i got a chromatic tunner hte other day and tried to use it but it asked me what key i wanna tune in :S i know to put it in A for the A string but what key do i want for standard tunning,

You want everything to be in the key of "C", as the guitar is a "C" instrument. So, concert C.
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Quote by David Collins
Guitar is not a "C" instrument, or any key - it's not a horn, and it has no dedicated key.

What kind of tuner is this? Guitars are tuned in equal temperament, which has no preferred key.

Yes, it is in a key. Just like pianos, flutes, trombones, and whatnot, the harmonic center of a guitar is a C, and when a guitarist sees a "C" on the page, he plays a "C". Instruments in other keys, like Bb, F, or Eb, are made that way because of range limitations. Their written C is not a true "Concert C", but actually the note of their key. For instance, a Bb Clarinet plays a concert Bb when they play what's written as a C. Learn what keys are before you start talking.


Equal temperament means that the distance between semitones is the same no matter which two you pick. This is different than non-western music which often have different degrees of separation between tones. Also, equal temperament is what allows instruments which are in different keys, say a Bb Clarinet and an F Horn, to play chords that coincide harmonically.
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Last edited by Kevy Absolution at Sep 1, 2009,
It is probably showing you the calibration point, A=440Hz, which would be the setting for standard tuning. David is right though...manufacturer and model number would be a big help.

As to the "guitar is a C instrument" thing, that's sorta irrelevant...and both of you are right, really. The guitar is considered a "C" instrument, but you don't tune it to a "C" tuning unless you want to for some reason. It's in the key of C no matter how you tune it.
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