There is nothing in the world of guitar playing more important than guitar tuning. You can be a great guitar player but if you play for people out of tune they will leave. Listeners can take a mistake or two but do not play out of tune.
Tuning to the World
If you use a standard tuning method you will be in tune with the rest of the world. A 440 hertz A note is the same all over the world.
The important thing is you will be able to train your ears better if you are constantly in tune. An A note will always be 440 on the money not below or above. You will learn to recognize the notes easier.
Sometimes it not possible to be perfectly in tune like playing along with an out of tune piano or older keyboard of some type but try as much as possible to stay in tune.
Tuning Two Guitars
If you are going to play with another guitar player getting in tune with each other is even more important. If one of the guitars has a string out of tune it will stand out much more than if you were playing alone.
This is because you will probably both be playing the same notes at the same time at some point during a song. This can also cause very long useless arguments about which of you is out of tune. Have you been there?
This is the official name for being in tune with the rest of the world. The important thing about being in tune all the time is more about training your ears than being in tune.
This is very important. Training your ears is essential. Universities that offer music as a major have ear training the entire length of their courses. If you just randomly tune to play you will have a harder time training your ears to hear pitches correctly.
Check out the page below to tune up and learn about the different tuners. Some come with metronomes too which is a useful tool.
How to Tune a Guitar
What you need to tune is one note that you know is accurate, a tuning fork will do but not as accurate because of temperature and humidity changes, but it doesn’t need batteries.
A guitar tuner will most likely be the best choice especially if you are just starting to play. A song that you know with a long note in it will do in a pinch.
Breaking a few strings in the beginning is normal, especially the first and second string on a light set of strings. Experience is the solution, remember what you did wrong and try not to do it again. This train of thought will help your guitar playing as well as tuning.
Intonation – Guitar Tuning
What makes guitar tuning a pain is that the guitar neck layout is not perfect, it varies in accuracy depending on where you play the notes. This is the nature of the guitar.
You may find your guitar in tune in the first position but not in the upper positions. This is usually intonation. The positioning of the bridge and the fret lay out.
This will not prevent you from getting started playing. Again experience will help you. Don’t get hung up because you can’t get your guitar in tune perfectly. Harmonics can also play tricks with your ears.
Guitar Tuning – Do’s and Don’ts
Do have good strings on your guitar
Do press straight down on string with finger tip
Do use a good source for your tuning notes
Do turn your tone knob down – No treble
Do pick your string near center – away from bridge
Do make sure you are in tune every time you play or practice
Don’t tune with any effects boxes or reverb turned on
Don’t pull or push your finger on the string when tuning
Don’t have any other noise if possible
Here is a link where I buy guitar accessories, they’re quick delivery and have good prices.
One Note Guitar Tuning
I have a metronome with a tuner in it. It only gives an A note which I like better than trying to tune 6 different strings to 6 different notes.
Tuning a Guitar – Give Me an A
Personally I like to tune from one note that is true like from a tuning fork, guitar tuner or a song with a good long note that you know. To me this is much easier than trying to tune six different strings to six different notes. Especially if you are just starting out.
Tune your open fifth string to this A note.
I usually use the harmonic on the 12th fret, 5th string.
Tune the 6th string by playing the E on the 7th fret of the 5th string
Tune the 4th string to the D note on the 5th fret of the 5th string
Tune the 3rd string. Play a G on the 10th fret 5th string or 5th fret, 4th string
Tune the 2nd string by playing a B on the 2nd fret, 5th string.
This will be one octave below but you will hear it match up.
Tune the 1st string by playing an E on the 7th fret 5th string.
This will be similar to the last string
Tuning this way will help prevent you tuning from an out of tune string. Every string is tuned from the fifth string.
My metronome has an A note to tune with so this is why I use it but the A 440 hertz seems to the common tone for tuning many instruments not just guitar.
Guitar Tuning – Standard Way
Tune your fifth string from the A note
Tune your sixth string from the E (7th fret) on the fifth string
Tune your fourth string from the D (5th fret) fifth string
Tune your third string from the G (5th fret) fourth string
Tune your second string from the B (4th fret) third string
Tune your first string from the E (5th fret) second string
This way of tuning has been around for as long as I can remember.
Either Way Works
Try both ways and see which way you like better. There is no right or wrong way to tune your guitar no matter what you may read. They are basically opinions.
The bottom line is are you in tune? That is all that matters
Experiment and try other ways of tuning once you know the guitar neck.
A Note About Tunings
P.S. This is not the only tuning for guitar. This is the standard way of tuning that the majority of people use. There are many other tunings used by various artists. E, D, dropped D, and G are just a few I will show you later on another page.
I told you the guitar was very versatile!
I hope you found this page useful.