How to hold a guitar in the best possible way to play well

4 positions pour tenir votre guitare

You must ask yourself how to hold an acoustic or electric guitar while being sited ? We’ll explain you all the possibilities to have a nice hands, arms and back position.

Why you must hold a guitar the right way when site ?

It is absolutely fundamental to have a good position when you play guitar. The posture is what will help you avoid a serious injury or improve the positioning skills of your fingers on the neck.

The aim of being sited, and not standing, while playing guitar

The standing position is mostly used during concerts. In a learning phase, it will be more interesting to practice sited in order to help you focus. Nevertheless, if you already have a rather sedentary kind of job as me (being sited behind a desk almost all day long in order to prepare your some nice pedagogical articles :p), then playing standing might be a great alternative .. but a little more tiresome. Think about having your computer keyboard or tablet at the same level as your sight to avoid having to bend often. A guitar weights a few kilograms and repeated movements to shift from an exercise to another increases the risk of making a wrong move. Thus, playing sited instead of standing allows you :

  • To limit the risks of injuries and many subsidiary pain such as back-ache (top/bottom), trapezius, shoulder blades, or even tendinitis.
  • To optimize the ease you have with your guitar playstyle. You moves will be faster and you’ll be able to place chords in an easier manner without blocking a single string.
  • To grant you a better focus that will help you play longer and by tiring yourself less.

There are, nonetheless, many positions used to hold a guitar while being sited. Through this short article / course, it’s important to differentiate the position of a left-handed guitarist from the one of a right-handed guitarist. Read this tutorial without modifying anything. If you have a right handed guitar, read this tutorial without changing a thing.If you have a left-handed guitar, you will simply need to invert the sense of the fingers. : )

The ideal way to hold a guitar for learning and practice purpose

Whether you play electric guitar, classical or folk, you can use these different positions by taking care to check there is no tension building in your body. You need to feel at ease. Of course, you’ll need a slight adaptation time.

The classical sitting position

This position is the one you should be being taught when starting classical guitar. The instrument has to fit between the legs. The curve of the guitar is set against your left leg. Even if this technic is mainly taught in classical music school as a traditional and fundamental way, it is not necessary the best one. It’s simple; there is no better one between this one and the one we’Il see together in a while. There are advantages and inconvenient to each of them and you’ll have to chose the one you feel the most at ease with. Its advantages are the followings:

  • The weight of the guitar is spread between many different points of your body, it avoids blood circulation cuts.
  • the neck is more accessible and allows you to have more amplitude.
  • your back will be straight and you’ll avoid arching.

On the other side, this position requires space. It is possible that your left arm will be faster tired because the blood flows a little less and the fact your eyes will be locked on the fretboard will force you to bend your neck forward.

A guitarist sitting in classical position
The position to hold a classical or folk guitar while being seated.
A guitarist holding his guitar in sitting position
This posture also work for electric guitar but the weight of the instrument makes it harder to hold.

The standard posture, or modern position

With this more casual posture, your guitar will be set on your right thigh and the neck, slightly oriented (about 45 degrees) upward. This way of holding the guitar is well spread in electric guitar playing and folk-associated styles. It grants your more freedom of movements and you’ll be able to pass over the unhealthy guitarist habits. For example :

  • you can see more easily where to set your fingers on the guitar neck.. but you might arch your back and hurt your back by doing so.
  • the style is way cooler, but the weight of the guitar might block your bloodstream and put your leg to sleep. I don’t even want to tell you about all those moments after a long guitar session when I could barely walk away from the chair!
  • To play technics such as fingerstyle and percussive play like Andy McKee it is way easier !

There too, I recomend you to do some tests to make sure which is the best way to hold the guitar according to your needs. On my personal experience, I started with this posture, by raising the neck a little. Some people prefer to play with the neck parallel to the ground. I learned the second way later and now I alternate both of the postures, the first one making me feel comfortable in fear of a potential back ache.

