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Tune an Acoustic Guitar

by dwatk (follow)
Guitar (12)      Music (8)      Tuning (1)      Acoustic Guitar (1)      Instrument (1)     
"Tuning an Acoustic guitar is a breeze."




What do you need to tune a guitar?

You can use any one of the following:

1. A guitar tuner
2. Another musical Instrument
3. The guitar itself


The guitar has a playable section called a Fretboard that contains several Frets, numbered from the Headstock of the guitar's to the body.




The strings are numbered from bottom to top, with the thinnest strings being at the bottom and the thicker ones at the top. The strings are labelled as shown below.



A good acronym for remembering these notes is:
Elephants Always Develop Great Big Ears


The Headstock:
This is the part of the guitar that holds the tuning keys that are needed to tune each string of the guitar.




How to use a guitar tuner?

Firstly, before you tune, the note produced by a string can be higher, lower or on any number of musical notes as illustrated below.
A Guitar tuner actually measures any sound it hears and displays the frequency on a screen or by little red or LED lights.

Every musical note has a precise frequency. Therefore, whenever you play a note the guitar tuner will display the position of that note in relation to the set notes.




Observe that the red arrow falls between C and C#. This means that the string's note is higher than C but lower than C#. You would therefore need to turn the tuning key in order to adjust the pitch to the desired note.

NB. Tightening a string increases the pitch of that string while slackening that string lowers the pitch.

Remember, musical notes are in alphabetical order with the addition of sharps and flats. So, if the sound of your E string is at C, you will need to tighten your string so that the guitar tuner moves from C to C# to D to Eb then to E. (On other tuners you may see a lit green light in the centre of two unlit red lights).
You will know that the string is tuned when the letter indicator becomes green or a needle is centered (depending on the guitar tuner).




If the tuner's needle veers to the left the note on the string is flat. Thus the string needs to be tightened. While, if the needle on the tuner veers to the right, it indicates that the note is sharp and the string needs to be slackened.



Tuning the Guitar
There are at least three basic ways in which you can tune a guitar. By using:

1. Guitar tuner (This can be physical electronic tuner or a virtual guitar tuner on a smart phone or tablet)

2. Another musical Instrument along with your ears

3. The Guitar itself


Using a guitar tuner:

1. Pluck the 6th string (the thickest string) and rotate the first tuning key (on the top of the headstock) anti clockwise to tighten the string until E is registered on the tuner and needle is in the dead centre. If the needle moves to the right of E rotate the tuning key slowly clockwise to loosen the string until you achieve a perfect tune.

2. Continue this action with the remaining 5 strings.

Note: The top three tuning keys rotate anticlockwise to increase the pitch of the note from that string, while the bottom three tuning keys are rotated clockwise to increase the pitch of the note.



Using another Instrument:

1. Use another musical instrument to produce the sound of each string. Strike E on another instrument (such as another guitar or even a piano) first and ensure that the notes are nice and lengthy.

2. Pluck the E string continually and turn its tuning key until both instruments produce the same pitch without any variation whatsoever.

3. Continue this action for the A string and the remaining four.


Using the guitar itself:

Now, if you donít have a guitar tuner or another instrument from which to tune your guitar, donít worry.
Your instrument can still be tuned, and the strings will be in perfect relation to each other on the guitar.

However, the notes that you hold wonít be in the position they should. Therefore if you hold and strum the C chord hand position, the sound you will actually get is a D, B, C# etc. .

1. Tighten the 6th string to a suitable tension.

2. To tune the 5th string, hold and pluck the 6th string of the 5th Fret (in the A position) then use the tone that is produced there to tune the 5th string thatís just below.

3. While playing this note, also alternate the plucking of the 5th string opened. Adjust the tuning key of the 5th string until itísí pitch changes to match that of 6th string that you are also playing.



4. To tune the 4th string, hold and pluck the 5th string of the 5th Fret (in the D position) then use the tone that is produced there to tune the 4th string thatís just below.

5. While playing this note, also alternate the plucking of the 4th string opened. Adjust the tuning key of the 4th string until itísí pitch changes to match that of 5th string that you are also playing.



6. To tune the 3rd string, hold and pluck the 4th string of the 5th Fret (in the G position) then use the tone that is produced there to tune the 3rd string thatís just below.

7. While playing this note, also alternate the plucking of the 3rd string opened. Adjust the tuning key of the 3rd string until itísí pitch changes to match that of 4th string that you are also playing.



8. To tune the 2nd string, hold and pluck the 3rd string of the 4th Fret this time (in the B position) then use the tone that is produced there to tune the 2nd string thatís just below.

9. While playing this note, also alternate the plucking of the 2nd string opened. Adjust the tuning key of the 2nd string until itísí pitch changes to match that of 3rd string that you are also playing.



10. To tune the 1st string, hold and pluck the 2nd string of the 5th Fret (in the E position) then use the tone that is produced there to tune the 3rd string thatís just below.

11. While playing this note, also alternate the plucking of the 1st string opened. Adjust the tuning key of the 1st string until itísí pitch changes to match that of 2nd string that you are also playing.



Remember, using the guitar to tune itself does not guarantee that the notes played will be of the exact frequency or pitch that they should unless you are gifted with perfect pitch.

Happy tuning.




Categories
#Tuning
#Acoustic Guitar
#Guitar
#Music
#Instrument
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Very informative
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