There are some things that you should just not be without. One of these is an electronic tuner for making sure that you are always in tune. There are a wide variety of them on the market ranging from very simple to more complex models which can help you tune every string all at the same time. If you intend to play both acoustic and electric guitar make sure that your tuner has both a 'line in' socket (for electric) and a microphone (for acoustic). One like the following should be more than adequate for most players.
If you're just planning on playing acoustic, the following 'clip-on' tuner is worth having.
In my earlier post (Tuning #1) I said that you need to make sure that your guitar is in tune if it is to sound any good. If you are playing on your own, you need not worry too much about the exact notes - all you need to do is ensure that each of the strings is in tune with the others.Here's how to do this.
You should learn to do this for yourself and you will eventually need to tune up to exactly the right notes, but this will hopefully enable you to sound good while practising. To get the notes exactly right, I would recommend using my on-line tuner, or to purchase an electronic tuner which can be used for any occasion (more on this later...).
It can be quite demoralising when beginners are just getting to grips with their first chords and it really doesn't sound quite right. The fingerings are right; you're playing all the strings you're supposed to, and none that you're not. But it still sounds rubbish and nothing like it did in the lesson. The answer is probably 'Tuning'. Each of the guitar strings should be 'tuned' to the correct note or pitch. As you look down on the guitar the first string you see, and the fattest, is the E string. The next is A, then D, then G, then B, and then another E. Each of the strings can be made looser or tighter by turning the Tuning Pegs at the end of the guitar - these are basically butterfly type screws that connect to the peg that the strings are wound around. The tighter that you make a string, the higher its pitch or note will be, and the looser that you make a string, the lower its pitch or note will be. All you need to do is to tune (tension) each string so that they are correct. i.e. E A D G B E. How do you do that? I'll answer that in a later post! For now, don't be put off. Just keep practising those chord shapes in the sure and certain knowledge that when you've tuned up it'll sound great.....!
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