How to Tune Your Guitar Using Relative Tuning

Learn how to tune your guitar using relative tuning in this Howcast video.


There is many ways to tune your guitar. Maybe your home and you don't have anyway to get a note to tune. So we're going to tune the guitar to something close alright but the guitar itself is going to be in tune. That is called relative tuning. So, how do I know my guitar is out of tune? Well, maybe I learned a chord, I learned G and I played it and it sounded like this. That can't be right so the standard way of doing this is your six string is probably not going to move too far out of tune. So what we're going to do is we're going to use that to start tuning the rest of the guitar. So that note is E and now I'm going to take that E and I'm going to try and tune the 5th string A to that. What I'm going to do is use a little pattern and the reason why it works is because this note is A on the 6th string. I'm going to use this A, which is in tune, to go ahead and tune my A string which is out of tune. So I play that one note and then I go ahead and play that string. That's not right. To me it sounds too low so I'm going to bring it up, slowly and barely turn this and now. It is still a little bit out. Maybe hold it down still and use your other hand to tune it. There you go. Now I got my 6th string, the E string, in tune and I got my A string in tune. Now I'm going to use my A string the 5th string to tune the 4th string. Your going to go the very same spot on the guitar but on the 5th string. Lets just recap. We went on the 5th threat of the 6th string in order to tune the 5th string. We're going to the 5th threat of the 5th string in order to tune the 4th string. We're going to go through the same thing. Here is my note in tune. There is my other note. Cant be right. To me that sounds lower, its getting worse. Go in different directions to see which way is it getting better. There it is, it is up to pitch. So now we have the 6th string in tune, the 5th string in tune, the 4th string in tune, now we are going to use the 4th string in order to tune the 3rd string. It is the exact same way. Your going to go to the 5th threat of the 4th string and play that note and then play the 3rd string by itself. To me that sounds higher so I am going to try and bring that down. This is a moment when your ears may fool you because these three strings, the bottom strings, have windings on them. These other three have no windings on them so they can sound a little thinner. What happens is your ear can fool you by saying this sounds higher but it is not higher it is a different sound, a different tone. We've tuned the 6th, we've tuned the 5th, we've tuned the 4th, we've tuned the 3rd and now we are going to tune the 2nd. You have to be careful because here I'm not going to go to the 5th thread, I'm going to go to the 4th thread. I'm going to play that note, to me it sounds lower so I will bring it up a little. Then finally the last string we are going to use the exact same method except I'm using the 5th threat. Now lets go back to that G chord and see if its tune. Much better. So that's how you tune a guitar. If you have no other way you can use your guitar to tune itself.

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