What is intonation on a guitar, and is it important? Well, yes, it could be very. If your guitar is poorly intonated it could play horribly out of tune! It may sound fine down low playing open chords, but suddenly, when the solo starts, up at the fifteenth fret… aaaahhhhgg!
Figure 1 - Strings passing over the saddles of a Fender Jaguar guitar.
I’ve known young guitarists change out tuning keys, and even buy new guitars because their old guitar would never stay in tune. In many instances it was just a matter of a poor setup, with nothing wrong with the guitar or any of it’s components.
But don’t worry, adjusting intonation is really very easy. All you need is a guitar tuner and a screwdriver. This article tells you how.
A new set of strings can do wonders for a bass. If the old set have been on for a while, the sound they produce will be dull and lifeless. Old strings can be the cause of fret buzz and intonation problems, and in a worse-case scenario could snap during performance.
How long a string takes to become ‘old’ depends on several factors: how much it is played, whether it is wiped down after use, and even how corrosive the perspiration of the player. Top players may change their strings nightly; only fresh strings give them the sound they want, whilst a bass that spends very little time in use - perhaps avoiding gig situations – will be fine for months or years.
So, now you’ve decided to treat your beloved bass to a new set, how do you decide what to buy? There are a lot of choices, but which ones are right for you? Long scale? shortscale? roundwound? flats?
This article describes some of the main types, to help the reader identify the best bass strings for them…
Elixir strings were made to increase the life span of guitar strings, and prevent rust. All types of acoustic, bass, and electric guitar strings suffer from rust and buildup of dirt and grime. This buildup dampens tone and reduces overall sound quality- and this is what a new set of Elixir strings intend to fix through a revolutionary process.
Figure 1 - Dirty or corroded strings give poor tone and sound quality- and music will sound increasingly dull until they are replaced.
Take a good, long, look at your guitar strings. Odds are, they most likely need a cleaning. In fact, guitar strings should be cleaned after every session! Doing so will make the time between changing guitar strings longer, and it is also necessary to maintain a good sound and tone. But what exactly needs to be done?
Figure 1 - We recommend FAST-FRET; It makes cleaning a one step process.
Guitar strings are one of the most important parts of a guitar- so knowing how they work is vital to getting the tone and control that is desired. Different gauges, materials, construction, and string condition can all have a big impact on the sound of a guitar.
Figure 1 - Look familiar? This is your guitar string up close! Notice how the metal is wound into string.