Introduction To Stringing and Tuning

  The standard guitar has six strings, though seven-string and twelve-string models exist as well. These strings are labeled from 1-6 starting with the highest-pitched string, or from bottom to top when the guitar is viewed from the front. Each string is tuned to a specific pitch, and different guitar “tunings” are different combinations of string pitches. The most common tuning is called “standard” tuning, which a vast majority of popular songs use. Tunings are often stated from lowest pitch to highest pitch (strings 6-1), so standard tuning is EADGBe. Other popular tunings include:

-         “Drop D” in which the low E string is lowered to a D, making it DADGBe.

-“Open” tuning, in which the strings are tuned up so that a particular chord is formed when the strings are strummed openly. Open E and open G are popular open tunings.

In standard tuning, each string is tuned five semitones (five frets) higher than the previous string except for the B string, which is only 4 semitones higher than the G string. This means that strings can be easily tuned relative to each other by fretting the above string at the fifth fret (fourth when tuning the B string) and matching this pitch to the open string below it. In summary, when tuning strings relative to each other the frets read 5-5-5-4-5 from the low E string to the B string.

Helpful tools for stringing and tuning include:

            -Restringing tools, which combine a string cutter, bridge pin remover and tuning peg winder all in one. These tools are very helpful and combine everything you will need into one tool.

            -Electronic tuners are the easiest way to tune your guitar. They have a microphone that will pick up the sound from a vibrating string and will usually have an LCD screen display with a needle that easily shows the desired pitch and whether the string is tuned too high or too low.