How to Tune a Guitar with / without Guitar Tuner (Acoustic Guitar/ Electric Guitar)
Let’s learn the simplest method for replacing the old/broken guitar strings and tuning an acoustic or electric guitar (with guitar tuner/without guitar tuner). You should read this article if you want to:
1) Learn how to replace broken guitar string?
2) Learn how to replace old guitar string with new one?
3) Set your guitar after fret body is adjusted again?
4) Cure your guitar’s awkward or out of tune sound (or the strings have become loose after keeping the guitar untouched for several days)?
If you are facing any one or more problem out of the mentioned above, you need not to worry at all, because you are at the right place to cure it and mis-tuning of guitar or breaking of strings is a very common thing. What you require to be tuning expert is, patience, to read all the sentences till last word and follow accordingly.
Introduction: Guitar Tuning can be done by 3 methods.
How to Tune a Guitar (Guitar Tuning Methods)
1. By a Guitar Tuner
2. By an external source of sound reference(With a Piano, Without Guitar Tuner)
3. A smart Guy’s tuning method(without Guitar Tuner)
So in this article we will learn about very important topic, which most of the amateur guitarists want to learn however you can also watch the following video to learn how to tune an acoustic guitar.
Changing the strings or making them sound in tune is one of the simplest process which any one can easily learn at home from this article.
We will discuss here assuming that a string is broken and after taking out the broken string and placing a new one there, we will understand how to tune that string.
Part 1: Replacing The Old Or Broken Strings of a Guitar
1) Remove Guitar Pegs
Okay, so first of all you have to take out the broken string from the tuning peg as well as from the body of the guitar after taking out the bridge pin from the body. The utmost care should be taken for handling the broken strings because that can pierce easily in the fingers.
2) Insert New Guitar String
After removing all broken strings, first of all let’s pick the new string which we have to place in guitar. First of all insert the twisted portion of the string in the respective hole in the body approximately one inch deep and then place the bridge pin back in the hole while keeping the groove of pin towards neck, so that the string can pass towards neck easily.
3) That’s fine, now pass the guitar string from the guitar nut and insert it into the hole of tuning peg (from inside).
4) Tie the Guitar String
Pull the string gently through the tuning peg to remove the looseness but don’t pull so much because later on it has to be tightened by tuning peg.
5) Wind the extra string length which is hanging from the the tuning peg hole by passing it again and again through the hole.
6) Even then if the string is too long, then it’s better to cut it with a cutter, but remember to not to make it too shorten.
7) Likewise replace all the old or broken strings.
Part 2: Tuning Of Guitar String (with / without Guitar Tuner)
Now comes the tuning part. If there is only one string which we have to tune then the process may be short but let’s learn the process from scratch so that you don’t fear in case you need to tune all strings.
Now we will learn two method, one is from a tuner and another from a reference sound which you may have like piano or other tuned guitar etc.
Method 1: How to Tune a Guitar By Guitar Tuner
Most of the tuners are vibration sensors. They sense the vibration and respond accordingly to show the exact frequency or the nearby music note like C, D, F# etc.
Nowadays there are many mobile applications also, working as tuner, by simply listening and monitoring the note you are playing on guitar.
Also after putting the tuner on the headstock, confirm whether your string requires tightening or loosening.
1) Put a Guitar Tuner
So let’s put the tuner on the headstock of the guitar or if you have a mobile app, then let’s start it and place somewhere near to the guitar so that it can sense the sound of the guitar without any disturbance or noise.
Now play any string, the tuner will show some note on it.
2) Let’s start with the string no. 6, which is to be tuned on E2 note, i.e., E note of the second octave.
3) Tighten Guitar Strings Slowly
Keep tightening and playing the string gradually with the plectrum and carefully keep watching the needle to come upto E2. Whenever it comes on E2, stop there, because our string is tuned.
4)Now come to string no. 5 which is to be tuned on A2 note. Keep tightening the string unless it reaches to show in the tuner the note A2.
5) Likewise tune the string no. 4 on D3 note.
6) Tune the string no. 3 on note G3.
** Please take care while tightening the strings no. 1 and 2, because they are the thinnest and most likely to break if over tightened.
7) Tune the string no. 2 on note B3 and finally,
8) Tune the string no. 1 on the note E4.
9) Cross Check Guitar Tuning
After tightening or loosening all the strings from no. 6 to no. 1, to the required standard notes, again cross-check to ensure that they are properly tuned or not. You may get a little difference because each guitar string, when tightened has the tension on the neck of guitar and it results in slightly loosing other strings. But don’t worry, that will not be too much.
10) After checking all the strings sounds with the tuner you can assure that your guitar is now tuned fully.
Method 2: By Some External Source Of Sound (Without Guitar Tuner, With Piano or other Music Instrument)
We can also tune the guitar even if we don’t have any digital or mobile tuner. In this case we will require the external sound source like other tuned guitar, piano etc.
1) We know that guitar strings are tuned on E2-A2-D3-G3-B3-E4 notes. We also know that the same notes can also be found on the other standard instruments which are already tuned by default like electric piano etc. So lets take an example of a piano.
2) Play the note E of second or lower octave of the piano. That is the sound at which we have to tune our guitar’s 6th string.
3) Now we have to use our listening power, here, by trying to match the sound of the string to the standard sound of the piano’s note by slowly tightening the string.
**For beginners it may be difficult to differentiate between two close notes, so it is suggested that you should practice it as much as possible and also listen sounds carefully. In general practice the lower note is more fatty and the higher not is having high frequency sounding thin or sharp.
4) Once you have matched the sound of both the instruments, then again there are two way from here to proceed. First one is the same as we tuned the 6th string (by listening the standard frequency and setting the strings sound similar to that by tightening and loosening).
Method 3: Smart Guy’s Method (Without Guitar Tuner)
The other method is smart one and we insist on that to make you tuning expert. Okay so what’s the secret??
5) Well you have seen in the figure that the note on the fifth fret of the sixth string is A2 which is similar to the required note on open string no. 5. Got the clue?
Yes, just tighten or loosen the string no. 5 (as per requirement) to match the sound of the string no 6 while pressing is on fifth fret.
6) In a similar way you see that the note on the fifth fret of the fifth string is similar to the open note of string no. 4.
So adjust the string no. 4 to match its tune to the string no. 5 while pressing string no. 5 on the fifth fret.
7) Count the frets and keep matching the sound
Again the 3rd string is to be tuned on note G3 and as you can see in the picture that the note on the 4th string while pressing it on the fret no. 5, is also G3. So simply adjust the sound of the string no. 5 to match it to the sound of the string no. 4 while pressing it at the 5th fret.
8) Moving on to the next string, you know that string no. 2 is to be tuned at note B3. Also you can see that the string no. 3 while being pressed at fret no. 4 is equal to note B3. So both of the sounds can easily be matched to be in tune.
9) Now last string no. 1 is left. You know that it is to be tuned at E4 note, and the 2nd string while being pressed on fret no. 5 also sounds E4, hence match both the sounds while adjusting string no. 1
Now your guitar is fully tuned. We hope that you have now mastered all the concepts behind the tuning of a guitar, and keep practicing the tuning each time you pick the guitar for practice or performance.
Write below in comments if you are still having a tuning problem.Please also share this page here to help other beginner guitarists who find difficulties in tuning the guitar.
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