Time to master tuning

How to Play the Acoustic Guitar

Tuning a Guitar

Guitar strings can be quite unstable. For instance, their pitch will decrease in hot or humid environments. Brand new strings also take some time to settle. A guitar that is out of tune will not be able to play chords clearly. Therefore, once a guitarist picks up a guitar, the first thing he or she does is tune it.

If you are going to play a guitar, make it a habit to always tuning it first! This is very important.

Before tuning

As strings grow old, their pitch worsens. Replace old strings with new strings to get the instrument tuned correctly. It is recommended that you replace all six strings together. As shown in the diagram, when tuning a guitar you should start from the lowest string and go up. If you tune while going down, you will not be able to accurately tune the instrument.

Basic tuning methods

This section introduces three of the most common tuning methods. Each method involves tuning each string to standard pitch (i.e. regular tuning).

Using a tuner (tuning meter)

A tuner allows you to tune your instrument accurately, even if you are not used to tuning it yet. To use a tuner, you simply look at the meter as you tune the pitch of all six open strings.

Using positions

Use a tuning fork that sounds the note of “A”(440 Hz) or an instrument such as a piano to tune open 5th string as you use the positions on the guitar to tune the instrument. First, strike the tuning fork against something firm (like a table), then tune open 5th string to match the note “A”. Then tune the note sounded on the 5th string, by pressing fret 5 and open 4th string to match, the note sounded when string 4 fret 5 is pressed and open 3rd string, the note sounded when 3rd string fret 4 is pressed and open string 2, the note sounded when 2nd string fret 5 is pressed and open string 1, then the note sounded when 6th string fret 5 is pressed and open 5th string.

Using harmonics

In this method you use the harmonics generated when playing a string while pressing it directly above the fret. As shown in the diagram, tune the 5th string fret 7 harmonic and open 1st string, the 6th string fret 7 harmonic and open 2nd string, the 4th string fret 5 harmonic and 3rd string fret 7 harmonic, the 5th string fret 5 harmonic and 4th string fret 7 harmonic, and then the 6th string fret 5 harmonic and 5th string fret 7 harmonic.

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