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Electric Tuners

An electronic tuner has an electronic ear for listening to tones and a LCD or LED screen for displaying the results. The electronic ear is actually a microphone and may be labeled MIC on your tuner.

Instrument Selection Button

Some tuners have a toggle button for selecting an instrument, which may be labeled Guitar/Bass; if your tuner has this button, make sure that you have selected the guitar. There should be an indicator on the display that either the guitar or the bass has been selected.

Chronic tuners are made for tuning any instrument and usually do not have an instrument selection button like the Guitar/Bass button on this tuner.

Calibration Buttons

Some tuners have buttons for making subtle changes to the pitch range. There may be a number on the screen, which represents the note A sounding at 440 vibrations per second; this is the frequency of the sound wave.

The note A 440Hz established as an international standard for tuning in 1939 and acts as a reference point for the entire for the entire pitch range. If your tuner has buttons for calibration, make sure the display is reading 440Hz. If the display is showing a different number, use the calibration buttons to adjust the frequency reference point back to the 440Hz standard.

Pitch Display

Find string number 6 on your guitar and pluck the string to that it vibrates at its full length from the nut to the bridge saddle. As the note is sounding, the tuner should indicate that it can hear the note by a change on the screen display. if the tuner is not registered the tone and there is no change in the display, you may need to move the tuner so the microphone is closer to the sound hole of the guitar. While the note is sounding, the tuner will show a pitch letter name on the display. This represents the approximate pitch that the tuner is hearing. Some tuners include a string number beside the pitch letter name; chromatic tuners usually do not include the string number on the display.

The pitch display is the first indicator that you may need to adjust the tension of the string. When you play string number 6, the pitch letter name, then the string tension needs to be adjusted.

Musical Alphabet

If you can recall your musical alphabet, you may be able to visualize the pitch letter names moving away from the pitch E in either direction. B C D < E > F G A

If the display is showing a pitch letter name which is higher than E, then the string is too tight, and you must decrease the tension until the display is reading E.

If the display is showing a pitch letter name which is lower than E, then the string is too loose, and you must increase the tension until the display is reading E.

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