Topic: need help tuning

hey i'm very new to the whole guitar scene i

know how to play some songs but i can't tune

my guitar if you paid me to lol i have a

washburn acoustic guitar no pick up do i have

to try to tune it by ear or are there tuners

for my kind of guitar i'm new so please don't

make fun lol  <img src="images/smiley_icons/icon_lol.gif" border=0 alt="Laughing">

Re: need help tuning

Do like most of a tuner..chromatic digital tuners are the best.. it'll show you the note of each string as well as make it easier to experiment with alternate tunings... <img src="images/smiley_icons/icon_biggrin.gif" border=0 alt="Very Happy">

Re: need help tuning

make sure you tune it every day with a tuner into concert pitch, if you haven't blasted away your ears you will be amazed at how quick you hear the notes.

You can look for the vibration in the harmonic, pluck the 6th E (the biggest one) with your right hand as a finger from your left hand is gently laying on and pulling off at the 5th fret directly above the metal. Do the same on the 5th string 7th fret. Both are a harmonic E if one string is higher or lower than the other the vibration is faster, as the strings get closer to being in tune then the speed of the vibration slows to dissapearing when correct. There are other harmonics on the other strings but the best way is always a tuner. <img src="images/smiley_icons/icon_smile.gif" border=0 alt="Smile">

Re: need help tuning

Personally I prefer a high quality analog tuner if you're only playing by yourself.  They're easier to read imo and a tad more accurate.  either way, practice is the best way to train the ear

Re: need help tuning

Hi there everyone,

I am a very low level guitar player, my theory is much higher than my practical ability at this point (an embarassing difference I might add). I would really like to be able to identify notes by ear, be able to tune my guitar by ear (or least be closer to the actual tuning). At present, I can figure out when it's wrong and when it's close, but <b>need the tuner </b>to figure out when it's right. I would really like to not rely on it so much. Does anyone have suggestions to training your ears?

Thanks so much

<img src="images/smiley_icons/icon_confused.gif" border=0 alt="Confused">

Re: need help tuning


I can tune, or nearly tune a guitar by ear ( always out slightly but good enough)

takes years i tihnk. Get the note of c or F in your head. relate it to other sounds. i.e. years ago the "dead tone" on a tlelphone was the note C ( not sure if it still is) I used to pick the phone up and listen to that and tune the note C to that for begining with to train my ear to that sound.

Also , thin kof songs that are tuned, I.e. AC dc tunes, pick a song and learn it of by heart, every time ytou go to tune, think of your chosen song.

And lastly, learn a silly wee tune like yankie doddle dandy etc, lean it note perfect, and tune your guitar accordingly.

hope that helps


ye get some that are cut out for the job and others just get by from pretending

Re: need help tuning

Re: need help tuning

Hi. you can get tuners that cater for both acoustic and electric. they don't cost much either, so they're worth while getting. some people can tune by ear, but this normally takes a while of getting used to what to listen out for.

you may have noticed that once you tune your first (the top E string) up, if you play it on the fifth fret, you should get the same sound as when you play the next string down (the A). likewise, then you hold the A at the 5th fret, you should get the same sound as when you play the next string down (the D). This is generally how to tell when your strings are in/out of tune

Re: need help tuning

thank you Ken <img src="images/smiley_icons/icon_biggrin.gif" border=0 alt="Very Happy">

Re: need help tuning

(and blindacre)thanks a bunch

Re: need help tuning

any time <img src="images/smiley_icons/icon_smile.gif" border=0 alt="Smile">

Re: need help tuning

Hi, as i said in my other message to the original post, you may have realised that:

once properly tuned,

* your 6th string (E) when played at the 5th fret will sound the same as the next string down (the A)

* Your 5th string (A) when played at the 5th fret will sound the same as the next string down (the D)

* Your 4th string (D) when played at the 5th fret will sound the same as the next string down (the G)

*your 3rd string (G) when played at the 4th fret will sound the same as the next string down (the B)

* your 2nd string (B) when played at the 5th fret will sound the same as the next and final string down (the E)

Alternatively, i could send you (on friday) a diagram of 'bar theory,' which shows where the different, and the same notes can be found on the neck of the guitar.

