How to Tune a Guitar: Basic Tutorial

To play the songs you want and get your music right, it is crucial that your guitar is in tune. Tuning can be an easy or difficult endeavor depending on your experience.

If you do not have a lot of experience in playing the guitar, I recommend that you use a tuner. To know more, read this article of mine about how to tune a guitar.

The Strings

Before you tune a guitar, be familiar with its strings. A common acoustic guitar, whether it is steel or nylon, has six strings.

The thickest string at the top is the E string. Next to it is the A string. And next to that is the D string.

The thinnest string on the bottom is the e string. Above it is the b string. And the following string is the g string.


There are two common methods on tuning a guitar. First is by ear. And second is with the use of a tuner.


If you are going to tune by ear, you need a device or instrument that producesan accurate tone. The best example is a tuning fork.

However, people do not commonly own a tuning fork. A good alternative is an electric piano or a song that you know its pitch well.

In case you want to take the easy way, using a tuner is ideal. Guitar tuners are relatively cheap, and they are always available at any music store.


Each string of the guitar is relatively tuned fourhalf steps or semitones apart (with the exception of g and b) away from the previous or next string. That applies if you want to tune your guitar in standard tuning.

For example, the E string is four semitones away from the A string (F, F#, G, G#). The exceptionsare the g and b strings, which are three semitones away from each other (g#, a, a#).

Using a Tuner

Install your tuner — some needs to be placed on your guitar’s headstock while some needs to be in the sound hole. Turn it on.

The tuner will analyze the pitch of every sound that it will pick up. It will display the pitch’s “letter” on its display or the corresponding LED for the pitch will light up.

Pluck the string that you want to tune. If the tuner display matches with the string’s standard tune, then it is good to go.

If it is not in tune, then use the tuning machines located on the guitar’s headstock to tighten (increase pitch) or loosen (decrease pitch) the string you are checking. Keep at it until you are satisfied that all your strings are in tune.


Once you have followed the instructions here, you can rest assured that whatever song you will play will be in the right tune. Also, I hope that you enjoyed this tutorial. If you do, feel free to comment or share this article about how to tune a guitar.

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