How to Tune a Guitar the Most Precise Way

If you are a guitar player, you will find many times your guitar out of tune completely. Well, there are many factors behind this issue. As a guitar player, you must know how to tune a guitar properly so that your practice session won’t get wrecked by an out-of-tune guitar, making you frustrated.

So, how best will you achieve that? You have numerous options. You can opt for a tuning app, can use a digital tuner, like KLIQ UberTuner, or even you can tune your instrument by ear with the use of harmonics.

Method-1: Use a Tuner

1. Utilize a digital guitar tuner

These tuners are very small, battery-powered gadgets that feature microphones that can pick up your guitar’s notes. Simply turn on the device and play an open E string. You will see a flash of light if the string gets tuned to the accurate note. If required, you can modify the string until that note is in tune and you can repeat the same method with other strings. In the case of an electric guitar, you can connect a cord straight into the tuner for checking the tuning, rather than using the microphone of the tuner.

2. Use a tuner app

You will find several guitar tuner apps which are compatible with your smartphone. These apps are more convenient to be used if you don’t have a tuner. Using your smartphone’s inbuilt microphone, these tuner apps work the same as the digital tuners.

3. Use Effects Pedals with your electric guitar

The Effects Pedals like DigiTech Element XP Guitar Multi-Effects Pedal work simply like a tuner. Rather than adjusting a guitar’s tone if you activate it, it will work like a digital tuner. Some of them will help you tune silently which is really amazing if you are playing live. So, just play any open string and it will light up to indicate the accurate pitch. Several multi-effects units incorporate inbuilt tuners.

4. Utilize a headstock tuner

A headstock tuner like Planet Waves Eclipse Headstock Tuner snaps straight to the headstock of your guitar so you can leave it in place when you play your instrument. Rather than choosing tones using a microphone, this tuner can identify the notes with the help of vibrations that run through the wood of your guitar. Play every string which you want to tune and when the note is correct, the tuner will alert you.

5. Use an online tuner

Browsing online you can simply find a guitar tuner. Many tuner websites will let you choose the string you want to tune, you will listen to the tone of the accurate pitch and finally modify it as required until it sounds like before. For this method, you need to depend on your ear, not the microphone.

Method-2: Tune Your Guitar to Itself​​​​

1. Listen to 2 notes at the similar pitch

Unlike the piano, a guitar is able to play many notes on the similar pitch. This implies that you will be able to tune your guitar by matching the same notes together. So, start practicing to listen to 2 notes of the similar pitch, such as 5th fret on the 4th string and the open 3rd string. If the notes are tuned properly, they will sound alike. When the notes are tuned to the different pitch, you will hear a fluctuating sound named Beating. For tuning, modify a string up or down until this wavering sound slows and finally disappears.

2. Tune your 6th via 3rd strings

Assume that the low E (the 6th string) is in tune. Now play the note at the 5th fret on the low E and the open 5th string. Listen to whether these notes sound identical. If not, then modify the 5th string until it gets alike with the note played at the 5th fret on the 6th string. Repeat the same process by playing the 5th string at the 5th fret with the 4th open string and finally the 4th string at the 5th fret with the 3rd string open. Strings 6-3 should be tuned to each other and modify strings as required.

3. Complete by tuning your 2nd and 1st strings

The process differs while tuning your 2nd string. Play the 3rd string at the 4th fret and the 2nd string open. Modify the 2nd string as required up till the note becomes accurate. Now play the 2nd string at the 5th fret alongside the 1st string and follow the same process for tuning.

4. Remember the pattern to check tuning by same pitches

Consider 55545 a simple way to memorize the notes you must fret and couple up with the next open string for tuning your guitar. If you have learned how to tune a guitar this way, you can begin with either the high E string and go down or the low E string and go up.

Method-3: Tune by Your Ear Using Harmonics

1. Try to play harmonics

Harmonics can create identical pitches on multiple strings, letting you tune your guitar to it. By this method, the harmonics will ring out by themselves if you play them. You will find your playing hand flexible for modifying strings as required while still listening to the tone. The lightly touching strings create guitar harmonics (the high-pitched notes) at different places. This technique is relatively silent.

2. Tune your 6th via 3rd strings using harmonics

Consider the 6th string as tuned. Now play the harmonic on your 6th string above the 5th fret and another harmonic on your 5th string above the 7th fret. Now start listening to find whether the pitches are identical. Modify the 5th string if they are not same. Now repeat this method using a harmonic on the 5th string above the 5th fret alongside one on the 4th string above the 7th fret. After that, play a harmonic on your 4th string above the 5th fret as well as another on your 3rd string at the 7th fret. If required, modify your 4th and 3rd strings.

3. Start playing a harmonic on your 6th string above the 7th fret

Now play the open 2nd string. The pitches must be identical if your instrument is in tune. If not, then alter the 2nd string up/down up till they become alike.

4. Play harmonics for tuning your 1st string

Now play a harmonic on your 2nd string above the 5th fret as well as another on your 1st string at the 7th fret. If required, alter the 1st string up till the pitches match. Instead, you can play the harmonic on your 6th string above the 5th fret or your 5th string at the 7th fret and the 1st open string.

Method-4: Study the Tuning Fundamentals

1. Memorize the basic tuning with a fun acronym

In basic guitar tuning, your strings will be tuned as EADGBE. Every letter correlates to a string, from the high 1st to the low 6th. It’s not tough to memorize this order with a silly acronym, such as “Each Angry Dog Gets Bit Ensuingly”.

2. Modify the strings’ pitch by changing the tuning pegs

Start following every string to its correlating tuning peg. In several cases, changing the pegs clockwise will increase the string’s pitch. If it’s flat and not higher than your preferred note, then do this. Change a peg counterclockwise for lowering a string if the pitch is very sharp. You don’t require turning the tuning pegs much at a time. It will help you find the accurate pitches accordingly.

3. Check your guitar twice after tuning it’s all strings

So, if you have tuned your guitar using any aforementioned method, now play some chords and motes to ensure everything sounds perfect. Notes are often off as the guitar moved gradually because pressured turned from modifying strings or just because your ear or a tuner was not precise 100%. If you find this, double-check your strings and re-modify them.

Wrapping Up

Tuning a guitar to itself is only perfect for solo practice. Although the notes relating to each other will sound perfectly tuned, it implies the complete guitar might be flat or very high relative to any other instrument. For being in tune with other players, you need to get your guitar to a concert pitch or tune it to the accurate notes EADGBE. Utilize a slide whistle, tuning forks or a digital tuner for finding the exact pitches you require.

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