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can a beginner tune a guitar by ear

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(@jadiny)
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Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 83
Topic starter  

ok basically im learnin the guitar my eunthusiasm is sky high thanx to those who replyed im bak on trak (well nearly).enyway ive noticed my guitar is well out of tune can a beginner tune in the guitar by ear the correct way or do you haveto develop the (musical ear) thanx :D

Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions small people always do that, but the really great ones make you feel that you too, can become great.

--Mark Twain


   
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(@jbehar)
Trusted Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 81
 

If you mean simply picking up the guitar and tuning it with no reference its not very likely that you'd be able to do it. that would require perfect pitch.

however if you have a reference its not hard. There are a few online guitar tuners that give you the corect notes through your computer speakers and all you have to do is make your guitat match them. I believe there are even a few that use your built in microphone on your computer to help you tune.

Whatever way you use, tune your guitar right now and practice a while. The enthusiasm and motivation will carry through.


   
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(@noteboat)
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Joined: 21 years ago
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People vary quite a bit in their ability to match a pitch by ear. In either relative tuning (just tuning the strings to themselves so the sound is acceptable, even if the guitar is in the wrong key) or standard tuning, where you're matching E, A, C, or some other reference pitch, the key is having to match the pitch.

Most beginners will have some sense of relational pitch developed from just listening or singing over the years. You know if a sound is too high, too low, or pretty close. How well you'll do at tuning depends on how wide the 'pretty close' range is.

Some beginners will be able to tune within 5 cents or so right off the bat, which can sound ok - although not perfect, it's probably close, as the errors will tend to be in both directions. Most are off a bit more than that. As you develop musical experience, your ear becomes more critical, and you get closer. I've noticed that the development of electronic tuners has exposed how poor many 'trained ears' are (I'm including my own here). We develop the ability to listen for beats, and get much closer than beginners, but then the timbral differences between strings make it a little muddy. If I tune completely by ear, then check on an electronic tuner, I'm usually off by just under 1 cent.

Guitar teacher offering lessons in Plainfield IL


   
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(@ignar-hillstrom)
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Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 5349
 

I'd suggest getting a tuner. Then everytime you need to tune do it by ear first, and then double-check with a tuner. You need to practice your hearing, and you definitely don't want to practice with an out-of-tune guitar.


   
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(@jadiny)
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Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 83
Topic starter  

yeh i definetly need a guitar tuner i will have 2 buy1. but surely practisin wiv an out of tune guitar wudnt hinder u cause ur learnin the fingerings and pikin.

thanx agen jadiny :D

Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions small people always do that, but the really great ones make you feel that you too, can become great.

--Mark Twain


   
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(@gnease)
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Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 5038
 

People vary quite a bit in their ability to match a pitch by ear. In either relative tuning (just tuning the strings to themselves so the sound is acceptable, even if the guitar is in the wrong key) or standard tuning, where you're matching E, A, C, or some other reference pitch, the key is having to match the pitch.

Most beginners will have some sense of relational pitch developed from just listening or singing over the years. You know if a sound is too high, too low, or pretty close. How well you'll do at tuning depends on how wide the 'pretty close' range is.

Some beginners will be able to tune within 5 cents or so right off the bat, which can sound ok - although not perfect, it's probably close, as the errors will tend to be in both directions. Most are off a bit more than that. As you develop musical experience, your ear becomes more critical, and you get closer. I've noticed that the development of electronic tuners has exposed how poor many 'trained ears' are (I'm including my own here). We develop the ability to listen for beats, and get much closer than beginners, but then the timbral differences between strings make it a little muddy. If I tune completely by ear, then check on an electronic tuner, I'm usually off by just under 1 cent.

Even those with questionable pitch can usually learn to tune using beat notes. Once upon a time, that's how many budding musicians were taught to tune up. In fact, it used to be one of the first things taught on most tunable instruments.

-=tension & release=-


   
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(@nicktorres)
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Joined: 16 years ago
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Hi Jadiny,

Can you do us a favor? We have readers from around the world. Many of those readers speak English as a second or third language. To make things clearer we stay away from shorthand, try to punctuate correctly and spell out words.

Regarding tuning, you can tune to an online guitar tuner. Check out the freebies section for a link.

Tuning up should be the first thing you do every time you pick your guitar up.

Thanks,

Nick


   
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(@jadiny)
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Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 83
Topic starter  

everytime you pick up your guitar are you supposed to tune it in isn't that a little excessive.

thank you :D

Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions small people always do that, but the really great ones make you feel that you too, can become great.

--Mark Twain


   
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(@nicktorres)
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Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 5381
 

Nope, that isn't excessive.

I mean if you pick it up and tune it, decide you need to go get a drink of water and then come back, you don't need to tune it again.

But if I'm playing first thing in the morning and then playing again in the evening, I'll check it.

If I'm on stage I'll check it several times in a single evening.


   
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(@gnease)
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Joined: 20 years ago
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Agree with Nick. But realize that after a while one is able to pick up a guitar, strum one or two chords and tell immediately if tuning is required -- and often it's not.

-=tension & release=-


   
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(@ignar-hillstrom)
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Joined: 21 years ago
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I check my western for tuning every time I pick it up. I check my locking Ibanez for tuning once every week or so (after the initial period of strings settling in ofcourse).


   
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(@jadiny)
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Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 83
Topic starter  

obviously i know im wrong now ,but the last time i tuned my guitar was august just gone im so confused :? because someone told me to tune my guitar every 6 months which is just ridiculous from what people have told me. i attempted yesterday to tune it in but it all seems impossible i can't find a link anywhere so i can try to tune the damn thing in it's all so stressful . can any1 help :(

thanx

Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions small people always do that, but the really great ones make you feel that you too, can become great.

--Mark Twain


   
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(@ignar-hillstrom)
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Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 5349
 

Get your guitar, walk towards a local music store, ask for a tuner ($20) and ask if they can explain how it works. Easiest way by far.


   
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(@noteboat)
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Joined: 21 years ago
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Even those with questionable pitch can usually learn to tune using beat notes.
I completely agree, Greg. My point is that if I tune by ear, listening for the beats, I'll still be off by roughly a cent against an electronic tuner, especially where the instrument switches to a plain string.

Guitar teacher offering lessons in Plainfield IL


   
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(@pyaara_wala)
Eminent Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 37
 

I can probably tune by ear, im a beginner too, but I use a tuner anyway, cuz u dont want to risk getting used to the wrong chord sounds or something (THATS IF U MESS UP TUNING) just use a tuner, its not worth it, unless your a pro or just plain confident.


   
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