Guitar Tuning

Guitar Tuning - The Quick and Easy Guide

Guitar tuning is the act of adjusting the strings pitches. This is one of the
most important concepts for a beginning guitarist to learn. If your instrument is
not in tune you will never sound good. There are two TOOLS you can use
for guitar tuning - One is an electronic GUITAR TUNER; the other is your EAR

Guitar Tuning with a Guitar Tuner

These small and inexpensive tuning devices can save you a lot of trouble
Almost any guitarist owns an electronic guitar tuner, for various reasons:
They help with your ear improvement. Guitar tuning by using an electronic guitar tuner will train
the ears to hear the correct sound of the guitar, in perfect tune
The using of one electronic guitar tuner is the best way to make guitar tuning really easy
They are a real necessity for performers
in live situations and noisy environments
An electronic guitar tuner could be very useful during the restringing process
and when changing from one tuning to another

Is the use of an electronic guitar tuner really trains your ear? YES.
But it is very easy to become dependent on the visual aspect
of the guitar tuner and not pay very much attention to the actual sound
DO NOT neglect learning the skill of guitar tuning by ear because you must
be able to recognize different pitches. This is essential to become a musician

To see more about this go to Guitar Tuning Using A Guitar Tuner As A Reference

Guitar Tuning by Ear Methods

This is the most known method for standard guitar tuning; it entails matching notes on adjacent strings. The first thing you need to do is to get a REFERENCE PITCH. Get it from another guitar that is already in tune, a piano, a tuning fork, an electronic guitar tuner or a MIDI file on the computer

Procedure for 5th FRET guitar tuning
1) Play a Lo-E REFERENCE PITCH. Match the open Lo-E string (the sixth) to it
2) Strike the A note played on the sixth string (this one opened would be the low E note) pushing the fifth fret with a left hand finger. Match the sound of the open 5th string to it
3) Then, you have to play the D note on the fifth string (the A) pushing on the fifth fret. Match the sound of the open fourth string (D) to that one
4) Play a G on the D (4th) string at the fifth fret. Match your open G (3rd) string to it
5) Play a B on the G (3rd) string at the fourth fret. Match your open B (2nd) to it
6) Play an E on the B (2nd) string at the fifth fret. Match open high E (1st) to it

Harmonics are bell-like tones created by lightly depressing a string
directly over the fret wire and then picking it with the right hand
Procedure for HARMONIC guitar tuning
Match your open Lo-E string (sixth) to this sound
2) Play an E harmonic on the E (6th) string at fifth fret
Match the E harmonic on the A (5th) at the 7th fret to it
3) Play an A harmonic on the A (5th) at 5th fret
Match the A harmonic on your D (4th) string at the seventh fret to it
4) Play a D harmonic on D (4th) string pushing the fifth fret while
matching the D harmonic on the G (3rd) at the 7th fret to that
5) Play a B harmonic on the E (6th) string at the seventh fret
Match sound of a B note harmonic (played one octave higher) on the second (B) string pushing the fret number 12 to it
6) Play an E harmonic on the A (5th) string at the 7th fret
Match the E harmonic (one octave higher) on the E (1st) at the 12th fret to it

Guitar tuning by using harmonics and open strings facilitates listening since the strings will sustain without left hand involvement. This guitar tuning method also makes adjusting them easier because the left hand is free to turn the tuning knobs

An octave is the interval between two notes with the same name

Procedure for OCTAVES guitar tuning
Match the open Hi-E string (first) to it. You can
use an E fork, it matches the open first string exactly
2) Play the open Hi-E (1st) string
Match an E on the D (4th) at the 2nd fret to it
3) Play  open D (4th) string
Match a D on the B (2nd) at the 3rd fret to this
4) Play  open B (2nd) string
Match a B on the A (5th) at the 2nd fret to it
5) Play  open A (5th) string
Match an A on the G (3rd) at the 2nd fret to it
6) Play  open G (3rd) string
Match a G on the Lo-E (6th) at the 3rd fret to this

Another Way For Guitar Tuning In Octaves
1) Play a Lo-E tuning REFERENCE PITCH and match
the open Lo-E string (sixth) to what you hear
2) Play the 6th string open and 5th, seventh fret
3) Play the fifth string open and 4th, seventh fret
4) Play the fourth string open and 3rd, 7th fret
5) Play the 3rd string open and 2nd, 8th fret
6) Play the 2nd string open and 1st, seventh fret

Tip: Tune your instrument every time you pick it up

Guitar Tuning Testing

Make your guitar tuning and then test everything - ideally both by ear and with the help of any electronic guitar tuner - to get optimum accuracy

Even if you are using an electronic guitar tuner to perform your guitar tuning, if you only tune the OPEN strings that doesn't mean that the FRETTED notes will be in tune. Also, test the notes on the 3rd and 5th frets

The effectiveness of guitar tuning also depends on the instrument itself. If your
guitar is not properly set up, it will be impossible for tuning with any method

For more information see Electronic Guitar Tuning