In Tune With Yourself

Level: Beginner

Rod Jackson

When I tune my guitar, I tune each string to the D string rather than the standard method. This way I am more likely to have the guitar in tune with itself by eliminating the variations that may occur as I tune each successive string to the one next to it.

The standard tuning for a guitar is from bottom to top (or from thickest to thinnest) -- EADGBE.

First tune the D string with whatever source you have (another instrument, a D tuning fork, electronic tuner, etc.), then fret the D at the 5th fret and tune the G to that note. Then fret the D string at the 9th fret for the B string, and at the 14th fret for the high E. The notes fretted on the D string at the 5th, 9th and 14th frets will be the exact same notes to tune to on the G, B and high E strings.

Now, to tune the A string, fret the D at the 7th fret and tune the A string one octave down from that note (same note only one octave lower). For the low E string, fret the D string at the 2nd fret and tune the low E one octave lower OR to the harmonic at the 12th fret on the low E (very lightly touch the string exactly over the 12th fret, pluck the string and immediately release your finger from the string--it should make a pure harp-like tone). This harmonic should be the exact same note as the D string 2nd fret.

Just like all aspects of playing it may take some time to get this down, but once you have it, you will be able to get in tune with yourself quickly and easily.

Have fun!


Rod Jackson contributed the story "My First Gig" to the latest issue of ZG'zine.

>back to Lessons