This is a public version of the members-only Rock Guitar with Paul Gilbert, at ArtistWorks. Functionality is limited, but CLICK HERE for full access if you’re ready to take your playing to the next level.

These lessons are available only to members of Rock Guitar with Paul Gilbert.
Join Now

30 Day Challenge
«Prev of Next»

Rock Guitar Lessons: Tuning

Lesson Video Exchanges () submit video Submit a Video Lesson Study Materials () This lesson calls for a video submission
Study Materials
information below
Lesson Specific Downloads
Play Along Tracks
Backing Tracks +
Written Materials +




Additional Materials +
resource information below Close
Collaborations for
resource information below Close
Submit a video for   
Rock Guitar
information below Close
Course Description

This is only a preview of what you get when you take Rock Guitar Lessons at ArtistWorks. Sign up today for unlimited access to all lessons, plus submit videos to your teacher for personal feedback on your playing.

CLICK HERE for full access.
It's time to get our guitars in tune, and,
there's an art to tuning.
But the easiest way to start and the way I
recommend to start,
is to use an electronic tuner.
I've got one clipped onto the end of my
guitar right here,
just clips on the headstock.
And I can look at it.
And when I play a note, [SOUND] it shows
If it's in tune, or if it's flat, it's
gonna go lower.
If it's sharp, it's gonna go higher.
You can watch that red light.
So, here's one trick, is that I always
want to tune from below the note, and
so, if it's sharp like that, I'm not even
gonna worry about,
I'm just gonna go be, below the note
Then once I'm below,
I'm going to give it a little stretch, or
bend it, and then I'm gonna, hit that.
And slowly, bring it up.
There we go.
Now I'm playing harmonics, and I like
those because they sustain.
And they seem to be accurate.
When you, when you do tuning.
You could also use an open note.
That's good too.
The other thing I would recommend is to
not hit it hard.
I mean, normally I love hitting the guitar
hard, but for tuning I want to hit it,
fairly softly because what can happen if
you hit it too hard, it can actually
temporarily make the string go sharp, and
then, you know, your, your tuning, you,
your, it just gets all thrown off.
So while you're tuning, hit softly
[SOUND], or use a harmonic [SOUND], and
then just go through each string one at a
time [SOUND], and tune from below again.
Now I wanna show
you something that happens.
If you do hit hard, like on this G string,
did you see how it jumped sharp, briefly?
It went into the red above it, and then it
fell back down.
That's what happens when you hit a string
really hard it sorta goes [INAUDIBLE], and
comes back down.
So, rather than have to deal with that, I
just hit it nice and
soft, and I always like to do it from
And now especially the G string,
which is the third string, and the sixth
Those are the trickiest to tune, and they
tend to go sharp.
So, if anything if I start to see the note
kind of moving around,
I'll air on the flat side of it.
[SOUND] So right now that's pretty sharp,
but if it's a little flat,
I'm almost okay with that.
[SOUND] Yeah so, so that's alright.
I don't mind if it's just a hair.
[SOUND] Cuz see when I hit it hard it goes
sharper a lot [SOUND].
And then falls back down.
And then, yeah, ya kinda have to wait
until its lost it's, ya know,
until it's getting quieter.
We can, we can really tell.
Oh, another way I wanna tell you about is
the G chord.
I think a great test, cuz ya know we've
been, we've been tuning visually, but,
you know, it's gotta sound good, so I
would recommend a G chord.
If a G chord sounds good you're in tune.
I think that's the best chord to tune to
to test out if you're in tune.
If you don't know G chord we'll learn one
coming up and but for
now let's use the electronic one.
Now they also,
besides these clip on ones they als make
ones you can plug in on the floor, and
you can stomp on them and it mutes your
guitar which is kind of nice.
Let's have a look at that.
So let's have a look at this tuner on the
floor and this one right now
the tuner is off so when I play a note you
hear it and you don't see anything.
If I click on it it's gonna mute the note
which is kinda nice cuz that way you can
tune and your audience isn't gonna hear a
big loud tuning noise.
But I can see the notes as I play them and
tune them this is really nice and
accurate this big LED display so I like
this one a lot
and lets see lets turn it back on now that
we're in tune check it with our G chord.
That sounds beautiful doesn't it?
[GUITAR] Alright.
Now there is one other common way to tune
on the guitar.
And that is to press on the fifth fret of
one of the strings.
Let's choose the sixth string, and
that's going to be the same note as the
fifth string.
[GUITAR] You can sort of tell they are the
same that way.
I found that if you keep doing that,
then you run into some problems
cuz that tune, that string is actually
tuned differently than the other ones.
So when you get to your third string,
you're gonna have to go down a half-step
to the fourth fret [SOUND] and you can
check if those are the same.
Then back up to the fifth fret for
the end so it's and
you can adjust accordingly.
I tend to, to stay away from this a little
I like the electronic tuners and I like
the G chord as a test, and, but
if you just wanna check real quick to make
sure that nothing is really, really crazy.
It's funny too.
You can actually hear, if you listen to
like a live Jimi Hendrix record or
live albums, you'll hear the people in
the, the guitar player before the song.
So, I guess, if it's good enough for
Hendrix, it's good enough for anybody.
So whether you wanna use a tuner.
The fourths.
A tuner on your head stock.
G chord.
Or hire a guitar tech.
One of those methods will definitely
work and get you in tune and be ready to