fretjam guitar lessons logo
Beginners
Fretboard
Chords
Scales

Lead
Rhythm
Progressions
Theory
Questions
Advice
Resources
Latest
Donate
Contact
About
email iconyoutube buttonGoogle Plus iconRSS icon
Home > Tuning > 5th Fret Tuning

How to Tune a Guitar - 5th Fret Method

Most guitarists at some point learn how to tune a guitar using the 5th fret method where you essentially tune a guitar "to itself" (known as relative tuning).



This is perfect for when you don't have access to an electronic tuner, online tuner or any other pitch reference (e.g. a piano to tune your guitar to) and you're just playing alone.

If you are just playing alone, tuning a guitar to itself doesn't have to be accurate in the sense that the individual strings don't need to be absolutely tuned to their desired notes (E A D G B e).

As long as they are tuned relatively your music will sound in tune.

Follow the steps below on how to tune a guitar quickly...


Relative tuning using the 5th fret method

Start with the lowest/fattest string, this will be your base reference for tuning the other strings. Again, it doesn't matter if the low E is in fact nearer to an E flat, because the other strings will be tuned in relation to whatever note that 1st string is.

1) Fret the low E string at the 5th fret

2) Still fretting the low E string, play the open A string above it:

open A string tuned to the low E string at 5th fret

3)
If the open A string sounds lower than the 5th fret E string, tune it up until it sounds exactly the same note...

Click to hear

If the open A string sounds higher than the E string at fret 5, first tune it down lower, then tune it up until it sounds exactly the same note...

Click to hear

Note: Tuning up ensures the string's tension is locked and will therefore stay in tune longer.

4) Repeat the same process, but with the A string at the 5th fret and the D string open - tune up or down until the A string at fret 5 and the open D string become the same note.

open D string tuned to the A string at the 5th fret

5)
Repeat the same process, but with the D string at the 5th fret and the G string open - tune up or down until the D string at fret 5 and the open G string become the same note.

open G string tuned to the D string at 5th fret

6) This is where it changes slightly, because the tuning interval between the G and B string is different. Instead of tuning to the 5th fret, fret the G string at fret 4. Then just follow the same process of tuning the B string up or down until it becomes the same note as the G string at fret 4.

open B string tuned to G string at 4th fret

7) Finally, it's back to the usual 5th fret method, with the B string at fret 5 and the open high E string. Follow the same tuning process as before!

open high E string tuned to the B string at 5th fret

So, you should now know how to tune a guitar to itself anywhere! Play a few chords to hear how accurately you tuned up, and make any tweaks necessary (the guitar's tension is altered slightly for each string you tune so you may need to go back and fine tune).

Over time your ear will become more accurately trained to matching up those notes, and you'll eventually find this to be the quickest and easiest way to tune up when playing by yourself or just with a vocalist or percussionist.

Was this lesson useful? Please let others know, cheers...



learn more about Jamplay


blog comments powered by Disqus

How to Tune a Guitar in Other Ways





         
          Subscribe
  -  Help  -  Donate  -  About  -  Contact  -  Site Policies


Subscribe to me on YouTubesmall RSS feed buttonBe Yourself On Guitar                                                       By Mike Beatham Copyright © 2014 fretjam.com