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Guitar TunerEssential Tool for Guitarists

A guitar tuner is just as important as guitar strings you gotta have one.

Guitars are effected by temperature and humidity and need to be checked on a daily basis or more if you stretch the strings a lot.

Guitars can be hard to keep in tune if you are constantly going to and from different places to play or just practice. Heating and air conditioning effect the guitar’s tuning along with the weather and humidity.

For this reason you should have a guitar tuner nearby all the time. If you travel around with your guitar put one in your case. Even a simple tuning fork will do.

Online Guitar Tuner

I moved the tuner here to get it out of the way. You can find this page with the “Tune Up” button in the navigation bar on the left of any page you are on.

Here is an “A” note for tuning.

Guitar Tuner Types

Most of the tuners you see today are digital like everything else in electronics

Some of them have a visual screen along with the audio tone. A lot of them are chromatic too, which means you can pick any note you want for tuning.

Another way they differ is some are pedal tuners which you can use like a stomp box and some are clip ons that you can place on the headstock or sound hole on an acoustic.

One thing I learned checking these tuners out is that there are a lot of guitar tuners out there.

Guitar Tuner Companies

I’m putting links to these tuners in a list by the companies that make them rather than just the type of tuner.

Most of them make several types so you can check them all out and you may have a company you prefer. I would buy another Korg tuner if mine broke because it has worked perfectly without a problem and they have good prices.

Some I’ve never heard of but I trust the company that’s selling them. Every company starts out unknown until their products or services prove themselves to the public, so don’t be afraid to try a product because you never heard of the company.

Behringer Tuners

They have two tuners one for a rack mount and a pedal tuner. Both require that you plug a cable in so these aren’t for acoustic guitars without pick-ups.

Behringer Tuners
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Boss Tuners

This company has been around awhile making tuners and stomp boxes for guitar players.

They have 5 models including pedal chromatic tuners and a combo tuner-metronome.

Boss Tuners
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Fender Tuners

Fender has two tuners a chromatic and a pedal tuner for guitar and bass. They are more into guitars and amps than accessories.

Fender Tuners
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Fishman Tuners

This company has been around a long time. I purchased a transducer for an acoustic guitar back in the 80’s from these guys. They are all about acoustic sound.

They have one tuner for acoustic guitars at a “very” good price. It’s chromatic and visual, attaches with a clip.

Fishman Tuner
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Hard-Wire by Digitech

They only have one pedal chromatic tuner meant for electric guitar players with a lot of effect boxes.

They claim it won’t color your tone being inline with the other effect boxes.

Hard-Wire by Digitech
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Hartke Tuners

This company only has one inexpensive tuner the HT12. It has an LCD display and you can plug in or tune with the built in microphone.

Hartke Tuner
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Ibanez Tuners

Ibanez has 6 models ranging from a petal to a clip on that measures vibration not sound.

They also have a deluxe model that has 20 rhythm patterns for practice and jamming, a distortion effect, an AUX input for CD or MP3 players and a built-in metronome.

Ibanez Tuners
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Korg Tuners

Korg has been in the digital tuning and metronome business for a long time. They have 12 models to choose from.

They have pedal and clip on chromatic tuners. They have one model that tunes for open tunings like E, G even DADGAD plus you can save 5 of your own tunings.

Korg Tuners
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ModTone Tuners

This company only has one inline chromatic model for electric guitars.

ModTone Tuner
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N-Tune Tuners

The N-Tune Artist Series on-board chromatic tuner is specially designed to fit most electric guitars and basses that have a 3-way toggle switch and humbucker pick-ups.

If you aren’t mechanically inclined stay away from this one although I think it’s a good idea.

This makes it possible to always have your tuner with you. No Excuses for being out of tune.

N-Tune Tuner
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Peterson Tuners

This company were the pioneers of strobe tuning for musical instruments. This is the type of tuner you would find in a top recording studio.

They have 4 products, one clip on, one stomp box type, one rack mount and one flip tuner cabable of tuning anything with strings. This is the tool for setting intonation on your guitars or other string instruments.

Peterson Tuners
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Planet Wave Tuners – Guitar Tuners

This company offers several ways of tuning. They have a headstock clip-on model that senses vibration, they have two strobe tuning modes and they have two LED light beam models one for bass and one for guitar.

Planet Wave Tuners
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Profile Tuners

This company offers one low priced clip-on model.

Display color changes to indicate sharp, flat or in tune. Settings for chromatic, guitar, bass, violin. Selectable between vibration input or integrated mic. Fully adjusts to any angle for easy viewing.

