Tuning a guitar is simple task that every guitarist should know how to do. Even a beginner should know the names of the strings and be able to tune to standard tuning (E A D G B E) without breaking a sweat.
There are multiple ways in how to properly tune a guitar. The most accurate method for tuning is to get an actual tuner, but if you don't have access to a tuner or don't want to shell out $20 for one, there is a manual alternative to keep your guitar sounding fresh. Although this method does not guarantee each string will be the right note, it will make sure all your strings are in tune relative to each other. Here is the simplest way to tune your guitar:
- Start at your top string (the lowest sounding E string). Hold down at the 5th fret and pick the string.
- Now pick the second highest string (the A string). It should sound similar to the 5th fretted E string of the first step. If the note sounds flatter (lower) than the top string, twist the A-string peg at the end of the guitar away from the guitar body to tighten the string and make the note higher. If it sounds sharper (higher), twist the peg towards the body to loosen. Continue picking both strings and adjusting the A-string peg until the two strings sound like one.
- Once the A string is tuned you can move down to the D string. Do the same thing as step 2 to tune the D string using the 5th fret of the A string to tune.
- Repeat step 2 again for the G string using the 5th fret of the D string.
- The B string is a bit different. To make a B on the G string requires you to press down at the 4th fret instead of the 5th. Press down on the 4th fret of the G string and tune the B string.
- The final E string can be tuned to the 5th fret of the B string.
When you have finished tuning all the strings it is a good idea to play some simple chords or strum an easy song you may know to make sure the guitar sounds tuned. If it doesn't, go back and repeat the steps above to fine tune your guitar. This method is easy and reliable and will keep your guitar sounding great.