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Can anyone explain to me why? when I play with guitar groups I have to play sharper than when I play In a horn ensemble?
 

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if i had to guess, i'd say it's the dynamic difference. guitars are pretty loud, do you have to blow harder, and that may cause you to play flat(er).
 

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I'm not sure if you are saying you have to play out of tune or what it is you mean exactly.
 

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It all about temperature if they are tuning at all. Cold makes you (horn) go flat and the electric go sharp. Fun for outdoor gigs. Just adjust, all you can do. K
 

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If you're very sensitive to this here's another answer. Guitars that are exactly in tune with open strings immediately go just a tad sharp simply by fretting any note / chord. If the guitarist uses a capo, same thing. The difference is very slight but present. If you're used to hanging on the flat side of a note, it becomes apparent as guitarists will always be just a tad on the sharp side.
 

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If you're very sensitive to this here's another answer. Guitars that are exactly in tune with open strings immediately go just a tad sharp simply by fretting any note / chord. If the guitarist uses a capo, same thing. The difference is very slight but present. If you're used to hanging on the flat side of a note, it becomes apparent as guitarists will always be just a tad on the sharp side.
You know this is something that bugged me when i was messing about with guitar. It seemed to me that just fretting a chord does make a noticeable difference. Does this mean that guitarists should be tuning open strings a tiny bit flat in an ensemble with horns, maybe ??
 

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When recording, I tend to tune to the root chord which helps. Live you just have to go with it. Some guitars are worse than others and some guitarists "pull" on the strings a bit when they get excited. I catch myself doing it sometimes. Better to have the saxes play a hair sharp.
 

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Especially guitarists who haven't developed a light touch on the guitar tend to bend the strings a little by pressing them hard behind the fret which makes them a little sharp.

If the guitarist doesn't press the string perpendicular to the fret he/she will also bend the string which makes it sharp.

Add a capo (I dislike them) and it only adds more sharpness.

In addition, many more inexperienced guitarists don't check the intonation at the 12th fret. Most electric guitars have adjustable bridges so you can make the guitar play in tune all the way up the neck, but way too many guitarists don't bother.

As a sax player who played in guitar bands most of his life, it's a constant challenge to stay in tune with the guitar. As mentioned, when the weather causes the sax to go sharp, it causes the guitar to go flat and vice versa. It's easier to tune the sax than the guitar (one adjustment as opposed to 6) so I just go with the flow.

Before electronic tuners things were even worse. But listening to a lot of old recordings with slightly out of tune guitars, I wonder if the intonation problems didn't add to the charm of the song.

Insights and incites by Notes ♫
 

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Also keep in mind that guitars have to have some sort of tempering in their tuning due to the nature of the insturment. In my Peterson tuner there are 4 or 5 "sweetenings" as they call them for guitar and two for Dobro.

Playing with a piano or guitar is quite a different deal form playing in big band.
 

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Everyone so far is pointing fingers at the guitar players. It is also possible that your horn ensembles are tuning flat.

Take out a tuner at either instance to see where the pitch is going.

Sometimes a lil' awareness drill can be interesting - it can get everyone to participate in active listening.
 

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Everyone so far is pointing fingers at the guitar players. It is also possible that your horn ensembles are tuning flat.

Take out a tuner at either instance to see where the pitch is going.

Sometimes a lil' awareness drill can be interesting - it can get everyone to participate in active listening.
Good point. It's probably because we're on a sax forum. The first rule when a wrong note is played is to look disgustedly at the guitarist.
 

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You should be tuning to their guitars. You being a little sharp is going to sound worse than everyone being a wee bit flat, but tuned to each other. Make sense?
 
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