Profile Tuner
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QuikTune Tuners

This company offers 3 low priced tuners for guitar or bass.

Qwik Tune Tuners
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Sabine Tuners

This company has 3 mid priced tuners a clip-on with a metronome, a chromatic tuner and a 3 in one tuner, metronome and a tone generator.

Sabine Tuners
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Tascam Tuners

They have one combo product a combination chromatic tuner, metronome and memo recorder for acoustic and electric musicians.

This company is more into recording gear than tuners.

Tascam Combo Tuner
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TC Electronics

This tuner will tell you which strings are out of tune after you strum all the strings on your guitar or bass.

TC Electronics Tuner
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A guitar tuner is just as important as your strings, stay in tune at all times.

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Guitar Major Chord Images

Guitar major chord images. Major chords are the most used of chords in all types of music. Many Folk, Country and Rock songs are based on only major chords.

There are three major chords in each scale. These come from the 1st note, the 4th note and the 5th note. The chords from the first note and fourth note of the major scale can be extended to produce major 7th, 9th and 13th chords.

The major chord made from the 5th note will produce a dominant 7th, 9th and 13th chords.

The difference between major 7th, 9th and 13th and dominant 7th, 9th and 13th is the 7th note. The major 7th is 5 and 1/2 steps(11 frets) from the root note, the dominant 7th is 5 steps(10 frets) from the root.

A Major Guitar Chords

The notes for this chord are A, C sharp and E. They can be played in any order or combination. There are many more, explore the guitar fretboard and find some.

D Major Guitar Chords

The Notes for this chord are D, F sharp and A.

G Major Guitar Chords

The Notes for this chord are G, B and D.

C Major Guitar Chords

The Notes for this chord are C, E and G.

F Major Guitar Chords

The Notes for this chord are F, A and C.

B Flat Major Guitar Chords

The Notes for this chord are B flat, D and F.

E Flat Major Guitar Chords

The Notes for this chord are E flat, G and B flat.

A Flat Major Guitar Chords

The Notes for this chord are A flat, C and E flat.

D Flat Major Guitar Chords

The Notes for this chord are D flat, F and A flat.

G Flat Major Guitar Chords

The Notes for this chord are G flat, B flat and D flat.

F Sharp Major Guitar Chords

The Notes for this chord are F Sharp, A Sharp and C Sharp.

These chords are the same pitch as G flat. They are written different for music keys.

B Major Guitar Chords

The Notes for this chord are B, D Sharp and F Sharp.

E Major Guitar Chords

The Notes for this chord are E, G Sharp and B.

I hope you found this page useful.

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Whole Tone Scales – Another Improvising Scale

Whole tone scales are symmetrical scales, they are made up completely of whole tones or major second intervals

These scales are used mainly for improvising over altered dominant chords because of the flat and sharp 5th’s contained in it.

If we were to make chords from this scale they would all be augmented triads, C+, E+, and so on

There are really only two of these scales, it repeats itself every major 2nd

The first one would contain half of the chromatic scale and the second one the rest of the chromatic scale.

You could start on C for the first one and then C♯ for the second one

You can play every other note on one string starting with an open note up to the 12th fret for a whole scale

C Whole Tone

Here are the whole tone scales compared to the chromatic scales

These are the only two scales. You just start on the note you want and every other note in the scale is two frets away or one whole tone

These are 6 note scales like the Blues scales

Chromatic

C

C♯

D

D♯

E

F

F♯

G

G♯

A

A♯

B

C

Whole Tone

C

D

E

F♯

G♯

A♯

C

Whole Tone

C♯

D♯

E♯

G

A

B

C♯

This scale is good for improvising over C altered 5th dominant 7th chords like these. You may see the second two with a + sign C7+ this is the same chord.

The plus sign means augmented which always refers to the 5th of a chord unless written like C7aug9. This means augment or raise the 9th one half step or in our case 1 fret

C+9 would mean a ninth chord with a raised 5th. There are set standards for writing chord names but they aren’t always followed so you might have to try two chords to see which one sounds right.

Also there may be more than one way to write a chord. C+7, C7+ or C7♯5 can all mean the same chord.

Flash

QuikTime

Windows Media

C whole tone played against a C7 augmented

This scale can be started from any tone in the chord. For the C7♯5 you could start on C, E, G♯ or B♭

These scales are all the same they just start at different points.

