Before you can play your guitar you need to make sure it’s in tune. There are a few ways you can tune a guitar. I have some techniques here that you can use to make sure your playing in the right pitch. For standard tuning you can tune it by ear or with a tuner. To tune by ear you need some thing for a “reference pitch” from another source. Like a key board or and app on your phone will work as well. Anything that is in tune. If your not sure what the number of the strings are; The top thicker string is the 6th E string. Make sure you have the 6th string tuned to your reference pitch then you can tune all the others buy ear using this technique.
Steps to Tuning Your Guitar in standard tuning
Make sure your sixth string is in tune (use reference pitch)
Play the sixth string, fifth fret (A), then tune your open fifth string (A) until they sound the same.
Play the fifth string, fifth fret (D), then tune your open fourth string (D) until they sound the same.
Play the fourth string, fifth fret (G), then tune your open third string (G) until they sound the same.
Play the third string, fourth fret (B), then tune your open second string (B) until they sound the same.
Play the second string, fifth fret (E), then tune your open first string (E) until they sound the same.
You can also use a tuner tool. There are all kinds of tuners out there. Depending on that kind of guitar you have will depend on what tuner you can use. There are clip on tuners for acoustics and plugin tuners for an electrics, tuners you can just lay on the guitar and built in tuners on the guitar or in amps. I use my fender amp to tune mine when I play. It seems to be best for me because, I can sit down and plug it in the amp and with just a hit of a button and I can tune it then hit the button again and I’m ready to go without putting a tuner on and off of it. Here’s a few tuners that they make that will help you. All of them are easy to use and work well.
This Is A Free App That You Can Download To your Phone Or iPad That Works Really Well Too. I Also Put A Link On How To Use It.
Tune your lowest string, which is an E, first. Use a digital tuner to help ensure your strings are brought to the correct pitches. Turn your E tuning key counterclockwise to lower it one whole step. The string should read D on your tuner.
Leave the fifth string and fourth strings of your guitar as is. The fifth string is an A, and the fourth string is a D. These notes belong in the D chord and are part of your key of D tuning.
Lower your third string a half step, from G to F sharp. Do this by turning your tuning key counterclockwise to loosen the string. Use a digital tuner for accuracy.
Lower your second and first strings by turning the tuning keys counterclockwise to loosen them. The second string will go from B to A and the first string will go from E to D, leaving you with an open D tuning. This means that you will get a D chord by strumming all of your strings without fretting.
Some guitar players simply lower the lowest-pitched string from E to D, thus creating a dropped D tuning.
Open G (D G D G B D) from standard tuning. Lower both E strings a step to D and lower your fifth string from A to G. Strings two, three, and four stay the same.
E Flat Tuning
This is mostly used for vocalist to sing much higher and powerful songs to make it easier on there vocals.
Begin with your guitar tuned to standard tuning (EADGBE).
Tune the low E string down half a step. To do this, loosen the string slightly with the tuning knob and the hold down the fourth fret to check it against the A string. When in tune, the pitches will match.
Re-tune the rest of the guitar like you would for standard tuning using the now E flat string as the reference. Begin by holding down the fifth fret on the first string (E flat), pluck it and lower the second string to match that pitch.
Change the pitch of the third string by holding down the fifth fret on the second string and lowering the third string to match that pitch. Do the same on the fourth string with the third string as the reference.
Drop the pitch of the fifth string by holding down the fourth string on the fourth fret instead of the fifth and lower the fifth string to match the pitch.
Adjust the sixth string by holding down the fifth fret on the fifth string and lowering the sixth string to match the pitch. Your guitar should now be tuned to Eb-Ab-Db-Gb-Bb-Eb. Use a tuner or a piano to fine-tune your guitar. Play in E flat tuning the same way that you would in standard tuning.
Tuning the guitar down half a step / Eb (E flat) tuning
As we’re tuning down half a step (also known as a semi-tone), that’s the equivalent of tuning down one fret position, so all we need to do is first get that low E string tuned down to Eb (E flat). E flat can be found on the A string at fret 6. fret the A string at fret 6 and tune down the open low E string until it matches. Even though the fretted E flat will be an octave higher than the destination E flat on the E string, you should be able to hear when it’s there
Once you have the low Eb sorted, tune the other strings down relative to that string by using the following steps:
Fret the low Eb string at fret 5 and tune the A string down until it matches.
Fret the newly tuned A string (now Ab) at fret 5 and tune the D string down until it matches.
Fret the newly tuned D string (now Db) at fret 5 and tune the G string down until it matches.
Fret the newly tuned G string (now Gb) at fret 4 and tune the B string down until it matches.
Fret the newly tuned B string (now Bb) at fret 5 and tune the high E string down until it matches.
The high E string should now be Eb.
Full Step Down: DGCFBD
Full Step Down is a tuning where all six strings are tuned down 1 full tone. Your guitar will sound lower and the strings will be looser, but you can still play any song the same way, it will just sound lower.
Step 1: The 6th String – D
Tune the low E to a D. Exactly like you’d do to get into Drop D guitar tuning. Pluck the 6th string and the 4th string together or alternate between them and loosen the 6th string tuning peg until the pitches are in harmony. The low D will be an octave lower than the D you are tuning from, but they are the exact same note
Step 2: Use Standard Tuning Pattern
Tune the rest of the strings in relation to the D you just dropped down. The easiest way to do this is to follow The Standard Tuning Pattern (5th fret, 5th fret, 5th fret, 4th fret, 5th fret). This pattern is used purely to show you where you get your reference tones from.
6th string reference tone = D (since you just tuned it)
5th string reference tone = 5th fret of the 6th string
4th string reference tone = 5th fret of the 5th string
3rd string reference tone = 5th fret of the 4th string
2nd string reference tone = 4th fret of the 3rd string
1st string reference tone = 5th fret of the 2nd string
Your strings will go from
6th E to D
5th A to G
4th D to C
3rd G to F
2nd B to B
1st E to D
If you tune lower than a half step, I would suggest that you put a 10 gage or more strings on it. The lower you go the more the strings tend to buzz on the frets. Its really up to you on that. Its just what I prefer for myself.