I’ve been struggling with keeping my intonation solid in DADGAD tuning as I move up the neck and have messed with different strings, slightly compensated tuning, etc. It really makes me crazy because it can be a significant pitch problem. This evening as I was searching for someone who made compensated saddles or nuts, I came across this post on acoustic guitar forum by Doug Young. I tried it out and it seemed significantly improved over electronic tuning.
I’ll quote here in case the forum goes poof.
“You could also try my tuning method for DADGAD and see if it helps:
The basic idea is to tune all strings relative to the 4th string, so there is no accumulation of errors:
1. get 4th string in tune with a tuner
2. Tune the 1st string to the 12th fret harmonic of the 4th
3. Tune the 12th fret harmonic of the 6th to the open 4th
4. Tune the 2nd string 12th fret harmonic to the 4th string 7th fret harmonic
5. tune the 5th string 12th fret harmonic to the 4th string 7th fret harmonic – this will be an octave
6. tune the 3rd string, 7th fret harmonic to the 4th string 12th fret harmonic.
double check your D’s – 12th, 4th, 6th strings at the 12th fret, and double check strings 2 and 5 against each other with 12th fret harmonics.
Sounds complicated in writing, but it’s fast and simple, and for me, never fails to produce good intonation for DAGDAD.”