I've a little bit of incomprehension about the intonation of my 3-saddles Telecaster.

It seems that none of the saddles are moving forward. If I turn the screw counterclockwise, I just get the screw to be hanging out but the saddle is still in its initial place. Am I missing something ?

  • Did you slacken the strings off first?
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Jan 7, 2018 at 14:59
  • 1
    I did but maybe not enough and not on both strings that are on the saddle. I'm retarded ... thank you very much!
    – Dacchan
    Commented Jan 7, 2018 at 15:03

2 Answers 2


If your strings are still at full tension, the saddles will be held quite tightly in place, even with the screw slackened. You have two simple options:

  1. Slacken the strings off. This makes it very easy to move the saddle, but you usually need to re-tighten the strings to check intonation.
  2. Tap the saddle with a piece of wood and it will move. This works well if all you need is a tiny movement, as you can immediately tell when intonation is right.
  • When working on my bass, I find that sometimes I can "lift the string" off the saddle enough that the spring can push the saddle into place.
    – theGleep
    Commented Jan 8, 2018 at 15:57

You'd think that the little springs would push the saddles along, but the tension of the strings is greater, and they jam where they are. Lever them along, or tap them gently - it's better than slackening them each time, as you can check the intonation straight away. Of course they're going to be out of tune, but for intonation checks it doesn't matter.

Now may also be a good time to address the age old problem of the 1st and 2nd string saddles never being level with each other,(2nd string is generally a little longer than the 1st) thus leading to a compromised intonation there. I filed my (brass) saddle so that the 2nd string was effectively longer than the 1st, sloping it in opposite directions for each. Voila - good intonation available!

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