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How to tune guitar by ear 

If your playing on your own it doesn't matter so much if each string isn't tuned exactly to the correct pitches, as long as they are in tune relative to each other. However if you tune too high you're in danger of strings snapping, so it's best to use a reference to get your thickest string tuned to E, or at least close to it.

Tuning by ear is a method where we tune all strings in relation to the thickest.

To do this you will need to know when two strings are sounding the same note. This is a skill that most…Read more

General notes on tuning your guitar 

New guitar students often come to a lesson and say something like, "It should be in tune - I tuned it yesterday." I suggest that this is faulty thinking, and that you will be well served by checking your tuning every time you pick up your instrument. I tune my guitar several times a day.

Two of the most consistent failings of guitarists are their tendencies to play out of time and out of tune. To a certain degree, the latter is due to the instrument - every guitar tends to be in tune with one chord and…

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Standard tuning and popular alternative tunings 

Starting with the thickest (6th, or 'bottom') string, this is standard tuning for a guitar:

E, A, D, G, B, E

Another popular tuning, particularly in the rock world, is to simply drop the thickest string down one tone to D:

D, A, D, G, B, E

One advantage of this tuning is that one finger across the three thickest strings gives a power-chord. Used quite frequently by the likes of Nirvana and Rage Against The Machine.

Another popular rock tuning is to take all the strings down one tone, often referred to as…

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