Check your intonation – it’s simple and makes a huge difference

I recently bought an amber Squier Precision Bass off e-Bay. Whilst I was very pleased with it having purchased it unseen, I did think that the bridge saddle arrangement looked odd. The other day I got hold of a Boss TU-3 tuner to replace the Boss clip on tuner I’ve used for a few years. The clip on tuner was ok, but not really that simple to use, and not a great amount of use for my headless bass!

Anyway, I thought I’d check the intonation on the Squier. The G string saddle was almost hanging off the bridge, so I hoped that something was wrong. It was. When I checked the tuning at the 12th fret, the fretted note was way too sharp. After screwing the saddle back towards the bridge about 10mm, the note was correct. The other strings were way out too – all too sharp by quite a margin. After fixing them, my Rocksmith scores improved dramatically as with a properly tuned bass, the game believed that I was playing the right notes again.

Don’t be put off thinking that checking a guitar’s intonation is a job for an expert. With a tuner, a screwdriver and a few spare minutes, you’ll have the guitar in perfect tune in no time.