Becoming a professional guitarist requires a certain level of dedication. Playing guitar as a hobby is an interesting, fulfilling activity which can help you relax and be alone with your thoughts.
People are generally able to find motivation and relaxation simply from listening to music, so imagine how would it be like to actually reproduce what other people already wrote, or even make your own music after you already gain some experience.
The first basic step is actually getting familiar with tuning your guitar. An improperly tuned guitar is not able to perform well with any melody, no matter how simple it sounds.
Consider buying a suitable and accurate guitar tuner to be able to improve your overall experience. Getting to know your tuner and understanding the basic principle of it can be hard. Some basic knowledge on guitar tuner calibration needs to be understood in the first place.
How to Tune Your Guitar Properly?
In order to tune your guitar, the location and sequence of guitar strings need to be remembered. When looking down at your guitar, and assuming you are going for standard tuning, the guitar string sequence from thickest to thinnest goes as follows: E, A, D, G, B, E.
Electronic guitar tuners offer the best accuracy and they are recommended for beginners. They come with a microphone built-in in order to support acoustic guitars and an input jack for electric guitars.
However, microphones tend to pick up a lot of background noise which can make your readings inaccurate. In order to start tuning, set your tuner to the frequency of 440 Hz.
This frequency is known as “Concert pitch” meaning that frequency is defined as “A” note. If there is no option for this available on your tuner, that means it is set to 440 Hz as default and it can´t be altered.
In order to tune your guitar to something other than standard tuning, a change in the Hz to which your tuner is set may be required. In order to change the Hz setting on your specific tuner, it is recommended that you read your tuner’s user manual.
While electronic guitar tuners with built-in microphones are still popular and very accurate, more and more musicians are utilizing tuners that work off of resonance, or the unique vibration produced by each note. Check out the best of these tuners here.
Plucking Your First String
Your tuner should be able to recognize what string you are strumming. However, if your guitar is completely out of tune, your tuner may not recognize the string properly, or even assign it to a whole different string and frequency. Most tuners offer the function to choose which string are you going to tune so this may not be a big issue.
Strum your string at a medium volume. Plucking too loud may result in wrong frequency being read, and plucking too silently means your sound might not be read at all.
If you want to tune an acoustic guitar, one method that can work well is placing your guitar horizontally in your lap or on another flat surface, and placing your guitar tuner on top of the guitar.
Tuning this way will help to ensure that each sound produced by the guitar is read correctly and it will reduce the amount of background noise the tuner might pick up.
This method works for acoustic guitars the best, but you can even tune an unplugged electric guitar and even a bass without much hassle using this method. However, tuning your guitar in a silent room is your safest bet if you need to tune an acoustic guitar.
The Basics of Tuning
The first note that needs to be tuned is E, the thickest one. Start by strumming it with your guitar plugged in or with the tuner´s microphone nearby. If the tuner does not recognize your strum of the E note, tighten or loosen your string until you reach perfect tune.
For example, your tuner might understand your strum as the D note, which means you need to tighten your E string to tune properly to E.
Most standard tuners operate with a dial which should go to the center when you pluck a string. If the dial goes to the left or to the right, it means your note is either flat or sharp and you need to adjust it further. Usually, a light goes on if your guitar is in tune.
Many notes occur more than once in the musical alphabet. They are essentially the same notes with a higher or lower pitch. Be careful to tune your strings in the correct octave. Tuning in a too low or high octave means your string is too light or too loose. Usually, even a novice guitarist can tell if the octaves are incorrect, as the guitar will sound noticeably out of tune, and not good.
Repeat the whole process for all strings until you are ready to start playing. After gaining, some experience, you will be able to tune your guitar without a tuner, but with the ease of use and accuracy delivered by these popular tuners, you’ll probably never keep your guitar too far from your tuner ever again.