UG editorial team. A group of people who are passionate about guitar and music in general.
In this method, you are matching the notes exactly to get the proper tuning. The notes are the same in pitch. If you're off on one of the strings, the rest of them will be out of tune also, so be careful. Another way to tune is by octaves. An octave is the interval between two notes with the same name. If you played the C major scale: C D E F G A B C, the two C's are one octave apart. You can tune with octaves as follows:
6th string, 5th fret and 5th string open 5th string, 5th fret and 4th string open 4th string, 5th fret and 3rd string open 3rd string, 4th fret and 2nd string open 2nd string, 5th fret and 1st string open
By now you're probably wondering, "What about the tuning of the 6th string?" Good point. When you tune the rest of the strings from the 6th, it's called "Relative Tuning." Although you may not be in tune with a piano, you will be in tune with yourself and that's fine for practicing. If you want to be in "Concert Pitch," you will either need to tune from another instrument or from a pitch pipe. I recommend that you get a pitch pipe. It's good for ear training and it's easier to carry around than a piano! Yet another way that I will tune is by simply using chords. Once you know how they are supposed to sound, they become very handy in tuning. I prefer starting with E major, then I play a G major and tweak it a little if necessary. Then D major. All three are the open position chords at the top of the neck. I guarantee you'll be amazed at how great a perfectly tuned guitar will sound! After all, there is really no other alternative!
6th string open and 5th string, 7th fret 5th string open and 4th string, 7th fret 4th string open and 3rd string, 7th fret 3rd string open and 2nd string, 8th fret 2nd string open and 1st string, 7th fret