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learn guitar  | online guitar | natural harmonics

  

Learn Guitar Online: Tuning Your Guitar Using Natural Harmonics

  

  Unfortunately you don't really ever get your guitar perfectly in
  tune, you just strive for ever-closer approximations.

  Unlike the keyboard, the guitar is not "well-tempered", in Bach's
  time, it was discovered that, the intonation problem could be
  averaged over the entire keyboard resulting in an instrument that
  was close to being in tune in all keys.

  It's a good idea to have a number of ways of tuning your guitar,
  apart from using an electronic tuner.

  Here's a list of three basic tuning methods that should prove
  helpful in our constant quest to achieve acceptable intonation on
  the guitar.


  1. Traditional tuning method

  (a) Tune your sixth string using a piano, electronic tuner or
  another guitar. The sixth string will be your reference point.

  (b) Tuning the 5th string - place your finger on the 6th string,
  at the 5th fret, play the 6th string. Now, tune the open 5th
  string. If the two notes sound the same they are in tune. If they
  do not sound the same, then the 5th string is either too high or
  too low in pitch compared to the sixth string.

  (c) Tuning the 4th string - place your finger on the 5th string,
  at the 5th fret. Tune the open 4th string.If they do not sound
  the same, then the 4th string is either too high or too low in
  pitch compared to the sixth string.

  (d) Tuning the 3rd string - place your finger on the 4th string,
  at the 5th fret. Tune the open 3rd string. If the two notes sound
  the same they are in tune.

  (e) Tuning the 2nd string - place your finger on the 3rd string,
  at the 4th fret. Tune the open 2nd string. If the two notes sound
  the same they are in tune.

  (f) Tuning the 1st string - place your finger on the 2nd string,
  at the 5th fret. Tune the open 1st string. If the two notes sound
  the same they are in tune.



  2. Tuning Using Natural Harmonics

  (a) play the natural harmonic on the 6th string, at the 5 fret
  and compare that pitch with the harmonic on the 7th fret, 5th
  string.

  (b) play the natural harmonic on the 5th string, at the 5th fret
  and compare that pitch with the harmonic on the 7th fret, 4th
  string.

  (c) play the natural harmonic on the 4th string, at the 5th fret
  and compare that pitch with the harmonic on the 7th fret, 3rd
  string.

  (d) play the natural harmonic on the 3rd string, at the 4th fret
  and compare that pitch with the harmonic on the 5th fret, 2nd
  string.

  Please note, some guitarists prefer to tune the 2nd string by
  comparing the natural harmonic on the 3rd string, 5th fret with
  the fretted note on the 8th fret, 2nd string.

  (e) play the natural harmonic on the 2nd string, at the 5th fret
  and compare that pitch with the harmonic on the 7th fret, 1st
  string.



  3. Tuning Using Octaves

  (a) compare the pitch of the 6th string open, with the fretted
  note on the 5th string, 7th fret.

  (b) compare the pitch of the 5th string open, with the fretted
  note on the 4th string, 7th fret.

  (c) compare the pitch of the 4th string open, with the fretted
  note on the 3rd string, 7th fret.

  (d) compare the pitch of the 3rd string open, with the fretted
  note on the 2nd string, 8th fret.

  (e) compare the pitch of the 2nd string open, with the fretted
  note on the 1st string, 7th fret.

  When using octaves as a tuning method listen carefully to the
  musical interval between the two notes, it should sound like the
  first two notes in the tune "Somewhere Over The Rainbow".

  Tuning by "sight" with an electronic tuner is convenient when you
  are in a noisy environment and it is difficult to hear your
  instrument well enough to determine the correct pitch.

  However, each guitar has it's own individual tuning peculiarities
  and although the tuner might tell you that the guitar is in tune,
  it is always a best to double check using a variety of tuning
  methods.
 

   

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As a student of Mike Hayes since 1999, I have found his teaching methods and products to be first class. Whatever style or area of music I have been interested in, he has provided me with useful information, advice and study materials. His style of teaching and teaching products enabled me to progress through his guitar course far quicker than I ever imagined. He also helps in teaching yourself to find and develop your own style of music. Mike’s teaching gives his student’s the ability to become useful musicians, not just guitarists.

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Australia

 


 

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