Overall Rating: 3.3 (of 5)
Rating Votes %
2 33 ||
2 33 ||
0 0 ||
0 0 ||
2 33 ||
From 6 votes total
Rate This Lesson
Rate from 1 (poor) to 5 (best)
Send Feedback

Tuning By Harmonics

Lee Marr (10) · [archive]
Style: Theory/Reference · Level: Beginner · Tempo: 120
Pages: 1

Tuning by harmonics can be very useful if you do not have a tuner handy. It is a very accurate approach to tuning. Many believe it to be even more accurate than tuning by the "5th fret" method.

Acoustic guitars are pretty straight forward, however I have found that on electric guitars it is easiest to tune with the pickup selector switch set to the middle position.

First, you will want to get your low E string as close to what you think is correct as possible. This is the only drawback to tuning without a tuner: you really don't know where to begin.

Once you have your low E (1st string) close, strike the A string (2nd string) on the 7th fret harmonic and then the low E string (1st string) on the 5th fret harmonic. When they are both ringing, listen for a "wobbling" sound. That means you are out of tune. You want to tune the A string to the E string, so while they are both ringing tune the A string way down (flat) and bring it up into tune with the E string.

You always want to tune up into the note rather than down. This will help keep the strings from slipping and going back out of tune.

Also, you always want to strike the strings in the order that I have written them (i.e. 7th-5th, 7th-5th...). This will help you hear the tuning better.

Next, strike the D string (3rd string) on the 7th fret harmonic and the A string (2nd string) on the 5th fret harmonic. Tune the D string down, then back up into tune.

Next strike the G string (4th string) on the 7th fret harmonic and the D string (3rd string) on the 5th fret harmonic. Tune the G string down, then back up into tune.

Now, to break from the pattern, play the B string (5th string) open and then play the low E string (1st string) on the 7th fret harmonic. Tune the B string down, then up into tune with the low E harmonic.

Finally, play the high E string (6th string) on the 7th fret harmonic and the B string (5th string) on the 5th fret harmonic. Tune the high E down, then up into tune with the B string harmonic.

That's it!

e|---------------------------------7---------------------
B|-------------------------0---------5-------------------
G|-----------------7-------------------------------------
D|---------7---------5-----------------------------------
A|-7---------5-------------------------------------------
E|---5-----------------------7---------------------------
(all notes are natural harmonics except the open B)