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Tuning Your Guitar The Right Way

Aug 17, 2007
Proper maintenance is important to any technical piece of equipment, all the way from vehicles down to instruments that you play. The guitar is no exception. One of the things that you must do on a regular basis is to tune the strings on your guitar.

Without doing this, they can stretch and the sound will be distorted. Tuning your guitar every so often will help prevent you from looking like an idiot in front of your friends whenever you are trying to impress them with your musical skills.

There is a standard, as there always seems to be, involved in guitar tuning and it is conveniently labeled the standard guitar tuning method. The standard involves tuning the strings from the thickest to the thinnest. The order should be E, A, D, G, B, E.

This method is the easiest methods because it is the easiest for tuning the most amounts of scales and chords. The way to start this method is with the E string. The E string is the thickest, and the least likely to fall short of tuning.

The A string is the next string that you should tune. The way to adjust the A string is to place your finger on the fret, pick the fifth and sixth strings while adjusting the fifth string tuning peg until the two notes sound the same. The D string comes next in line.

The way to find the proper D string note is to find the A string that is located just behind the fifth fret. You then turn the fourth string to that note. Tune your G string to the note that rings when you put the first finger on your left hand just behind the fifth fret.

The B string should sound like when your first finger of your left hand is placed behind the forth fret. You should recognize that the tuning of the B string is the only one in the method that uses the fourth fret and not the fifth. Last is the E string which is where you place the first finger of, you guessed it, your left hand behind the fifth fret on the B string.

There are other ways to tune your guitar, but they can get more complicated. You can use an online guitar tuner. You can customize these tuners or you can use the standard method in order to hear how the note is supposed to sound. There are many sites that you can visit in order to find an online tuner, but when you find a site that you like, you should bookmark it in your favorites so that you can easily find it the next time.

If you don't have a keen ear attuned to different pitches, you might want to invest in an electric tuner. With this device you can look at a tuning monitor to see how off-tune each string on your guitar is. Then, by following the needle on the display, you can tune each string on your guitar according to the reading given on the electric tuner.

Even if you do have a trained ear, electric tuners can come in handy if you're trying to tune your equipment just before a gig. Noises and other distractions can keep your ear from creating just the right sound on your guitar strings.

If you're experienced enough, you can tune your guitar by using piano notes. This is quite difficult to do though, especially if you're not trained in tuning your guitar with this method. Experts and musicians who have been performing for years can also tune their instruments though harmonies and octaves, but this might only confuse the beginning guitar player.

If you're unsure about your tuning abilities, it is best to just stick with the other methods, such as an electric tuner, to make sure that your strings are tuned to just the right pitch.
About the Author
Mike Selvon owns a number of niche portal. Please visit our guitar portal for more great tips on guitar tuning the right way.
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