Tuning a Guitar

  • We recommend electronic tuners to ensure that beginning students can set their guitars to standard tuning: From lowest to highest the strings are tuned to the notes E, A, D, G, B, and high E.
  • Always bring strings up to the correct pitch, never down.
  • The musical alphabet is as follows: …G,A,B,C,D,E,F,G,A,B,C,D,E,F,G,A etc…
  • If you tuned your guitar yesterday and today and your E string is reading as flat {the tuner meter is pointing towards the flat symbol (b)} then the string is too low and must be raised in pitch (higher tension) slightly.
  • If the tuner is saying that your E string is actually a Db (D flat), a D, or a D# (D Sharp), then again the string is too low. You must add tension to that string. It is more common for guitar strings to go flat rather than sharp. For example your A string may drift down to Ab (a flat), or even to the G below A (refer to the musical alphabet above; G is just below (lower in pitch) than A).
  • When strings are new they can go flat after only a few minutes of playing. New strings may need to be tuned 5 or 6 or more times before they are settled or “stretched out” and start to hold their tuning.
  • Your teacher can show you how to stretch out your new strings so that the guitar will hold its tuning after only a few tunings.
  • Occasionally a guitar string will be sharp (too high in pitch). If your E string is registering as an E# or an F you will need to lower that pitch (less tension) down to an Eb or even a D and then raise it back to a E.