How To Tune Your Guitar By Ear

Learning how to tune your guitar is likely to take time hence, it’s important that you train your ears. Tuning a guitar by ear is basically listening to a tune then adjusting the guitar according to what you hear. This makes it possible to hear the pitch, volume, duration and tone quality of a sound. Every guitarist should know how to tune a guitar. A guitar has six strings that are divided into bass and treble strings. Let me walk you through some tips on how you can tune your guitar by ear.


Tune Low E-string

The low E-string is the thickest string of the guitar. One should place the finger on the 5th fret of the B string. Use the knob to loosen or tighten until it matches the natural pitch of E-string. Play and listen to it then compare with the piano keys that produce such pitch. Once you do it correctly, it will be easy to tune the other strings without the aid of reference pitches from a piano. If you don't have a piano around (which will be almost always), another good tip is to try and memorize the pitch of a song that begins with a prominent low E note. A popular example is "I Feel Fine" by The Beatles, "Enter The Sandman" By Metallica, and so on.


Tune the A-string

This entails matching the matching the 5th fret of E-string with the tone of A- string. Use the knob where A-string is wrapped to bring out the tune. To increase the pitch, you should shorten the vibrating string length. Compare the sound you get when you place your finger on the 5th fret of the E string and A-string. The two strings should sound the same if they are in tune.


Tune your D-String

When E and D-string are in tune, you should proceed to D-string. To tune the D-string, you will use A-string as your reference. Place your index finger on the 5th fret of the A string then, turn the D-string knob to ensure it’s perfectly tuned.


Tune your G-String

To get the G-note, use the 5th fret of the D-string. Go through the same process you did on string A and D. Match 5th fret of the D string then tune G-string. Ensure the two strings are in tune. Use the knob where G-string is wrapped to give a perfect tune.


Tune your B-String

When tuning the B-String, the pattern changes since we use the 4th fret instead of 5th fret of G string. Adjust B-string with reference with G-string and B-note.


Tune the high E-String 

The high E-String is the thinnest treble string .Since all the other strings are tuned, proceed to the bottom E-string. To tune E, you should use the 5th fret of the B string. Don’t forget that in this case we have returned to the 5th fret. Play the high E-String and the low E-String with your index finger at the same time. They should be in tune with each other. If they produce a “warbling” sound, you should know the strings were not perfectly tuned.


Final Thoughts

It’s recommended that you test your work to ensure you did not make any mistakes. Sometimes, the quality of pitch between two strings may differ hence, the need to be careful. Play a few chords and listen to confirm all strings are in tune. All the strings must be in tune from the thickest to the thinnest string i.e. E, A, D, G, B and E respectively.



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