How to Tune a Guitar for Beginners Without a Tuner
Fortunately, there are ways to tune a guitar for beginners without a tuner. In this article, I’ll show some ways to tune your guitar without a tuner. You can also read this article for more information about alternate tunings.
Once you get the hang of it, tuning by ear is fast and fun! You might even find that it’s more accurate than using an external tuner and saving you money in the process.
Ease in the Journey
This is a great place to start because the first time you tune your guitar by ear, it might not sound so good, but that’s okay. The goal is to learn the process and gain confidence in your ears, not to have a perfect result the first time out. So if you’re nervous about tuning by ear, try it for one song and then practice tuning with your tuner before moving on to the next step. Practice makes perfect!
Prepare to Tune
Before you tune the guitar, here are a few things you should do.
First, get yourself comfortable because this will take a while. Set up your guitar with its strap, so it doesn’t move around, and let it sit in the same position for at least ten minutes. If you are tense, it will take exponentially longer to play chords and tune by ear. The more familiar you become with your physical posture, your muscles will be more relaxed as they interpret your intentions. This time will also help you get used to sitting on the guitar so that everything is parallel to one another when you start tuning by ear.
Second, get familiar with your tuner. Even though they’re not as accurate as an actual tuner, tuners give you a visual of the notes. This will allow you to tune to a standard and check for flat notes and bad intonation in between songs if necessary. In addition, tuners can be very useful for checking that all of your strings are in tune after you play them all at once and not individually. It has a built-in metronome for getting started, is easy to use, and works on any electric guitar.
Alternative Tunings for Beginners
If you’re a beginner guitar player, you may not be familiar with the many different alternate tunings. Open D, for example, allows you to play any significant chord and only requires one barred finger. This tuning can be beneficial for beginners who want to play various songs.
Open E tuning is prevalent in many different genres and is even preferred by Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards. This tuning is often considered tighter than Open D because the middle three strings pull on the neck more and can lead to more string breaks. On the other hand, Open G is similar to Open E but is easier to tune.
Open D tuning allows you to play barre chords similar to Drop D. It has a moody, melodic sound and is often used in rock genres. Its seamless transition between major and minor chords can create a wide range of sounds. It is popular in blues, rock, heavy metal, and even folk music.
Another popular tuning is Drop D tuning, where the first E string is tuned to D (the same as the bass). Grunge bands popularized this tuning in the nineties. Another popular tuning is Half Step Down, which allows you to play familiar chords in a lower pitch. Finally, another popular alternative is Celtic tuning, known by its actual name.
Using alternate tunings can spark your creativity and open up a new world of musical possibilities. For example, it can lead to unusual chord voicings and open strings that would be impossible otherwise. Likewise, playing familiar riffs or fingerings on an unfamiliar fretboard can inspire new sound patterns.
Alternate tunings are an excellent way to explore the guitar without a tuner. Aside from being fun and an excellent way to learn new techniques, it will help you re-ignite your passion for the instrument. However, it may not be easy to venture outside the box if you’re an old-school player.
When choosing which tuning to use, ensure you are comfortable finding scale degrees. As a result, you’ll feel more confident playing scale patterns and chords in any tuning. Aside from using a tuner, you can also use tuning apps for your guitar. They’ll help you determine which tuning best suits the song you’re playing.
Another popular beginner tuning is Open D. This gives your guitar a rich sound, which is excellent for playing with acoustic guitars. However, it can cause fret buzz, a sound caused by the frets. You can reduce fret buzz by using thicker strings or raising your guitar’s action.
Alternative Tunings for Beginners Without a Tuner
If you’re a beginner and don’t have a tuner, you can use an alternative tuning without a device. For example, the E string should be tuned down to D. Trying to tune the E string too high can break the string and put unnecessary tension on the neck. You can also use a tuning app, which helps you tune the guitar in various tunings.
There are many benefits of playing in alternate tunings. One of them is that you can learn more songs and develop your creativity. In addition, playing in alternative tunings will help you become more well-rounded as a musician. You’ll discover new timbres and tones and get the chance to experiment with new music.
DADGAD tuning is an open tuning, which is very flexible. For instance, you can play barre chords like Drop D while tuning the instrument in DADGAD. You can also create new sounds by strumming all six strings in this tuning. A tutorial by GT Instructor Lisa McCormick explains this technique in detail.
Drop D tuning is a popular alternative, as it lowers the low E string to D. This method produces a deep, bluesy sound. This tuning is commonly used in rock and grunge music. Many artists, including Neil Young, Eric Clapton, and Jason Isbell, use this tuning.
Esus2 tuning is a brighter cousin of DADGAD. This alternate tuning is an excellent option if you’re starting and don’t want to get frustrated experimenting with your guitar. It produces a beautiful mix of picked and acoustic guitar melodies. It pairs well with a second guitar that uses standard tuning.
While this method is not as universal as Open E, it can provide an excellent challenge for guitarists who want to experiment with alternate tunings. There are countless variations of alternate tunings. So you’ll never run out of exciting sounds. And if you don’t own a tuner, many online resources help you practice your tuning and scale patterns.
Another alternative for beginners is open G. This tuning has a classic rock feel. The Rolling Stones and other artists often play in this tuning. This tuning allows you to play the G major chord without fretting the string. It’s also a good choice for playing Delta blues. Bob Dylan also used this tuning for some of his songs. His famous song “Fate” was in this tuning.
For guitarists, alternating tunings are a great way to make certain chords more accessible. These tunings make playing certain riffs or power chords more accessible, and they also change the sound of the chords. As a result, the chords sound more open and complete. Many guitar players use open tunings to play heavier music, and some use them to help with finger-picking.