How To Tune Your Guitar?

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Generally there are 2 ways:-

(1) 'Manual' tuning - we tune our guitar by ear, by listening and tuning up the strings to the same pitching sounds produced by some external device.

(2) Electronic tuners - This battery-operated device will turn from red to green when the pitching is correct. This much easier of course - we just need to see.


Note Names And Order Of Guitar Strings
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Strings in Standard Tuning numbering from top (thickest string) to bottom(thinnest,closest to floor) :-
6th String - E
5th String - A
4th String - D
3rd String - G
2nd String - B
1st String - E
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Engkau Ada Dengar Gitar Bunyi Elok?


Electronic Tuner - The Easiest And Fastest Way To Go For Beginners

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* Operated by a button cell battery.
* Get tuner that displays both string number and name of the note. Example if tuning 4th string, it will display 4D
* Clip the tuner to the guitar headstock and turn on tuner
* Select mode 'Guitar'. Usually these tuners can also tune 'Violin', 'Ukulele'
* Tune from 'bottom-up' meaning from loose (string) tension to high tension.
* Example - Tuning the 4th string
- find the tuning peg on headstock for 4th string
- turn the peg (in direction) to loosen 4th string tension
- once sting tension is loose, gradually reverse tuning peg direction to tighten string tension
- while turning tuning peg to tighten 4th string tension, at the same time, pluck the 4th string with your right hand once, twice for tuner to detect string vibrations
- ignore early display signals (like 2B,3G.. and wait for 4D to display)
- keep on turning tuning peg slowly while plucking string once, twice
- once 4D displays in red means within correct pitching range.
- continue turn peg slowly until needle approaches at the centre and 4D displays in green.
- That's it. Do the same for the other stings 6E, 5A, 3G, 2B and 1E.
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'Manual Tuning' Takes A Bit Of Practice But Great Training For The Ears And A Cheap Option

The are 2 ways Tuning Guitar by Ears:-
(a) Get a 'manual' tuning device
(b) No device - nothing! Just tune by yourself.



'Manual' Tuning Devices
This is a cheap option - just listen to the sound made by a device, tune your strings to it by ear. Great training for pitch hearing but may need time for a beginner with untrained ears.

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Pitch Pipe(above) for guitar - blow the pipe for the respective string number/name exmple 4D, 4th string D. Listen to the sound, keep humming the note in your head and tune your string gradually in unison with it. It is not difficult. If you can hear people singing off-key, you are probably able to detect/hear the correct key/pitching. Blow the note on the pitch pipe again if you forgot the pitching.

Or, get a friend to play the notes on a Keyboard and tune your guitar strings to pitch with your ears.

Or, go online with your desktop and google 'guitar tuner online'. Select any of the sites, click the string icons and tune your guitar by ears.


Just Tune By Yourself - Need Nothing!

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* Starting on low (thickest) 6th String E, find/turn the tuning peg on the headstock to tighten the 6th string - not too tight but enough to sound out a low (bass) note, assume this is the theoretical low E 6th string note.
- The remaining 5 strings (to tune) will follow or be referenced to this starting low 6th string E.

* To tune the 5th string A:-
- press the 6th string on the 5th fret with your left hand finger. Pluck the note with right hand (this will be the theoretical A note),
- at the same time tune/pluck the 5th string in open position (not pressed at all) to bring in unison with note sounding from 6th string 5th fret. That's it.

* To tune the 4th string D:-
- press the 5th string on the 5th fret with your left hand finger. Pluck the note with right hand (this will be the theoretical D note),
- at the same time tune/pluck the 4th string in open position (not pressed at all) to bring in unison with note sounding from 5th string 5th fret. That's done.

* do the same to tune the 3rd and 1st String except the 2nd string.

* To tune the 2nd string B:-
- press the 3rd string on the 4th fret with your left hand finger. Pluck the note with right hand (this will be the theoretical B note)

Note: Our guitar tuned this manner will not be at the international pitching standard. We need to tune to standard pitching to play with other instruments.


Tuned Guitar Gets Out-Of-Tune

A properly tuned guitar gets out of tune for many reasons:-

1) you may have knocked the tuning heads accisdentally
2) cheap tuning heads often do not lock the strings properly
3) new nylon strings has not 'run in' and stretched often
4)) guitars arriving in parcel packages are not tuned - in fact strings are slackened to reduce tension on the guitar neck.

And many other reasons, read this Why Won't This Guitar Stay In Tune

In any case, tuning a guitar is part and parcel of playing a guitar. You will surely learn to hear the correct pitching and able to fine-tune the guitar if any of the strings get out-of-tune during playing. In the same night, professionals often fine tune their strings a few times after heavy playing and bending. Some guitarists even make detune and tuning part of their act!

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