Tuning Up Tips

Tuning Up Tips
When tuning up using what is known as "Relative Tuning", where a note played on one string is compared to the adjacent open string, the place where the string is actually plucked by the right hand is crucial if one is to get the same (or as close as possible) tonal sound on both strings.

If you are tuning two adjacent strings together, plucking both strings over the soundhole will produce two different tonal sounds, due to one string being held (at fret 5 for instance) and the other string being open.

If you find Relative Tuning a little tricky, try this:

Beginning with string six, hold down this string at the 5th fret and pluck the string gently with the right hand over fret 17 (this will be exactly the half-way point along this string when it is held down at fret 5); now play the open fifth string at its half-way point which is fret 12. Because both strings are being plucked at their individual half-way points, the tone (a "rich" one) on both strings should be as near identical as possible.

When you have tuned the fifth string to the sixth string, repeat the above procedure for all the other strings, being careful to play each string at its half-way point (when string three is reached, you will need to pluck the string at fret 16 to get its half-way point).

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updated: 10 years ago