I am very new to CBG having just purchased my first one. I have played 6 string guitar for a while. While my ear is not the best I do have some ability to appreciate the correct pitch of intended notes. I tune my CBG and it is in tune open and at the 12th fret. But virtually every fretted note toward the nut is at least a half step off. Is this just the way it is with CBGs? I don't know if the frets were incorrectly placed or if the nature of the instrument is simply to be somewhat in a general area of a pitch. Thank you for any insight you have.

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Perhaps it's not the frets. have you tried moving the bridge? 

I will try that. Since I was in tune at the 12th I assumed the bridge was in the proper spot. I will give it a try. Thanks for the tip.

That has me scratching my head, you tune the open G and the 12th fret is an in-tune G one octave higher? but then the 11th fret is an F instead of a F#?

I am at work and do not the CBG handy. When I fret the low G at the 3 fret I get an A which is slightly sharp. Almost the same pitch as at the 2d. When I fret the low E T the 5th fret I get almost a D. When I fret the middle D string at the 3rd fret I get an E slightly sharp. But at the 12th fret I am in tune. I am stumped too. I have not measured the fret spacing. I have tried to bend the notes to tune while playing but I am not subtle enough.

The CBG sounds great with the slide it is just when playing individual notes with my finger that it sounds so out of tune.

0G 1G# 2A 3A#, the 3d fret on the G-string should sound an A#, not an A

0E 1F 2F# 3G 4G# 5A, the 5th fret on the E string should be an A not a D

can you post a pic of the fingerboard please?

Hmm. Sounds to me like either the first or second fret is too high, needs to be recrowned or reset (a common enough problem with many fretted CBGs, having to reseat or recrown frets).

Try this when you get home: using the edge of a credit card, check to see that the frets are level, starting at fret 1, and working your way, 3 frets at a time, toward the bridge. Look for a light gap beneath the edge of the card. If you see this with the gap showing up in the middle of the card, that fret is too low. If you see light gaps on either end, the middle fret is too high, and either needs to be recrowned (ground / filed / sanded) lower to match the frets either side, or tapped back into place with a hard plastic mallet.

Another thing to check would be distance from the bottom of the string at the first fret (no more than the thickness of a dime, about 2-3 mm) and at the 12th fret ( no more than the thickness of a nickel, about 5 mm). Could be your bridge height, or nut height is a tad low.

Final thing to check is if the neck is bowed. The credit card fret rocker test can help with that, too. You'll see an actual bowing of the neck, somewhere between frets 5 and 7.

Let us know how you get on, and try to send some pics.
Excellent suggestions and you helped me learn. Thank you.


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