Mattias Eklundh’s True Temperament Guitar

by Randall Nashleanas, May 31, 2019 . 4 min read

Mattias Eklundh’s True Temperament Guitar

Around 4000 years ago, someone invented a gadget which could create sound using strings forged from the gut of a cow. As time progressed, the Kithara became the Tanbur, the Tanbur into the Lute, the Lute into the Oud, and finally, the Oud into the Guitar.

For some reason, it took 4000 years to create a guitar that is actually in tune when played. What do I mean exactly? Find out more about Mattias Eklundh’s True Temperament Guitar.

Mattias IA Eklundh

Mattias Eklundh true temperament frets

Swedish guitarist and vocalist, Mattias Eklundh, is notorious worldwide for his unique sound and rhythmically advanced chops. Every year, he holds his annual Freak Guitar Camp deep in the woods somewhere in Sweden where he teaches students his take on “picking, tapping, harmonics, phrasing, riffs, exotic tonality, finger-picking, reduction, poly-rhythms and odd time stuff.

Similar – How to Master Downpicking

Mattias’ success mainly derives from his own compositions and songs from his Freak Guitar and Freak Kitchen Albums.

As a musician, this guy is truly one-of-a-kind. But one-of-a-kind musicians seem to always notice all but kind faults in the nature of our beloved instruments.

The “Freak Guitar.”

freak guitar true temperament

Our guitars are out of tune! How is this so?

Mattias Eklundh states, “A guitar with straight frets…is just impossible to tune.”

This is why all of Mattias’ guitars are built with trippy-looking True Temperament frets. Each fret is measured as accurate as humanly possible in order to achieve very precise intonation from fret to fret, chord to chord.

According to
Standard equal tempered fret spacing is calculated from one single piece of information about the instrument – the scale length (the theoretical speaking length of the open strings). A divisor constant is used to determine the locations of the frets. The scale length divided by the constant gives the position of the first fret. The remaining length after subtracting the first fret, divided by the same constant, thus gives the position of the second fret, and so on…

Hence the only way to fully compensate for all these parameters is to adjust each and every string-to-fret contact point on the fingerboard separately until each and every note plays the target frequency exactly. This, which is impossible on a guitar with traditional, one-piece, straight frets, is exactly what we do with Dynamic Intonation™, and Curved Frets™.

Futher Reading – What is Absolute Pitch?

Mattias’ Tunings

Throughout Mattias’ albums, he has dedicated many of his songs to several distinctive types of tunings. As we all know, the standard tuning of the guitar is E A D G B E.

On Mattias’ ‘Freak Kitchen,’ album, ‘Land of the Freaks,’ the first song, “God Save the Spleen,” is tuned to DbSus4 tuning A.K.A C#Sus4. From lowest to highest the tuning is Db/C# Ab/G# Db/C# Gb/F# Ab/G# Db/G#.

On his ‘Freak Guitar – Smorgasbord’ album, the song, “Blaha Blaha,” has a very unique tuning which is called the Bbm7#5 tuning. Bb Ab Db Gb Ab Db.

So set that Roadie Tuner to “Blaha Blaha” mode!

Get in Tune!

Congratulations! You’ve been playing out of tune this whole time! But no worries, with enough practice, a Roadie Tuner, True Temperament frets and Freak Guitar licks, you will see a huge improvement in your playing!

We hope you Roadies enjoyed this article about Mattias Eklundh’s True Temperament Guitar!

Rock on.

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