There are various ways to tune the guitar. The easiest and most accurate method would be with the use of an electronic tuner. However, at this point we will learn how to tune the guitar to itself. This is perhaps the most convenient way though it does take a degree of aural discrimination.

First, let’s consider the notes of the guitar on each string to the fifth fret.

This diagram shows the open strings and notes to the first five frets on the guitar.

The idea is to compare and tune each string to the one below it. (In pitch). We will assume that the sixth string, low E is itself in tune. Fretting this string at the 5th fret will produce the note, A. Compare that with the pitch of the open 5th string. If the note produced sounds lower than that on the 6th string, turn the tuning peg or machine head to increase the tension and thus the pitch. If the note on the 5th string sounds too high, decrease the tension of the 5th string so that the A on the 6th string and the A on the 5th string sound the same.

Now that the 5th string is in tune, compare the D note on this string with the D note on the open 4th string. Continue this process for the 3rd string.

When you reach the 2nd string, you’ll notice that the B is produced by fretting the third string at the 4th fret. Continue tuning the first string by fretting the second string at the fifth fret.

A guitar student in the age bracket that would benefit from the Copy, Play and Learn Guitar method (ages 6 to 9 years) would not normally be expected to tune their own guitar. But, as their teacher, you may find it worthwhile experimenting with a child’s aural perception. A suggestion would be to deliberately de-tune the child’s guitar a little  and ask them to compare the pitch of the strings of their untuned guitar to the pitch of yours. Ask them simple questions such as “Is your note higher or lower than mine?” and “would you think you’d have to tighten or loosen the string?” The Copy, Play and Learn method teaches young children to read music but also places a big value on aural awareness and aural development. Click here to find out more.

Should you wish to purchase a Copy, Play and Learn Guitar book for your young students there are plenty of options. You can purchase an E-book through the How to teach Guitar website or contact one of our stockists such as Optimum Percussion,   Guitar world or Guitar Market.