Tuning an electric guitar can appear to be a difficult task for someone untrained in completing the task. The task, with the right equipment and know how, is quite simple. I am going to provide one of many methods to tune an electric guitar for basic playing.
Step 1: Gather the Guitar and Hardware Needed.
To accomplish the task of tuning an electric guitar, you will need a pre-stringed guitar. The hardware needed includes: 1- electric amplifier, 1- electric guitar cable, and 1- electric tuner. All these pieces if hardware can be found at any music supply store. Any size amplifier will suffice, as long as it clearly reproduces the instruments sound.
Step 2: Plug in All Your Equipment (without Power) Amplifier
1. Take the male end of the cable (there are two so simply pick one).
2. Insert one end into the input jack of the amplifier.
This step is done with the power of so there is no damage caused to the guitar or the amplifier. Any connections involving electric current should be made in an OFF-power setting.
Step 3: Plug in All Your Equipment (without Power) Cont. Guitar.
Take the other male end of the cable and insert it into the output of the guitar. This step is done with the power of so there is no damage caused to the guitar or the amplifier. Any connections involving electric current should be made in an OFF-power setting.
Step 4: Power on Amplifier.
Set all sound control knobs on the amplifier to zero and power on the amplifier. The knobs are all set to zero before powering on the amplifier to stop power on pops or static surge noise from damaging the amplifier.
Step 5: Adjust Sound Controls on the Amplifier and Guitar.
Adjust all sound control knobs on amplifier to at least half (volume to your preference). Leave all reverb and effects of the amp in the off or zero position. On the guitar, adjust the volume to your preference and move the tone knobs to at least halfway.
Step 6: Become Familiar With the Guitar.
In the next steps, you will perform the actual task of tuning your guitar. It is important to know the musical notes associated with each string. The strings on a basic 6 string guitar follow these notes: E, A, D, G, B, D. These notes go from left to right on the strings if looking at the guitar vertically. If the guitar is resting on your leg with the neck extended past your left shoulder, the notes move from bottom to top. Now that you are familiar with the strings, let’s begin:
Step 7: Prepare Tuner.
Apply power to your tuner and ensure there are no readings on it.
Step 8: Tune the First String.
Start with the high string (furthest right string) and strum it once. With your opposite hand, turn the tuning keys (left to tighten string or intensify sound tone and, right to loosen string or decrease sound tone.)
Step 9: Verify Tune.
While the string is still vibrating, and you are still turning the tune key, watch your electric tuner to get the string in tune. The readout should show an E (or it should be selected on the tuner) for the first string and the pointer (the green dot on this tuner) should be in the middle of the tuner, to show a proper tune for that string. Once the desired tune is attained, move on to the next string.
Step 10: Repeat Steps 8 and 9 for Remainder of the Strings.
Repeat steps 8 and 9 above for all strings, from right to left (bottom to top) until all strings are properly tuned. Be sure to go back a check the tune of all strings upon tuning the last string.
Step 11: Sit Back, Play, and Enjoy Your Work.
All that is left now is for you to play your favorite tune. This tune should last for a long time but, be sure to check it occasionally.