Guitar tuning for tone.

Guitar Tricks Forum > Tone and Effects > Guitar tuning for tone.

kvsealegs

Full Access

Joined: 03/14/15

Posts: 74

I don't know how to really ask this question, or if it is really a "thing" as I may be thinking.

I have found some pleasure in trying out the James Taylor tuning in my acoustic guitars. It does seem to resonate to me more. It's not hugely different, but different. I have found that "I" tend to tune the higher strings a few cents closer to pitch, and the lower strings a few cents more away from pitch.

I don't really know what it is, but I am thinking that it creates more disonance from the high strings and gives a bit of out of phase sound, resulting in a fuller resonant sound?

Does what I say make sense? Or is this a swing and miss for a strike out, altogether. LOL

#1

I don't know how to really ask this question, or if it is really a "thing" as I may be thinking.

I have found some pleasure in trying out the James Taylor tuning in my acoustic guitars. It does seem to resonate to me more. It's not hugely different, but different. I have found that "I" tend to tune the higher strings a few cents closer to pitch, and the lower strings a few cents more away from pitch.

I don't really know what it is, but I am thinking that it creates more disonance from the high strings and gives a bit of out of phase sound, resulting in a fuller resonant sound?

Does what I say make sense? Or is this a swing and miss for a strike out, altogether. LOL

Carl King

GuitarTricks Video Director

Joined: 10/08/07

Posts: 465

That's some interesting stuff. It's compensating for the strings going a bit sharp when you play them hard.

Here's a video about it for those who are interested:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V2xnXArjPts&feature=emb_title

It's true that guitar isn't an "exact" instrument like a synthesizer, and there are these sorts of discrepancies you'll run into if you're very sensitive to pitch.

-Carl.

Carl King
GuitarTricks Video Director / Producer

#2

That's some interesting stuff. It's compensating for the strings going a bit sharp when you play them hard.

Here's a video about it for those who are interested:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V2xnXArjPts&feature=emb_title

It's true that guitar isn't an "exact" instrument like a synthesizer, and there are these sorts of discrepancies you'll run into if you're very sensitive to pitch.

-Carl.

Carl King
GuitarTricks Video Director / Producer

aschleman

Registered User

Joined: 04/26/05

Posts: 2051

As Carl indicated, you're likely experiencing a compensation in the imperfect intonation of standard scale guitars. As you tune a string, it's usually in perfect tuning while being played open (at the nut). As you fret that string, the note may be flat or sharp ever so slightly along the scale of the neck. Depending on the guage of strings, the scale of the neck, the type of bridge... even the way that you play, you may experience different levels of the intonation on your guitar being slighlty off. Tuning an open string slightly sharp or slightly flat at the nut (open), can compensate for some of these oddities while playing the guitar.

More sensitive ears might be more intune (pun not intended) to this than most! So, it's a good sign that you have a keen ear. And if it sounds good, it ain't wrong.

#3

As Carl indicated, you're likely experiencing a compensation in the imperfect intonation of standard scale guitars. As you tune a string, it's usually in perfect tuning while being played open (at the nut). As you fret that string, the note may be flat or sharp ever so slightly along the scale of the neck. Depending on the guage of strings, the scale of the neck, the type of bridge... even the way that you play, you may experience different levels of the intonation on your guitar being slighlty off. Tuning an open string slightly sharp or slightly flat at the nut (open), can compensate for some of these oddities while playing the guitar.

More sensitive ears might be more intune (pun not intended) to this than most! So, it's a good sign that you have a keen ear. And if it sounds good, it ain't wrong.

SRVFan2000

Full Access

Joined: 06/01/21

Posts: 19

Not sure about this one. It's in tune for a reason. I have found when I am slightly out of tune it doesnt sound as good. Alternate tunings is a different story and I agree- can sound unique and special, in a good way.

#4

Not sure about this one. It's in tune for a reason. I have found when I am slightly out of tune it doesnt sound as good. Alternate tunings is a different story and I agree- can sound unique and special, in a good way.