Keeping your guitar in tune, and tuning it properly is one of the most underrated guitar-related tips you’ll ever get. No matter how good you are – everything sounds bad on an out-of-tune guitar. Another important thing is that you really don’t want to get used to the sound of an out-of-tune guitar. Getting the correct notes embedded in your brain will be very useful down the road.
Tuning a guitar is a very simple task that every beginner can get the hang of quite fast. So, if you avoided it or just didn’t get to do it until now – in less than 5 minutes you’ll probably have a perfectly tuned guitar in your hands. That being said, If you have a guitar equipped with a Floyd Rose term system, you already know that nothing about it is as simple as it should’ve been. Read this post to make tuning your Floyd Rose as simple as possible.
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How To Tune A Guitar With A Tuner?
Tuning a guitar with a tuner is the simplest and most reliable way of having a perfectly tuned instrument fast. Start by turning your tuner on. There are usually 2 modes on which a tuner can work:
- Set note – you’ll “tell” the tuner which note you are aiming for
- Auto-detect – the tuner will detect what is the closest note to the one you’re playing
It doesn’t really matter which one you have (or choose, if your tuner has them both) because in 2 seconds you will know exactly which notes to tune your guitar to.
If you’re a beginner, I assume you are going for the standard tuning which is (from lowest pitch to the highest): E, A, D, G, B, e.
A Simple phrase that can help you remember it is: Eddie Ate Dynamite, Good Bye Eddie. I like this one because it’s both memorable, and is offering good advice about not eating dynamite.
Tuning the strings
Start by playing the low E note (this is the thickest string and the one closest to you when you hold the guitar). You can pick it with your finger, but a pick might help you get a more accurate reading. Most tuners will show some sort of representation of a needle. You are trying to get the needle to the center. If the needle is lower, tune your peg up in pitch, and if it’s too high, lower it. Now do it for the remaining 5 strings and you’re done and in perfect tune.
Each alternate tuning has its own set of rules. Open A tuning will be a lot different than drop D or DADGAD. I’ll advise you to use a tuner when you’re just starting with these.
Tuning A Guitar Without A Tuner
Whether you lost your tuner, or simply don’t have one yet. You can still have a good-sounding guitar. There are a few methods you can use to tune a guitar without a tuner, and I go over them all here.
Tuning a guitar with a tuner probably turned out to be easier than you thought. We covered everything from start to finish, so you should be good to go and start practicing in no time. If you still have questions, feel free to post them in the comments!