Fandom

Guitar Wiki

Alternate Tunings

331pages on
this wiki
Add New Page
Talk0 Share
Reference         "Music, the greatest good that mortals know, And all of heaven we have below." --Joseph Addison


Which Method should I choose?Edit

5th Fret Method Edit

Relative Tuning - Check out this video on how to relative tune!

E|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|(1st String)
B|-----|-----|-----|-----|--E--|-----|-----|
G|-----|-----|-----|--B--|-----|-----|-----|
D|-----|-----|-----|-----|--G--|-----|-----|
A|-----|-----|-----|-----|--D--|-----|-----|
E|-----|-----|-----|-----|--A--|-----|-----|(6th String)

The fifth fret method is great if you are playing by yourself, but it is a relative type of tuning. This means you won't be able to play with say, a piano in a harmonious manner unless you are exactly in tune.

  • Place your finger on the 5th fret of the 6th string. Sound both the 6th and the 5th string together. Adjust the tuner of the 5th string accordingly until they sound the same.
  • Place your finger on the 5th fret of the 5th string to Tune the D(4th string).
  • Place your finger on the 5th fret of the 4th string to Tune the G(3rd string).
  • Place your finger on the 4th fret of the 3rd string to Tune the B(2nd string). This is the only string at which you do not use the 5th fret.
  • Place your finger on the 5th fret of the 2nd string to tune the E(1st string).

Notice that you do not tune the E(6th string) at all. If this string is out of tune, they all will be out of tune from what we know to be an E, A, D, G, and B. But, they will sound harmonious.

7th Fret Method Edit

It is also possible to tune from the 1st string "backwards" through the 6th string, using the "7th fret" method.

E|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|--B--|-----|(1st String)
B|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|--G--|
G|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|--D--|-----|
D|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|--A--|-----|
A|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|--E--|-----|
E|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|(6th String)

It is also a relative type of tuning, although they will be displaced precisely one octave.

  • Place your finger on the 7th fret of the 1st string. Sound both the 1st and the 2nd string together. Adjust the tuner of the 2nd string accordingly until they sound the same.
  • Place your finger on the 8th fret of the 2nd string to Tune the G(3rd string). This is the only string at which you do not use the 7th fret.
  • Place your finger on the 7th fret of the 3rd string to Tune the D(4th string).
  • Place your finger on the 7th fret of the 4th string to Tune the A(5th string).
  • Place your finger on the 7th fret of the 5th string to tune the E(6th string).

This method tunes everything relative to the 1st string, or "High E.

Tuning from a Source Edit

Piano Edit

Keyboard

Standard guitar tuning notes on a piano

Before tuning your guitar to a piano, be sure that the piano itself is correctly tuned. Professional piano tuners can ensure this for a nominal fee. The image shown illustrates which keys correspond to the strings on your guitar. Left to right on the keyboard keys is equivalent to 6th - 1st guitar strings

Beginning with the 6th string, tune each string to the keyboard and alternate back and forth between plucking your string and striking the corresponding key. If available, use the right-most floor pedal on the piano to hold the note while tuning your guitar until the two tones align. Repeat this process for the 5th through 1st strings, then check your strings against each other using the method at the top of the page.

Another Guitar Edit

This is fairly simple, but your going to need to train your ears. Strike the same strings on each guitar and tune to the guitar that is in tune. One trick that has helped me is to hum the note after it has sounded and tune until the pitches match.

Harmonic Tuning Edit

Harmonic Tuning is tuning by enharmonic natural harmonics. That means tuning by two natural harmonics that sound the same. Don't worry I'll give a short explanation what of what it is. This is great to learn because it's the most precise way of tuning by ear.

Natural harmonics sound like a bell. You get this sound by touching your finger lightly on the string right above the 5th, 7th, 9th, 12th, 15th, 17th, and 19th frets on any string. Be sure not to fret the note, just touch the string directly above those frets and then pick the note. If you remove your finger after you pick the note, it will ring with a richer sound. But that takes timing and a bit of practice.

Now that you have an idea about what harmonics are we can get on with the lesson.

To tune with harmonics you have to play the two notes that sound the same, Just like regular tuning. But instead of playing the 5th fret of the low E string to match the A string, you play the 5th fret harmonic on the E string to match the 7th fret harmonic on the A string. Now play the 5th fret harmonic on the A string to match the 7th fret on the D string. Do the same thing on the D to the G, G to B, and the B to the high E string.

This diagram should clear things up

E----------{7}---------
B----{5}---$7$---------
G----$5$---[7]---------
D----[5]---*7*---------
A----*5*---(7)---------
E----(5)---------------

Pitch Pipe Edit

You have to blow into a pitch pipe. The process is similar to tuning to a another guitar except that a pitch pipe is never off(unless it's broken). It's always in tune, and never needs to be tuned, unlike a guitar. Blow the notes and match them on your guitar. You may also want to try a tuning fork which works just as well. The good thing about a pitch pipe or a tuning fork is that it doesn't need batteries.

Electronic Tuner Edit

When tuning with an electronic tuner, remember that the tone of the string will change if you pluck it too strongly, but it will not register if you pluck it too lightly. Apply medium pressure, and let the string ring out. Plucking rapidly will cause the tone to change and give you a false reading. Once the meter has registered a balanced pitch for the appropriate tone (or note,) move on to the next string.

Once all strings have been tuned, check them against each other using the method at the top of the page.

Stretching the StringsEdit

Your guitar might be perfectly in tune, but if you haven't prepared your strings properly then you risk having them quickly go flat. This is especially problematic when you're bending strings or using a tremolo bar. This is very important if you are performing with a new set of strings, but not so important if you are just practicing in you basement. Many guitarists that play long gigs every day need to put new strings on for every show. Some of them go as far as to boil their strings before stringing their guitars. Nevertheless, most guitarists can simply stretch their stings as they tune them up the first time. To do this, you should stretch the string at various points along its length until it goes flat. After this, tune the string back to pitch, and then repeat until the string stays in tune. After you have done this on all of the strings, you can repeat the process to be extra sure that they won’t lose their tuning. I recommend starting with your low E and moving up through the thinner strings. Once you have properly tuned your guitar it should stay in tune even with heavy bending.

Ad blocker interference detected!


Wikia is a free-to-use site that makes money from advertising. We have a modified experience for viewers using ad blockers

Wikia is not accessible if you’ve made further modifications. Remove the custom ad blocker rule(s) and the page will load as expected.