Top of Whole Tone Scales

Back to Symmetrical Scales

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Discover all the Different Types of Guitar Strings

Music Gift Ideas Page or Music Gift Ideas List

There are different types of guitar strings for every different type of guitar and different playing style of music.

Most strings today come in a variety of gauges so you can get the right feel for your type of playing. For fingerpicking you want a heavier gauge than for playing blues with a lot of string stretching.

The different metals used in some strings won’t let you use them on an electric with conventional pickups because they need steel for the pickups to work right.

As far as I know you can use any string on an acoustic with a transducer type of pickup located under the saddle. I’ll have to experiment on that a little bit.

After trying different strings you will find a brand that you like better than the others. The brand or type all depends on your playing style and will change as your style changes.

Classical Strings

Nylon strings are used for classical guitars or if you can find ball end nylon strings they can be used on any acoustic. The lead solo in the Beatles song And I Love Her was played on a classical guitar with nylon strings.

They tend to stretch a bit for the first week or so and then settle down.

These strings give a very nice mellow sound usually unless you are listening to a Flaminco style player who combines rhythms on the guitar body along with their playing, a very moving style.

Classical Strings

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Acoustic Strings – Silk and Steel

Sounds like a rock group doesn’t. Silk and steel strings are good on an acoustic guitar for fingerpicking, a little easier on the fingers than just steel, brass or bronze, but not as bright sounding. They won’t pickup well on an electric with regular pickups, the silk mutes the steel.

Here is what they say on the Acoustic guitar forumSilk and Steel Strings

Below is a link to get some Silk and Steel Strings.

Silk and Steel Strings

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Acoustic Strings – Phosphor Bronze

This is what most acoustic guitar strings are made of today with variations on the basics

These are normally only good on acoustic guitars because of the bronze. They are a little louder and brighter than the silk and steel type.

These strings sound like what used to be called brass strings, they have a bright sound

Don’t forget that each guitar is different and will give a different tone for the same string type on another guitar.

Also these string companies are always trying new materials and ways of manufacturing so as I’m writing this a new model might already be on the way to market.

Phosphur Bronze Strings

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Elixr Strings

This is a fairly new company that uses a technology called nanoweb or polyweb. I had these on my Ibanez acoustic when I bought it and I liked them. They cost a little more but they keep that new string sound longer so you don’t have to change strings as often.

Elixr Strings

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Electric Strings – Round Wound

Steel guitar strings are for electric guitars because of their pickups they need ferrous material. The wound strings may be wrapped with nickel. These come in more gauges than the other types from very heavy to very light.

Electric Strings

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Electric Strings – Flat Wound

Flat wound electric guitar strings are used mostly by Jazz guitar players. They produce a rich low end tone that’s ideal for jazz and R&B.

Flatwound Strings

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Basic String – Rule of Thumb

If you want to play blues and rock and bend a lot of notes the lighter gauges will work. If you do play blues vamps you may want a heavier top and thinner bottom strings. There are many custom combinations to choose from.

For acoustic’s phosphor bronze wound strings have a nice bright sound and are suited for most types of music. These come in a variety of gauges.

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The Locrian Mode has a…Limited But Useful Purpose

If your improvising over the dominant chord in the key it comes from the locrian mode would be useful. In other words in the key of C it will work over the G7 chord adding a 9th tone to the 7th.

You can of course use it to improvise over the minor 7th flat 5 chord it came from but you don’t see them too often.

B Locrian Notation/Tab

Here’s a sample of how it sounds played against a Bm7♭5

The B Locrian played against a B minor 7th flat 5 chord

The Locrian List

Here you go 1-♭2-♭3-4-♭5-♭6-♭7

For me this would be a hard one to remember this way I just think of the last note of the major scale.

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Beginner Guitar Songs – Nice and Easy

Here are a couple easy beginner guitar songs. It doesn’t get much easier than this. This first songs chords can be played with two fingers.

One thing I want to point out when playing chords your thumb should be in the center of the back of the guitar neck.

You might have to keep reminding yourself to be aware of this, I always had to and still do when a chord doesn’t sound good.

If you let your thumb come up to the top of the neck it will make your fingers mute strings you want ringing out.

There are times when you will play this way but this isn’t one of them

Song Chords

Here are the chords for the first two songs

With the Em6 chord you might want to mute the 6th string on this song.

Eleanor Rigby

This is a Beatles song words and music written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney.

