The Best Way To Show Kids How To Tune Their Guitar

Having a guitar in tune before you sit down to practice is essential, however beginners tend to struggle and waste time trying to get their guitars in tune. It can be one of the most frustrating things to learn  but it really doesn’t have to be.

WHICH WAY IS THE FASTEST

Theres two schools of thought, tune by ear or get an electronic tuner. Tuning the guitar by ear takes time to master and the reality is it’s more important to be practicing playing then practicing tuning! Imagine if piano players had to tune their piano every time they sat down  to play! They  just sit down and play and thats whay we want to do as guitarists.

THE NUMBER 1 SECRET

Many teachers overlook or forget  to explain the Musical Alphabet. It’s not complicated and not be confused with learning how to read music. Once a beginner understands how notes are named and the order they are arranged in, tuning the guitar will be a breeze.

In this article I am going to break each step down so you understand the entire concept. It’s actually very simple if you understand two things; the name of the guitar strings and the musical alpahabet. 

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    STEP 1:  LEARN THE STRING NAMES

    This is probably the easiest step and kids have a lot of fun learning this probably because it’s a silly phrase to say. Just remember the thickest string (E6), is closest to your chin when you are looking down at the guitar.

    This 6 word phrase will help you remember the open string names – the first letter of each word is a open string name.

     The 6th String Eddie , The 5th String Ate , The 4th String Dynamite , The 3rd String Good, The 2nd String Bye and the 1st String Eddie again.

    STEP 2: GET YOURSELF A ELECTRONIC GUITAR TUNER

    The easiest and most accurate  way to tune your guitar is with an electronic guitar tuner. It can be done by ear but for a complete beginner this is quite difficult. The first step is to learn  the names of the guitar strings and get your self an electronic tuner.  These days electronic guitar tuners come in many variations. They can be found as apps for smart phones and even built into guitars.  They are relatively cheap and one of my favourites is the clip on guitar tuner which clips onto the headstock of your guitar.  Learning to tune your guitar by ear takes time and is encouraged later on.

    Types Of Electronic Guitar Tuners

    Clip On Tuner

    Built In Tuner

    Phone App

    Portable Tuner

    portable-guitar-tuner

    They say the best guitar tuner is the one you have on you, much like cameras in a phone. We recommend a guitar that has a built in tuner and our second recommendation being a clip on tuner. 

    STEP 3: THE MUSICAL ALPHABET

    The main difference between the regular alphabet and the musical alphabet is that the musical alphabet contains just seven letters:

    A, B, C, D, E, F, G.

     

    the-musical-alphabet
    THE SHARP AND FLAT SYMBOL

    However between certain letters there are these other notes that sit between the letter names.

    These are the ones highlighted in blue in the diagram below. The # symbol means sharp and the small b means flat.

    This means that the note after A is called A sharp or B flat which means that this note( in blue circle) has 2 names to identify it. This is confusing at first and just one of those things about music you have to remember.