WT. Foster Guitars Tech Tip of the day! March 27, 2015
Luthiers and set-up tech’s actually intonate a guitar very slightly flat when doing a “bench” setup. The reasoning being that on the bench a technician uses minimum amount of pressure to fret the string, maintaining constant tension and stretch to the string. But when play takes the instrument onstage, all bets are off, and he or she will likely use a tighter grip, resulting in the guitar playing sharp.
This is also a reason that should familiarize yourself on how you play your guitar before intonating it to get a good idea of how hard you squeeze the strings when playing. This will allow you to adjust intonation to your guitar accordingly. We hope this answers that question you keep asking yourself “Why when I play my guitar is it out of tune” when the guitar is in tune and intonation is set properly.