- How To -
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The Easy way
Using a Guitar Tuner
There are all sorts of tuners, you can buy a tuner from a music shop or download a guitar tuner app on your phone.
If you're using a physical guitar tuner. plug it in as it'll be more accurate because it picks up the signal directly. If you're using a tuning app then the microphone on the phone will pick up the guitar when you pluck the string.
Starting from the low E string, pluck it and let the note ring while you see how it is registered on the tuner. If the needle is too far to the left that means it's 'flat' and you need to slowly turn the tuning peg anticlockwise.
If the needle is too far to the right then you need to turn the machine head for the E string clockwise. You'll know if you're turning it the right way as you will hear it get higher or lower in pitch.
The hard way
This is a way to tune your guitar without a tuner, but will only tune the guitar to itself . This depends on the note you're tuning it to.
Start by pressing down fret 5 on the low E string and picking it so it rings out, while that note is ringing you have to hit the next string below it so they ring together.
If the guitar is in tune with itself then both notes are the same note so they will sound like one note, if they clash then you have to use the tuning peg to lower or heighten the 'A' string so that it matches.
You can repeat this on all of the strings except for the B string, for this one as usual you will hit the string above it (the A string) but instead of fret. you will hit fret 4 and tune to that note. Do these steps for a quick tune up as well as a great ear training exercise.
The above method of tuning with a tuner will only work if the string is already on the correct note, for example if you pluck the high 'e' string and it says 'd', then you need to tune it all the way up to the 'e' note and then get the needle in the middle.
If the string is too sharp, then lower it further down than you need to and tune up to the note instead of tuning down. This will prevent it from slipping and going out of tune more quickly.
If the strings are old, they're less likely to hold a tune so you should change your strings every few months, or more if you're a regular player. Changes in temperature also hugely effect the guitars tune so if you take it outside on a cold day it'll go out of tune easily.