How to Tune a Guitar

Learning how to tune a guitar is obviously an important part of playing guitar. Here we’ll discuss how to tune a guitar without an electric tuner, as well as alternative tunings.

Standard E Tuning

The first thing you should know is what the strings should be tuned to, which is shown below:

Strings on a guitar

There are several options when it comes to achieving this tuning:

Using an Electronic Tuner

A very easy way of tuning your guitar. You either connect the guitar to the tuner via a cable, or use the in-build microphone. The tuner will then tell you whether the string is sharp or flat etc… Some tuners however seem to fluctuate a lot, which makes it difficult. Tuners come relatively cheap so it’s worth the investment. You could also consider using our online guitar tuner.

Alternative Method of Tuning

If you tune the bottom E string correctly (for example by using a piano), the other strings can be tuned using this method:

  1. Play the 5th fret on the E string and tune the A string to this note.
  2. Now play the 5th fret on the A string and tune the D string to this note.
  3. Now play the 5th fret on the D string and tune the G string to this note.
  4. Now play the 4th fret on the G string and tune the B string to this note.
  5. Finally play the 5th fret on the B string and tune the e string to this note.

Drop D Tuning

The guitar can in fact be tuned in many other different ways, on of the most common being drop D tuning, in which the E string is tuned down to a D. This can be achieved on a guitar with standard E tuning by tuning down the E string until the 7th fret on this string plays an A.

Electronic Guitar Tuners

The other option of course is to use an electronic guitar tuner. There are a lot of different types out there, but our personal favourite is the Snark Guitar Tuner. The reason for this is because the Snark tuner works by detecting the vibrations in the guitar itself, rather than listening to the sound of the string. This means that it can be used to tune in noisy locations, which is common if you’re playing in a band. No more do you need to shout “Hey guys, stop playing so I can tune my guitar!!!”. Instead you can just clip on the Snark to your headstock and start tuning.

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