3 Tuning Tips

We're going back to the basics today to discuss 3 essential tips for tuning your guitar.

1. Start flat and tune up to pitch. This will greatly reduce the chance of your strings slipping out of tune. Think of it like this...there's a reason it's called tuning up.

2. Play at performance level when tuning and tune to the initial pitch after picking the string. The harder you play, the sharper the notes will sound. To see for yourself, plug into a tuner and pick a string softly. Now play very loudly. You'll notice that the pitch of the note gets gradually lower as volume drops. So if you pick very softly when tuning, you'll be sharp when you start playing loudly. The same is true if you tune to the sustained pitch rather than the initial pitch.

3. Learn when to compensate either flat or sharp, depending on the situation. Sometimes you'll want to tune ever so slightly sharp or (more commonly) flat to correct intonation issues. Most guitars need a little help here, especially on the B and G strings. I'll usually compensate around 3-5 cents flat on my guitars that aren't equipped with an intonation-correcting nut. That way I'll sound really in tune when I start playing higher up the neck.

There you go! Three simple tuning tips that will make you sound better.

Question: Do you have any additional tips or insights for tuning your guitar and keeping it in tune? Let's hear it!

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