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How to Tune a Guitar using a Tuning Fork

Learn how to tune a guitar using a tuning fork in this Howcast video.

Instructions

  • Step 1: To tune your guitar with a tuning fork, tap it on a soft surface to make it vibrate and press the bottom end to the body of your guitar to hear the note -- or you can hold the fork up to your ear.
  • TIP: The most common tuning fork is the A fork, but you can also find E tuning forks.
  • Step 2: If you're using an A fork, start with the 5th string and use relative tuning to tune strings 4-1.
  • Step 3: You can tune the 6th string by either matching the sound with the 1st string or with the 5th string, 7th fret. The latter may be a better option since it and the 6th string are close in sound.

Transcript

Another way to tune the guitar is with a tuning fork. A tuning fork is just that. It's a fork that rings notes out. This happens to be an A. This is the most common that you'll find in a store. It's probably 5 or 10 dollars. What I'm going to do is hit it against my knee, then it gives me the note A. You can buy other ones. You could buy an E, which could be useful for us. But, more times than not you're going to find the note A.

So, again, I'm just going to hit it on something soft. If you hit it on the desk or something like that you might actually crack it. You should be careful with that. A nice soft spot like your knee works fine. You could bring it up to your ear or onto the guitar, then you can hear the note A. I'm just trying to match that.

Why am I using my fifth string? Well, that's the A string. I'm trying to match those two notes. Then from there I can tune the rest of the guitar. I'm going to use the same method I did before. I'm going to use my relative tuning.

But, a little problem here is that now it's not my sixth string that's in tune, it's my fifth string. So, I have to be careful and sort of start here. I'm going to come back to that sixth string. Start with the fifth. It's the same concept. I'm going to the fifth fret in order to tune the next string. I'm going to do it again for the fourth string to the third. Then I'm going to go ahead and do the tricky one here which is the fourth fret of the third string in order to tune the second. Then, the fifth for the E.

Now, I still have my sixth string left. There are a couple of ways you can go about this. The first string is E already, so you can use that to tune. That's one way of doing that. Yet another way is the seventh fret of the fifth string is also E, so that's another good way of doing it. The two E's are closer together, so it might be a little easier to hear that. There you go. Now, let's check the chord and make sure. That's it, perfect.

And that's how you might tune with a tuning fork.

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