Tuning the Guitar

One of the most important (and sometimes most difficult) things to do is to get your guitar in tune. If it is not in tune it really won’t sound right even if you are playing everything correctly. Learning how the strings are supposed to sound takes a lot of time, but don’t let that discourage you. Electronic tuners are inexpensive and are one of the most valuable investments you will ever make as a musician.

If you don’t have an electronic tuner, here’s a simple video that will help you get your guitar in tune...


Tuning Tips

The tuning above is called “standard tuning,” because this is the most commonly used tuning for the guitar. There are many other tuning variations that can be used but standard tuning is the best place to start. When you decide to try some other tunings you can find alternate tunings and chords on the ezFolk guitar tutorial page.

Notice that the notes the open strings are to be tuned to are written on the left side of the first line of tablature. For standard tuning these are:

E - 1st string

B - 2nd string

G - 3rd string

D - 4th string

A - 5th string

E - 6th string (2 octaves lower than the 1st string)


Learning to tune the guitar is a skill that must be developed as you train yourself to what sounds right and what doesn’t sound right. Just as your playing will improve over time with continued practice, your ability to tune the guitar will develop over a long period of time as you develop an ear for the proper sounds. Taking guitar lessons at takelessons.com can be very helpful in developing your ear and regulating practices.

Always listen to the note you are going to tune along with first, and then pluck your string to match the sound.

When tuning a string, be sure to pluck the string with your right hand as you turn the tuning peg so that you can hear the sound. Be sure to continually sound the string to ensure you are not tuning it too high, thus possibly breaking the string.

If you can’t tell whether the pitch of the string is too high or too low, tune the string down to a point you know is LOWER than the correct pitch, and then tune up until you reach the right pitch.