- Apr 16, 2011
- Reaction score
I like DarrelIV's take. At least my experience is consistent with what he describes. Between the fundamental intonation problems that are inherent in the nature of the guitar and the impact of a player's style, it's useful to consider intonation in terms of actual playing, not just workbench conditions. I generally intonate on the bench and then make additional adjustments by actually playing and adjusting as needed/possible. I play with a light touch and low action, but even so usually end up "flatting" some strings a bit because fretting pressure sharps them, however slightly. I once went on an intonation quest on one of my guitars, using a Earvana nut (which I further adjusted and then remade out of bone) and I did achieve a really nice improvement that was actually audible in a pleasant way -- less internal combat between strings. I don't know anyone who feels like they've really mastered intonating a guitar!