Tuning the guitar

Tuning your guitar


Are you just starting out, and don’t know how to get your guitar tuned up?

When you learn to play the guitar, tuning your guitar is one of the most important things to learn how to do. If your guitar doesn’t sound good, you won’t want to play it, and no one else will want to hear it either! Like anything else, it takes a little practice at first.

The first thing you need to know are the names of the notes that are on the open strings (the strings without any fingers pressed down). You have to know where you are going to before you get there, right? Otherwise, you’ll end up somewhere else.

There are a couple of memory devices that people use to remember the names of the open strings. The first letter of each word is the name of your open string. You should use whichever one you think you’ll remember easiest – or make up your own if you feel like it! I’m sure there are others out there, but these are the two that I use with my students…


There are several ways to tune your guitar. In these videos, you’ll learn how to use your tuner effectively.

In the near future, I will also put together a video where you’ll learn how to tune by ear. What happens if your batteries die? Yup, you’ll need to do it yourself!  So, stay tuned for that.

I’ll leave the nitty gritty details for the video – it’s not too complicated. I would like to mention some tips to smooth your path, however.


In lessons, many of my students will turn the tuning pegs 5-10 times when all they really need to do is make one long turn to smoothly cruise in to the note that they want.

To do this, twist your elbow towards the tuning pegs – kind of like trying to poke your buddy to your left with your elbow if that makes sense. When you get in this position, just make one long, smooth turn. This is much easier, check it out!

As you get used to tuning, you’ll probably find out that you’ll sometimes get stuck when you’re extremely close to the note – but not quite there yet.

When I’m in that situation, I’ll lower the note a bit. Then – like I said in the last tip – you can smoothly cruise in to the note.  You’ll be surprised how well this works. This works for both tuning situations – using a tuner, as well as tuning by ear, which will be covered at a later point.

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Tuning your guitar

Tuning your guitar – pt 2

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