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Old 11-28-2016, 03:27 PM   #1
Derrick
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Default Acoustic guitar problem

My knowledge on guitars is very limited so this has been stumping me for a couple months and I'm interested in your feedback. The first acoustic I bought and still use was a Squier by Fender, I got it a cheap $40-50, and it's lasted well despite how badly I've abused it over the years. My second acoustic I bought was a Harmony 30312409, found at a thrift shop in a hard case, which I was drawn to because it was small and very bright.

Neither were getting much attention from me until my girlfriend wanted to try doing a duo with violin. So, inspired by the sound, I wrote 4 songs on my Harmony guitar. However, when we tried incorporating her parts, we noticed my guitar was always slightly out of tune. When we've played together since I've tried using my Squier with a capo on the 6th fret, which works but hurts my fingers, and doesn't give me enough room to work. Are there guitars like my Harmony guitar that're made well enough to stay in tune or would it most benefit me just to get an acoustic with a longer fretboard?

Last edited by Derrick; 11-28-2016 at 03:33 PM.
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Old 11-28-2016, 07:44 PM   #2
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Derrick:
Quote:
However, when we tried incorporating her parts, we noticed my guitar was always slightly out of tune.
You're not noticing tuning issues when you play alone? If that's right, it seems more probable that the problem may be your fretless instrument collaborator's intonation, not your guitar.
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Old 11-28-2016, 09:38 PM   #3
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I'll quote alykat: "Cheap guitars are never good, and good guitars are never cheap".
Not a hard, fast rule, but a pretty good guideline...
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Old 11-28-2016, 11:51 PM   #4
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Are you both using the same electronic tuner to tune with?
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Old 11-29-2016, 07:59 PM   #5
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I read his question as not being out of tune, but in order to get the guitar to sound good with the violin he needed a capo which he doesn't like because of the shortened fretboard and closer frets??? Am I wrong??

EDIT: I reread it and now it sounds like both
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Old 12-01-2016, 07:55 PM   #6
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I read it as he is in tune until paired with the violin, then he appears out of tune in comparison. I would also suggest checking the tuning on the violin to be exact with yours.
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Old 12-01-2016, 08:24 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Parralax view View Post
I read it as he is in tune until paired with the violin, then he appears out of tune in comparison. I would also suggest checking the tuning on the violin to be exact with yours.
OK, as usual, I'll be the dyk here...
Perhaps consider tuning BOTH instruments with the same tuner???
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Old 12-01-2016, 09:25 PM   #8
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My second acoustic I bought was a Harmony...which I was drawn to because it was small and very bright.

...I wrote 4 songs on my Harmony guitar. However, when we tried incorporating her parts, we noticed my guitar was always slightly out of tune. When we've played together since I've tried using my Squier with a capo on the 6th fret, which works...

Are there guitars like my Harmony guitar that're made well enough to stay in tune or would it most benefit me just to get an acoustic with a longer fretboard?



1}- from the above, the Squire is a standard scale length, but the Harmony is a much shorter scale length and designed to be tuned higher; what is common and probably A D G C E A.

2}- because the Squire with a capo at the sixth fret is the same as the Harmony, either the Harmony is tuned up a half step from A D G C E A or the Squire is tuned down a half step from standard. Or both are tuned correctly and your placement of the capo is really at the fifth fret but you are calling it the sixth in error.

3}- the songs where composed on the Harmony, which is a transposing instrument since it is tuned up from standard. Derrick, when you composed the tunes, did you transpose back to standard for the violin (which is a non-transposing instrument)?

Derrick, first thing to do is verify the capo placement when the two guitars play the same. The fret number that names the position is the fret-string contact closest to the bridge.

Next thing is to verify tuning of both guitars.

Next is to recall if when composing the songs you used chord names based on shape and position with reference to the nut in standard tuning or with reference to the actual pitches. That is to say, if you learned how to play a D major chord on the Squire in standard tuning and then played that same shape and position relative to the capo on the Harmony tuned up to A D G C E A, then although it looks and feels like a D major chord it is actually a G major chord because every pitch is five half steps higher... all notes and chords played like on the Squire will be five half steps up on the Harmony (or six half steps up if your description of the capo fret position is correct).

So if you call it D major and write it as that, but it actually is G major, then the violin will play what you wrote, D, but what you play will be G.

Likewise, if the actual capo position really is the sixth fret on the Squire that matches the Harmony, then the D major you learned on the Squire whose shape and position you played on the Harmony is actually G# major... and if you are calling that D major and writing it so, then the violin will play D and you will be playing G#.

Hope this helps...
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Old 12-05-2016, 08:23 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shredd View Post
OK, as usual, I'll be the dyk here...
Perhaps consider tuning BOTH instruments with the same tuner???
Geee... why didn't I think of that?????.....
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Old 12-05-2016, 08:51 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shredd View Post
OK, as usual, I'll be the dyk here...
Perhaps consider tuning BOTH instruments with the same tuner???
Quote:
Originally Posted by Parralax view View Post
Geee... why didn't I think of that?????.....


I suggested that first but no one listens to me......I think I'll go eat some worms
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