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How To Tune A Guitar

FavoriteLoadingBookmark this Lesson. This lesson focuses on learning how to tune your guitar.

The method shown here is very basic and should be reasonably easy for any guitarist to accomplish. It basically relies on your ability to match one pitch against another.

We start by making sure that the 6th string on the guitar is in tune by comparing it to the mp3 recording of an in tune 6th string. After you have your 6th string matched to that pitch you are ready to tune the rest of the guitar by using the method shown in the video.

Click on this link to to hear the 6th string reference pitch.

6th String Low E Reference Pitch mp3

Take your time when trying to match the pitches, your ears will become more sensitive to the accuracy of the tuning the more you do it.

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How To Tune A Guitar By Ear

10 Comments

  1. Kanishk Dudeja on November 1, 2010 at 12:49 am

    Hey..i have been playing the guitar for 1 year now..but im still not able to tune it..when i play the 5th fret of say, 6th string and open 5th string..im not able to find out which one is high or which one is low ? im not tone deaf.. im able to make out different pitches provided they are on d same string..but im not able to make out the difference between 2 pitches on different strings ? please help me out.

  2. Rajat Shanbhag on April 1, 2011 at 1:06 pm

    i have a similar problem.

  3. Gentian Berbati on January 1, 2012 at 1:55 pm

    Guys you should probably change your strings … every 6 months

  4. Basel Khalil on July 2, 2014 at 10:32 am

    Very helpful and basic 🙂

  5. Basel Khalil on July 2, 2014 at 10:48 am

    Great

  6. anonymous anonymous on December 18, 2014 at 11:32 am

    Nice and effective way to tune your guitar when you dont are able to use an electric tuner. Thanks

  7. the ancient mariner on March 23, 2019 at 5:48 am

    Hi Carl,

    First, thanks for this great site and YT channel, bt most of all, for your lessons.
    I have a couple of questions, regarding electrical guitar tuning using electrical tuner:
    1) Which pickup do you have active when you’re tuning guitar using electric tuner: bridge, middle or neck pickup?
    2) When I’m tuning my guitar, the indicator needle shows that string is in tune, but then after 2-3 seconds, starts to sway ether between low to tuned, or tuned-to high? Is this normal or I’m doing something wrong? Strings are new and well stretched.
    Thanks in advance!

    • Carl Brown on March 24, 2019 at 12:10 pm

      Hey Mariner, let me see if I can answer your questions real quick.

      1) Typically you will want to use the bridge pickup when tuning. It will have the clearest sound for the tuner to listen to.
      2) Tuners will always slightly fluctuate since it is analyzing moving acoustic waves. But you will sort of learn your tuner’s personality and know when it settles long enough on being in tune (maybe just a second or two), before fluctuating up or down, that it is in tune.

      I hope this helps! Carl…

  8. the ancient mariner on April 9, 2019 at 12:29 pm

    HI Carl,

    First, thanks for the reply on my questions regarding which pickup to use during guitar tuning and tuner fluctuation. You did help and once again big thanks!

    I have one question regarding guitar string(s) and not sure if this is the right section, but anyhow here it is:
    All strings on my guitar have a nice and clear sound, except for B string. Either when it’s open or when is pressed on one of the frets – it sounds dull, lifeless.
    I have checked the neck, it is straight, there is no buzzing sound from B or any other strings. What could be the reason.
    Strings are new, well known brand. I have Floyd rose floating tremolo system.

    Thanks in advance for your reply!

    • Carl Brown on April 9, 2019 at 3:43 pm

      Yeah that would be really hard to diagnose without having the guitar in my hands. I wish I could help more. Maybe get a tech to look at it really quick?

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