Tuning, or being able to tune the guitar, is the most basic task you should be able to do with your guitar. If your guitar is out of tune, it’s no fun to play. And if you can’t tune your guitar to other instruments, it just won’t play well with others. So, let’s learn how to tune your guitar.
There’s more than one way to tune your guitar and the first, and easiest way, is to use a guitar tuner. That being said, there’s a lot of different kinds of tuners, but they all work the same. Each of the strings has a name, there’s the E string, the A string, the D string, the G string, the B string, and the hi E string. Here’s a tuner.
Note the big orange window is the tuning guide, the labels on the top right tell you what note is being tuned. The guide under the lights tells you what the string names are. So let’s see what this looks like when tuning a string. We’ll start by tuning the A string. When you first play the string, the dial will move. The goal is to have the dial straight up and down with both arrow lights on. However, when i first play the string, it’s to the right of center. Which means to string is tuned too high, or sharp.
See how the light under the A is lit up, and how only the right arrow is lit up, and that the dial is to the right of center. Here is how it will look if the string is tuned to low, or flat.
Once again, the light under the A is lit up, and now only the left arrow is lit up, and the dial is to the left of center. Here is how it will look when the string is perfectly in tune.
Now you’re ready to move on to the next string. Most tuners work this way, there might be slight differences in the way the the note is shown, but generally, there’s a indicator for what string you’re tuning and if it’s sharp or flat or in tune.
Another way to tune your guitar is to tune it to itself, and this is called
To do this, we going to assume that the low E string is in tune and we’ll tune the other strings to that low E string. First, fret the low E string at the 5th fret. Listen to that note, and then play the A string. They should be the same. If not, then tune the A string to match the 5th fret of the low E string. The best way to do this is to loosen the A string so that it’s flat, and then bring it up to pitch. This way, the string doesn’t get caught in the nut if you’re sharp and tuning down. Now do the same for the next string, fretting the A string at the 5th fret to tune the D string. It’s the same for the G string. But here, it’s different, to tune the B string, fret the G string at the 4th fret. Then back to the fifth fret for the E string. Here’s a diagram to help.
And that’s the basics of tuning your guitar.