Many people wonder How to tune an electric guitar and learn the best way to do it. It is necessary to know that there are several types of tunings, and each one has its procedure.
You probably own an electric guitar and have just decided to learn how to play it, and the first thing you should do is tune it correctly to ensure a pleasant and clear sound when playing. For this reason, on this site, we decided to teach you everything you need to know to tune your guitar most easily and practically.
Usually, when we are all newbies, the task of tuning our guitar becomes difficult, and, in many cases, it seems impossible. But, once you manage to learn a few tricks, you can easily do it whenever you need to. Best of all, tuning an electric guitar is almost the same as tuning an acoustic guitar, so if you already have previous experience, it will be much easier for you.
In this guide, you will learn everything you need to know when tuning an electric guitar, the types of tunings, and the simplest methods for tuning.
How to learn to tune an electric guitar?
The raw material for all guitars (including electric guitars) is wood, and any change in the environment, such as temperature and humidity, can affect its tuning. Likewise, the tuning is affected by knocking or rubbing the pegs when removing the guitar from the case.
Everyone experienced with the guitar knows that the strings frequently go out of tune, especially in the beginning and every time they are changed. A guitar can even go out of tune by resting its head on the wall, using a different type of tuning than the standard one, and even by spending many hours practicing.
Whatever the reason, many proven methods make it easy to learn How to tune an electric guitar and make sure it stays in tune for at least a while. Some of the most effective methods for tuning are:
• Be guided by a tone of reference
• Using the tuner
• Using an app to fine-tune
• Using an online tuner
What is the standard tuning of an electric guitar?
Before going straight with the tuning of each string, it is necessary to learn the name of the notes that each string represents. The standard tuning of an electric guitar is E major, that is, EADGBE. String 1 is E, and string 6 is also E, but one octave lower.
It is understood that string 1 is E, string 2 is B, string 3 is G, string 4 is D, string 5 is A, and string 6 is E. String 1 is the thinnest, and string 6 is the thickest. Likewise, they are divided into three treble strings to make the melody and three basses to make the bass and rhythm.
How to tune an electric guitar using a tuner?
There are a wide variety of models of electric guitar tuners. People can find both Donner Clip-on Chromatic Tuner and KLIQ TinyTune Pedal Chromatic Tuner and choose the model they like best based on their needs.
The good news is that once you have a tuner, you will be able to connect it to your guitar and guarantee perfect tuning. If it’s a clip-on tuner, you can attach it to your guitar’s headstock. On the other hand, the tuning pedal connects to the guitar via a ¼” jack, and after your guitar is connected, you can turn on the tuner and be ready to go.
You must be careful not to tear any other strings to ensure that the sound is read accurately. After doing this, you will notice the note tuned to the string. If the string is in the correct pitch, you can move on to the next string.
The best part is that it is easy to learn How to tune an electric guitar from top to bottom to ensure that the tuning of the low strings does not misalign the tuning of the high strings. You may have already noticed that there are six pegs for tuning the strings. You should turn the peg corresponding to the string you are trying to tune.
You must be careful to keep the pitch of the strings at the same octave. This will ensure that the tuning will be completely harmonious. Likewise, you can do a little sound test after enhancing the tuning by playing some chords you know or by playing the C major scale. Thus, you can be completely sure that your instrument is perfectly in tune for the moment.
• Using this method, you can tune your instrument to the standard 440 Hz key.After you have finished learning How to tune an electric guitar, you can strum the strings one by one, from top to bottom, while moving it slightly away from your body to check the tuning. If this is the first time you tune your guitar, it is almost certain that you will have to go through the tuning process a second time since the strings are brand new. The more you practice playing your instrument regularly, the longer the tuning will hold.
If you’re looking for a downloadable tuner, you can use the Fender FT-2 Clip-On or D’Addario Eclipse Headstock Tuner. On the other hand, you can get chromatic tuners like Pitchlab and Piano Tuner in free and paid versions like Tunable and Cleartune.
