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Different methods of tuning the guitar give slightly different results. Your preferred method will depend both on what is easy and convenient for you and on what you want the result to sound like.


There are several different popular methods for tuning a guitar. All are adequate, but you will probably find that some are either more convenient for you or easier for you to hear well. Also, the results of each method are slightly different. For the beginning guitarist who is just practicing alone, it is most important to choose a tuning method that is easy and convenient. But as you start to play with other people or become more picky about how your guitar sounds, the results of the different tuning methods will be more important to you.

Pitch pipes

There are pitch pipes available (check your local guitar supplier) that give the pitches for all six strings; you simply match the pitch of each string to the appropriate pipe.

Pitch pipes are inexpensive (say, compared to an electronic tuner) and easy to use even for young beginners. They are small and easy to bring along.

Pitch pipes do not have as clear and precise a pitch as a tuning fork, piano, or electronic tuner, and their pitches are equal temperament . (See the discussion in the keyboard section, below , for more about guitars and equal temperament.) Advanced players often find the result dissatisfying.

Electronic tuner

Also available are electronic tuners that can also give you each of the individual pitches you need for all six strings. Electronic tuners also have a setting that allows to you check a sound to see whether it is flat, sharp, or on pitch.

Electronic tuners have a more precise pitch than a pitch pipe and some people find the feature that lets them check their pitch useful. Some are large, but plenty are small and easy to bring along.

Electronic tuners are quite expensive, however, and require batteries or an electrical outlet. Also, they are set to give equal temperament tuning (see the discussion below ) and some people have trouble tuning to a thin, electronic tone. It is generally not worth the expense to get an electronic tuner just to tune a guitar.


If an electronic keyboard or a well-tuned piano is available, this can also be an easy way to tune the guitar. Be aware that guitar music actually sounds one octave lower than written, so the highest guitar string, for example, is only the E above middle C, not the E an octave and a third above middle C, as it is written.

Tuning to a keyboard

The open strings of the guitar (the six red notes) span two octaves from the E above middle C to the E two octaves below that.

Pianos and keyboards give a precise, clear, loud pitch that is easy to tune to. This can be a good choice for beginners who have a keyboard available, or for guitarists who are going to be practicing or performing with a keyboard player.

Obviously, this method is not useful when a keyboard is not available. But there is also the issue of exactly how you want your guitar to be tuned. Keyboards use equal temperament , which is basically the official tuning system of modern Western music. This tuning system became so popluar and widely used, in fact, precisely because it is so good for keyboard instruments; it is designed so that an instrument that uses it will play equally in tune no matter what key it plays in. This is very important for instruments like pianos and harps which cannot retune easily or quickly.

Questions & Answers

Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
what school?
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
Damian Reply
sciencedirect big data base
Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
Praveena Reply
what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
characteristics of micro business
for teaching engĺish at school how nano technology help us
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
there is no specific books for beginners but there is book called principle of nanotechnology
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.
what is the Synthesis, properties,and applications of carbon nano chemistry
Abhijith Reply
Mostly, they use nano carbon for electronics and for materials to be strengthened.
is Bucky paper clear?
carbon nanotubes has various application in fuel cells membrane, current research on cancer drug,and in electronics MEMS and NEMS etc
so some one know about replacing silicon atom with phosphorous in semiconductors device?
s. Reply
Yeah, it is a pain to say the least. You basically have to heat the substarte up to around 1000 degrees celcius then pass phosphene gas over top of it, which is explosive and toxic by the way, under very low pressure.
Do you know which machine is used to that process?
how to fabricate graphene ink ?
for screen printed electrodes ?
What is lattice structure?
s. Reply
of graphene you mean?
or in general
in general
Graphene has a hexagonal structure
On having this app for quite a bit time, Haven't realised there's a chat room in it.
what is biological synthesis of nanoparticles
Sanket Reply
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
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Source:  OpenStax, Beginning guitar. OpenStax CNX. Aug 18, 2009 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col10421/1.2
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