How Often Do You Need to Tune a Guitar? Everything You Need to Know

Introduction to Guitar Tuning

If you are a guitar enthusiast, an avid guitarist or even a beginner, you already understand the need for tuning your guitar every now and then. To have the best sounding strings with perfectly tuned performances at stage or any recording or a jamming session, it is imperative to understand how frequently you need to tune your guitar.

You must tune your guitar before every time you play or perform with your instrument in any occasion.

This Tuning guide will enlighten you to understand everything you ever wanted for tuning your guitar at the perfect time with the perfect set of tools.

Factors that contribute to Guitar Tuning

Refer to the below infographic which shows the essential parts of an acoustic guitar, which every guitarist needs to understand so that the concept about tuning is clear and evident.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is guitartuning_infographic_1-2.jpg


Guitar is a stringed instrument comprised on various strings mounted on a fretboard. The String Pegs hold the strings firmly which are then tied on to the Tuning Keys. Below is a list of the most critical factors that contribute for the Guitar Tuning.

Guitar Playing Time

The amount of time you devote for your guitar playing directly influences your guitar tuning frequency. After playing for long sessions or extended period of time, your guitar will get out of tune and playing chords will sound detuned or weird.

Gaps Between Playing Sessions

Be it electric, acoustic or Hawaiian – Incase you leave your guitar untouched for quite some time and do not perform or practice, the strings of your guitar will get out of tune and your instrument will sound detuned. The need for tuning arises as you let gaps between your playing sessions as well.

Mechanical Parts Conditioning

A very important aspect for your guitar tuning depends on the type of strings, condition of string pegs and tuning keys of your guitar. Your guitar will get out of tuning if you have any low grade or malfunctioning parts amongst these. Get them thoroughly checked with a guitar repair centre or specialist instrument store.

RELATED POSTS  Can Guitars Get Cold? Facts You Must Know

 You can also check out the list of guitar stores in US and UK to get deeper insights on choosing the best repair centers for your guitar repairing needs.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is guitartuning_infographic_3.jpg

Age of the Guitar

Older acoustic and electric guitar models which are almost 8-10 years old or more, will have a high chance of getting detuned quite frequently even if you do not play the guitar quite often. The age of the guitar therefore, is an essential factor to consider your strings getting out of tune as well.

How Often you need to tune your Guitar?

You must tune your guitar before every time you play or perform with your instrument in any occasion. There is no specific frequency or schedule for Guitar tuning. Your ears will feel the difference of the detuned sound while you start playing the instrument over solo notes or chords.

It is highly advisable to use Guitar Tuners, either hardware based of software tuning apps in your mobile or computer to tune a guitar as and when required. Once you are a pro guitarist or a highly experienced performer, your ears should detect the tuning loss of the guitar strings and you should tune the instrument before starting off for the next performance session.

How do you know that your Guitar is out of Tune?

Some of the basic indications below will make a guitarist understand that the guitar is out of tune and needs to be tuned before using for the next session:

  • While playing solo notes or chords, the tuning pitch does not sound correct. Chords will sound detuned and out of sync.
  • While performing with other musicians and musical instruments, there would be a pitch mismatch of these instruments with your guitar.
  • While auditioning your sound with a guitar tuner, you will observe a mismatch in pitch for all or some notes of Guitar.

These are the key factors to determine that our guitar needs to be tuned immediately before planning for the next session performance.

How do you Tune your Guitar?

To understand or how to accurately tune your guitar, we shall cover this topic with two parts:

RELATED POSTS  Are Fender Duo Sonics Good? Unbiased Review From Music Detailed

1 – The Tools you need

2 – The Guitar tuning process

1 – The Tools you need:

To tune your guitar perfectly to the correct pitch, you would need a good Guitar Tuner. Guitar Tuners can either be Hardware-based tuners or you can use Guitar Tuner Apps available in Mobile (Android and IOS) for the tuning procedure.

2 – The Guitar Tuning Process:

Professional guitarists use their “ear” and tone knowledge to tune their guitar strings. With the experience they have in playing guitars and understanding note pitches, they use a “reference instrument” such as another guitar or piano sound to tune the strings one by one.

However, if you are beginner or an aspiring guitarist who has recently started playing the gig, you must use a guitar tuner for the purpose of tuning the strings.

Below are the basic steps that one must take up for the guitar tuning to be perfectly working for the instrument:

  • Take your guitar and Tuner app / Chromatic Tuner with you to a calm and silent place.
  • The target of tuning is to achieve the tuner pointer in the middle position of the scale. Once the pointer reaches the middle, the string is perfectly tuned.
  • Rotate the tuning keys for each string as required to achieve the desirable pitch for tuning your guitar.
  • First, tune the 6th string first (E note) using the tuner. The perfect tuning will be achieved once the string is tuned to E note on the tuner.
  • For the second step, tune the 5th string to A note using the tuner.
  • On the third step, tune the 4th string to D note using the tuner.
  • Next choose the 3rd string to tune to G Note with the tuner.
  • After the 3rd string is perfectly tuned, use the 2nd string to tune to a perfect B note using the tuner.
  • As a final step, choose the 1st string of your guitar and tune it to the E note with the tuner.

After all the 6 strings are tuned in the order of

E – A – D – G – B – E

Consider the tuning job completed. Now your guitar should be perfectly ready for jamming and performances.

Guitar Tuners available for tuning

Broadly speaking, there are 2 varieties of guitar tuners available in the stores to choose for your tuning needs.

RELATED POSTS  Does The Shape Of An Electric Guitar Matter ? Amazing Facts

Hardware Based Guitar Tuners

These tuners are used to tune the acoustic and electric guitars using an audio Input / Line input. An audio cable is connected to your guitar and the tuner to detect the audio signal for tuning the strings of the instrument.

Hardware guitar tuners can be either Chromatic Tuners or Pedal Tuners based on the nature of tuning process used inside the tuner hardware.

Pros: These tuners provide accurate tuning options as they directly pickup the audio signal from the guitar and analyze the same for a perfect pitch.

Cons: The options could be bit limited and being hardware based, they are subject to maintenance, wear and tear.

Mobile App Based Guitar Tuners

With the advent of mobile apps, software technology – musicians and developers have designed Mobile Guitar Tuning apps for IOS and Android phones which are plentily available on the app store for download.

These app tuners can replicate the functions and tuning capabilities of hardware tuners and help musicians to tune their guitars without carrying any additional hardware gear.

Pros: Mobile tuning apps and convenient, do not need any hardware support and provide the tuning solution for all types of guitars without any hassles.

Cons: The tuning quality sometimes gets compromised if you do not choose the correct and tested apps from the app store / play store while tuning your guitar. Hence select the best rated tuning apps for your guitar tuning purpose.

For more details and insight about the best high-quality hardware and software guitar tuners, please check out our in-depth article on the Top 10 Guitar Tuners you can choose for your Guitar

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is guitartuning_infographic_2.jpg


Final Verdict and Conclusion

Guitar tuning is an essential practice for your guitar and needs to be done on a regular basis. After each session of practice or performance, you must tune your guitar perfectly with the aid of tuners to get the perfect pitch and sound quality for the next session. With regular habit of tuning, the longevity of your guitar is also improved. We therefore suggest you to keep in mind all the above artifacts and steps related to guitar tuning to get the best output of your musical instrument for each and every performance and sessions going forward.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.