Some of the best free electric guitar tuners online
• Fender Online Guitar Tuner
• Online tuner
• Online metronome and tuner
• My guitar tuner
Types of alternative tunings for electric guitar
Highly regarded guitarists have used alternate tunings in show business, such as Jimmy Page (Led Zep), Keith Richards (The Rolling Stones), and blues virtuoso Derek Trucks. These tunings are extremely popular because they allow you to reach tones that standard tuning would never reach.
Despite this, it is necessary to consider that this class of tunings is intended for guitarists who have a level of performance between intermediate and professional. Changing the guitar’s tuning many times can increase the tension of the strings, cause them to break, and even cause them to crack the neck. Therefore, it is necessary to make sure that your guitar supports all types of tuning before experimenting.
Now that you know this, you can know what the alternative tunings to learn How to tune an electric guitar are:
What is Drop D guitar tuning?
Drop D is an alternative tuning that aims to achieve a heavier, slower, and darker sound. This is achieved thanks to lowering the sixth string one pitch and thus passing from E to D.
This small modification can expand the musical range and sound in D, but with an octave lower, something impossible with the standard tuning. Drop D tuning has origins in blues, country, and folk, although records show that this type of tuning was previously used in more classical musical styles.
However, in the 80s, with heavy music and alternative rock flourishing, the drop D began to be used more frequently and gained popularity thanks to groups such as Black Sabbath, Soundgarden, or Led Zeppelin.
What is Open G guitar tuning?
Open G is an alternate tuning in which the guitar strings are tuned to the DGDGBD notes starting from the tone of the lowest string. The structure corresponds to intervals 5, 1, 5, 1, 3, 5. A G major chord is sounded in Open G without holding a fingering.
The Open G has a long tradition among blues musicians who play a Slide guitar. But guitarists like Keith Richards have also benefited from the simplification of chord fingering. He also removed the sixth string from his Telecaster and used Open G to compose hits like “Honky Tonk Women,” “Brown Sugar,” and “Start Me Up.”
What is DADGAD guitar tuning?
DADGAD is popular with guitarists to create exciting sounds beyond the standard major and minor chords. A quick and easy method of tuning in DADGAD from the standard tuning is to lower the pitch of the 6th and 1st strings one pitch to D while checking the note by pressing the 4th string. Later, please do the same with the 2nd string while we check the note by pressing the 5th string.
This tuning is believed to have been invented by English guitarist Davy Graham, inspired by listening to a flute player in Morocco. Subsequently, Graham experimented with various tunings until he came to DADGAD. He made great use of it during the 1960s, performing Celtic music and folk music from India or Morocco.
Guitar tuning faqs
Is the tuning of an electric guitar the same as that of an acoustic guitar?
Both guitars are tuned the same way. The standard tuning is the same for both guitars and other instruments. You have to make sure you follow the proper tuning procedure. Is Tuning An Electric Guitar The Same As Acoustic?
Why won’t my guitar stay in tune?
The tuning problem affects almost any electric guitar, classical, or acoustic guitar. An instrument can go out of tune for a wide variety of reasons: shocks, changes in temperature, many hours of playing, change in pressure and height, change of case, and even because of the person’s mood trying to tune it.
Is intonation the same as tuning?
In music, “intonation” means precision in sound – that is, intonation determines whether the sound is reproduced perfectly “in tune” or not. Guitarists who tune strings must also have a good sense of intonation to keep them in tune. Tuning is the process of adjusting the pitch of a sound until it matches a reference note, at which point it is considered to be “in tune.”
What is DADGAD? How to tune a guitar with DADGAD?
DADGAD is one of the easiest alternative guitar tunings to remember because the tuning is spelled out in the name. This alternate setting is responsible for the funky of this Kashmir Led Zeppelin sound, and once you learn how to tune a guitar in DADGAD tuning, you can easily master that classic hard rock song.
Final thoughts on electric guitar tuningNo matter what guitar you have, you can learn How to tune an electric guitar with anyone. Of course, be careful with tunings that involve tightening the headstock more than normal, for example, with some tunings with an air chord. Choose the one that most catches your attention, tunes the guitar with the prompts, and experiment!