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Guitar Tuning Guide: How To Tune a Guitar
Many beginning guitarists struggle when it comes to tuning the guitar. It's a major stumbling block for them. Some end up quitting altogether because every time they start to play what comes out doesn't sound right. A beginner should understand that guitar tuning is something you get better at with practice. Ear development takes time.
A beginner should practice tuning the guitar so that he can become better and better at it. Your friends won't be around all the time to tune your guitar for you.
How does one tune the guitar?
Well firstly, here's the standard tuning of a six string guitar:
6th string: E
The first string being the thinnest, and the sixth string the fattest.
Relative tuning: tuning an electric guitar by ear.
Let's assume that your 6th string is already in tune (an E note). You can tune your 6th string by using another guitar that is in tune, a tuning fork, a piano, an electronic tuner or even a midi file on your computer. Then, all you have to do is match notes on the adjacent strings.
Play the 6th string at the 5th fret. It should match the tone of the 5th string open.
Play the 5th string at the 5th fret. It should match the tone of the 4th string open.
Play the 4th string at the 5th fret. It should match the tone of the 3rd string open.
Play the 3rd string at the 4th fret. It should match the tone of the 2nd string open.
Play the 2nd string at the 5th fret. It should match the tone of the 1st string open.
You can also tune your guitar by octaves.
An octave is the interval between two notes with the same name. In the scale: C D E F G A B C, the two C's are one octave apart.
Play the 6th string open. It should be one octave apart with the 5th string at the 7th fret.
Play the 5th string open. It should be one octave apart with the 4th string at the 7th fret.
Play the 4th string open. It should be one octave apart with 3rd string at the 7th fret.
Play the 3rd string open. It should be one octave apart with the 2nd string at the 8th fret.
Play the 2nd string open. It should be one octave apart with the 1st string at the 7th fret.
When your ear is sufficiently developed you should be able to tune your guitar by using chords. Just play a chord and tune the strings so the chord sounds right.
Learning to tune the guitar is very important. A must! But it is so much more convenient, faster, and more accurate to make use of a guitar tuner. Particularly in live situations and noisy environments. You will find an electronic tuner for 10-50 bucks online easily. You can order one today.
This article was posted on August 18, 2005