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My Method For Tuning The Guitar

Sean Christiansen (648) · [archive]
Style: Basics · Level: Intermediate · Tempo: 120
Pages: 1

In this lesson I am going to share with you, my method for tuning. I searched WN and did not uncover anything like this style, so I am going to assume it's safe to put it up. This is another tidbit from my "bag of tricks" that I have accumulated over the years.

To start with I believe the greatest tuning device is the strobe tuner. Unfortunately most of us don't have one, and they can be quite expensive. Next would be a well designed accurate electronic tuner, which I believe many of us own.

Nevertheless this is an alternative to tuning in 4ths, and harmonic tuning using the 5th and 7th fret natural harmonics, which I don't really use because of Harmonic Overtones, and I don't believe it's the best option for a well tuned guitar.

The following method, I believe is a very nice alternative to the 2 methods mentioned above.

This method presumes a few things. It presumes you have experience tuning a guitar, and that you know how to play natural harmonics on one. It does presume that you have your Low E string tuned correctly. My approach uses a few variations to "double check" a string actually being in tune or not

1. With the 6th E string in tune play a NH (Natural Harmonic) at the 12 fret.

2. Compare this Harmonic with the fretted E note on the A string, 7th fret. Adjust the A string to match the harmonic.

3. On your 6th E string, play a NH at the 12th fret and let ring.

4. Compare this to the fretted E note on the D string 2nd fret. Adjust the D string until it matches the "E Harmonic".

5. Play the "E" NH and recompare both the fretted A string 7th fret notes and the fretted D string 2nd fret to it. If they are all identical we are on the right track. If not, make whatever adjustments necessary.

6. On your A string, play a NH at the 12th fret and let ring

7. Compare this to the fretted A note on the D string 7th fret. It should sound identical.

8. On your A string, play a NH at the 12th fret and let ring

9. Compare this to the fretted A note on the G string 2nd fret. Tune the G string until the pitches are identical.

10. On your D string, play a NH at the 12th fret and let ring

11. Compare this to the fretted D note on the G string 7th fret. It should sound identical.

12. On your D string, play a NH at the 12th fret and let ring

13. Compare this to the fretted D note on the B string 3rd fret. Tune the B string until the pitches are identical.

14. On your G string, play a NH at the 12th fret and let ring

15. Compare this to the fretted G note on the B string 8th fret. It should sound identical.

16. On your G string, play a NH at the 12th fret and let ring

17. Compare this to the fretted G note on the High E string 3rd fret. Tune the High E string until the pitches are identical.

18. On your B string, play a NH at the 12th fret and let ring

19. Compare this to the fretted B note on the High E string 7th fret. Tune the High E string until the pitches are identical.

Your guitar should be in fine tune. Play a couple of open chords to hear how they sound.

This is the method I use to tune and double check my guitar all the time. I hope others will benefit from this. The first few times, it may seem like a lot, but most of you will quickly see the value in this approach.

Thanks for taking the time to read this lesson and have fun playing!

Drop me a line of feedback if you have a moment. I'd really appreciate hearing whether my lessons helped or not! Thanks!