While the first tip was a simple one, the next few are meant to help you understand how to tune.
Before I state the tip, I’d like to list out a few ways a guitar may be tuned:
- Use a real tuner
- Use a fake tuner – like an iPhone App
- Use a piano or keyboard
- Use another guitar
- Use your own guitar
These are not exhaustive, since you can use really any instrument that can create a sustained note, but are generally the most common. I did not list them in any particular order, though in my experience most people use the last two most often.
I will utilize these methods in my tips.
This next tip involves using your own guitar. When tuning, you must obviously turn the tuning pegs, but with #5 above, you are comparing one string with another. The only way to do that is to hold down one string (usually 5th fret), and pluck another to see if it matches.
The trouble is timing. If you hold down one and listen, but let it go before plucking the next, it will not be as accurate.
Tip 2: Pluck the first string and let it ring while you pluck the next.
This will allow your ear to truly compare the notes produced (I won’t bore you with the cool physics involved).
For instance, when tuning the D, press your finger down on the A string, 5th fret. Pluck the A string, then the D and let them both ring. Don’t take your finger off the A string. This way, you can more clearly hear if the D string is different than the A.
Here’s a video using the D and G string:
The next tip will be related to this one.