How to Tune a Guitar

Learning how to tune a guitar is an essential skill for all guitarists. Each string must be in tune with each other in order for chords and scales to resonate properly. If you perform with other musicians, your guitar must be in tune with their instruments. Many guitarists prefer to tune by ear, using a piano or other instrument as a reference. Technology has developed many different types of guitar tuners that can be far more accurate than the human ear alone. Some are in the form of foot pedals, also known as stomp boxes that the player can step on to activate when they need to tune up. These require the guitar to be plugged into the pedal with an instrument cable. Others, however, can be clipped onto the headstock of the guitar and left on for convenience. They operate by detecting the vibration of the strings as it passes through the wood of the guitar and, therefore, do not require any cables. Tuners generally have similar digital display screens which let you know when each string is in tune.

Before tuning, it is important that you know the names of each string on the guitar. From the low string to the high string, the open string names are as follows: E, A, D, G, B, E. You can start with any string, but it is wise to begin with the lowest or highest string and go in order from there. This will ensure that you don’t lose your place and have to start over. Strum the first string you want to tune. The digital screen will display the name of the string you just strummed and whether or not it is in tune. If it is flat, or too low, it will notate as such. You can then tune the string up to pitch. If it is sharp, or too high, tune it down until it matches the note desired. The digital display will let you know when the string is in tune. Now you are ready to play.

If you are in need of a tuner, Let’s Play Music has plenty in stock. Visit us today!

If you would like personal assistance with any of the blog concepts, online and on-location lessons are available from Let’s Play Music and Make Art, LLC located in Derry and Londonderry, NH. www.letsplaymusic.com

Daniel Saunders

Daniel Saunders

Daniel is the Guitar Program Supervisor at Let’s Play Music and Make Art, LLC. He holds a degree in Music Performance from the Musicians Institute in California where he taught for nearly ten years. He is also published through Hal Leonard for Guitar World Magazine Video Lessons.

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