Here is a link for an mp3 download of this song in case you want to add it to your collection

The Beatles songs don’t have mp3 downloads for some reason but this will take you the CD its on. You can preview it too if you don’t know the song.

Here is a link for the Revolver album which contains Eleanor Rigby

Revolver Album – Eleanor Rigby

Here’s a sheet music download link. Opens a new window.

The Beatles – Eleanor Rigby Sheet Music (Digital Download)

Some of the chords names may sound complicated but they are easy to play. Just take your time and listen for the time to change chords.

When playing beginner guitar songs don’t worry about playing in time until you can switch chords without any mistakes.

When playing a song you have to think ahead a little bit so you are ready to change, the music won’t wait for you.

 Intro C Em Ah look at all the lone-ly peo-ple C Em Ah look at all the lone-ly peo-ple Verse 1 Em E-lea-nor Rig-by picks up the rice in the church C where the wed-ding has been lives in a dream Em Waits in the win-dow wear-ing the face that she keeps C Em in a jar by the door Who is it for? Chorus Em7 Em6 C All the lone-ly peo-ple where do they all come from? Em7 Em6 C Em All the lone-ly peo-ple where do they all come from? Verse 2 Em Fath-er MC-Ken-zie writ-ing the words of a ser-mon C that no-one will hear no-one comes near Em Look at him work-ing darn-ing his socks in the night C Em when there's no-body there what does he care? Chorus Em7 Em6 C All the lone-ly peo-ple where do they all come from? Em7 Em6 C Em All the lone-ly peo-ple where do they all come from? Verse 3 Em E-lea-nor Rig-by died in the church and was bur-ied C a-long with her name nobody came Em Father Mc - ken-zie wip-ing the dirt from his hands C Em as he walks from the grave no one was saved Chorus and End
Em7                Em6          C                  Em
All the lone-ly peo-ple where do they all come from?

Em7                Em6          C
All the lone-ly peo-ple where do they all come from?

This is one of the easier beginner guitar songs because you aren’t trying to make it sound like the recording.

This is the basics of the song. All songs can be reduced to the bare elements for learning.

As you get better at chord changing and other aspects of playing you can make songs a little fancier

It’s the orchestra that gives this song its complex sound

You will play this differently than the recording. The string section in the song is choppy, you want to play it smoothly and slower than the recording, like a laid back love song.

Jambalaya

This song was written by Hank Williams. He wrote a lot of country songs in his day.

This song is also know as On the Bayou.

This is a classic country song that all guitar players should know. A good song for everyone to improvise on.

Here’s a link for an mp3 download of this song in case you want to add it to your collection or listen to it.

Jambalaya

Here’s a sheet music download link.

Jambalaya (On the Bayou) Sheet Music (Digital Download)

Many country songs are good beginner guitar songs.

More Beginner Guitar songs

 Verse NC C G7 Good bye Joe me got to go me oh my oh C Me got to go pole the pi-rouge down the bay-ou G7 My Y-vonne the sweet-est one me oh my oh C Son of a Gun we'll have big fun on the Bay-ou Chorus C G7 Jam-ba-la-ya and a craw-fish pie and fil-let gum-bo C Cause to-night I'm gon-na see my cher a mi o G7 Pick gui-tar fill fruit jar and be gay-o C Son of a gun we'll have big fun on the Bay-ou Verse G7 Thi-bo daux Fon tain eaux the place is buzz-in C Kin folk come to-see Y vonne by the doz-en G7 Dress in style and go hog wild me oh my oh C Son of a gun we'll have big fun on the Bay-ou Chorus C G7 Jam-ba-la-ya and a craw-fish pie and fil-let gum-bo C Cause to-night I'm gon-na see my cher a mi o G7 Pick gui-tar fill fruit jar and be gay-o C Son of a gun we'll have big fun on the Bay-ou End when you want 

The French pronounce words with eaux in them as an oh.

Where I have the Chord symbols is close but they may not be exactly where you change chords. Listen to the song and go by your ear.

All the other verses and choruses use the same chords in case I missed one.

This is one of the better beginner guitar songs for improvising on fiddle, banjo, guitar and other Creole instruments.

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The Aeolian ModeThe Natural Minor Scale

We covered the Aeolian mode in the Guitar scales section under the name of the natural minor.

But being it is a mode here we go.

This scale is good for improvising over minor chords. It contains the minor Pentatonic scale as well as the relative major Pentatonic scale

This mode can be used to improvise over the ii, iii or vi minor chords of the major scale.

You can also use it to build chords like you do in the major scale or the Melodic and Minor scales.

