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How to tune a guitar and bass?

Playing on a guitar and bass that is in tune is one of the most important factors in enjoying guitar playing.  If the guitar is out of tune, what you play will sound very different from what your teacher plays and how the CD sounds.  In addition, a guitar will get out of tune over time and as it gets played.  Hence it is very important for you to know how to tune a guitar and keep it in tune.  You should always check to make sure your guitar is in tune each time you pick it up to play.

Tuning a guitar can be difficult for a beginner.  It requires an ear training process that will improve with experience.  Unless you have perfect pitch, i.e. you can be distinguish one note from another even with a minor difference, you will need a reference tone to tune to.  You can use a tuning fork, piano, or keyboard to generate the reference tone.

A tuning fork, piano or keyboard can generate the reference tone and you can compare it with the string to be tune on the guitar.  You will need to adjust the tuning machine slowly until the tone from the guitar matches perfectly with the reference tone.  This method will require some practice to master.

If you are a beginner, we would recommend that you use a guitar tuner to get the fastest and best tuning result.  A guitar tuner has a microphone that can detect the tone being played on the guitar and displays whether you should go higher or lower.  You then would turn the tuning machines slowly until the guitar tuner indicates that the string is completely in-tune.  For a guitar that uses an amplifier, you can also connect the guitar directly to the guitar tuner for convenience.  Using a guitar tuner is by far the best and easiest way for a beginner to tune a guitar and to keep a guitar in-tune.  It will also help train your ear.  For more information on guitar tuners selection, please go to our Guitar/Bass Tuners section.

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