Electric Guitar Tuning Tips

Electric Guitar Tuning Tips

The electric guitar has become one of the most popular and used instruments after the rock revolution promoted its use in modern music. Tuning it can be very tricky, especially for beginners. This article gives you tips on how to do it the right way.
The electric guitar is played on the same principles as the acoustic guitar, and hence has the same tuning methodology. The most difficult way to do it is to tune it by the ear, since it requires a lot of practice and also a very well-developed musical ear. Many guitar experts who are endowed with such exceptional skills, can tune their electric guitars more accurately than a tuner.

The Process:-
  • The 6th string (the fattest of all) is tuned using an E note.
  • The 5th String is tuned to an A note
  • The 4th string is tuned to a D note
  • The 3rd string is tuned to a G note
  • The 2nd string is tuned to a B note
  • The last string is also tuned to an E note, however in guitar music sheets it is denoted with a 'e' note. This note is on a higher octave as compared to the 6th string.
It must be noted that though the first string and the last string are of different sizes, and occur in different octaves, they should sound one and the same. It is recommended that one has the 6th string, that is the E string, in tune. The other strings can be tuned with the help of the E string as the guiding note. First, one needs to tune the A string, that is the 5th string. The 5th fret of the E string plays the A note, which is corresponding to the A string. Now, as the A string is out of tune, when played, it won't match the A note. The A string which is out of tune, produces a small 'wah' sound when it is played. Go on tightening or loosening the string till the 'wah' sound is not heard. Then play the A note and the A string, and try to further tune the string fine. Fine tuning is more difficult than getting the note right. This same process is to be repeated with all the strings. However, different, corresponding notations need to be followed.
  • The 5th fret of the A string produces the D note that can be used to tune the D string that is right below the A string.
  • The 7th fret of the D string produces the G note with the help of which the G string can be tuned.
  • The 4th fret of the G string, that produces the B note can be used to tune the B string.
  • The simplest way to tune the highest E or the 'e' string is to take a guidance from the 6th String that is the E note.
Electric guitar tuning is not very durable and the strings go out of tune very quickly. Hence, make it a point to tune the guitar every time you pick it up to have a jam. You can also tune it with the help of several other instruments such as the keyboards or the bass guitar. Also, there are two other relatively simple methods of doing it. The first one is to use an electric guitar tuner which is available in many forms. The most common forms are the clip-ons and the plug-ins. The clip-on electric guitar tuner is relatively cheap. The LED lights on the tuner act as guides and instruct the player whether to tighten or loosen the strings. The clip-on tuner can also be used to tune an acoustic guitar or a bass guitar. While using the plug-in tuner, one has to plug the guitar to the tuner and then follow the instructions of the tuner. Guitar effect processors, also have very effective inbuilt tuners.

However, the most effective way is to tune your electric guitar by the ear. Some of the tools that can be used are the pitch-pipe or the mouth organ, also known as the harmonica.
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