How to Tune an Acoustic Guitar
This article discusses several methods about how to tune an acoustic guitar. Properly tuning is of uttermost importance – do it wrong and you’ll sound bad even with a good quality instrument.
Note that there are different guitar tunings that can be achieved via the several methods of tuning up. Guitar tunings simply refer to the pitches assigned to the open strings of acoustics. There are two main types – standard and alternate.
In standard, the low E, A, D, G, B and high E pitches are assigned in order to the strings, from the thickest to the thinnest. Meanwhile, there are several alternate tunings, referred to via names such as Drop D, Open C, Half Step Down, etc.
This article focuses primarily on standard tuning and how it can be achieved through some methods. This will be updated in the future to include even more tunings and methods.
Using the Online Tuner Above
The online tuner above can be used to achieve both standard and alternate tunings. It presents two methods – by ear or via a digital tuner.
Choosing the ear method gives you a virtual guitar whose strings could be clicked to make a sound. To tune your instrument, simply match it’s sound to the virtual one, like in the video below.
If you choose the digital tuner, you’ll need a microphone or a line in. Then, you just have to follow the intructions on the tool to tune your guitar.
Electronic Acoustic Guitar Tuner
Electronic acoustic guitar tuners are devices that measure the frequencies of strings. To use such, each string’s tuning is adjusted until it displays the correct frequency.
The displays of these tuners vary, but a common type is a needle that shows how close a string is to the right frequency. This kind of tuner is best for visual types of learners. It is also indispensable in noisy gig venues, where it’s particularly hard to tune by ear. That said, you should still learn how to tune by ear just in case your tools fail unexpectedly.
Electronic tuners come in a wide variety. There are some that have adjustable or alternate tunings. There are also a couple where you can plug in a guitar that has a pick up.