Electric guitar tuning
How to Tune

Electric guitar tuning

This stringed instrument, like its counterparts, needs timely tuning. It is important to set the strings on the electric guitar to the correct height so that the musician does not spoil the ear with ridiculous-sounding notes, and the listeners are not annoyed by the distorted composition. Experienced performers do not wonder how to properly tune an electric guitar, but beginners need this knowledge.

There are different ways: it will be more difficult for novice musicians to tune the instrument by ear, but you can use special programs.

How to properly tune an electric guitar

The instrument’s tuning can “move” in different situations: at a concert, rehearsal, home practice or performances in a circle of relatives and friends. Therefore, the musician must be able to quickly restore it.

What will be required

Electric guitar tuning

Tuning an electric guitar involves the use of a tuning fork or a tuner , including online programs. It is necessary to choose a tuning fork with a frequency of 440 Hz , publishing a sample of the note “la”. The procedure is as follows:

  1. Hit the device on a solid object – it will make a sound.
  2. Hold the 1st string at the 5th fret , placing your finger evenly, and play the sound.
  3. The tone of the tuning fork and the string must match. If he scatters, you need to turn the peg until the sound becomes the same.

This completes the use of the tuning fork. Next, the guitarist tunes the instrument by ear, clamping the strings in certain frets and achieving sound in unison .

Required Tools

To tune the electric guitar, they use a tuning fork, a tuner, and hearing. The wrong system is associated with the position of the fingerboard a, the height of the strings. Therefore, they use such devices:

  1. Slotted screwdriver.
  2. Cross screwdriver.
  3. Hex key.
Electric guitar tuning

Some firms develop special tools for their products.

step by step plan

Tie Rod Setup

In order for the guitar to extract the correct sounds, you need to check the condition of the neck , especially the anchor , a steel rod with a diameter of 5-6 mm, which has a bolt at one end (some models have two). Adjusting the fretboard and electric guitar is achieved by turning the bolt and changing the tension. The truss rod performs two functions: it compensates for the tension exerted by the strings, thanks to which the neck retains its shape and does not flex, and it also tunes the instrument in accordance with the needs of the performer and his playing technique.

Electric guitar tuning

To set up a truss rod:

  1. Let go of the strings.
  2. Take a hex wrench and insert it as deep as possible into the thread so as not to strip it. The anchor nut is located at the base of the neck or at its head.
  3. Do not tighten the anchor rod so that the bolts break.
  4. Rotations should be slow and careful. Experienced guitarists advise making half a turn at a time, 30 degrees is best. Turning the key to the right tightens the anchor , to the left it loosens it.
  5. After each turn of the nut, leave the tool motionless for 30 minutes to allow the tree to take shape. After that, it is necessary to evaluate the position of the bar a.

Due to the change in neck deflection , the guitar’s tuning will change, so after adjusting the truss rod, you should check the sound of the strings. The tension of the bar is checked after a few hours: this period will show how successful the result is. It is important to know what kind of wood the guitar is made of, because different types of raw materials react differently to tension. For example, maple is very malleable, while mahogany changes shape slowly.

Correct anchor position

To check the tuning of the rod, you should press the string on the 1st, 18th or 20th fret . If 0.21-0.31 mm remains from the surface to the string on the 6th and 7th frets, the instrument has the correct neck tension . For a bass guitar, these values ​​are 0.31-0.4 mm.

Proper Guitar Tuning Techniques

Before you tune an electric guitar, you need to make sure it’s safe. When you need to reduce the deflection of the fretboard a, you should loosen the strings: in the process of adjustment, they are stretched. If these parts are old or worn, some string may break and injure.

String height above fretboard

After any action with the anchor , you should check the sound of the instrument. The height of the strings on an electric guitar is checked above the 12th fret : they measure the distance from the metal nut to the string. The 1st should be located 1-1.5 mm, the 6th – 1.5-2.5 mm.

Electric guitar tuning


When tuning an electric guitar without auxiliary instruments, it is important to get the right sound of the first string. You need to hold it down on the 5th fret : if the note “la” sounds, then you can continue tuning. The sequence of actions is as follows:

  1. The 2nd string is clamped at the 5th fret : it should sound like the 1st clean.
  2. 3rd – on the 4th fret : its sound should match the 2nd string.
  3. The remaining strings are clamped at the 5th fret . In this way, the electric guitar’s tuning is similar to that of a classical instrument.

With a tuner

This device will help you fine-tune the instrument in concert conditions or with sufficient noise: the indicator will show how clear the sound of the guitar is. Using an instrument cable, the guitar is connected to the tuner . It is enough to pull the string: if the indicator deviates to the right or left of the scale, the peg is turned and loosen or tighten the string until it sounds in unison .

You can use online tuners  – special programs that work similarly to real devices. Their advantage is ease of use: just download the online tuner to your computer or smartphone to tune the instrument anywhere.

Smartphone tuner apps

For Android:

For iOS:

Possible problems and nuances

When tuning an electric guitar using a floor tuner , you must ensure that the frequency of the device is 440 Hz .

Otherwise, its sound will differ from the order of the ensemble.

Answers on questions

1. What are the reasons for detuning an electric guitar?The turning of the tuning pegs during transport, the stretching of the strings during constant playing, their wear, as well as temperature changes and humidity are factors that affect the instrument’s tuning.
2. What is the best way to tune an electric guitar?A beginner will need a tuner , and an experienced musician can tune the instrument by ear.
3. Do I need to pay attention to the height of the strings?Undoubtedly. Before adjusting the sound of the instrument, you need to check how the strings are located relative to the neck . If they are adjacent to its surface or are further away, the truss rod must be adjusted .
How to Tune Your Electric Guitar | Guitar Tuner Standard Tuning E A D G B e

Instead of output

The height of the strings of an electric guitar determines the sound quality of the instrument. Before adjusting it, you need to check the position of the bar , carefully and slowly turn the truss rod. Various factors affect the condition of the instrument: string tension, temperature , humidity. After adjusting the fretboard a, you can tune the sound of the strings by ear or with the tuner a.

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