Get your free copy of Aeolian Modes – PDF

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Aeolian Scales

Here is what it sounds like played against an A minor chord. It’s a fairly mild sounding scale.

Try starting on the second or ninth note on this scale on beat 2 it gives a minor 9th sound.

This scale also contains the C major scale plus the A minor and C major pentatonic scales.

The A Aeolian played against an A minor chord

The Aeolian List

The Aeolian Formula

This is how you make one from the Major Scale like so…

Remember that this mode is the major scale starting from the 6th note.

This mode can be combined with its Tonic major scale too by adding the C♯, F♯ and G♯ notes while improvising. Experiment.

This would expand the scale to A B C C♯ D E F F♯ G G♯

This will give you another angle or way of thinking for improvising so your solo’s don’t get predictable

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Beginner Guitar Chords…Understanding Chord Structure

The most simple beginner guitar chords are the triads. These are three note chords that all the other chords are built on.

Read that last sentence again, I said “all guitar chords” are built from these basic three note chords.

Once you understand these basics you will be able make chords anywhere on the guitar if you know the notes on the Guitar Fretboard.

There are four types of basic chords.

Diminished Chords

Augmented Chords

Chord Inversions

Each of these chords have three notes. They also have three different ways the notes can be arranged, these are called inversions. Let me show you.

Below is a C chord, the notes in a C chord are C E G.

C – E – G = Root Position

E – G – C = 1st Inversion

G – C – E = 2nd Inversion

What we need to do is divide the guitar strings up into 4 three string sets.

This is how we are going learn our beginner guitar chords. One set at a time.

Major Guitar Triads Root Position

Root – 3 – 5

6 5 4 Strings 5 4 3 Strings
4 3 2 Strings 3 2 1 Strings

Major Triads 1st Inversion

3 – 5 – Root

6 5 4 Strings 5 4 3 Strings
4 3 2 Strings 3 2 1 Strings

Major Triads 2nd Inversion

5 – Root -3

6 5 4 Strings 5 4 3 Strings
4 3 2 Strings 3 2 1 Strings

You may recognize some of these shapes they are in chords with more notes added. These are the beginner guitar chords building blocks.

Minor Guitar Chords Root Position

The minor chords below only differ from the major by one note. The 3rd is flatted.

Root – 3♭ – 5

6 5 4 Strings 5 4 3 Strings
4 3 2 Strings 3 2 1 Strings

Minor Triads 1st Inversion

3♭ – 5 -Root

6 5 4 Strings 5 4 3 Strings
4 3 2 Strings 3 2 1 Strings

Minor Triads 2nd Inversion

5 – Root -3♭

6 5 4 Strings 5 4 3 Strings
4 3 2 Strings 3 2 1 Strings

Diminished Guitar Triads Root Position

The diminished chord differs from the minor chord by one note. The 5th is flatted.

These chords don’t get used as much as major or minor but they are important in improving, also there is a diminished triad in every dominant 7th chord starting on the 3rd note.

Root – 3♭ – 5♭

6 5 4 Strings 5 4 3 Strings
4 3 2 Strings 3 2 1 Strings

Diminished Triads 1st Inversion

3♭ – 5♭ – Root

6 5 4 Strings 5 4 3 Strings
4 3 2 Strings 3 2 1 Strings

Diminished Triads 2nd Inversion

5♭ – Root – 3♭

6 5 4 Strings 5 4 3 Strings
4 3 2 Strings 3 2 1 Strings

Augmented Guitar Triads Root Position

In the augmented triads below you will see the chord patterns repeated. This is because the augmented triad is actually 3 chords in one.

The C augmented chord is also an E and a G♯ chord. There are other chords which have two or more names you will run across in the future.

Root – 3 – 5♯

6 5 4 Strings 5 4 3 String set
4 3 2 Strings 3 2 1 Strings

Augmented Triads 1st Inversion

3 – 5♯ – Root

6 5 4 Strings 5 4 3 Strings
4 3 2 Strings 3 2 1 Strings

Augmented Triads 2nd Inversion

5♯ – Root – 3

6 5 4 Strings 5 4 3 Strings
4 3 2 Strings 3 2 1 Strings

All of these 3 note beginner guitar chords shapes need to be memorized. It’s not too hard if you pay attention to the root.

In the root position the root is the bass note.

In the 1st inversion the root is highest pitched note.

In the 2nd inversion the root is in the middle of the other two notes.

I hope you found this page useful.

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