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How to Make an Out of Tune Gibson Play in Tune

 

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The owner of of this guitar just couldn’t make it stay or sound in tune…it just never sounded right! When he talked to me on the phone I thought at first it was the usual Gibson “loose in a falling apart sort of way” machine head problem..or perhaps it needed setup. When he brought it in…it became apparent to me that it was more serious…I see at least a dozen Gibsons a year like this. Now I could write a book on this…and many people have…do I have the time to do it right now? No surprisingly I don’t…but let me summarise. Try this…Using a digital tuner… tune , say your ‘G’ string to a perfect ‘G’…that’s it…needle right up the middle…it’s definitely a ‘G’ isn’t it?…Now gently press the string down to the first fret…it’s now a perfect G#!…No?…now try all your other strings…the same? Oh well…don’t worry about it (after all Billy Bragg doesn’t!)…the human ear compensates most of the time so you don’t need to worry about it. Sometimes though a guitar just will not sound in tune. The “out of tune” frequencies are dominating…ah the wonder of wood. So here I make an intonated nut….Let me caption the pics for you in a sort of step by step way….