A guitar teacher holding a guitar on his right leg while being seated on a stole
I voluntarily shifted a little on the side in this posture. The neck is at a 45° angle.
A guitar teacher holding a guitar neck
The most famous electric guitar posture is the following, tilt a little the neck and the body side of the guitar outward.

A few accessories to help you hold a guitar

You are too scared that your guitar escapes you and you’re having trouble holding it against you ? Here are some accessories that would allow you to easily hold your six strings and improve its stability.

How to Comment surélever le pied ?

I encourage you to lift the leg supporting the guitar. To do so, you can buy a Guitar Foot Rest in a music shop. Using it changed my life, allowing me to have a better posture, thus avoiding hurting my back or having a stiff leg while playing guitar. You can also rest your foot on a pile of books for example. Some nicely old dictionaries might do the trick wonderfully!

The importance of a good stripe

You have the feeling your guitar is slipping away and you are afraid that it’s falling on the ground? It’s time for you to invest in a good guitar stripe. There are of all sorts. In fabric, leather, reinforced or not. I advise you to buy an adjustable one with a should pilow inside of the main part. It will help you hold the guitar closer to you and lift a little of its weight off of your leg.

A chair of a designed chair

You’re playing guitar on your sofa ? Sit better on a seat with a stiff support. There are many chairs specialized for guitarists taking shape of stoles. You can also buy some of them in music shops. Avoid laying on a couch while playing.. even if it is very soft and smooth.. I know it feels good but you’ll develop a very bad posture.

How to set your back?

I get back on a very important point. Your back and neck might be making you suffer if you force the same position at all time. Whatever happens, you need to keep a straight back without forcing. The ideal is to tell yourself « everytime I get a glimpse of the guitar neck, I have to check I have a straight back ». Take also the time to ask yourself the following « Do I have some knot in the body preventing me to play properly and even hurting?”. If yes, take the time to re-study your posture and straightens.

In case of pain, a physiotherapist or an osteopath might be of good advises. They are used to meet musicians. Some doctors are even specialized in injuries and pain linked to the practice of a musical instrument. They would be far better expert than me to help you improve your posture and avoid injuries cause by repeating the same mistakes. Every year, I take an appointment to my osteopath to check all that. Between sport, music and work, it is obvious that some adjustments made to the way we treat our body would do us good.

Are you really a bad guitarist ? How to overcome that and get better ?

nul a la guitare

Which beginner guitar player has never said, at least once in his life those words ” I am such a bad guitarist ” ? That is an unavoidable moment occuring pretty often within the first moments of an instrument practice. Finding yourself bad at guitar can translate into a decreasing motivation that can even lead to throwing your instrument away .. giving up. But if we think straight, could we really suck at playing guitar ?

The reasons : why do I think I’m a bad guitarist ?

Even past 10 years of guitar playing experience, it can happen you find yourself bad at it. That was, for instance, my case, soon after seeing this video of Steve Vai improvising. To be reassured, we can say that technical mastery isn’t all, and playing with emotion is far more important. One thing leading to another, you’re now facing a video of Jimi Hendrix, or Carlos Santan. Once again, you’re there… feeling like a bad guitarist.
What’s hard to comprehend, but which is crucial, is that guitar playing isn’t a competition. There will always be faster, funkier, or blusier player… In 2016, there is even that internet proverb saying that any performance you exceel at can be exceeded by a kid somewhere on the planet. It’s for example the case of the south-korean guitar hero Sungha Jung playing a fingerstyle version of Hotel California in this video :

Hard to believe right ? You see, guitar is not necesserilly executing with absolute perfection a song from A to Z, to shred like Yngwie Malmsteen or splashin’ the groove of John Frusciante. It’s about us. About our ability to feel the music and play accordingly.

