There are several ways of tuning the guitar
- Using an electronic tuner
- Using a tuning whistle
- Tuning by ear
- Using the tuner provided by Gitarrero Beginner
The easiest, but also most costly method is to buy an electronic tuner with a built-in microphone.
When plucking a string, the built-in microphone picks up the sound and either a digital display or a needle - depending on the model - shows the pitch. By turning the tuning machines you can then adjust the strings to the proper pitch.
Another tuning method is using a tuning whistle which can be bought in any music shop.
A tuning whistle has six pipes, each of which represents one of the six open strings. If you, for example, blow the low E pipe you can hear the correct tone and consequently tune the low E-string on your guitar exactly to the tone. It may take a bit of practice, but soon you will be able to judge whether the sound of your string matches that of the whistle.
The most difficult tuning method is tuning by ear.
Unless you have a tuning fork (which will give you the low E), you take the existing pitch of your low E-sting as the basis for tuning the other strings. Hold down the E-string in the fifth fret. This will give you an A, which is equivalent to the sound of the open A-string. Listen and check whether your A-string needs tuning. If not, it should be identical with the A played on the fifth fret of the low E-String. If not, adjust the pitch by turning the tuning machines. The rest of the strings on your guitar are tuned similarly. Always hold down a string in the 5th fret to get the tone of the open string next up. Note: There is one exception: When you tune the B-string, hold down the G-string in the fourth fret, not the fifth.
If you want to use the tuner provided by Gitarrero Beginner, you will use a similar system as the tuning whistle. The only difference is that the tone provided is the actual sound of a guitar, not a whistle. This may make it easier to judge when pitches are identical. This is how you use the tuner of Gitarrero Beginner:
- Load the tuner into the small side frame and ensure that the audio system of your PC is working properly.
- Take your guitar.
- Click on the (high) e-string or the letter "e" in the tuner. The correct tone of the e-string will be played in a loop.
- Keep playing the e-string with your plectrum, possibly in line with the tuner. Try to decide by ear whether the two tones are identical or not. If the string is tuned correctly, the two tones will become one. On the other hand, if you can easily distinguish between the two tones, the string is not yet in tune.
- If the two tones sound different, you should try to judge whether the tone of the string is too high or too low. Adjust the tuning heads accordingly.
- Take your time and keep trying until you are sure that the two tones are identical. It is more important to get it right than complete the tuning process in record time.
- Repeat this procedure with all the other strings. If you can already play the E major chord, do so to check at the end whether all strings are in tune.
- If E major sounds harmonic, everything is ok. If not, you will have to check each string individually.
This article is extracted from the help
section of Gitarrero Beginner - the Software Guitar
School for Beginners The article is included in the
Demo Version. For further information you need the Full
Version of this software, which you can order online.