Tag Archives for " Guitar Tuning "

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How To Use A Guitar Tuner

A common question beginners often ask is “How to use a guitar tuner?”

So I thought I would make a quick lesson here on how to use a digital guitar tuner to tune your guitar.

Tuning your guitar is incredibly important. If the guitar isn’t in tune, you’re not going to want to play it, because it will sound terrible. It’s pretty much that simple. So if you’re just getting started, there’s nothing that’s more demoralizing than sounding terrible all the time, so that’s something you need to fix! Strangely enough, this is still one of the most often-overlooked issues that beginners face. Simply taking the time to tune your guitar before you play it will make for a much more enjoyable practice session… and don’t even get me started if you’re planning on performing! It doesn’t matter how good a person is on the guitar, tuning the instrument is ALWAYS the first step.

As a side note, if you’re really struggling to get your guitar properly in tune, and you already know how to use a guitar tuner, then there is a very good possibility that the intonation is out on your guitar. If so, I recommend bringing your guitar to a music store or guitar tech and get it checked out. Oftentimes it will need a re-intonation, which isn’t difficult, and can make a world of difference.

How To Use A Guitar Tuner

You might also want to check out a related lesson that I did on How To Tune Your Guitar By Ear. Hopefully this lesson will clear up any questions on how to use a guitar tuner.

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Why The Guitar is a MINOR Instrument

I’ve often said that guitar is a minor instrument; however the other day someone called me on that and asked me to explain it.

You see, that’s why the minor guitar scales sound best (in my humble opinion) on the guitar.

Not that other scales don’t sound good, but the minor ones sound great, and they have the added benefit of just lining up great, fingering-wise.

Have you ever noticed how the minor pentatonic or diatonic scale pattern has that row where all the notes on the one fret are used?

That’s not by accident folks!

So, WHY is the guitar minor?

Well, look at the notes of the standard E tuning: E-A-D-G-B-E

What chord do those notes form? (Didn’t think that was a chord? Gotcha.)

Well, the E, G and B form an E minor chord. The second E is a repeat, so we don’t worry about that. The D is a 7 in relation to the E, which means that so far we have an Em7 chord.

That just leaves us with that pesky A…

Well, A is a perfect fourth of E, and as such it can still work in the chord. The only weird part is that given its low octave, it muddies the sound a bit. (Try an Em7 with a higher A over top, and it will sound great).

So that leaves us with an Em7+4

Hence why the guitar is a minor instrument.

To learn more about the number system that governs all this stuff on the guitar, checkout my Unlocking I IV V course – that’s the kind of stuff you can have a handle on in no time flat.

You can find it here.