The solutions : why, in fact, you’re not such a bad guitarist !:)

By practicing a little, don’t forget that you are always in advance next to those who don’t workout at all ! The knowledge of te guitarist doesn’t only consist in reading tabs or tuning your guitar. It’s also your ear that’s improving with time, a sense of the rythm growing where maybe there wasn’t anything before. So many uncunscious mechanisms turning you into a complete musician. That of course, pass thourhg hours of training, repeating the same melodies, scales, and chord sequences. It requires time and a will to hurt yourself a little.

But what if, instead of feeling sorry, you tried to act on ? Then, uncunsciously, your play will improve. You’ll know your favorite songs till the tip of your fingers, and, without thinking, you’ll play crazy solos. If Kirk Hammett masters so well the solo from Master of Puppetts it’s because he played it for more than 30 ans !

Don’t let your heroes intimidate you, focus on your own path and don’t burn the steps. You’ll succeed !

It’s almost guaranteed because of a phenomenon called muscle memory. While you play, your muscles record the moves you produce. With the habit, those moves get sharper and the thinking time you need to execute will go down. That’s how, from a day to another, you can feel that a song became easier to play.

In the end, you need to brace yourself ! There is absolutely no logical reasons to feel bad.. It’s only a matter of time invested in practicing. Good luck !


Easy guitar riffs to play for beginner to impress your world

Apprendre des riffs de guitare simples, faciles et efficace en étant débutant à la guitare, c'est possible !

You wouldn’t believe how many easy guitar riffs there is to play ! Our whole learning method on MyMusicTeacher is based on guitar riffs for beginners to play great songs as fast as possible. Progressively, we’ll shift the lessons toward more complicated songs step by step !

First of all, what is a guitar riff ?

Before speaking about a guitar riff, let see together a very easy definition of this small and looping melody, omnipresent among guitarists.

The definition of a riff

Also called more generaIly « ostinato » in music theory. It’s a short melodic routine mostly made of linked notes but also including chords sometimes. The aim is for it to be played in loop. We speak about signatur riff when it refers to the hook of the soong. It has a general duration of 1 to 8 measures. To give you an example, listen to the guitar part of the song Prayer In C from Lilly Wood & the Prick. The signatur riff is repeated every 4 measures. It quickly became one of the most famous and known electric guitar riff of all. Little precision : guitar riffs can be played either on an acoustic guitar or on an electric one. There is no restrictions.

Some example of various easy guitar riffs

Here below the riff of Lilly Wood and the Prick for the guitar. As we said before, we observe 4 measures. This is a perfect melody for a beginner, once learned, the motivated part is that you’ll be able to play it all along the song. Beware though, a signatur riff is not necessary playing during the whole song. That would be a specific case inbound to electronic music.

The riff from Prayer in C from Lilly Woord & the Prick
Voici un riff facile à jouer à la guitare dans le style rock electro.

A selection of great and easy guitar riffse

3 easy riffs to begin with

The essential Smoke on the water de Deep Purple in its most simplified version . You can find and entire guitar lesson with the guitar solo dedicated on MyMusicTeacher here. This song is very well advised for beginner starting the guitar and looking for easy songs. The simplified form of this guitar riff is mostly played with an electric guitar.

A simple riff to learn if you only focus on notes to play. It will give birth to many other versions and guitar riffs.
A simple riff to learn if you only focus on notes to play.

I can’t Get no Satisfaction from The Rollings Stones : one of the most famous riff, easy to play because essentially on a single string. This riff isn’t repeated all along the song but still covers a great part of it. Be advised that everybody will recognize this song by only playing the first notes !

2 measures to make an interplanetary hit on electric guitar. It’s also possible to play it with an acoustic guitar:-)
2 measures to make an interplanetary hit on electric guitar 🙂

Let’s end this sequence with Seven Nation Army from The White Stripes. A very very famous and easy to learn guitar riff. This version is also one that can be played on a single string. The real one, from original tab is meant to be played with guitar chords.

