Now that you are on your way to playing, it’s important to learn how to tune a guitar. The instrument can easily fall out of tune due to changes in the temperature, environment and regular playing…and when it does, you will hear that your songs seem to sound off-key.
Guitar strings do not fall out of tune at the same rate, so it’s important to know how each string should sound in tune as you learn guitar chords.
Guitar Tuning Basics
Tuning a guitar involves adjusting 6 strings on the instrument. Standard guitar tuning, starting from the thickest, lowest-pitched string (the 6th string) at the top of neck is: E – A – D – G – B – E – The high E string—the thinnest, highest-pitched string at the bottom of the neck—is known as the 1st string and all others follow suit.
Here is a way to remember the string names, starting from the small “E” to the big “E.”
E-very B-oy G-ets D-onuts A-fter E-ating.
How to Tune a Guitar with an Electric Tuner
This is one of the easiest ways to tune a guitar. Instead of using the strings to find the correct tones for other strings, an electric tuner will read and interpret the sound waves it picks up from your guitar and display in notes what it reads. Just turn on the tuner and strum the string. It’ll tell you if your guitar is in tune within a few a seconds.
ChordBuddy offers exceptional guitar tuners to ensure your instrument is in tune. Chordbuddy has also launched a product that conveniently combines a capo and a tuner. It has become very popular amongst musicians and you can find it by clicking here.
How to Tune a Guitar by Ear
To tune a guitar the old-fashioned way, first tune the 6th string to low E. If you already know this pitch, tune on. You may want to go online to find samples of a low E. If you’re playing with others, you may want to have one person tune, then the rest tune to match that person’s tune.
Pluck your tuned low E string with your right hand (for right-handed, standard guitar players—lefties playing left-handed guitars should reverse this) while holding the string down with your left hand at the 5th fret (starting from the headstock, count 5 frets up toward the body.) The tone that emanates, because you are holding the string down at the 5th fret, will be an A.
Pluck the open string below it (“open” meaning, not holding down the string on any frets with your left hand) and turn the second tuning peg until your A string produces the same tone as your low E string when played at the 5th fret. Following suit, you’ll play the A string at the 5th fret to find the correct tone for the D string, the D string at the 5th fret to find the G string, but when you’re ready to tune your B string, you’ll play the G string at the 4th fret instead of the 5th.
To tune the last high E string, you’ll move back to the 5th fret where you’ll play the B string to find your high E tone. Got it? It’s pretty easy once you do it a couple of times. The down side to tuning your guitar this way is you may not be in “standard 440.” Tuning to A 440 assures you of being in tune with other guitars all around the world.