How to Adjust an Electric Guitar’s Action and Intonation For Dummies

31 Comments

  1. David Gleaves

    I'm not seeing a lot of answers, but here are two questions. First, if the string height is too high or too low, it could be due to the saddle height (as noted) or to the truss rod needing to be adjusted. How do you determine which adjustment needs to be made? Second, when testing for intonation, rather than comparing the open string with the 12th fret note, can't you compare the 12th fret harmonic with the 12th fret fretted note? If properly intonated they should be the same. If it's off, its easier to tell because you don't have to compare octaves.

  2. marty-susan f

    My first string,  or string E. when pressing on the top fret constantly has a very tinny, buzzing sound. On all other frets, it seems to sound ok. How can I adjust this ? All other string sound fine on the top fret, just the first string is having this issue. The guitar is tuned correctly.

  3. Sic Psychopathic

    I've been playing the guitar since 2003, and up until about last year, I've always just ignored the bridge and saddles because I had no clue what they did. After reading more into it, I found out how important adjusting the bridge and saddlers were. I still have difficulty trying to get it just right, but this explained it perfectly in a way that I could understand.

  4. Bossy Chick

    my new guitar sound awful even in tune but no electric guitar sound what is still wrong

  5. Steven Kok

    Don't forget to tune down on your string before you lenghten your string with the screw driver. Can't believe it's not mentioned in the video. This tip might save you a string snapping…

  6. Trey Nabors

    I surprisingly found this video helpful. just fixed the intonation on my Tele and now I'm on to the SG.

  7. Itsallawesome

    What are the names of the two tools he used on the guitar in order to make these adjustments?

  8. Dave B.

    Hit the harmonic at the 12th fret. Now fret the note at the 12th fret. If the fretted note is lower, shorten the string; if the fretted note is sharper, then lengthen the string. Needless to say, you set up your action first.

  9. Neil Aspinall

    I have a question about intonation? OK the intonation is perfect but I
    have found that especially the G string and to a lesser degree the B
    string have this problem. If I play a say an A major chord on the 2nd
    fret it sounds in tune but say I play a E major in an A shape bar chord
    at the 7th fret is sounds a bit out of tune. I have many guitars but
    this problem is very bad on the 2 newest ones after I did the
    intonation. The necks are nice and straight so this can not be the
    problem either? I know you can never really get a guitar perfectly in
    tune for all positions but these new ones are driving me crazy! Any
    suggestions? Tele and a Les Paul.

  10. John Lain

    Just wanted to add a comment. If you are trying to intonate and the low e saddle is all the way back and it's still sharp, you have to tighten the truss rod (carefully). I just had this problem with a new SG standard. This solved my problem. I used a capo at the first fret and my finger at the last fret and used a 0.010 feeler gauge at the 9th fret. After I made the truss rod adjustment, the guitar was easy to intonate correctly. Now the guitar sounds and plays awesome. I was about to bring the guitar to a tech…now I don't have to, and I saved myself some cash. . I hope this helps someone out with the same problem. Peace

Leave a reply