Guitar Tuning with Harmonics

Typically to do a quick check on your guitar's tuning you will play the 5th fret on all strings (4th on 3rd string) and compare it with the string below. Essentialy what you are doing is playing the same notes to compare the sound to see if they are in tune with one another.

This method works just fine, but what if you want to get a little more precise? Well you can use artificial guitar harmonics to tune your guitar. If you are not familiar with playing a harmoninc check out my guitar harmonics article.

Tuning with artificial harmonics:

Tuning your guitar with harmonics is pretty straight forward. On most strings you can compare the 5th fret haromonic to the 7th fret harmonic of the next string. There is a key exception as this technique does not work for comparing strings 2 and 3. To tune your guitar use the following table:

Harmonic Tuning Table
6th String 5th Fret = 5th String 7th Fret
5th String 5th Fret = 4th String 7th Fret
4th String 5th Fret = 3rd String 7th Fret
2nd String 5th Fret = 1st String 7th Fret
*2nd Open String = 6th String 7th Fret
Guitar Harmonics Tuning Video

When you watch the video you will see me go through all strings, notice how the harmonics have the same sound. This is the key to tuning, when the two strings are slightly not in tune with one another you will easily notice the wavy sound that occurs between the two notes.


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