An easy guitar song with a melody sang in the biggest football stadium of the world, it’s seven nation army !
An easy guitar song with a melody sang in the biggest football stadium of the world, it’s seven nation army

2 guitar riffs of intermediate level

Smells Like Teen Spirit from Nirvana. We use a few chords and muted notes, the whole along a powerful drumming !

The main riff of Smells like teen spirit which made the success of the Seattle grunge band : Nirvana.
The main riff of Smells like teen spirit which made the success of the Seattle grunge band : Nirvana.

The signatur riff of Seven nation army,this time a little less easy than in the previous version but more efficient and powerful.

The officiel version with the power chords played during the chorus.
The officiel version with the power chords played during the chorus.

1 complex riff on electric guitar

The guitar tab of the signatur riff of Cowboy from hell from Pantera. Thought it’s pretty easy rhythmically, you’d need a certain speed with a pick to succeed playing this riff while still having agile fingers.

Semiquavers everywhere for this distorted and heavy guitar riff !
Semiquavers everywhere for this distorted and heavy guitar riff !

I want to learn some more easy guitar riffs !

Join us on our adventure and discover more than 2500 riffs and complete songs for electric guitar, classical or folk ! Our application allows you to play your melodies over an adaptative backing track that corrects your play in real time ! Whether you like blues, funk, metal or hardrock riffs, you’ll be happy ! That said, if we speak about a blues riff, we will for sure include riffs in A tuning and twelve bar blues. With live courses and detailed lessons to learn how to play any song, you will be well trained ! Moreover our team is available to answer your every question in order to avoid you making the same mistakes as most beginner players. Great music to you all ! : )


All about the Open Chords on the guitar and how to play them

Un guitariste tient une guitare en réalisant un accords ouvert

The very first chords you learn to play on a guitar are the open chords. In fact, in contrast with the most-feared barre chords, these ones will be quite easy. They will stack on the first 4 frets of the guitar fretboard and be played without having to barre anything with your pointer finger. Here is the list of the Open Chords and how to play each of them.

Open Chord’s list

Here are the main open chords, there is a total of 8 of them. There exists many different kind of chords, like the seventh, ninth or suspended. We’ll only care here about the major and minor ones. They are the easiest to learn and the most versatile ones when you want to play your first electric or acoustic guitar melodies.

  • The Mi major (E).
  • The Mi minor (Em).
  • The La major (A).
  • The La minor (Am).
  • The Ré major (D).
  • The ré minor (Dm).
  • The Sol major (G).
  • The Do major (C).

Of course, I won’t leave you without a chord grid to read in peace. I advise you to set your fingers and memorize their English and international notation. You then can practice them on our interactive exercises. Our detection system will tell you in real time if you played the right or wrong notes and if your finger are well set.

A picture representing the open guitar chords under the grid notation with majors on top (A C B E G) and minors on the bottom (Am Dm Em) width=
The main open chords on the guitar.

What are the chords that aren’t open?

The chords that aren’t open are the barre . When we speak about barre chord, we mean that some notes composing the chord will be played with only one finger. It will be laying on the same fret but covering many strings. Thus, the F major chord is the most renowned barre chord of all, and the first one to be learned. Fat mistake ! At our online guitar school, we’ve optimized the learning method of the barre chord with a theme-path called “ Definitely vainquish the barre chord “ to offer you progressive exercises. You will first learn how to lay your index finger on the fret along the strings. Results are rather exceptional! To the point that playing barre chords would almost become a pleasure (please don’t curse me 🙂 ). If you know what a capodastre is, it’s main purpose is to replace the index to generate open chords from anywhere on the guitar.

How to play those open chords ?

