Guitar Tuning

Objectives

1. Learn to tune the guitar with the Fifth Fret Method.
2. Learn how to tune a 7-string guitar.
3. Use reference pitches to tune your guitar.

Introduction

Tuning the guitar can be done in several ways. I recommend getting an electronic tuner to ensure you are tuned to the proper pitch.  Whether or not you have a tuner, you should know at least one method of tuning your guitar from a reference pitch.  This lesson will give you the most common method of tuning as well as audio files to properly tune your guitar (including 7-strings).

Fifth Fret Method

1 Fret the fifth fret of the sixth string, the Low E String (pictured).  Play the fifth and sixth string.  Match the pitch of the fifth string to the pitch of the sixth string.
Tuning the Fifth String from the Sixth String
Tuning the Fifth String from the Sixth String
Fretting the Fifth Fret of the Sixth String
Fretting the Fifth Fret of the Sixth String
2 Listen for a beating or pulsating between the two strings.  The faster the beating, the more out of tune it is.  
Adjust the A string until there is virtually no beating.  
Hold the fifth fret of the fifth string, A string.  Play the fourth and fifth string.  Match the pitch of the fourth string to the pitch of the fifth string.
Tuning the Fourth String from the Fifth String
Tuning the Fourth String from the Fifth String
 Hold the fifth fret of the fourth string, D string.  Play the third and fourth string.  Match the pitch of the third string to the pitch of the fourth string.
Tuning the Third String from the Fourth String
Tuning the Third String from the Fourth String
 Hold the fourth fret of the third string, G string.  Play the second and third string.  Match the pitch of the second string to the pitch of the third string.
Tuning the Second String from the Third String
Tuning the Second String from the Third String
7 Hold the fifth fret of the second string, B string.  Play the first and second string. Match the pitch of the first string to the pitch of the second string.
Tuning the First String from the Second String
Tuning the First String from the Second String

Fifth Fret Method on a Seven String Guitar

Seven string guitars add a Low B string.  It can be tuned by matching the pitch on the fifth fret of the seventh string to the pitch of the open sixth string.

Tuning a Seven String Guitar
Tuning a Seven String Guitar

Tuning from a Reference Pitch 

Without a properly tuned string, the fifth fret method will not work.  To help you get the proper pitches, I've included audio for all the strings including the seventh string.

String Number
Audio
1 (High E)
2 (B)
3 (G)
4 (D)
5 (A)
6 (Low E)
7 (Low B)
(if applicable)
You can also purchase a tuning fork, pitch pipe, or use another instrument to provide a reference pitch to help tune your guitar.
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