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Electric Country Guitar Lessons: Guitar Tuning

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This page contains a transcription of a video lesson from Country Guitar with Guthrie Trapp. This is only a preview of what you get when you take Electric Country Guitar Lessons at ArtistWorks. The transcription is only one of the valuable tools we provide our online members. Sign up today for unlimited access to all lessons, plus submit videos to your teacher for personal feedback on your playing.

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[MUSIC]
Okay, we're gonna do a little lesson
now just to run through
of how to tune guitar,
which is highly, highly important.
Man, you gotta be in tune.
I mean,
that's really one of the most important
things of playing is being in tune.
So your guitar has to be in tune.
It needs to be set up properly as well,
with a nice low action, but
not too low to where
the strings are really buzzing.
So that's part of this, too.
Your guitar's gonna stay in tune and play
in tune a lot better if it has a nice,
professional set up.
So seek out your local music store and
get somebody to do a nice professional
setup on your guitar if you don't feel
comfortable with the way it's playing, and
all that kind of stuff.
So okay, so getting to this, most of you
are probably gonna use a really nice
chromatic tuner,
where you'll plug your guitar in.
And this should definitely
be a part of your rig.
Or if not, on a pedal board or
something like that that you are using.
And it should be the first
thing that you plug into.
Your guitar should go right into the tuner
first before it goes to any other pedals,
so really important.
So I'm gonna show you how we do this.
I'm gonna de-tune my guitar.
I'm just gonna take these strings [SOUND].
I'm gonna completely de-tune my guitar.
So now, watch the tuner as I
hit each one these strings.
And I'll tell you this, the tuner's gonna
pick up the best on the back pickup.
So and this is crucial, too, back pickup,
volume and tone all the way up.
Turn the volume and tone all the way,
so your tuner gets the best signal.
And then what I wanna do is there's
a couple different ways to do this.
What we're gonna do,
we're gonna start when I hit it.
We're gonna hit the string hard enough
to where the tuner picks it up.
But we don't wanna hit the string
too hard because it'll give it
an inaccurate tuning read.
So we wanna hit just a nice solid,
[SOUND] a nice note.
And then I'm gonna come up.
[SOUND] Just small little increments and
when it reads E in the middle and
it's green.
[SOUND]
And still
a little sharp.
So I'm gonna pull, I'm actually gonna
stretch that string a little bit.
So that's a technique you can do, too.
So then try it again.
[SOUND] It's showing a little bit sharp,
but then when it drops down,
[SOUND] it's green.
So that's okay, that's in tune.
[SOUND] Now we're gonna go to A.
[SOUND] Okay,
now when that locks on green, you're good.
Go to D.
[SOUND] Okay, that tuned right up.
Just a nice little, just a soft movement.
You don't have to go too hard,
a nice little,
slow movement right up
there to that string.
I think I went sharp on this G, so
we're gonna [SOUND].
We're gonna go down.
Now when you're sharp and you're tuning
down, it's better to go below the note.
[SOUND]
And then
come back up.
[SOUND] Now what that will do is,
if you're sharp and
you come back down, what's better to do
is go below the note and come back up.
And that way you're stretching that
string around that tuning peg and
it's gonna give it a little
bit more of a lock on there.
So okay, we're gonna go to the B string.
[SOUND] And we're gonna
tune that right up.
And then E.
[SOUND] We're tuning that right up.
[MUSIC]
[MUSIC]
Okay, so another thing you can do is,
obviously, that's with
the chromatic tuner.
Another thing we can do is
another way I like to tune with
the chromatic tuner which is
a little bit more advanced,
if you will, technique in tuning.
Is to use the harmonics,
which are at the 12th fret.
[SOUND] And
you engage those by just touching
the top of the string [SOUND] and
releasing.
And you have them at the 5th fret,
[SOUND] the 7th, [SOUND] and the 12th.
[SOUND] There are some other ones up
here 19th fret and above the pickup.
But you don't need those for tuning, so.
So what we can do is I'll check
it a couple different ways,
I'll do the 7th fret, [SOUND] which
will be the 5 of your one note.
So if you're doing the harmonic on
the 12 fret on the low E string, [SOUND]
that's your E, but if you do the 7th fret,
[SOUND] it's gonna register as B.
