Questions tagged [intonation]

Marks questions discussing the precise control over pitch that musicians exhibit as part of their technique; also used to describe the tuning of one's instrument or one's system of tuning.

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As a singer to playback music, does the quality of the playback affect intonation?

I am an amateur sound engineer. I often have choirs and singers that practice, and sometimes perform, to playback music. Often I use MP3 files with reasonable compression, as these are sometimes ...
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2 votes
2 answers
102 views

realtime bending of strings to bring classical guitar in tune [closed]

While talking with a friend, I mentioned that the width of a classical guitar neck is quite large, to allow a player room to slightly and subtly bend a string (or strings) by moving fingers parallel ...
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10 votes
3 answers
869 views

How does string age affect intonation?

I had a recent issue with my high e string where the saddle was adjusted as short as possible but the twelfth fret was still very flat. I read online that a new set of strings may fix this, and that ...
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7 votes
5 answers
2k views

My clarinet is playing flat - how can I fix it?

First of all I understand that most people's first (and very reasonable) place to look to improve intonation is at the technique of the player: embouchure quality and technique, air support, maybe ...
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5 votes
3 answers
1k views

Cello pressed at half length higher than harmonic?

I was playing around with harmonics on my e-cello, and noticed that when pressing at the first one (half-length), the pitch was higher than when merely touching for the harmonics itself. I thought it ...
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3 votes
1 answer
118 views

What is best practice for tuning a mandolin?

I've been playing mandolin for years, and I tune it with no particular problem (insert mandolin tuning joke here). But, while in theory I believe it is impossible to tune a mandolin or other stringed ...
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  • 703
4 votes
0 answers
135 views

What causes a guitar's notes to decay/sound out of tune when played together? they sound fine individually, just not when strummed together [closed]

Recently bought this electric guitar, it's great, but I've noticed that when I play chords / strum them all together, the notes on the b and e strings don't resonate in sync with the rest of the ...
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13 votes
4 answers
604 views

Bridge intonation patterns on stringed instruments

On stringed instruments, the scale length needs to be slightly adjusted (at the bridge) for each string so that the first octave happens at the 12th fret/position, the 2nd at the 24th, etc. My ...
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6 votes
3 answers
985 views

Are these indentations on the frets of my Acoustic for intonation? Can I apply this to the frets of my Electric?

The questions are in the title, picture is below, but here are the (TL/DR) details. About 9 months ago, I bought an electric guitar "kit" and assembled it (fun, highly recommended). This ...
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  • 215
1 vote
3 answers
186 views

Notes on violin

I am a beginner in violin. I am confused that most of the times in music sheet the notes are normal (neither sharp or flat) but when playing it feels like one is playing the sharp of some notes (like ...
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21 votes
4 answers
2k views

Do people with perfect pitch distinguish between equal temperament and just temperament?

Do people with perfect pitch distinguish between equal temperament and just temperament? Suppose someone with perfect pitch is singing a duet and wants to harmonise in thirds above the main melody. ...
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2 votes
4 answers
498 views

Tried Eb alternate tuning but guitar intonation is off and I'm unsure how to fix it

I have a fender mexican strat, with 10s. I have never changed string gauge, I only tuned all the strings down half a step to Eb from E. The issue I am running into is that the low Eb, Ab, Db, and Gb ...
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3 votes
1 answer
567 views

Problems with playing high notes (17-20th fret on e-string)

I have a problem that when I play a note on the e string (the tiniest one) on the 17th to 20th fret, I noticed that the same notes were repeated and starting in the 21st fret, the notes were fine ...
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0 votes
1 answer
196 views

How can I measure, or otherwise quantify, the accuracy of intonation of my classical guitar, in order to compare it with other classical guitars?

Is there an standard / common way of measuring and comparing intonation in classical guitars? Say, if I were a luthier, which objective method would I use to decide if any given classical guitar needs ...
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4 votes
4 answers
2k views

If the resolution of human hearing is approximately five cents, how can musicians play works with intonation changes of less than five cents?

Sources1 suggest that the frequency resolution of humans—our ability to discriminate differences in pitch—is limited to around five cents. If this is the case, how can musicians play an excerpt like ...
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3 votes
1 answer
1k views

Electric guitar intonation flat above 12th fret, no luck with usual methods

My Floyd Rose equipped electric guitar has mostly spot-on intonation across the fretboard minus the high e string above the 12th fret, where it is pretty consistently flat (1-2 red LEDs from the ...
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1 vote
1 answer
73 views

Out of tune and Buzzing

I recently replaced the nut and saddle and put new strings on my acoustic. My guitar does not play in tune, even after I know I've turned it correctly. Some chords sound in tune while others don't. ...
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4 votes
3 answers
521 views

Problem with violin finger placement changes with each string?

