Learning how to tune a guitar is a very important quality that every guitarist and musician should have. It is so important because if your guitar is not in tune it will sound horrible regardless of how good you areas a guitar player. This is why it is so important to learn how to tune a guitar. The following free guitar lesson will show you many ways of tuning a guitar and how you can exactly go about tuning your guitar.
It’s a long process and is very difficult at first but it gets easier the more you do it. Just like practicing guitar, the more you do it the better you will eventually get at it.
There are many different kinds of tunings out there for a regular electric or acoustic guitar. Although each genre of music has its preferred style, standard tuning fits almost everything. Standard tuning consists of 6 notes on each string going from the 6th string to the first. Remember that the 6th string is the thickest string on your guitar. So a guitar in standard tuning would look like this… (E) (A)( D) (G) (B) (E). Here is an image to show you how it would look on tab or something similar to a sheet of music. Usually a visual representation will allow you to picture the concept of what I’m saying in your mind better.
You can clearly see that a guitar in standard tuning will look like this on a tab. This is good to know as many songs nowadays are featuring more and more mixed tuning types. If you know how to tune your guitar you will be well prepared for these unique songs. The majority of songs will be in standard tuning though and this is why it is given the term standard guitar tuning.
Other Guitar Tuning
Drop D Tuning
Apart from standard tuning there is many other type of tunings that guitar player’s use in their everyday songs. A popular tuning such as Drop D is often found in rock music. This tuning is very similar to the standard tuning but features the low 6th string to be a D instead of an E, Hence the name Drop D. So a Drop D tuning would look like this on a piece of music D A D G B E.
There are many different styles of guitar tunings and many of them are all used in different forms in music nowadays. The main thing to remember here is that every different style requires the guitarist to play their guitar a different way. This means that the chords you would normally make when your guitar is in standard tuning would have to be different on a different tuning style.
This is why many guitarists just stick to standard tuning because it is universal. Everyone who knows how to tune their guitar will know how to tune to standard tuning. Not everyone knows how to do the other styles though.
Once you figure out how to tune you guitar to standard tuning you will then be able to tackle the other tunings. Be careful with these though as some are very difficult to master and understand.
Methods of Tuning a Guitar
I am now going to go over a few different methods of tuning a guitar. There are a few different ways to go about getting your guitar in tune but ultimately in your guitar career you will want to be able to do it by ear. At first this is virtually impossible so you have to build up a sense of tune in your brain so that you recognize what each note sounds like. This takes many years to learn how to do correctly but it is something you will want to focus on when it comes to learning how to play guitar online.
The E String Method
The first method that I am going to be talking about is what I like to call the E string method. When tuning your guitar with this method you are using the E string as a reference and then tuning the other strings accordingly.
The first thing you will want to do is get your E string in tune. Here is what an low E-String should sound like. You will need to practice this a lot and it is something that comes only after you have tuned your guitar many times in a row. It’s annoying but it will come to you eventually.
6th String Method
You are going to have to fret the 5th fret on the 6th string and play this note. Now play your open A string right after you play the fretted 6th string. What you are trying to achieve here is to get the two notes to the same pitch. You are trying to tune you’re A string to your fretted 6th string.
Why the 5th fret you may ask? Well this is because the note of the 6th string fretted at the 5th fret is also an A. This means that you are trying to tune you open A note to a fretted A note. Makes sense? Well, it may be difficult at first but it comes with lots of practice.
You are going to want to repeat this process until you get to the 2rd string. Instead of fretting the 5th fret of the 3rd string you are going to need to fret the 4th fret. If this confuses you take a look at the following chart that shows the notes names on each fret.
As you can see in order to tune the B string we need to fret the 4th fret of the 3rd string instead of the 5thfret . This is the only exception to this method. When tuning all the other strings except for the B string you will need to use the previous strings 5th fretted note as an example.
This is the most common way of tuning a guitar and you should practice the E string method very much. This is the first way I learned how to tune my guitar, and I still use it whenever I am trying to tune my guitar before I get ready to play.
Electric guitar Tuner
I personally would recommend that every beginner guitar player who is trying to learn how to tune their guitar buys an electric tuner. This little device will save you a lot of pain and anger and it’s 100% correct.
The price range for electric tuners vary, the more expensive ones are supposedly more precise but the human ear can’t even hear the difference so what’s the point? If you’re going to buy a $20 guitar tuner or a $100 tuner they are both going to give you the same results regardless to how much they cost.
So for every beginner I would recommend you buy a cheap $20 guitar tuner. This is will save you much frustration in your path to learning how to play guitar.
These tuners are very easy to use. All you have to do is plug your guitar in and select the proper note that you would like to tune your guitar too. It’s pretty straight forward when using an electric guitar tuner but usually most of them also feature a sound hole for tuning an acoustic guitar.
Whenever it is possible, plug in your guitar into your tuner as it will tune the guitar more accurately this way. You will often pick up unwanted noises when using the microphone so stay away from it unless you absolutely have to tune your guitar this way. If so then try to find a quite place in your house or simply tell everyone else be quite.
You can also use a piano to tune your guitar if you happen to have one lying around. All you have to do is match up the E note on your piano and your guitar. This method is very similar to the online tuner which I mention below.
Using a Piano tuner is only really recommended to those guitarists who have some experience with tuning their guitar.
Play both notes and try to match the pitch on the piano until it is perfectly achieved. This is how you go about tuning your guitar with a Piano tuner.
If you can’t afford to buy an electric tuner then you can use an online tuner for free. There are many websites that allow you to tune your guitar online with just a simple piece of code that plays the notes back to you.
This method of tuning requires a little bit of ear training and if you are a beginner trying to learn how to play guitar you may have trouble with this.
In this case I would just simply recommend you fork out the extra couple bucks and buy an electric tuner as these things work wonders. An electric tuner is essential to anyone first learning how tune a guitar but if your stubborn and don’t want to spend money you can always use an online tuner for free as well.
Learning How to Tune Your Guitar
So know that you know how to tune your guitar, and the many different methods there are on how to tune a guitar you need to learn how you can go about tuning your guitar by ear.
Learning how to tune your guitar by ear is a long and enduring process. It doesn’t just happen overnight and it can sometimes take years to be able to do right.
The best way to about developing a sense of hearing is just to tune your guitar on a regular basis. Even if you know that you guitar is in tune, check every time you pick it up. Try to tune it by ear first and then if you mess up just use your electric tuner to get back on top of things. Only go to your electric guitar tuner as a backup. Try to tune your guitar by ear first.
This is why I still recommend that you buy an electric guitar tuner. It will make you life so much easier.
Just like anything else when it comes to playing guitar, you will just need to practice. The more you practice the more you will see results. Just try to make it a habit of tuning your guitar on an almost daily basis.
If you do this you should be able to develop the sense of hearing in your brain that will allow you to easily signal out notes automatically in your head. It sounds hard and intimidating at first but if you keep practicing you will get there in no time. You will be able to get your guitar tuned like never before.