How to Adjust Intonation on a Bass Guitar

Learn how to adjust intonation on a bass guitar from the experts at Main Drag Music in this Howcast video about electric guitars.


So now you want to adjust the intonation on your bass guitar. What that means is whether or not the instrument plays in tune with itself. The way you do that is you pluck the low E, and then fret the low E, at the twelfth fret and it should be the same note. Here, it's really sharp. A good rule of thumb is... What you're doing is you're shortening or lengthening the scale, and one thing you can usually remember is if you shorten the scale, you sharpen the note. This is really sharp so you want to move the saddle back.

You move it back some and just repeat. You want to pluck your low E and tune the note, and then fret it at the twelfth fret. Still a little sharp, so you want to move back some more. Tune your note. Fret it at the twelfth fret. That's almost perfect, just move it back a little more. Now the low E is intonated. You want to do the rest of the strings too. A string, tune it up. Fret it at the twelfth fret. That one's in tune. Let's try the next one, D string. Tune it up.

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