View Full Version : Fretted strings out of tune + guitar action.

01-27-2007, 05:19 PM
I have a Jackson Rhoads guitar and when I tune it (I keep it in E) then play the open strings it sounds fine. But when I start playing chords or even go from a fretted string to an open string it sounds out of tune. And I get that "waving" sound when I use distortion. Am I just being too heavy handed or is there something wrong with the guitar?

I also had another question about raising the action of a guitar. Hopefully the above problem isn't related to the action being high because I have a Kirk Hammett sig. that I would like to raise to the string height of the Rhoads. When I play it I feel like my fingers should be hitting the strings sooner than they actually do and it's just a little aggravating. I've never done it before but I'm a pretty quick learner - that being said should I attempt to raise it myself or just take it to a shop?

01-27-2007, 09:07 PM
sounds like the intonation is way off (which could be a result of the action...got any pics we could see?) very high action can be a factor in the intonation being off. or you could be too heavy handed (if you press the string down hard enough you CAN pull it out of tune.)

i would say if youre not experienced in setting up guitars, then take it to a shop and have them work on it, and watch and ask questions so you can learn yourself. i learned on my own by reading everything i could, then doing my own work. not the best way, because i could have screwed something up, but i havent and im thankful for that! i wish i woulda had a teacher though :)

01-27-2007, 10:57 PM
when you fret and it goes sharp or flat the intonation needs to be set.Pics of the string saddles would be a great help

01-27-2007, 11:03 PM
Check your intonation. Also, I might add that if you are playing down at the first few frets, like 1-3 you may get some notes that may be sharp or flat. This is normal and sometimes you have to tune an open string either sharp or flat to play these notes. The only other correction that can be done to the guitar is the use of a compensated nut, like an Earvana or Buzz Feiten system. However, with a Floyd locking nut, your basically out of luck. You have to just tune the best you can after your intonation is set.

01-27-2007, 11:34 PM
If you are a beginner guitarist I would suggest bringing it to a shop to have it checked out before you start messing with it. Its common for beginning guitarists to think their guitars are out of tune when they first try to play because usually they are fretting incorrectly and pressing down too hard.

01-28-2007, 12:10 AM
yea...i pressed down too hard for years. you should see the frets on my PRS. i wonder how it survived for 11 years! LOL

you really only need to use light pressure to fret strings. if youre heavy handed you also kill the frets prematurely (like i did with my PRS!)

01-28-2007, 07:41 AM
I'll try to get some pictures up asap. Should they be pics of the saddles and the space between the strings and the neck? For the intonation your supposed to play the open string and then the 12th fret to see if they are in tune, right? And if it's sharp, move the saddle away from or closer to the pickups?

I'm also going to try getting used to a lighter touch, I'm a pretty big guy (240 pound weightlifter) so I'm sure it'll help if it's the intonation or not. So, I'll try to get some pics. Thanks guys, I appreciate it.

01-28-2007, 10:29 AM
Does your Rhoads have a trem, or is it a string-thru bridge? If it has a trem, and you are resting your hand on the trem, you may applying enough force to affect the spring tension. That could cause tuning and (maybe) the "waving" sound you mentioned, although that might be an amp issue.

01-28-2007, 12:29 PM
For the intonation your supposed to play the open string and then the 12th fret to see if they are in tune, right? And if it's sharp, move the saddle away from or closer to the pickups?

Use the 12th fret and 12th fret harmonic instead of the open string. If the fretted note is sharp compared to the harmonic, then you move the saddle away from the pickups. If the fretted note is flat, then move it forward, toward the pickups.