If you are a relatively new player, tuning by ear may just be something that will take time and experience (you will need to take time to know what that E string sounds like by memory.

but remember, some professional guitarist always rely on tuners. not everyone can do this. it's just a bonus if you do.

i hope this helps you


Re: need help tuning

I played for about 20 years by just tuning from the E string and occaisionally finding correct pich from someone else. I very rarely played with any one (still a problem today) so the E became flatter over time ( same strings for a year or more:blush:). It completely wrecked my ear and ability to play along. It has taken at least 5 years ( although I play everyday I don't practice very often) of religious concert pitch tuning with a Tuner (some available for free on google) to be able to start putting things in the right key and recognize key changes ( I still can't fully spot major chords with my ear without trying to play them as some people can.  <img src="images/smiley_icons/icon_rolleyes.gif" border=0 alt="Rolling Eyes">

Re: need help tuning

oh yeah, another way is using your harmonics on the fret board,

the harmonic on the E string 5th fret is the same note as the harmonic on the 7th fret on the A string.

the harmonic on the 5th fret of the A string is the same as the 7th on the D.

harmonis on the 5th on the D, same as 7th on the G

The 5th on the G is not the same as the 7th on the B

but the %th on the B is the same as the 7th on the E.


also, the harmonic on the 12th fret of each string is the same as playing the note on the  7th fret on the string down from it apart from the B string, you play the 8th fret while plucking the harmonic on the 12th of the G string.

make sense? lol


ye get some that are cut out for the job and others just get by from pretending

Re: need help tuning

thanks a bunch eveyone,

suppose your responses led to another quiry...I have been trying to tune as Chris has mentioned above, using the tuner to get the e string right off the bat, then guess going from there, attempting to work it out, checking and adjusting everything with the tuner when I think I have it. I have fairly new strings (4 months) and was told it was going to take a while to stretch, hold a tune and to be prepared to tune it often. Which is fine, but when it that going to stop? It seems like by the time they're done stretching, it'll be time for new strings. How often do I have to change them?

thanks a bunch,


Re: need help tuning

good question. i suppose the more you play, the faster they'll strecth. 4 months should have been plenty of time. i think you'll know they've stretched when you can play a few songs and still be in tune afterwards. It also depends what music you play. if you're into solo stuff with lots of bends and tricks with the whammy bar, it's going to de-tune faster than if you're a finger picker or strummer.

Re: need help tuning

I play my guitar daily.

I change my strings about every 3  or 4 months but have been known to change them after 2 months.

also depends on the strings you use, cheap crappy ones will need changing quicker.


ye get some that are cut out for the job and others just get by from pretending

Re: need help tuning

Many factors come in to play when determining when it's time to change your strings. If tuning is becoming more difficult it's probably time to change. Outside playing in a humid climate causes more rapid string wear than an indoor climate controlled enviroment. The amount of perspiration on your strings is a factor. I've found also that string cleaning agents such as fast fret and the like break down the life of your strings. The best thing to do, I've found, is to wipe your strings down with a small dry towell between sessions. Another neat little trick is to apply pencil lead on the bridge and nut before you replace your stings. This gives a smoother gliding surface and prevents "pinging" when trying to get optimal tuning.

Give everything but up.

Re: need help tuning

I use my V-Amp 2s tuning function when it's there and I can be bothered to turn it on.

My main advice is get used to tuning with harmonics. It's much easier to hear the speed up and slow down of the interference waves at the higher frequencies.

Start by taking the string you're tuning low and then tune it up. This helps keep the tuning longer.

Always check back through and fine adjust if necessary. As other strings tighten or loosen the change in tension can put strings you've already tuned out. This is especially true when you're putting new strings on. On some guitars with thinner necks this can even make a difference on daily tuning.

If you're finding that the guitar doesn't keep it's tune for very long it could be that you may need to pay more attention when stringing it.

When you put new strings on put the string through the hole. Hold the string up and tight a couple of inches above the fret board with the thumb middle and ring fingers of your right hand while holding it firmly against the nut with the index finger. Wind the key keeping the tension on the string at all times. Direct the string so the first wind around the peg goes over the end poking out of the hole and then all the subsequent winds go below.

Just once more as it's important... Keep steady tension on the string at all times gradually lowering your fingers as you wind.

To start with you may occasionally find that you end up double winding at the end, particularly on the larger strings. This is not good as the overwound strings move against each other over time throwing the tuning out. You soon get an idea of exactly how much spare string to push through the hole at the start of the process for each different string.