So the easiest thing to do
is just do the 12th fret.
So I'll do 12th fret.
[SOUND] It's showing a little flat.
[SOUND] And
you want to hit this repeatedly.
You don't want to hit it
too many times like this.
[SOUND] But you don't want to hit
it [SOUND] and then try to tune.
You want to hit it [SOUND] and then tune
and then hit it [SOUND] and then tune.
So let's do the A,
we'll do the A harmonic.
[SOUND] That's good, E let's see.
[SOUND] That's showing a little flat.
[SOUND] And then the D.
[SOUND] Okay, G, [SOUND] a little flat.
Showing a little flat.
[SOUND] And then
we'll go to B.
[SOUND] Okay, and then E.
[SOUND] And you can go back and
forth between hitting the open string and
the harmonic.
So that's tuning with the electronic
tuner, open strings and the harmonic.
Now here is another thing you can do.
Now watch this.
And this is a great way to train your ear.
Because you need to train your ear to
know when your guitar is out of tune.
And to know to be able to tune it back up.
So here's another great exercise.
So if you hit the harmonic on the 5th
fret of the E string, [SOUND] and
then you hit it on the 7th fret
of the A string, [SOUND] they're
gonna have the same harmonic note, so,
[MUSIC]
so there's that.
So listen to how this sounds
when I detune my low E string.
[SOUND] And what it is is you can hear
those sound waves going super fast.
Because they're not in tune,
so listen to that again.
[MUSIC]
That sounds terrible.
So watch this, I'm not even gonna look
at the tuner and I'm gonna tune this up.
[MUSIC]
Now do you hear that even out like that?
[MUSIC]
That means those harmonics are now in
tune, they're in unison,
I'll do it one more time.
[MUSIC]
You can really hear
those waves come together.
I'll do it one more time.
[MUSIC]
You can hear them come right in.
[MUSIC]
So
this works on the 5th
fret of the E string.
[SOUND] 7th fret of the A string.
[SOUND] 5th fret of the A string.
[SOUND] 7th fret of the D string.
[SOUND] 5th fret of the D string.
[SOUND] 7th fret of the G string.
[SOUND] So
then when you get to B since it's tuned,
[SOUND] since it's tuned differently.
You're gonna go to the 7th
fret of the E string.
[SOUND] And then hit the B string open,
or the B harmonic.
So 7th on the low E,
and then the B string.
So if those are in tune,
[SOUND] you're good.
Same thing on the A, 7th fret.
[SOUND] 12th fret on the high E.
[SOUND] But you can also do the unisons
on the 5th fret and 7th right here too.
[MUSIC]
It's a little harder to do, but
I'll show you.
[MUSIC]
Right.
[MUSIC]
So that comes right in too.
The easiest way to do that is do these,
[MUSIC]
or,
[MUSIC]
right, so
that's how you can tune without a tuner.
Another thing you can do at
the other unison place is here.
[MUSIC]
You can do 12th fret low E,
[MUSIC]
7th fret A.
[MUSIC]
12th A, 7th D,
[MUSIC]
12th D, 7th G.
And then
[MUSIC]
let's see.
[MUSIC]
There and then again.
[MUSIC]
That was a little loud, so,
[MUSIC]
okay, so
there's one more way you can tune.
And I would suggest using the chromatic
tuner until your ear gets comfortable
with maybe, and
just double checking with your harmonics.
But the chromatic tuner's
gonna be the best way to go.
The other way you can tune is,
if you're really out and
you need just a quick way to get in.
5th fret, E string, [SOUND] that's an A.
So everything repeats
itself at the 5th fret.
So there's A, [SOUND] well, that's an A on
the E string also, so you can do this.
[MUSIC]
Down to the 4th on G.
[MUSIC]
So,
[MUSIC]
so that can give you a test,
too, for tuning.
And the other thing is you just want to
make sure you have enough wraps on your
strings when you change strings.
And that'll keep you in tune too.
And just check your tuning
as much as you can.
Really be aware of being in tune.
Cuz that's a huge important,
very important part,
almost the most important part of playing.
So there's a little rundown on how to
keep your guitar in tune and in tuning.
So good luck.
[MUSIC]