GUITAR 101: Tuning by Ear, Part 1

Believe it or don't, until electronic tuners became available in the ‘70s, people used to tune their guitars by ear. Not everybody was that good at it. You even used to hear "out-of-tuneness" on hit records. You might not like the music that's being recorded now, but at least it's in tune. Paul Zollo Paul Zollo Believe it or don't, until electronic tuners became available in the ‘70s, people used to tune their guitars by ear. Not everybody was that good at it. You even used to hear "out-of-tuneness" on hit records. You might not like the music that's being recorded now, but at least it's in tune. The ability to tune by ear is an important skill that many people completely overlook, especially since tuners are so accurate and compact now. Yet anything that involves close listening is a good thing. In my opinion, there isn't enough listening like this going on. Music is about sounds, so you must learn to listen, and tuning your guitar by ear is a big part of this process. I heartily recommend that every guitarist own a chromatic tuner and use it, even though these tuners have limitations. Don't assume that your guitar is in perfect tune just because your open strings match the little lights and needles. What your tuner is telling you is that one particular note is vibrating at a certain frequency. When you play a chord, the combination of those frequencies may not sound so great. Your open G chord may sound great, but your open E chord might suck. If the intonation on your guitar isn't accurate, all your chords will not sound right as you move around the neck. So the first thing you need to do is... Sign In to Keep Reading

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