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How to tune a guitar without troubles?

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Posted on: 2013-01-17 / Posted by Sergey Khmaruk

Hey Ya! Especially for beginners I decided to write this important post, since I know from my own experience that this topic is always relevant among beginner guitarists. At one time, nobody could really tell me correctly how the new electric guitar is fully tuned and what needs to be done with it, so I had to find out about this from familiar musicians.

At first, out of ignorance, many shoals were done, but then the guys suggested that yes how. It was a long time ago when I acquired my first tool. And now, having gained some experience, I share it with you friends so that you do not find yourself in the same situation as I once did.

Well, congratulations to everyone who became the proud owner of an electric guitar and decided to yank the strings every day for several hours! A dream came true and here it is - an electric guitar! Wow, now I'm a cool dude! - Many will think, as I once did. Probably had to tinker with choosing a good tool? Anyway!

It doesn’t matter for what purpose you purchased an electric guitar. It’s not enough just to buy it in a store, bring it home and set it up, you need to bring the guitar into full combat readiness! And only then the pleasure of the game will be complete. I’ll tell you about this in this article today, or rather I’ll write about what I would do if I just bought a new guitar.

What should be?

So, first, one important point. Even at the purchase stage, you need to make sure that the keys come with the tool, there should be two hexagons in total. One small for adjusting the height of the seats and one large hex for adjusting the anchor. If suddenly when buying a guitar there are no keys in the kit, be sure to ask the seller where you can get them. Although usually these keys are always sold in such stores.

It’s absolutely necessary to buy them, even if you don’t immediately make such a fine tuning, you will need them sooner or later, for example, put a different gauge of strings - the neck will lead a little or there will be high humidity in the room, in general all sorts of factors full. And the hexagon is just the same and is useful for adjusting the neck.

Still in the store you need to take a set of good strings and some simple tuner. It will definitely be needed in order to tune the scale. If you can somehow tune your guitar by ear, then we can’t do without a tuner to adjust the scale. That's all, we can proceed to the preparation of the tool itself.

To begin with, we will first remove the strings that were originally installed at the factory. To do this, slightly weaken the splitters and at the top gently bite with the wire cutters alternately all the strings.

After removing the strings, it is first necessary to check the spikes, and it may be such that they are not fully screwed. If you notice that they are hanging slightly or specifically, then in this case they must be extended (clamped at the top) with a wrench. This often happens with inexpensive guitars due to the fact that these nuts are not tightened in the factory.

After you have tightened the splice well, we need to wipe the fingerboard with a clean, dry and soft cloth. This is necessary in order to remove dust and pollution, because we do not know how long it hung on the window and how many people pawed it. OK! Another important point that will protect your left hand.

On budget guitars, the car rolls the frets and sometimes it doesn’t do it very well, so we need to make sure that the frets will not scratch the hand. To do this is quite simple, for this, with the palm of your right hand, draw along the frets at the bottom and top of the neck (under the first and above the sixth string). If frets scratch a hand, then we need a file.

Why is it important that frets not bulge? Yes, because the guitar will begin to scratch its hands, and it should not do this, especially when you consider that beginners need such an electric guitar to learn how to play. Even taking into account the fact that the guitar is in any case slightly scratched, but in this case it should not do it more than usual, and if the frets stick out very strongly, then in principle you can even get seriously injured by scratching your hand. This is not good and is not at all necessary for beginners.

To make everything smooth, you need to slightly grind the frets along the edges with a file, until you feel that they are not scratched. After that, if somewhere accidentally struck the pad, it can be slightly polished. If you don’t have a needle file and the frets are soft enough, you can steal a nail file from your mother or wife and do the same. Ok, we figured out the pad!

The next thing we need to do is to remove the protective film from the plastic panel (pickguard), if any, on which the electronics are located. The biggest problem is to remove the film in those places where the volume and tone controls are located, so at the beginning we remove the control knobs, and then the rest of the film.

Now, after such preparation, we will put the strings, but before you need to do this, treat the notches on the upper nut and the saddles on the bridge with machine oil, and even better with graphite grease. Carefully grease all the grooves of the nut, for this you can use a piece of the old string, and do exactly the same with the saddles of the bridge, and it is still necessary to lubricate all the bolts on them.

Because when we put our hand on the guitar, we get all the dirt and sweat on these bolts, and they begin to rust over time, and then unscrew their figs, and this is still the scale and the height of the strings. Therefore, we lubricate where the string and thread lie on all bolts.

And only now we are boldly setting new strings and we can start tuning the guitar, after that we can adjust the deflection of the neck, then adjust the bridge and the height of the strings, adjust the scale and at the very end adjust the height of the pickups.

And now, when we have stretched everything out, we have sharpened it all, lubricated it and tuned it in, you can safely play on your brand new electric guitar. Thus, the manual tuning of the guitar is completely completed and it is precisely such manipulations that need to be carried out with it when you bring it from the store and it does not matter whether it is expensive or cheap, the main thing is to do the above correctly. And only then will the guitar delight you, truly delight you, and if you plan to study, it is generally very important to fine-tune it from the very beginning.

