how to tune your guitar

How To Tune Your Guitar?

Have you ever experienced jamming with friends and singing your lungs out only to realize the pitches are completely off-key? Guitars are intended to help set the tone and melody of a song; if they’re not adjusted properly, it can seriously take the wind out of your sails!

Whether it is due to wear-and-tear, loose pegs, or your younger brother is just messing with you, a guitar has a propensity to get out of tune. That is why it is so important to check and re-calibrate it regularly. Guitar tuning is really important. Doing so will ensure its high performance at all times.

While this task may seem like a hassle, it’s actually pretty simple to do. To prove it to you, I’d like to share my personal strategy of how to tune your guitar. If you’re interested in this discussion, I invite you to read along.

Standard Tuning

Much like other instruments, the sound of your guitar can be slightly differentiated, depending on their preference. Many professional musicians use this as a way to express and explore their creative control.

For this article, I’d want to primarily focus on how to tune your guitar, which is how a note is supposed to sound like when played. For beginners, this should be a useful guide to follow and one that will serve as a strong foundation for future lessons.

2 Basic Methods

While there are several possible ways on how to tune a guitar, the most common methods are through an electronic guitar tuner or your superb sense of hearing. These are simple strategies new guitarists should make a point to learn.

Tuning Through An Electronic Tuner

An electronic tuner is a digital device used to decipher the pitch on a particular musical gadget. For stringed instruments, you can either plug it in or utilize the machine’s built-in microphone. This is to help it verify whether or not you’re playing the right tunes.

The first thing you need to do is make sure you’re electronic tuner is calibrated by setting its frequency to 440Hz, which is the standard most people use. Next, you should connect the tuner to your guitar, either through the mic or the cable. Once they’re linked, you should be ready to proceed.

tuning through electric tuner

Then, select a note on the digital machine and continue to play it. How close or how far the pitch is should then be reflected. Every time you hear a sound that doesn’t appear well, correct it on the spot. You can do this by twisting the knobs on the topmost area of the guitar’s neck.  

A healthy reminder when making these modifications is to tune up the notes instead of decreasing it. This should help maintain the correct frequency for a longer period of time.

After you’ve completed all the required changes, do one last run-through. This will help put your mind at ease and inspect if any notes were mistakenly distorted during the process. If you see that everything seems to be in order, you can breathe a sigh of relief that your guitar is back to being in-tune.

Tuning Through Your Ear

Another possible solution to this constant problem is the fifth fret method. While this may be considered the more daunting task, it’s a good way of training your ears to notice notes that are out of tune. Think of it as a longer and more difficult route, yet one that will give you more value. After all, you won’t always have your automated gizmo by your side to save the day.

tuning through ear

The first box that needs to be checked is to make sure that the low E string sounds fine. If you don’t have a digital tuner with you, use a piano or another guitar to match the pitch. Once you have that covered, move 5 frets up towards the body and strum again – the note you should be playing is an A. Repeat this step, but this time with the fifth fret of the previous note. Continue this sequence until everything has been fixed.

The basic principle behind this is to use the precedent as a guide for your next action. Unlike the previous method, which gives you the freedom to choose what note to check, this one follows a sequence. To some, this is less confusing because they don’t make the mistake of re-doing already corrected sounds.

If it’s your first time to try this out, have an electronic tuner with you or a friend that’s used to doing this. They should be able to coach you during the times that you’re unsure. Eventually, as you get more familiar, you’ll be able to do it all by yourself.

For beginners, here’s a cool video to watch:

Maintaining Your Instrument’s Perfect Pitch

I know that it’s impossible to keep your guitar’s pitch in equilibrium but being able to maintain it for an extended time is a good practice. As a musician, it teaches you responsibility and reminds you to take care of your equipment. Here are a few extra tips to achieve this goal.

Time Frame

Be sure to scrutinize your guitar during practice or before an important gig. If you don’t use it often, a couple of months should be fine. This is to give you a deeper understanding of your instrument, as well as to know how else you can conserve its parts.

Change Strings

Another important step on how to tune a guitar is to replace your strings regularly. Heat or over tension could cause it to stretch more than it should. Regular replenishing should help keep your instrument fresh at all times.

Store It Properly

When not in use, be sure to store your guitar in its case or in a safe location. Temperature can be a major factor, which may cause serious damage to its major parts. To be safe, store it in a place that’s neither too hot, too cold.


I hope that through this short article, you were able to learn how to tune a guitar. I know it may seem difficult at first but, as you get used to doing this on a regular basis, this task should become easier.

If you have any further comments or questions, leave us a message below and I’ll do my best to get back to you.

About the Author Scott

Our site’s main goal is to create a sanctuary for guitar lovers. We want this to be a venue where they’re able to learn fresh ideas, hone their skills, and communicate with other aficionados. More than anything, we want them to freely share their own personal experiences. In that way, we’re not only adding knowledge and skills but preserving their zeal as well.

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