.

The benefits of this are speed (obviously) and you can get an amazingly tactile and versatile vibrato.


You may be able to make things slightly easier with adjustments to the nut and saddles but you probably just need to stick with it and gradually get more and more used to it.. So the point where you don't have to be careful, it's just second nature.
 

Mickster

Well-known member
Thanks JDOD. Yup.........you're right.........I did have to learn to adjust.........and I have........but it still seems too touchy for me. I don't press very hard when I play anyway but this one is just too sensitive for me. If I could just get it a little bit better in this regard.......I'd be very happy.
 

JDOD

therecordingrebels.com
Thanks JDOD. Yup.........you're right.........I did have to learn to adjust.........and I have........but it still seems too touchy for me. I don't press very hard when I play anyway but this one is just too sensitive for me. If I could just get it a little bit better in this regard.......I'd be very happy.
How long have you had the guitar? I played on my RG exclusively, daily, for 4 or 5 years before I got my next guitar so that style of playing got pretty ingrained.
 

Mickster

Well-known member
How long have you had the guitar? I played on my RG exclusively, daily, for 4 or 5 years before I got my next guitar so that style of playing got pretty ingrained.

I've had it less than a year. I've been playing my LP and Strat for almost 40 years now so you can see where I'm coming from. Completely different feel and action. For some reason I love the Ibanez. It's nicely balanced in weight and sounds great. And yes......it is a fast playing guitar........but sometimes.........want to or not......I have to play down in the first 3 frets and it's hit or miss down there.
 

miroslav

Cosmic Cowboy
I played on my RG exclusively, daily, for 4 or 5 years before I got my next guitar so that style of playing got pretty ingrained.

Same thing for me...but in the opposite direction. I've always played Hagstrom guitars on a regular basis, and they have smaller frets and allow for low action, especially the vintage Hags...though the new reissues are not much different, their frets are just a little more meatier.
So...I would always play hard on the strings, and I could grab them firmly with little effect on intonation.
I once picked up a cheap 335 nock-off made by Oscar Schmidt...and the thing had some HUGE frets. I've never seen bigger frets than that. It felt so friggin easy to play, AFA pressing goes...but I was use to grabbing harder on the neck/strings, so it always sounded out of tune to me. I quickly sold it.
Now days, I'm almost exclusively playing Hags. I have 3 other brands in my stable, but they get very little play time, though their frets/neck aren't that dramatically different. The one that actually hurts my hand is my Fender '52 'RI Tele. I'm just not use to that much of a curved freeboard radius. The Hags are much flatter with their wider radius.
 

Mickster

Well-known member
Same thing for me...but in the opposite direction. I've always played Hagstrom guitars on a regular basis, and they have smaller frets and allow for low action, especially the vintage Hags...though the new reissues are not much different, their frets are just a little more meatier.
So...I would always play hard on the strings, and I could grab them firmly with little effect on intonation.
I once picked up a cheap 335 nock-off made by Oscar Schmidt...and the thing had some HUGE frets. I've never seen bigger frets than that. It felt so friggin easy to play, AFA pressing goes...but I was use to grabbing harder on the neck/strings, so it always sounded out of tune to me. I quickly sold it.
Now days, I'm almost exclusively playing Hags. I have 3 other brands in my stable, but they get very little play time, though their frets/neck aren't that dramatically different. The one that actually hurts my hand is my Fender '52 'RI Tele. I'm just not use to that much of a curved freeboard radius. The Hags are much flatter with their wider radius.

Yeah......I guess I never realized how the Ibanez frets would affect me. Seriously though.........I love the guitar so much I'd consider having it re-fretted with a new nut adjustment. Money is not an issue really. I just want to get it more to my playing style. Does that sound crazy?
 

miroslav

Cosmic Cowboy
Hey...if you feel it's worth it...then go for it.
I think a re-fret, new nut and new setup will be about $250...at least I think that's about the norm.

Have you consider selling that guitar, taking that money, plus the money you would spend on the re-fret and nut...and just get a different guitar that fits your playing style?
 

JDOD

therecordingrebels.com
Yeah......I guess I never realized how the Ibanez frets would affect me. Seriously though.........I love the guitar so much I'd consider having it re-fretted with a new nut adjustment. Money is not an issue really. I just want to get it more to my playing style. Does that sound crazy?
Yes, it's completely mental. By doing that you'd just make it into a normal guitar, not a super fast Ibanez, you'll destroy it. just give it a while, a few months at least of playing it for a couple of hours a day. You playing style will adapt and your technique will probably improve.
 

Mickster

Well-known member
Hey...if you feel it's worth it...then go for it.
I think a re-fret, new nut and new setup will be about $250...at least I think that's about the norm.

Have you consider selling that guitar, taking that money, plus the money you would spend on the re-fret and nut...and just get a different guitar that fits your playing style?

Miroslav........I have 6 other guitars that are perfect for me but for some reason the Ibanez is calling out to me to make it right!!! As I mentioned.......the cost is not an issue. Having said that...........my next challenge is to find the right place to do the job.
 

wuzzo

668- the neighbour of the beast
With reference to the thread topic;
Over time- many years- players develop a ' guitar ear '. They know that every instrument is different, every string is different, every technique of sounding a string is different. They ' nip ' apparently perfectly tuned guitars according to personal factors , such as what they intend to play, which key they intend to play it in, how loudly or softly they intend to play and others factors which perhaps they aren't even aware of. That's their style. The positioning and quality of physical frets, nuts and saddles , ' perfect ' though they may be, are merely starting points for the player to satisfy his ear. Good luthiers are really worth the money- as are accurate and reliable tuning pegs.
 

jimmys69

MOODerator
With reference to the thread topic;
Over time- many years- players develop a ' guitar ear '. They know that every instrument is different, every string is different, every technique of sounding a string is different. They ' nip ' apparently perfectly tuned guitars according to personal factors , such as what they intend to play, which key they intend to play it in, how loudly or softly they intend to play and others factors which perhaps they aren't even aware of. That's their style. The positioning and quality of physical frets, nuts and saddles , ' perfect ' though they may be, are merely starting points for the player to satisfy his ear. Good luthiers are really worth the money- as are accurate and reliable tuning pegs.

I am just guessing but I bet you are a guitar player? :)

Would be cool if you replied to threads that were not a year old. Good to have you back though! :)

Not trying to be a dick. I just noticed the old thread you replied to.

Welcome back. :)
 

wuzzo

668- the neighbour of the beast
Hello jimmy 69- thanks for the welcome back. I hadn't realised it was an elderly thread- I just started at the top of the page. :)
A year already ? Where does the time go ?

Yes, I'm an old acoustic picker just settling down with electrics. The opening post on tempered tuning caught my eye.
 
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