I have a violin student who recently purchased a violin from a music shop. It's not a professional grade violin, but it is still a nice student model. My student's intonation seemed to get worse after ...
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3 votes
4 answers
303 views

Is a cappella xenharmonic by default?

I recently watched Adam Neely's video about comma pump. He quotes from "Fundamentals of Musical Composition" by Arnold Schoenberg. (Chapter XI, page 99): ...the natural semi-tones differ in ...
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0 votes
1 answer
462 views

Type of Trapeze for acoustic guitar

I'm wondering if anyone has ever developed a trapeze for acoustic guitar that included features that would allow intonation adjustments similar to what is available on electrics? I have an old Yamaha ...
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2 votes
1 answer
330 views

Gibson les paul standard (2019) 50's neck guitar's unique intonation problem

I recently bought a new non-weight relief Gibson les Paul standard with 50's neck. The guitar comes with an ABR style tune-o-matic bridge. As soon as I played it I noticed that the low "E" and "A" ...
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2 votes
2 answers
1k views

(Solved) Intonation Problem (Only with High E and B Strings) in Acoustic Guitar

My Acoustic Guitar's Intonation is right in place for the bottom 4 strings, But the Top two are off. Octave is 50 Cents flat in B-string and 1 semi-tone flat in E-string. - I thought it was the ...
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0 votes
1 answer
566 views

Low E-string sounds out of tune [duplicate]

I have an issue with the low E string on my Acoustic Seagull S6 Original. Ever since I changed the strings, the E string seems to be out of tune in a weird way. When the open E is right on the spot (...
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2 votes
1 answer
66 views

Are intonation issues in a cheap acoustic guitar fixable?

so I am a beginner guitarist, and I have one quite good guitar, and a cheap one. I`ve tuned it to standard tuning, and when I play the 5th fret on the E string on the cheap one, it goes like 1/4 of a ...
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2 votes
2 answers
1k views

Intonation on a classical guitar

Aaaagh, it's driving me crazy! My yamaha is massively sharp on two strings at 7,9 and 12 and flat on 1 string. I know how to fix the flat (using a diamond nail file etc) but not the sharps, ...
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2 votes
1 answer
116 views

Why are my string saddles getting stuck?

I've been having trouble getting my strings properly intonated, and it seems like it's because the saddles are getting stuck. What it looks like is that they're pressed against each other so tightly ...
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11 votes
6 answers
1k views

Was equal temperament caused by the invention of the piano, or was it inevitable?

Historically, which key a piece of music was written in made a big difference. Toccata and Fugue in D minor for instance had to be played in that key or it wouldn't sound right. But over the last ...
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6 votes
2 answers
89 views

Fixing Low Brass Intonation Outside

I'm a part of a marching band in mid-Michigan, where the weather varies widely from day to day and often hour to hour. The band I'm a part of is currently wrapping up our competition season over the ...
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1 vote
2 answers
236 views

Harmonic series role in a just intonation interval ranking?

In my studies, I was reflecting on this theory and just wanted your guys clarification.. A pitch in an octave is comprised of a fundamental frequency followed by its overtones. When we focus on an ...
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1 vote
1 answer
66 views

How is intonation set on acoustic guitar

How do you alter the intonation on an acoustic guitar, I have nearly always played electric but more recently bought a Gibson Songwriter which I cannot put down and I have hardly played my Les Paul. ...
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3 votes
1 answer
342 views

Modal playing on an instrument designed for just intonation in the major scale (specifically dulcimer)

Sorry if this gets long-winded; I've only recently ventured down the JI rabbit-hole and want to spell out my reasoning in a way that will expose gaps in my understanding. For those not familiar with ...
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1 vote
2 answers
170 views

Electric guitar out of tune (intonation)

I have an Epiphone SG400, and today when I played I heard that the B string is out of tune when I press on higher frets (8-12 frets). I tried to change the action and intonation, but now the all of ...
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2 votes
4 answers
1k views

How can I develop highly accurate intonation/tuning without perfect pitch? [duplicate]

I've been reading a bunch of things violinists write and a good portion of them seem to contradict themselves. At this point I'm starting to get really frustrated, so I could really, really use some ...
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9 votes
2 answers
536 views

How can I improve my violin intonation for enharmonic notes?

