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When Should I Carry Out Acoustic Guitar Tuning

Jan 16, 2008
If you want to ensure that your acoustic guitar sounds good every time that you use it, then you should actually tune it before you actually play it. What is the point of playing a great piece of music if it is completely out of tune? Even though you may find yourself becoming somewhat frustrated with your acoustic guitar tuning it will all be worthwhile in the end and you will soon realize just how important tuning your guitar is each time you play it.

But it is also important to note that it will take a lot of practice on your part to learn how to tune an acoustic guitar just by listening. But many people prefer the easier way of tuning theirs by using an electronic tuner instead. You can get a good one for around $20 and this is a wise investment to make if you are going to spending a lot of time playing yours. The big advantage to be had from using an electronic tuner is that not only tells you when the note is right but also which string it is you are actually playing.

To use one of these tuners you sit down and place it close to your guitar, either on a stool or table close by. Then once the machine is set up and you have your guitar on your lap you turn the machine on and pluck the sixth string on your guitar in order to give you your reference pitch (low E). The tuner picks up the pitch of each note through the microphone on it and there is an indicator on the front, which shows you when the string is at the right pitch. These machines are also able to show if the pitch of the note is too sharp or too flat and in order to tune the string to the right pitch you then just start to turn the tuning key at the head of the neck of the guitar. After each turn of the key you should pluck the key and see what reading the tuner is giving.

When it comes to tuning a guitar you should always tune up (tighten strings) never tune down (loosen strings). However if you do find at some stage that you have over tightened any of the strings when tuning rather than just loosening them off a little (tune down) loosen them off a bit. Then after loosen the string once more you can begin the whole process of tuning once more. If you tune up rather than tune down you will get much more accurate results each time you do it. Also you will find that your acoustic guitar will stay tuned much better for much longer.

However, if you would like to learn how to tune an acoustic guitar with the aide of an electronic tuner then you will need another source, which you can use as reference to getting the right pitch for the first string. Ideally, it is best to use another guitar, piano or tuning fork to do this. But a good quality MP3 can be used as long as you know that it is in tune.

If, however, you are going to be tuning your guitar by ear (listening) then it is best to start off by tuning the sixth string that produces a Low E note and this you use as your reference pitch. After you have made sure that your sixth string is properly tuned you can now move on to tuning the rest of them on the guitar by carry out the following steps.

1. Play the sixth string (which is in tune) on the fifth fret after doing this start to tune the open fifth string until it sounds the same. 2. Now play the fifth string on the fifth fret as you did above and once you have the note in your mind you can start to tune the open fourth string. 3. After tuning the fourth string you now do the same with the third string. But you need to pay special attention here as you will switch from the fifth fret to the fourth fret on the third string when tuning up the second string. 4. Then after you have tuned the second string you move on to the final (first) string. Again to tune this you need to play the second string first with this you now move from the fourth fret to the third fret in order to get the note for the first string which is open. Once you have done these moves you have now completed tuning your acoustic guitar.

But a great way of ensuring that when first starting to tune your guitar by ear is to also use an electronic tuner as well. Although when it comes to acoustic guitar tuning the old fashioned way is good, but an electronic tuner ensures that you get accurate results every time that you do it.
About the Author
Above we have shown you the steps you will need to take in order to tune your acoustic guitar along with the kind of equipment that you can use when it comes to tuning. To learn more about acoustic guitars and playing them please click here Acoustic Guitar Information.
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