In string instruments, intonation is more of a worry than in other instruments. Because most string instruments are unfretted, if a finger is too high or too low by even a fraction of an inch, the note will be out of tune. The process of gaining good intonation typically takes many years of playing to acquire and is arguably the hardest part of learning a stringed instrument. The neck of a guitar showing the first four frets. ...
The same principles of intonation that apply to strings apply to the trombone, because the trombone uses a slide instead of valves. However, the margin of error is much wider on the trombone as it has only seven basic slide positions on a slide length of over 80 centimetres. Therefore, intonation is a much smaller issue for trombone students than for learners of string instruments. The trombone is a musical instrument in the brass family. ...
Instruments with straight frets like guitars require a special compensation on saddle and nut. Every time a string is fretted it is also stretched. And as one stretches the string it will rise in pitch. So all fretted tones sound sharp. With the right position of the saddle they'll sound sharp to the same amount, if the distances between the frets are exact. With the right nut compensation one can rise the pitch of the unfretted string the same amount. So lowering the tension of the string all tones are exact.
Konrad Schwingenstein: Intonation of stringed instruments with straight frets , http://www.pepithesecond.com
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