Introduction

Although tuning the bass makes the open note correct, slight variations in fret length and the string type can affect the note at higher pitches.

In this guide we will change the length of the strings to better perfect the pitch of each note at higher frets.

Loosen all of the strings completely by turning each tuning peg counter clockwise. Continue until there is no tension in the strings
  • Loosen all of the strings completely by turning each tuning peg counter clockwise. Continue until there is no tension in the strings

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Remove each string by pulling it out of the string tree at the top and through the bridge at the bottom.
  • Remove each string by pulling it out of the string tree at the top and through the bridge at the bottom.

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Thread the largest new string through the bridge hole farthest from the knobs. Hold it firmly in place.
  • Thread the largest new string through the bridge hole farthest from the knobs. Hold it firmly in place.

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Pull the string up to the corresponding string tree.
  • Pull the string up to the corresponding string tree.

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Firmly grasp the middle of the string and pull it taut.
  • Firmly grasp the middle of the string and pull it taut.

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On a taut string, measure one inch past the nut before using a pair of wire cutters to cut the string. On a taut string, measure one inch past the nut before using a pair of wire cutters to cut the string.
  • On a taut string, measure one inch past the nut before using a pair of wire cutters to cut the string.

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Take the end of the string and insert it into the hole in the middle of the string tree.
  • Take the end of the string and insert it into the hole in the middle of the string tree.

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Deck the Halls
With tools and Fix Kits
Bend the string sideways into the channel of the string tree.
  • Bend the string sideways into the channel of the string tree.

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Use one hand to maintain tension in the string by grabbing the string and rotating the hand toward the fret board.
  • Use one hand to maintain tension in the string by grabbing the string and rotating the hand toward the fret board.

  • If tension is not retained it may result in uneven tension in the string tree, causing the tree to break.

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Rotate the tuning peg counterclockwise until the string is slightly taut, but not tight.
  • Rotate the tuning peg counterclockwise until the string is slightly taut, but not tight.

  • Check to ensure that the string is lined up with the proper notch in the nut.

  • You will have proper alignment when the sting bends at a minimum angle.

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Repeat steps 3-10 for each string.
  • Repeat steps 3-10 for each string.

  • Each string will progressively get closer to the knobs. It is not essential to progress from thick to thin strings, but it is important that they are connected to the proper string tree.

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Caution: Do not over tighten the strings. This can cause the strings to snap and could cause bodily injury. The strings are too tight when you have difficulty turning the tuning peg.
  • Caution: Do not over tighten the strings. This can cause the strings to snap and could cause bodily injury. The strings are too tight when you have difficulty turning the tuning peg.

  • Tighten the string until it is close to the proper tuning. Use an electronic tuner or an online tuner that uses your computer's microphone. (Google: Online Tuner)

  • Note: Clockwise rotation of the tuning peg tightens the string and produces a higher pitch. Counter-clockwise rotation loosens the string causing a lower pitch.

  • Tune the thickest string to B, the second thickest string E, the next thickest to A, the next string to D, and the last string to G.

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Because the strings will change pitch as the guitar body deforms due to increased tension, repeat step 12 after each string is tuned individually.
  • Because the strings will change pitch as the guitar body deforms due to increased tension, repeat step 12 after each string is tuned individually.

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Plug the instrument cable into input jack. Plug the other end of cable into the tuner.
  • Plug the instrument cable into input jack.

  • Plug the other end of cable into the tuner.

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Tune strings following string replacement guide.
  • Tune strings following string replacement guide.

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Check the intonation of each of your strings by playing the 12th fret and 24th fret. In the pictures, we can see that on the G string the 12th is slightly flat (as the red light to the left of the green light is illuminated) and the 24th fret is slightly sharp (as the red light to the right of the green light is illuminated)
  • Check the intonation of each of your strings by playing the 12th fret and 24th fret.

  • In the pictures, we can see that on the G string the 12th is slightly flat (as the red light to the left of the green light is illuminated) and the 24th fret is slightly sharp (as the red light to the right of the green light is illuminated)

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After determining which string you need to intonate, locate the corresponding bridge. Note: In our demo we will change the intonation of the G string.
  • After determining which string you need to intonate, locate the corresponding bridge.

  • Note: In our demo we will change the intonation of the G string.

  • Locate the corresponding Phillips head screw we will use to change the position of the bridge.

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Our G string was slightly sharp at high notes, therefore we will unscrew the screw in order to make the string longer.
  • Our G string was slightly sharp at high notes, therefore we will unscrew the screw in order to make the string longer.

  • If the string is sharp at high notes, loosen the screw, making the string longer.If the string is flat at high notes, tighten the screw, making the string shorter.

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Re-tune the string, and then recheck the pitch of the 12th and 24th fret. Note how only the green light is illuminated, indicating that the pitch is now a G. If the 12th and 24th fret are not in tune, repeat step 5 until they are in tune. If the 12th and 24th fret are in tune, repeat steps 3 through 5 for each of your strings until each string is intonated.
  • Re-tune the string, and then recheck the pitch of the 12th and 24th fret. Note how only the green light is illuminated, indicating that the pitch is now a G.

  • If the 12th and 24th fret are not in tune, repeat step 5 until they are in tune.

  • If the 12th and 24th fret are in tune, repeat steps 3 through 5 for each of your strings until each string is intonated.

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Finish Line

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Chris Pittner

Member since: 01/11/2013

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Cal Poly, Team 5-18, Forte Winter 2013 Member of Cal Poly, Team 5-18, Forte Winter 2013

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