Introduction: How to Tune a Guitar

Picture of How to Tune a Guitar

Tuning a guitar is SO EASY! If you know how to do it. But this is my first instructable, so take it easy.

Step 1: 6th String

Picture of 6th String

6th string (low E) is easy. Just make the sound smooth and low using the tuning knob.

Step 2: 5th String and Down

Picture of 5th String and Down

To tune the 5th string, hold down the 6th string on the first dot on the neck and match that sound with the 5th string. Keep going down using the string before the string you are tuning. BUT NOT TUNING THE 2ND STRING!

Step 3: 2nd String and Down

Picture of 2nd String and Down

For the 2nd string, simply use the 4th fret [fret before the dot] instead of the 5th fret. Then tune the 1st string NORMALY. So, now you can tune a guitar. [feel free to comment]

Comments

bobrokrol.borbro (author)2014-12-26

Hi, I created online tuner with microphone for guitar and other instruments. I'll be glad if somebody check and let me know how it works http://onlinetuner.us/

nancyjohns (author)2014-05-25

Thank you soo much! I've been wanting to be able to tune my guitar

fordf150man (author)2012-03-07

this is a good method suprised there arnt any more instructsbles for this very good instructable

JimKelleher (author)2010-09-05

Thanks for the instructable. I just used it to tune my son's first guitar. I used to know this method but forgot how to do it. I used our Casio keyboard to get low E right.

Foaly7 (author)JimKelleher2011-02-25

I've never thought of using a keyboard as a guitar tuner before.

compgeek97 (author)2010-10-24

not all guitars have the first dot at the fifth fret. mine, a yamaha eg112c2 has it on the third fret, and the fifth fret is the second dot.just so you know.

Foaly7 (author)2010-07-31

Thanks for this, It's an easier method to tuning a guitar than what I was going to try. It works with electric guitars too, right? I just noticed that you seem to have an acoustic.

Patented (author)2009-05-31

Hey nice instructables!! Im now able to tune without tuner! + I add a link of your ible on mine

Elastometer (author)2008-01-15

I'm assuming that your ears are tuned to 82.407Hz when you tune the low E string? Otherwise how would you know that the guitar was tuned to the right key?

builder2.0 (author)Elastometer2008-01-15

Well, if you tune your low E string so it's a rich, smooth tone then you are tuning the rest of the strings relative to that one and you'll still get a great sound.

arionisa (author)builder2.02009-04-09

Actually all well made guitars have the "rich. smooth tone" when tuning the "A" string, not the E. The entire scale is based on an "A" at 440 Hz and all well made guitars have a resonant frequency at that level. I have found, while shopping for guitars, that the quickest way to tell a good one from a bad one is to tune the guitar using an electronic tuner, then hold it up till the sound-hole is at my mouth and either hum (or sing) into it until I find the pitch where the guitar seems to vibrate the most. Compare that note to the "A" string, if it matches (or closely matches) that guitar will ALWAYS sound better than one that doesn't. It also makes for a good way to tune your guitar in the absence of anything else, sing or hum into the soundhole till you find the note that makes it resonate, tune the "A" string to match, then tune the others to that string. With a good guitar you will be close enough to "perfect" that it won't matter .. and with a bad guitar ... if that's the ONLY way you have ti tune it, that means you're playing by yourself .... and your guitar is tuned to the best frequency for that guitar ... which means it will sound better than it ever has. Of course that doesn't apply to electrics .....

Valence_4 (author)2009-03-01

It's easy to precisely tune a guitar simply with a wireline phone (yes, the "old-fashioned" telephone that you have at home that has a wire attached to it and that you can not take out). Forget the cellphone ! Simply lift the cradle and listen to the dial tone. The dial tons is composed of two distinct tones mixed together. The lower one is at 350 Hz, don't pay attention to it. However, the higher pitched tone is at exactly 440 Hz ! An "A" note ! It then becomes easy to tune your guitar's 5th string (A) two octaves lower (110 Hz). Then, starting from the fifth, tune all the other strings !

The Jamalam (author)2008-12-25

i dont think that tuning consists of making the right sound "smooth and low". It is surely more to do with the pitch?

Ibanezfoo (author)2008-01-16

You will be a little more accurate if you tune to harmonics and not to fretted notes. And unless you can tune by ear (I've yet to meet anyone that can accurately) you still need a reference tone.

The Jamalam (author)Ibanezfoo2008-12-25

me too! perfect pitching is a useful skill...

alvincredible (author)Ibanezfoo2008-01-25

me! i just hum E in my head and it's surprisingly accurate! i just tune the low E to that then use harmonics to tune the rest. i'm usually off by 3 dots on the tuner

fishhead455 (author)2008-01-15

Good effort...but just go to the music store and get an "A" tuning fork...440 cycles. Tune your A string with it nd then tune the others to that string. Nothing is easier. Also, when you lean your guitar against the wall...do it with the strings facing the wall and gravity will not de-tune your "gitter". Let me see: Bing-Bing-BOING ! Bing-Bing...yea, that's better. C-Ya.

Coati (author)2008-01-15

My guitar has the first dot at the third fret,you might want to change your wording as it could confuse people.Other than that great job.

awoodcarver (author)2008-01-15

I must be old I remember pitch pipes , they worked and I used what you show to keep in tune when playing away from home.....now my kid uses some electric thing to tune it

builder2.0 (author)2008-01-14

Yeah, but this costs less money!

jtobako (author)builder2.02008-01-14

The first three times I did this (20 years ago) I ended up breaking strings because I couldn't get the first string in tune. Three packages of strings at $5 each or one tuner at $25... It is a good system to keep your guitar in tune with itself, though.

admanrocks (author)2008-01-14

sick. I use thisthis all the time also

GorillazMiko (author)2008-01-14

Smart. I do this all the time, but usually I just use the tuner, thanks for showing, some people might not know how to do this.

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