How to Self-tune your Acoustic Guitar

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Self-tune your acoustic guitar from the bottom string up, either with a tuning device or through the use of relative pitch until you achieve even tuning throughout the instrument. View a demonstration in this free video of acoustic guitar lessons.

Part of the Video Series: Acoustic Guitar Lessons
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Video Transcript

Hi, I'm Chay Alexander Wright, a Guitarist residing in Los Angeles, California. Today, we're going to talk about how to self-tune your classical acoustic guitar. I like to self-tune with what's called relative pitch which is a, a form of perfect pitch and I just trained myself to, to remember what an E is and I start at the bottom string or the sixth string really at the top of the instrument, at the top of the guitar and I just hum a pitch that E, "Hmmmm", "Hmmmm", some of you if you got to tuner handy, you can check me on that, I might be a couple of sense off. But, "Hmmmm", if I've got to do something where I don't have to be perfectly in tune with other instruments, then, that's relative enough, close enough where I can play where I need to play. "Hmmmm", that's E. "Hmmmm". If this looks, this instrument is about in tune, "Hmmmm". And to go to, to go to the next string, the A string, I like to tune with bell tones. So, I'll tune the A string to the E string, the sixth string that I just tune with my relative pitch E, "Hmmm". Tuning A, bell tone, fifth fret up; we're going to go five frets up, one, two, three, four, five. We're going to take our index finger, put it on or over the fifth fret, right over to produce that bell tone. Just barely touching it. And on the second string, or the next string, the fifth string, A string, we're going to go seventh frets up. One, two, three, four, five, six, seven. I like to take my third finger and place it over the seventh fret for that bell tone and we play, we tune the sixth fret, it's the, the fifth fret or the fifth string at the seventh fret to the sixth string, the fifth fret. Okay. Now, we're going to do the same thing, the fifth string tuning the fourth string to the fifth string. We go fifth string five frets up, one, two, three, four, five; index finger right over the fifth string tuning the bell tone, the fifth fret on the fifth string, getting the bell tone. And on the fourth string, the next string, the E string we're going to go seventh frets up; one, two, three, four, five, six, seven. We're going to take our third finger, put it on the, over the seventh fret on that D string, tuning it to the fifth fret on the fifth string. Now, we're going to do the same thing going or tuning the fourth string to the fifth string. So, now we're going to do the same thing tuning the third string to the fourth string. So, training, tuning the third string G to the fourth string D on the D string, five frets up; one, two, three, four, five, right over the fifth fret. Take the index finger. Hit that bell tone on the third string, G string, seventh frets up; one, two, three, four, five, six, seven. Third finger right over the seventh fret on the third string, tuning that to the fifth fret on the fourth string. We're going to do a little different on this next set. We're going to tune the second string to the third string; no bell tones on this one. So, the third string we're going to hit B, fourth frets up and we're going to tune open B second string to that. Then, on the final tuning step, tuning the first string to the second string, we're going to go back to the early technique with the bell tones. So, on the second string B, we're going to go five frets up again; one, two, three, four, five; five frets. Index finger over the fifth fret, bell tone D which is B and on the first string E we're going to go seven frets up; one, two, three, four, five, six, seven. Third finger over the seventh fret E and we're going to tune that to the B there. Okay. And it should be in tune. You can always go back and settle that in. "Hmmmm". The same thing. Now, I take a strum in E chord, double check. And when you play the chord you can hear how even the tuning is from one string, one note to the next. It's a little and you just adjust, you adjust the instrument base on what you hear. So, that's pretty even and let's move more. Okay. Let's do one more. That's pretty even right there. I'm Chay Alexander Wright and that's how to self-tune your acoustic classical guitar.

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