Tune an Acoustic Guitar Without a Tuner

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 65,876
    Guitar expert Franklin Taggart demonstrates how to tune an acoustic guitar without a tuner.

    Franklin Taggart

    Franklin Taggart is a guitarist, singer/songwriter, recording engineer and record producer based in Silver Spring, MD. He's played guitar since 1975 and has been involved in some aspect of performing, recording and composing ever since then. He also is a well known guitar teacher in the Washington, DC area. He has been nominated for many WAMMIE awards from the Washington Area Music Association, winning the Traditional Folk Instrumentalist category in 2001. His first CD Falling All the Way has received excellent reviews from a variety of sources and was also nominated for seven WAMMIE's.

    Hi! I am Franklin Taggart. I am a guitar teacher and a guitar player. I am going to talk now about how to tune a guitar if you don't have the luxury of an electronic tuner. The main thing is that you can tune to guitar to itself very easily and the way that I always remember this is a formula called 5 5 5 4 5 and what that means is if you play the fifth fret of the top guitar string the six string E. its the same note that want for the fifth string open. Now, you will hear that my fifth guitar string doesnt match the fifth fret of my sixth string. So, what I need to do is tune it up little bit, so that it matches. Little bit more, almost there. It sounds pretty close. Then next string, fifth fret as well; oh! Now that one sounds sharp, so I need to lower the tension on that a little bit. Still a little over sharp, here we go we are in tune. Next guitar string we also do the fifth fret. Now, my third string is flat, so I need to tighten it little bit, little bit more. Now, the next string, the third string you play forth fret in order to tune the second string. Thats where the four comes in my formula. Now, its a little sharp. Second guitar string is sometimes little bit difficult for me to hear. The last string is tuned from the fifth fret of the second string. Oh! No, that sounds sharp, so I need to lower the tension. Here we are, our guitar is in tune, we strum out an E Minor chord and you can hear that the guitar is now in tune. If you are ever without a reference pitch for your guitar the nice thing to remember is it that the dial tone on the telephone is an A note. So, you can tune your fifth string to the dial tone on the telephone. Just turn your telephone on and pickup the receiver and it will play an A note for you and you can tune the fifth guitar string to that. Thats how you tune a guitar without benefit of electronic tuner, and now we are going to go on learning few easy guitar chords and learn how to play a song on guitar.