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October 02, 2010

How to tune a guitar

...if you're a luthier, that is.

I was wondering why a Yamaha classical guitar I purchased a few years ago always seems out of tune, and started a discussion about it in a guitar forum, including measuring the pitch while each string is open and fingered on the 5th and 12th frets (bizarrely inconsistent results). They suggested I check out this fascinating article by Gregory Byers. It describes the lengths (pun not intended but allowed) a guitar-maker has to go to to create a situation where each string is somewhat in tune on each fret. My Yamaha was not made that carefully! Of course very few guitars are. Byers spends a month making a guitar,  and they cost $9,500.

October 2, 2010 | Permalink


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