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Now that you are familiar with the parts of your guitar, lets tune it so it's ready to play! There are a lot of ways to tune your guitar. Below are a few. You may run into some trouble tuning it - so you may have to ask someone for help.

5th Fret Method Edit

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.

Here is a video of this method: <revver>245108</revver>

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.

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.

If you have a fairly new amplifier take a look at it - there might be a tuner on it.

Stretching the StringsEdit

Being in tune is great but what happens when you start to play a passage that requires string bending and all of a sudden you find yourself out of tune. This is because you have not properly stretched your strings during tuning. Staying in tune is more important then temporarily being in tune. To stay in tune, every string should be stretched at various points along it's length and then tuned again to insure accuracy. Keep stretching and tuning until the string stays in tune, then move to the next. After you are done, check them all again to make sure they are all in tune. 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.

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