Tuning a Guitar

Creating great guitar music requires an instrument that is in tune. Create More Music wants you playing as soon as possible. Each string of the guitar needs to be tuned to a specific note for your guitar playing to sound its best. In standard six string guitar tuning, the notes for each string are E A D G B E from lowest to highest. To properly tune a guitar, you must determine whether each individual string is too low in pitch, too high in pitch or already perfectly in tune. If a string is too low in pitch, turn the tuning machine clockwise until it comes up to pitch. If the string is too high in pitch, turn the tuning machine counter clockwise until it comes down to the proper pitch. To determine how much higher or lower you need the string to go, use one of the following:
1. An App or Web page
Websites and mobile apps can allow you to tune your guitar. A webpage like 8notes.com will provide a reference pitch for each string of the guitar.  

  • Play the sound of each string from the webpage
  • Adjust the tuning pegs on your guitar until the notes of each string perfectly match the pitches coming from your computer or mobile phone

There are also many apps including PanoTuner and Guitar Tuna that act as traditional tuners.

  • Place the tuner on the headstock the guitar
  • Turn the tuner on
  • Play individual strings and adjust the tuning pegs until you are in tune.

This method is simple, convenient since you can download the app or visit the website on your phone or tablet, and doesn’t require any additional musical equipment. However it is not convenient for performance settings.

2. Guitar Pedal Tuner
On stage many guitarists use tuner pedals. These pedals require your guitar to have a 1/4″ output jack and for you to have a 9 volt power source for the pedal.

  • Plug your guitar into the pedal with an instrument cable
  • Press the foot pedal to turn the pedal on
  • Play each string individually and adjust the tuning pegs

These are perfect for acoustic guitarists that have a pickup installed in their guitar or for electric guitarists with a pedal board. However they cannot be used on instruments without a pickup and they can be quite expensive ($100)

3. Clip on Tuner
Electronic clip on tuners attach to the headstock of your guitar and use the vibration of the instrument to detect the current pitch of each string.

  • Place the tuner on the headstock the guitar
  • Turn the tuner on
  • Play individual strings and adjust the tuning pegs until you are in tune.

Clip on tuners are perfect for acoustic and electric guitars. They use the vibrations of the instrument so you can tune an acoustic guitar without a pickup or an electric guitar that is not plugged in. This is particularly helpful when performing or playing in a band setting because it allows you to tune using very low to little volume.  Clip on tuners are typically more affordable than tuner pedals.

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