How to tune your guitar with or without a tuner

The easiest way to tune a guitar is with an electronic guitar tuner. You can buy one for about $10 and all you have to do is pop in a battery to get started.

Plug one end of your guitar chord into your guitar, and one end into your tuner. Turn it on.

Then pluck your thickest string and see what note comes up on your tuner. Standard tuning sets up the strings thickest to thinnest-


Depending on where you are, you'll either have to tighten or loosen the string to get to the desired note, in this case - E. If the string starts feeling way too loose you are going in the wrong direction. If the string starts to feel extremely tight and you still haven't reached your target note, you are going in the wrong direction.

Remember the order of notes is just like the alphabet. A - G#.

If your Tuner reads an F and you are trying to get to E, the string is too tight. You have passed E, so loosen the tension of the string.

When properly tuned your strings should feel firm, but have some elasticity to them when you apply pressure with your fingers.

Tuning by ear

If you don't have a tuner, here's how to tune a guitar by ear. This will take a little practice but it's a good skill to learn.

All you need to do is tune the guitar relative to the thickest string.

Top string 5th fret = Next string open

Place your finger on the 5th fret of your thickest string and play that note.

The next string down, when played open, should sound the same.

Tighten or loosen the string until it sounds the same when playing the 5th fret of your top string.

Tune to A diagram

Now repeat the process with the next two strings. The 5th fret = the next string played open.

Tune to D diagram

Continue this process to tune the next string to G.

Tuning to G diagram

The only change is when you are tuning the B string. You will tune this string by playing the fourth fret on the G string.

Tune to B diagram

Back to the fifth fret to get the last string tuned.

Tune to high E diagram

Thats it. You're in business and you didn't even have to use a tuner. Now that you know how to tune a guitar, it's time to learn how to play some chords.

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