Musicians make tuning a guitar look so easy. You may have even seen one replace a string and retune it whilst in the middle of a song! That takes practise, but don’t worry if you are looking to play the guitar over a long period you have plenty of chances to practise to that good. In fact, pretty much every time you pick it up you’ll have to retune it.
Since you won’t always have an electric tuner on you, this article show how to tune a guitar with a tuner and by ear.
How to Tune Your Guitar with an Electric Tuner
- Set up your tuner. Tuners have a microphone for acoustic guitars that picks up the pitch of the string when you play and a jack plug an electric guitar that you can simply plug in.
- Play each string not in turn. Unless the guitar is hopelessly out of tune, the tuner should pick up which note you are playing. To adjust the note turn the keys at the top of the guitar.
- Keep an eye on the three lights at the top or the needle on the screen. When the red light on the left lights up it indicates that the note is flat and when the red on the right lights up it indicates that it is sharp. When the green light lights up in the middle, the note is at the desired pitch. Similarly with the needle; when it is at the left the note is too flat, when it is at the right it is too sharp. When it is the middle it is perfect.
- Tighten the string if it’s too flat and loosen it if it’s too sharp.
Tuning By Ear
- Tune the fifth string, the E string, first. From this string you can tune the other notes. Most people don’t have the ability to tune the E string by ear so you’ll probably need either use a pitch pipe or another in tune instrument such as a piano. With a piano, for example, you can play an E chord and tune your E string to that sound.
- Place your fingers on all of the strings of the fifth fret and play a note. This note is an A. Tune the fifth string, the thick string on the outside, to this sound.
- Hold down the fifth string of the fifth fret and play the note. Tune the fourth string, the D string to this sound.
- Hold down the fourth string of the fifth fret and play the note. Tune the third string, the G string, to this sound.
- Hold down the third string of the fourth fret and play the note. Tune the third string, the B string, to this sound.
- Hold down the second string of the fifth fret and play the note. Tune the first string, the E string, to this sound.