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February 21, 2023 4 min read

Tuning guitar

Why is tuning your guitar important?

Tuning a guitar is an important skill for any guitarist. It ensures that the strings are in tune with one another and allows you to play more efficiently. 

If you want to be a good guitar player, you need to know how to tune your guitar. There are many different ways of tuning a guitar and this article will show you the basics of how to tune a guitar.




Blues Player Tuning Guitar

How to Tune Your Guitar: The Ultimate Guide

Guitars are tuned in intervals of perfect fifths. This means that when the open strings are tuned, each string should produce a note which is exactly one step higher than the previous string.

Tuning your guitar can be done easily by following a few steps:

    • Make sure that your guitar is tuned to E A D G B E (the standard tuning)
    • Tune the A string by plucking it while pressing down on the 5th fret of the D string
    • Tune the D string by plucking it while pressing down on the 3rd fret of the G string
    • Tune the G string by plucking it while pressing down on the 3rd fret of B
    • Tune the B string by plucking it while pressing down on F# and 4th fret of E strings.



Guitar Tuning Pegs

Different Types of Tuning Keys for Guitars

Tuning keys are the most important part of a guitar. They allow the player to change the pitch of their strings. There are many different types of tuning keys for guitars, and each one has its own unique benefits and drawbacks.

The first type is called a "locking tuner" A locking tuner is a type of tuning key that provides a locking action that ensures that the guitar string will not slip out of tune as easily. This type of tuning key is generally more expensive than other types.

The second type is called an "endless screw tuner" This type of tuning key uses an adjustable screw to change pitch rather than a post like on other types. These are usually cheaper than locking tuners, but they can be difficult to use because they have no click mechanism to tell you when you've reached your desired pitch.

The third type is called a “
tremoloTremolo is a modulation effect that rhythmically changes the volume of your signal. It is typically used to add depth and intensity to your sound.



Guitar Strings

Guitar String Tension and How It Affects the Guitar's Intonation

Guitar string tension is the force that pulls on a guitar's strings. It affects the guitar's intonation and it does not change with how you play your instrument but it changes with change.

A guitar's intonation is the way in which a guitarist tunes the open strings to correspond to major chords when they are fretted at certain points on the neck. Guitar string tension can be adjusted by changing the height of the bridge or by using different gauges of strings.



Guitar Tuning Tips

Guitars are more sensitive than most people realize, so bear these things in mind.


1) Tune up every time you play

This is non-negotiable. As a beginner, your ears won’t be able to tell if your guitar has gone slightly out of tune.

Guitars drift out of tune every day and there is nothing more demotivating for a guitar learner than sounding bad when playing. (I often speak with guitar learners who are feeling down because they think they’re not playing ‘well’, but their guitar is out of tune!)


2) Keep your guitar out of hot places

Your guitar is like any other piece of wood. Temperature affects it. Keep it out of the sun, out of your car on a hot day. Don’t ever rest it against a radiator or any other heat source.


3) Keep your guitar out of cold places

It doesn’t have to be Arctic, even a gentle draft from under a door will nudge your guitar out of tune. Don’t leave it in your car overnight!


4) Loosen the strings before storage or transport

Before tuning your guitar, make sure that it is at the desired tension (either too tight or too loose). This makes it easier for your guitar to adapt to changes in humidity and temperature.


5) Avoid impacts, big and small

Any kind of bump will knock your guitar out of tune. A small bump (like a door opening against it) will knock it out of tune. Don’t forget that constant playing can actually go out of tune. This is just to note, it happens, and it’s normal.


6) Replace your guitar strings regularly

Old strings become brittle and harder to tune, and sound terrible. Keep strings in good condition by replacing them often!


7) Consider investing in a Guitar Tuner

Initially when you are learning to play your ears may not be able to pick up and be familiar with the correct guitar tune. This is where a electronic guitar tuner may come in handy to guide you and get you up to speed over time in terms what a standard tune sounds like. Look online or visit your local music shop.




Man playing guitar at home with his dog

To sum up, tuning a guitar is a crucial step in playing the instrument well. If you want to be able to play without any frustrating noises, it’s important to know how to tune your guitar. 

There are various ways you can tune a guitar and each has their pros and cons. But as you get better at hearing pitch, time will tell which way works best for you. Practice with your guitar every day and you will become a master of tuning before you know it.

If you use a tuner, it is important to practice the process of tuning your guitar. Experiencing the different methods of tuning can help you get used to matching pitches by ear. It also gets you used to listening to both in-tune notes and “warbles”.

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