I know that while, for many instruments, enharmonic notes are a single pitch and their differences are more of an interpretation, helping music to remain consistent (it would make more sense for a ...
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  • 113
1 vote
1 answer
104 views

Intonation on Gibson 339 guitar varies by pressure

Gibson ES 339 - Seems to go out of tune when applying normal pressure when playing a chord. If I use very light pressure, not normal, then it is in tune. Could this be a problem with my nut ?
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3 votes
3 answers
1k views

Flattened notes and odd fuzzy sound on trumpet

Yesterday practicing I noticed a high improvement over previous days in terms of sound and intonation, I could play all the harmonic series up to high E more or less properly intonated and with a good ...
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4 votes
2 answers
510 views

Calculation of a note's frequency in the 18th-19th century

Suppose you are trying to reproduce an A major scale from the early 18th or 19th century, when A4 was perhaps tuned to 429.3Hz. What is the correct frequency (in Hz) for the next C# up (assuming we ...
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1 vote
1 answer
1k views

Electric guitar out of tune on 12th fret(intonation)

I just bought an electric guitar (stratocaster), and I'm a beginner, so setting it up is a welcome and annoying challenge. The issue I have is with the intonation. The high E is fine on the open ...
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2 votes
3 answers
1k views

What is the relationship between "intonation" and tone?

According to wikipedia: "Intonation, in music, is a musician's realization of pitch accuracy, or the pitch accuracy of a musical instrument." (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intonation_(music)) The ...
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2 votes
2 answers
452 views

Is it natural to have some small buzzing in the guitar?

I have an Ernie Ball Music Man Majesty which plays extremely well. When I bought it it was set-up. After 6 months I have noticed that the low E-string buzzes slightly if I pluck it moderately ...
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  • 251
1 vote
3 answers
1k views

Strat tuned to C standard with 13-56 strings - intonation problems

I play a hardtail stratocaster with the following set of strings: 13, 17, W26, W36, W44, W56 (W means wound) and tuned to C standard: C F Bb Eb G C. Since all the time now I have intonation issues. ...
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10 votes
6 answers
6k views

Why is Stratocaster Low E-String Intonation at Limit?

I recently got an American Standard Stratocaster and I've been working on setting it up. I have tightened the intonation adjustment screw for the low E string to its limit and now the tension spring ...
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  • 245
3 votes
2 answers
157 views

Pacific State - Is this out of tune, or is it a sophisticated performance playing with temperament?

I heard the song "Pacific State" by the band "808 State" on the radio last night. It sounded to me like the sax was badly out of tune. But it then struck me that the performer might be playing that ...
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2 votes
5 answers
14k views

Guitar Intonation Problem, Always Sharp

I've been playing guitar for 7 years already. Throughout the years my ear developed and I started to notice intonation issues. I've been trying to fix it, but I never could. I adjusted the truss rod,...
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  • 347
2 votes
2 answers
2k views

Why frequency difference between notes is not constant? [closed]

I found that the difference is sometimes ~3, sometimes ~2 or ~4 Hz. Why isn't it constant? Would it be better if it was constant?
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32 votes
7 answers
9k views

Why do E♯ and F♮ not sound the same (according to Wikipedia)?

I was just reading the Wikipedia page on the note F (as I do every evening) and was confused by this part where it says that even though F♮ and E♯ are enharmonic they “do not sound the same”: E♯ is ...
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4 votes
2 answers
334 views

Deafness and intonation in music

I have a question I'm hoping someone may be able to help with. I'm 52 years old and have been a professional musician all my life. I play violin, viola and cello and these days do mostly remote ...
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2 votes
4 answers
264 views

Is there a simplified version of music theory / notation for Western music?

So far as I understand it, Western music uses a 12-note chromatic scale from octave to octave, and modern instruments use even temperament. Other cultures have smaller intervals, meaning a different ...
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2 votes
4 answers
422 views

Am I hearing things in these two Michael Jackson songs?

My dad and I noticed something: On Michael Jackson's "Burn this Disco Out", there's a certain chord that occurs before the track fades out. That one chord sounds ...
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0 votes
1 answer
761 views

Why do I only sing in tune while playing acoustically myself?

I have this weird problem where I can consistently hear the note and sing extremely in tune in a group setting, with the artist also singing in the background of a track, or even while I'm playing the ...
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