Tune a guitar by fret

Edited by Godgirl77, Charmed, Adrian Penaflor, Inukshuk

3 Parts: Steps Tips Comments

Tuning your guitar by fret is a very convenient thing to know. It is so much easier and faster once you get the hang of it! However, to tune by fret you must have a good ear or develop one.

Tune a guitar.jpg


  1. 1
    The first and only real concern of tuning by fret, is that you must make sure that the low "E" string is tuned
    Once you have this one string then you are set. (remember that the low E string is the lowest sounding E, not the E farthest away. The closest string to your face
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  2. 2
    Next you simply go to the fifth fret on your guitar and hold down the low "E" string
    The "A" string is right below the "E" string which you will tune next. Strum both E and A. When you are finished tuning the A string it should sound exactly like when you are holding down the E string. To tune, turn the tuning peg that belongs to the A string right or left (depending on if the note is sharp or flat) in order to achieve the same sound as the E string when it is held down. Make sure you play the E string first in order to remember the sound you must achieve. Do not play any other strings besides E and A while trying to tune the A string.
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  3. 3
    Now staying on the fifth fret, hold down only the A string this time
    Strum the A string and then the D string afterwards. Turn the tuning peg that belongs to the D string left or right until it sounds exactly like the A string when it is held down. When the A string and the D string sound the same then the D string has been tuned.
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  4. 4
    Repeat the previous step but instead hold down the D string and strum the G string
    Concentrate on tuning G. Keep moving down string by string with the same method until you have tuned E,A,D,G,B,and high E.
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  5. 5
    For a final test play the G chord, or other chords you may know until you have tested all of the strings
    If something sounds off then you may need to go back and check which string is out of tune.
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  • You can use an actual machine guitar tuner or a piano/other instrument to tune the first fret if necessary. Some people even use tuner videos recorded on YouTube.
  • If you don't trust your ear or are just learning, then it is good to use an actual guitar tuner to double check your work.
  • Sometimes playing the G Major chord helps check if your guitar is in tune. If it doesn't sound right then you have done something wrong.
  • If you have a suspended bridge by the time you tune all the strings the first lower E will be out of tune because of all the tension adjustments on the other strings. The bridge is literally balanced and counter balanced between the strings and spring holding the bridge in position. For this reason you will need to keep re-tuning the guitar over and over until the changes due to tuning the other strings become negligible.

If you have problems with any of the steps in this article, please ask a question for more help, or post in the comments section below.


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Article Info

Categories : Instruments

Recent edits by: Adrian Penaflor, Charmed, Godgirl77

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