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(@mercury187)
Eminent Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 38
Topic starter  

I am still really new to playing guitar, have had a couple lessons in the past but decided to try again. Now, I have this tuner: and I thought you were supposed to plug it into the guitar and hit a string and then line tune it up so it lights up green (just like in the picture). I met up with a new instructor last night and he retuned it by ear, then I got home to check out my tuner and now its tuned like this:
E: +10
B: +20(#?)
G: +20(#?)
D: +20(#?)
A: -20(b?)
E: +20(#?)

Do I have the tuner set wrong or using it wrong or something or is that how your supposed to tune it?


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(@fretsource)
Prominent Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 974
 

Guitars don't stay in perfect tune very long. Your new instructor tuned it because it had probably gone out a little, but by the time you got it home, it could easily have changed a little again. (Changes in temperature and humidity can cause it) That's why guitarists, unlike pianists, check the tuning by ear everytime they pick up the guitar (not that many pianists can pick up their piano anyway :D )
Tune it the way you described - that's the correct way.


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(@mercury187)
Eminent Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 38
Topic starter  

the correct way is to hit a string and tune it until the green light comes on? Theres no way it got that far out of tune on the 5-10 minute drive home...


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(@blueline)
Noble Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 1705
 

I wouldn't worry too much about it. Tune your guitar using the tuner and play for a bit. You'll be able to tell if the guitar is out of tune after playing a few chords. I always play an open G chord and listen to it carefully.

Do you have brand new strings on the guitar? If not stretched out properly, the strings could go out of tune easily.

Teamwork- A few harmless flakes working together can unleash an avalanche of destruction.


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(@mercury187)
Eminent Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 38
Topic starter  

I think I've only replaced one string since I got the guitar 4 or so years ago. I looked at the strings up close and some of them do got some gunk on them and I noticed the thick E string does kind of have a dent in it at one of the frets I think (guitar is at home). I guess I should have had him connect my tuner while he was doing it so I could see what he does, maybe I'll email him and ask him....


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(@blueline)
Noble Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 1705
 

That sounds like a great approach. This way, your teacher can get a feel for your knowledge base as well.

Teamwork- A few harmless flakes working together can unleash an avalanche of destruction.


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(@minotaur)
Noble Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 1092
 

My teacher used to re-tune my guitar every session, even though it was in tune with my electronic tuner. His reason... that I should be in tune with him. Especially after another lesson in which he did some different tunings (drop D, whole step down, etc.). Well OK, someone has to be in tune with someone. But it annoyed the crap out of me, because I'd go home and retune to my tuner.

It is difficult to answer when one does not understand the question.


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(@mercury187)
Eminent Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 38
Topic starter  

My teacher used to re-tune my guitar every session, even though it was in tune with my electronic tuner. His reason... that I should be in tune with him. Especially after another lesson in which he did some different tunings (drop D, whole step down, etc.). Well OK, someone has to be in tune with someone. But it annoyed the crap out of me, because I'd go home and retune to my tuner.

I thought it was in tune and when I played the little opening riff from Nirvana teen spirit and smoke on the water they sounded great, now after he tweaked my strings they don't sound that great when I play them now..


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(@diceman)
Reputable Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 408
 

Do yourself a favor and change the strings ! 4 years for one set of strings is 3.5 years too long . There can't be any brightness left in your strings after that amount of time . The strings have lost most of their elasticity and your intonation has to be suffering for it . If you're not sure how to change them , get someone else to do it for you . If you can't afford new strings ($4 or $5 ?) get some string cleaner and clean the gunk off them . You might hear some improvement .

If I claim to be a wise man , it surely means that I don't know .


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(@mercury187)
Eminent Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 38
Topic starter  

Oh ok, I haven't been playing on them for that long, its been mostly sitting for all that time... hadn't played on it not even 4 months before I moved and had it packed away...


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(@dubyatf)
Trusted Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 64
 

Like diceman says! I usually go about 4 months on a set - but always ask myself why I didn't change them sooner after I change them. The more I change them the better I get at it too. It doesn't take nearly as long anymore. Even if the guitar just sits oxidization seems to always come in to play for me. "Rust never sleeps"! :)


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(@adrianjmartin)
Trusted Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 76
 

Seems to me that the instructor didn't tune the guitar right( They can be wrong).
What did he use a reference?

I know a few people who play and they insist they can tune the guitar by ear, I lend them my little Seiko tuner. And they come back the next day saying they've ordered one.

I've since bought another electronic one that doubles as a metronome - and has a larger screen and is slightly easier to use.


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(@mercury187)
Eminent Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 38
Topic starter  

he didn't use anything, he hit a few strings on his while he worked on mine, he said he has a tuner but i guess didn't use it.


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(@jwmartin)
Noble Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 1437
 

Two things...

1) yea, it could get that far out of tune in a 5 minute drive home, especially if there are drastic temperature differences or high humidity. 2) you said he tuned it by ear and it looks like he was just a little off. All but the low E are off by the same amount, which means they are in relative tune with themselves. So he might have had them all in relative tune, but your low E dropped a bit on the way home.

Bass player for Undercover


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(@mmoncur)
Estimable Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 168
 

1. Your instructor could have done it wrong.

2. If it's cold outside and you spent any time at all getting home, temperature alone could have thrown it that far out of tune.

3. If your guitar has a tremolo (whammy bar), then leaning on that even slightly could have thrown the guitar that far out of tune.

4. If your strings are that old, breathing on them could throw it that far out of tune.

5. +-20 cents isn't THAT far out of tune, especially when 4 of the strings were off by exactly the same amount.

My guess: your teacher's guitar is tuned about 20 cents sharp (that's not unusual, they can drift sharp or flat) and he did a pretty good job tuning by ear. Also, your A string is about to snap.


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