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How to Tune a Guitar

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Tuning the Other Strings
How to Tune a Guitar

Now that we have our sixth string in tune, we need to get our other five strings tuned to that note. Using just a little bit of very basic music theory, we can see how we'll do that.

We know, from lesson two, that the names of the six open strings are E A D G B and E. We also know, from lesson four, how to count up a string, and find the names of the notes on that string. Using this knowledge, we can count up the low E string (which is in tune), until we reach the note A, on the fifth fret. Knowing this note is in tune, we can use it as a reference pitch, and tune the open fifth string until it sounds the same as the sixth string, fifth fret.

Because this string is in tune, we can assume that this note, A, on the fifth fret, is also in tune. So, we can play the open fifth string, also an A, and check to see if it sounds the same as the note on the sixth string. We'll use this concept to tune the rest of the strings. Observe the graphic above, and follow these rules to fully tune your guitar.

Steps to Tuning Your Guitar

  1. Make sure your sixth string is in tune ( use reference pitch)
  2. Play the sixth string, fifth fret (A), then tune your open fifth string (A) until it they sound the same.
  3. Play the fifth string, fifth fret (D), then tune your open fourth string (D) until they sound the same.
  4. Play the fourth string, fifth fret (G), then tune your open third string (G) until they sound the same.
  5. Play the third string, fourthfret (B), then tune your open second string (B) until they sound the same.
  6. Play the second string, fifth fret (E), then tune your open first string (E) until they sound the same.

After you've tuned your guitar, check it against this MP3 of a fully tuned guitar, and fine tune it if necessary.

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