Wierd issue.

Discussion in 'Epiphone SG' started by Ethan Franklin, Sep 10, 2019.

  1. Ethan Franklin

    Ethan Franklin New Member

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    So I've had an issue with my epiphone sg where everytime I fret the 3rd string it sounds to sharp, even though its tuned properly, wondering if any one has suggestions on what could help.
     
  2. Didds

    Didds Well-Known Member

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    Are you pressing down on the string too hard? That could be because the action is too high. Could also be an intonation issue
     
  3. Ethan Franklin

    Ethan Franklin New Member

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    I have the action kind of low actually, but I'll see if that changes anything, but with intonation, should I increase the length more or lessen?
     
  4. Bad Penguin

    Bad Penguin Active Member

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    Ok, it sounds as if you don't know how to do intonation. The quick and dirty method is tune, 12th fret harmonic, then 12th fret fretted. if the meter says it's sharp on the fretted note, then tighten the saddle, making it a bit further from the 12th fret. If flat, then bring the saddle closer.

    Since it's happening at the 3rd fret, sounds as if the guitar needs to be intonated
     
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  5. Ethan Franklin

    Ethan Franklin New Member

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    Ok, I get you. And yes, I've never really learned intonation. But thank you.
     
  6. Chubbles

    Chubbles Well-Known Member

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    I'm stupid. I remember it like this:

    If 12 is sharp, the string is too short, make the string longer (saddle towards tail). That lowers the pitch.

    If 12 is flat, the string is too long, make the string shorter (saddle towards nut). That raises the pitch.

    I guess my brain works different.
     
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  7. plankton

    plankton Well-Known Member

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    If it's not intonation then it could be that the nut is cut a bit high or you're fretting too hard.

    Is it sharp on the 2nd fret? Does fretting more gently solve the problem?
     
  8. plankton

    plankton Well-Known Member

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    That doesn't seem stupid to me. Every guitar player knows that a shorter string has a higher pitch, that's why "moving up the neck" means getting closer to the body, as you move up the neck you get higher notes.

    So naturally, if an open string is ringing sharp it's too short, and vice versa.
     
  9. Ethan Franklin

    Ethan Franklin New Member

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    Ok, so I managed to get the issue solved this morning. I guess it was a combination of the action being to high and intonation thing, but it sounds fine now. Thank you guys for the help.
     
  10. Biddlin

    Biddlin Well-Known Member

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    Start in your normal tuning, ie if you play in double drop c tune your guitar to double drop c . Retune between each adjustment.
    Begin by setting the bridge height for frets 17-22 so that the strings play buzz free at the lowest possible height.

    Start with low E. Lower the bass side until it buzzes, raise until clear. Check A and D raise slightly if needed to get clean notes. Then do the treble side. If you bend notes up here, try a few typical bends, to make sure they don't buzz out.

    When all strings play clean go to the lower frets and neck relief. Play the high E string from fret 1 to fret 16, increasing relief (loosening trussrod) to relieve buzz or decreasing relief (tightening trussrod) to lower the string height. So tighten, by fractional turns, until it buzzes and back off until it doesn't. If you bend strings , do your typical bends to insure they don't buzz out. Once satisfied, check the other strings and make small adjustments as needed.

    Once you have acceptable relief, i.e. no buzz and easy action, set your intonation and you're done.
     
  11. Chubbles

    Chubbles Well-Known Member

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    That's exactly way I've been doing setups for decades: by touch.
     
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  12. Col Mustard

    Col Mustard Well-Known Member

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    Welcome to ETSG! I'm glad you have your guitar playing properly now,
    so I'll simply reinforce what my colleagues have said, and I'll make a few
    suggestions.

    The tone of your guitar, and the accuracy of its pitch, are affected by all of the
    factors mentioned. How hard you press, how well your nut slots are cut, how high
    your action is, how high your frets are, and how well intonated your guitar is (at the bridge).
    Every player needs to understand how these things work. If you copy and paste Biddlin's
    instructions, you can save it as a document on your own machine, or print it out and keep
    it in your guitar case. The Biddlin method works, and without buying a lot of expensive tools.

    If you like to read guitar books, I'll recommend Dan Erlewine's "How to make your Electric Guitar play great." Every player should read and keep this book. Epiphone supplies the player
    with all these little screws, and Dan's book tells you how to put those to work, and adjust them correctly.

    Another suggestion is to take your guitar to the best luthier you can afford.
    Ask local pro musicians where they get their repair work done, and be prepared to pay
    for expert work. The luthier has tools and measuring devices that the rest of us usually
    don't own. A proper setup should include checking the neck for straightness, checking the
    nut slots for proper depth, and proper angle, and correct size for the strings you prefer.
    Setup should include checking the frets to make sure they are all seated properly and are
    level with each other. After these things are checked and corrected if necessary, then the
    luthier will look at the guitar's action and relief, as Biddlin described. Then the luthier will
    correct the intonation accurately and check all the solder joints.

    Touring pros often have a guitar tech go with them, to keep all the instruments in the
    locker in top condition, because when you work your instruments hard every night, they
    need more attention. Maybe they can afford this. The rest of us have to see to our own.
    So read the durn book, it's a good book with excellent illustrations, very clear and useful.

    Pressing too hard will throw your notes sharp. I learned this the hard way of course,
    because I spent most of my career playing acoustic and bass, on guitars that seldom got
    a pro setup. So I developed the dreaded "grip of death"... and my hands are still very
    strong. When I bought my first electric (at the age of 60) I was dismayed to hear my notes
    going sharp. At first I thought something was wrong with my new SG, but after watching a
    friend play it with no problems, I realized it was ME doing it. And that was something I
    could control.

    So I had to teach myself to play all over again. I taught myself to keep my thumb behind
    the neck as much as possible. It made me crazy for a while, but the payoff was that I learned
    how to play with a much more relaxed hand. Once I began playing guitar with my hand
    relaxed, I stopped throwing notes sharp, and my playing actually took off. The grip of death
    style of playing had been restricting my music for years. So it was worth the mental gymnastics I needed to go through, in order to stop squeezing the guitar so hard.

    Good luck with all this. I own only one Epiphone now, but it's one I'll never part with
    because I have bonded with it. Mine's an ES-339, and I've done just about everything
    described above to this guitar, and it plays beautifully and has an excellent range of tones.
    So I'm an Epiphone fan. Now I need to remind you of one of our house rules, here at
    the monkey house... PICTURES, OR IT NEVER HAPPENED
    Caledonia 2016@100.jpg
     
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  13. papagayo

    papagayo Well-Known Member

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    Stupid question: did you put a new set of strings ?
     
  14. Chubbles

    Chubbles Well-Known Member

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    Obligatory comment about nut lube inserted ((graphite, etc...)during a string change).
     
  15. Ethan Franklin

    Ethan Franklin New Member

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    I honestly did not expect this much attention, but I've been looking through all of the suggestion and stuff. You guys have been really cool and thank you.
     
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  16. DrBGood

    DrBGood Well-Known Member

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    Now ... show us that guitar you talk about. I'm starting to believe it doesn't exist.
     
  17. Chubbles

    Chubbles Well-Known Member

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    Yea! Pics or it didn't happen!
    :shock:
     
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  18. Ethan Franklin

    Ethan Franklin New Member

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  19. Ethan Franklin

    Ethan Franklin New Member

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    Sorry guys, I totally forgot about images, my bad lol.
     
  20. Ethan Franklin

    Ethan Franklin New Member

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