Tuning Your Guitar
Tuning a guitar is a necessity for guitar owners and guitarist. When you are a new guitar owner you will want to know the fundamentals of tuning your guitar by ear. This article is about tuning your guitar with a guitar tuner. But to find out how to tune your guitar by ear check out this article.
There are many different guitar tuners. Back in the day, There were tuners that worked off of sound. You would plug your guitar into it. If there was a lot of noise it was hit or miss if your guitar would be in tune.
Now there are tuners that work off of vibration of the guitar. There are tuners that come with a built in metronome. Periodically you may need to use the metronome. This type of tuner you can use the tuner and Metronome together or separately.
Finally we have the clip on guitar tuner. This type of tuner is the best thing since sliced bread. The clip on guitar tuner cuts the task of tuning your guitar in half and has made tuning the guitar so easy. Last of all it is a fraction of the price.
There are several different name brands of guitar tuners. See the YourGuitarGuide.com Gear Shop for some great picks.
First off the clip on tuner does just that, it clips onto the neck of the guitar at the headstock. Second thing that makes the clip on tuner great is the fact that it works off of vibration from the guitar. Hence you don’t have to worry about if you are in a loud venue whether or not you will be able to tune your guitar.
String Tension and Pitch on Your Guitar
The guitar has a bridge at one end and at the top of the neck a nut that the strings go through and stop at the tuning peg. The tuning pegs are used to adjust the string tension that also adjusts the pitch of the string. The pitch of the string has an inherent tone when the string is plucked.
When you tune your guitar you need to know the inherent pitch of the strings when they are in tune. Standard tuning from the bottom string is: E A D G B E, That is from the 6th string up to the high E string. When you tune a guitar the object is to get the pitch of the strings back in tune.
There are several reasons why a guitar would get out of tune. One common issue is the climate and humidity. Which is detrimental to your instrument. Here is an article that explains what can happen to your guitar when there is to much humidity or a lack of humidity.
Bending guitar strings a lot when you play causes the strings to become out of tune. Furthermore using a capo can cause your guitar to become out of tune. These are just a few reasons you will want to learn how to tune your guitar.
Guitar strings can get out of tune either above the pitch or below the pitch. If the guitar string is above the pitch then it is Sharp and if the pitch is low it is flat. For example: The A, string when plucked is showing on the tuner an A# which indicates that the string is above the pitch and it needs to be flattened to get back to A.
As aforementioned a clip on tuner clips to the headstock. The tuner has a digital display that shows when the guitar is in tune with the proper string. The display either has a needle that moves to the center of the lettered note or the display changes color.
On this type of tuner there is usually a plus or minus sign denoting whether the string is sharp or flat. Or has the note on the display and then turns colors when it is in tune.
For example: If you were tuning the low E string the guitar tuner may show a “D#,” and it might be in red. This indicates that the string pitch is low or flat. You would need to turn the tuning peg to raise the string pitch and tension to E. Then when you adjust the tuning peg the E appears on the guitar tuner display and it is green when its in tune.
Steps to Tuning Your Guitar with a Digital Tuner
Clip the guitar tuner firmly on the headstock of the guitar. Rotate the head of the tuner towards you so you can see the display. Turn the tuner on.
Always start with the low E string when your tuning your guitar. Pluck the string using either a pick or your thumb. Let the string ring out. The guitar tuner will display what pitch the string is at. You want it to be E. If it does not show E you need to adjust the tuning peg that is located on the headstock for that string.
Turning the tuning peg away from you tightens the string. Therefore turning the tuning peg towards you loosens the string. If the pitch is high or sharp then you want to turn the peg towards you to loosen the tension on the string.
If the string is flat you want to tighten the the tension on the string and turn the tuning peg away from you. This will raise the pitch. Once you have the E string in tune continue to the next string. Use the same process working your way up to the high E string.
When you are adjusting the pitch of the string it may take a couple of plucks of letting the string ring out to get the correct pitch. Turn the tuning pegs slowly and watch the guitar tuner display to get the string in tune.
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