Tuning down your guitar will change the sound of your instrument. There are a good amount of songs out there that will require you to change the sound of your instrument. Sometimes tuning your guitar to the correct pitch is much easier said than done. It can be a challenge to get each cord just right, even if you have been playing for a good length of time you may run into difficulty now and again. Don’t let tuning your guitar get in the way of playing the songs that you love and and are interested in learning to play for yourself.
Getting Started with Tuning Down
First things first you need to be sure that you are able to tune a guitar. If you need help in that department, not to worry just check out our article 5 Different Ways to Tune a Guitar (& When to Use Them). Personally I just use my Real Tuner for the convenience, it clips right onto the head of my guitar so I don’t have to constantly question if I made a mistake or if my guitar is just slightly out of tune when I’m learning a new song.
Know Your Instrument
In addition to know how to tune, it also helps quite a bit to know the name of the strings before and after tuning, as well as how many steps you are being asked to tune either up or down. Knowing this will make it easier to identify the right cord on your tuner and not overshoot your target sound.
Here is a visual guide to help those of you just learning, you’ll want to memorize it:
Lastly, let’s look at E flat for an example. E flat is accomplished by tuning your guitar down a ½ step, this is a common pitch used by Nirvana in song like “About a Girl”. Without tuning your guitar down you won’t be able to get the sound just right no matter how hard you practice. This is where knowing the names of the strings and cords will really come in handy. For E flat (using your tuner) the 6th string (E) becomes E♭, the 5th (A) becomes G#, 4th (D) turns to C#, 3rd (G) to F#, 2nd (B) to B♭, and finally the 1st string (high E) becomes E♭.
We hope this help you understand how to correctly tune your guitar or other string instruments. Let us know if you have any other tuning questions! We always love to hear your feedback and chat guitars with you so feel free to leave us your comments below!