How To

How To Tune A Guitar


How To Tune A Guitar

Share this article
How To Tune A Guitar

How To Tune A Guitar

Mastering the Art of Guitar Tuning: A Step-by-Step Guide to Standard American English Tuning


The guitar, an iconic instrument revered for its unparalleled versatility and enchanting melodies, occupies a prominent position in the realm of music. However, to fully harness the true potential of this beloved instrument, it is imperative to master the art of proper tuning. Among the plethora of tuning variations, Standard American English tuning stands out as the cornerstone of countless musical genres, from country and blues to rock and pop. By embarking upon this comprehensive guide, you will acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to tune your guitar precisely, ensuring that every note played resonates with the intended pitch.

Understanding the Standard American English Tuning

Standard American English tuning, also known as E-A-D-G-B-E tuning, refers to the specific arrangement of notes assigned to each string of the guitar. Beginning with the thickest string, the strings are tuned in the following order:

  • 6th String (Lowest Pitch): E
  • 5th String: A
  • 4th String: D
  • 3rd String: G
  • 2nd String: B
  • 1st String (Highest Pitch): E

Tools Required for Guitar Tuning

To embark on the guitar tuning process, you will require the following essential tools:

  • Electronic Tuner: An electronic tuner is an indispensable device that provides an accurate visual or audio indication of the guitar’s pitch.
  • Tuning Fork: A tuning fork emits a specific pitch when struck, which can be used as a reference for tuning the guitar’s strings.
  • Pitch Pipe: Similar to a tuning fork, a pitch pipe produces a specific pitch, allowing you to tune your guitar by ear.

Methods of Guitar Tuning

There are two primary methods of guitar tuning:

1. Using an Electronic Tuner

  • Step 1: Attach the electronic tuner to the guitar’s headstock or soundhole.
  • Step 2: Pluck the 6th string (E) and observe the tuner’s display.
  • Step 3: Turn the tuning peg for the 6th string until the tuner indicates that the string is in tune (typically displayed as "E" on the tuner’s screen).
  • Step 4: Repeat this process for each remaining string, moving from the 5th string (A) to the 1st string (E).

2. Tuning by Ear

  • Step 1: Identify a reference pitch, such as from a tuning fork or pitch pipe.
  • Step 2: Pluck the 6th string (E) and adjust the tuning peg until the string matches the reference pitch.
  • Step 3: Compare the pitch of the 5th string (A) to the 6th string (E) by plucking them simultaneously. Adjust the 5th string until it sounds "perfect" in relation to the 6th string.
  • Step 4: Repeat this process for each remaining pair of strings, using the previously tuned string as a reference for the next.

Tips for Accurate Guitar Tuning

  • Stretch the Strings: Before tuning, gently stretch each string to remove any slack and ensure proper intonation.
  • Tune in a Quiet Environment: Minimize background noise to enhance your ability to hear the guitar’s pitch accurately.
  • Use a Fresh Battery: Electronic tuners require a fresh battery to function optimally.
  • Check the Tuner’s Calibration: Ensure that your electronic tuner is calibrated to the correct pitch (typically A-440 Hz).
  • Practice Regularly: Consistent practice will improve your ear training and make tuning by ear easier.


1. What is the purpose of guitar tuning?

Guitar tuning ensures that the strings are all in the correct pitch, allowing the guitar to produce harmonious and accurate notes.

2. How often should I tune my guitar?

Regular tuning is recommended before each playing session, especially if the guitar has been exposed to temperature changes or significant playing time.

3. Can I tune my guitar with a piano?

Yes, you can tune your guitar using a piano as a reference. Match the pitch of the 6th string (E) to the lowest E note on the piano and proceed to tune the remaining strings accordingly.

4. Why does my guitar go out of tune?

Factors such as temperature changes, humidity, string stretching, and playing style can cause the guitar’s intonation to shift, resulting in detuning.

5. What are the benefits of tuning my guitar by ear?

Tuning by ear develops your musical ear and improves your ability to identify and match pitches, which is beneficial for both guitar playing and overall musical development.


Mastering the art of guitar tuning in Standard American English is a fundamental skill for any aspiring guitarist. By understanding the tuning process, utilizing the appropriate tools, and following the outlined tips, you can ensure that your guitar always produces the intended pitches, allowing you to fully harness its musical potential. Remember, regular practice and a keen ear will elevate your tuning skills and enhance your overall playing experience. Embrace the journey of guitar tuning, and unlock the boundless possibilities that lie within this captivating instrument.