That’s basically all, I hope that I helped you figure out how to fully configure the new electric guitar, and friends answered many of your questions. Always glad to see you on my blog!

Guitar tuning online

You can tune your guitar online right here and right now :)

The strings of your guitar should sound like this ♪:

To tune your guitar, you need to tune each string so that it sounds like in the recording above (to do this, twist the pegs on the fretboard). As soon as you have each string sound like in the example, this will mean that you tuned the guitar.

Build a guitar.

To start, I’ll talk a little about the guitar structure. In general, there are many guitar tunings, I will give here the most popular.
The first letter is a thin lower string, the last letter is a thick upper string.
Explanation of letters: A - la, B - si, C - do, D - re, E - mi, F - fa, G - salt.

Standard system (used in 90% of cases):
E B G D A E

Drop-D system:
E B G D A D

Double Drop-D system:
D B G D A D

Open D system:
D A F # D A D

Open G build:
D B G D G D

Drop-G build:
E B G D G D

Most often they play in the standard system. And guitarists who play heavy music love the Drop-D system, it is lowered by one note compared to the standard.

Setting up the electric guitar scale.

Mensura is the distance from the upper nut to the lower holder of the guitar strings. On electric guitars, the scale is most often of two sizes: 629 mm (22 frets) or 648 mm (24 frets).
The tuning of the scale is a sequential change in the length of each string. It’s best to use a tuner to tune your electric guitar’s scale, but if you are a happy owner of good ear for music, you can do without tricky electronics.

Tuner Tuning

If you have a tuner, you can tune your guitar using the tuner. If you don’t have it and you use difficulties in tuning the guitar, you can buy it, it looks like this:

In short, the tuner is a special device that is designed to tune the guitar.

Something like this looks like this:

  1. you turn on the tuner, put it next to the guitar, pull the string,
  2. the tuner will show how the string sounds - and how to pull it (higher or lower),
  3. twist until the tuner shows that the string is tuned.

Tuning a guitar with a tuner is a good and practical option for tuning a guitar.

Tuning a six-string guitar without a tuner

How to tune a guitar for a beginner who does not have a tuner? Tuning the guitar completely yourself, without using third-party programs is also possible!

Often you can also meet the question: "On which fret to tune the guitar?" - he is quite reasonable and now I will explain why. The fact is that all the strings with a tuned guitar are interconnected with such a relationship:

The 2nd string, clamped at 5 frets, should sound like an open 1st,
The 3rd string, pinned on the 4th fret, should sound like an open 2nd,
The 4th string, clamped on the 5th fret, should sound like an open 3rd,
The 5th string, clamped to the 5th fret, should sound like an open 4th,
The 6th string, clamped to the 5th fret, should sound like an open 5th.

So how do you tune your six-string guitar this way?

We do this:

  1. we hold the 2nd string to the 5th fret and adjust it so that it sounds like the first open,
  2. after that we clamp the 3rd string on the 4th fret and adjust it so that it sounds like the 2nd open,
  3. and so on according to the scheme above.
This way you can tune your guitar in the fifth fret, that is, using the addiction.

This method is bad because we do not know how to tune the first string initially. In fact, all strings depend on the 1st string, because we start tuning from the 2nd string (and it is tuned according to the first string), then we tune the 3rd string along the 2nd string and so on. But I acted very wisely - and recorded the sound of the first guitar string and all the sounds of the strings for tuning the guitar.

How to tune a guitar with GuitarTuna?

  • download the application, open it,
  • yank any string - the program will begin to draw a graph,
  • you need the chart to go as close to the center of the screen as possible
  • if the chart is centered, then you have tuned the string,
  • we tune each string in this way.

I consider tuning the guitar through the application the most simple, rational and convenient.

Adjustment of the bend of the neck of the guitar.

It is necessary to carefully adjust the neck deflection very carefully. If you overdo it, you can ruin the tool.
Before you begin to adjust the deflection, you must configure the tool. Then you need to hold the 6th string in the first and last frets. Check the distance from the 8th fret to the string, it should be approximately 0.2-0.3 mm. Read more about adjusting neck deflection here: Guitar Anchor Tuning: Anchor Rod.

Adjusts the height of the guitar strings.

The height of the strings should be adjusted after adjusting the bending of the neck. Although the ideal formula does not exist, most adhere to the following rule: the distance from the string to the upper surface of 17 frets on 1-3 strings should be 2 mm plus or minus 0.4 mm, on 4-6 strings 2.4 mm plus or minus 0.4 mm.

The distance from the pickups to the strings.

It is individually configured for each instrument, strings, sensors. Adjustable by rotating the bolts securing the pickup to the housing. The distance from thin strings to the sensor should be less than the same distance from thick strings. If the sensor is too far, the sound will be quiet and dull, too close - the strings can touch it. Look for a middle ground.

Electric guitar tuning can generally be carried out in compliance with these instructions. However, do not forget that each tool is individual and requires a special approach to it. Experiment :)

For a good example of tuning an electric guitar, we offer a good video tutorial:

© Copying of the source is allowed only with reference to the main Dream Guitars.

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