Nothing easier if you know how to read those chord grids. Here’s an easy training :

  1. Take the chord grid and try to memorize them visually.
  2. You’ll notice that a minor chord has one note fewer than a major chord, that’s a story of interval. Minor chords are sad while major ones bring a more joyful taint. It depends on its third notes and other complicated concept from music theory.
  3. Try to link the english notation to the international one in your (Mi = E, Sol = G, etc..).
  4. Play the minor and major forms in a row if they are still (for example, only E major and E minor).
  5. Go from one to the other and reset.
  6. Then take those chords in any order you want to play them each after another.
  7. The next day, do the same thing by trying to detach yourself from the chord grid.
  8. Try to win points on mymusicteacher by playing the exercises 🙂

Here we are, there is no more to know on those famous open chords that are the first to be learned as a beginner guitarist, on electric, classical or folk guitar. They will serve you in any kind of music style. It’s a perfect exercise to start your first songs and play along your singing. Good luck !

How to play the pentatonic scale with a guitar ? What are its uses ?

gamme pentatonique la mineure

What is the pentatonic scale ?

The pentatonic scale is a must-learn to all guitarists ! It’s often the first scale they learn to play ! I Allow me to guide you on a path to discover the secrets of the pentatonic scale : how its made and how to play it.

First of all, the word pentatonic is made of two concepts : penta, which mean « five » and tonic, meaning « note ». Thus, this scale is made of 5 notes that will repeat at different heights, octaves. There are many existing pentatonic scale. The one, most-used, is the pentatonic minor scale of A (or A minor pentatonic scale).

We draw a scale this way on a guitar neck. This is a scale diagram for guitar.

A minor pentatinic scale This scheme represents the guitar fretboard. Dots refers to the notes composing the scale. Set on the guitar neck. To play this scale, you have to start from the thickest string. From left to right, before jumping to the next string… and still left to right. Each « dot » is a note to be played, a string to be picked on

The A minor pentatonic scale

A minor pentatonic scale

To well understand how the scale works, you have to understand the notion of step, half-step, and intervals.

This scale is made of the following leaps :

1,5 step, 1 step, 1 step, 1,5 step, 1 step.

Thus, starting from an A, we get A, C, D, E, G and so forth. 5 notes which will repeat in the minor pentatonic scale. Here we find a minor third of 3 half steps, meaning 1.5 step, so the pentatonic scale is minor.

To complete the position of the notes on the guitar fretboard, we will simply look for their octaves, so similar notes of an higher or lower pitch.

The A major pentatonic scale

Voici la gamme majeure pentatonique. Voici sa notation, on y remarque a major third .

major pentatonic scale The intervals of the major pentatonic scale :

1 step, 1 step, 1,5 step, 1 step and 1,5 step.

Starting from an A, we find the following sequence : A, B, C#, E, F# and so forth with their octaves. The leaps between A and its third, C# is two steps. This is so a major third note.

A well know example is the pentatonic scale

These scales are a lot used in rock, blues and metal. On this topic, the A scale is the most well-known, to the point that whenever we speak about a pentatonic scale, it’s the first one that comes to mind. Now, we still need have to learn how to use it to improvise.

Here’s an example of Eb minor pentatonic scale in the style of Jimi Hendrix on Voodoo Child (from 00:08)


Example of the different forms of the minor pentatonic scale

Each scale encases as much position as it has notes in it. In this case, it means 5. Don’t bother learning them all. They’ll come naturally to your fingers when you’ll improvise. We name those forms and schemes with a roman number : « Form I » « Form II » and so forth until V (5 in romans number) Below, you’ll find the A minor pentatonic scale

Minor pentatonic scale, form I
Minor pentatonic scale, form II
Minor pentatonic scale, form III
Minor pentatonic scale, form IV
Minor pentatonic scale, form V

You can shift from a form to another to furnish  you guitar solos ! Give it a try ! 🙂

Now that you master the pentatonic scale like a real professional, it’s time to reflect on the different modes to be used according to the scales. Know that we offer exercises and video guitar lessons on climbing and descending of pentatonic scales. With our system that detects the notes you play and the possibility of slowing down the rhythm we can assure you they are very efficient !

How to read a Guitar tab ?

Une partition superposée à une tablature sur guitar pro

How to read a guitar tab, a very easy tutorial video !

To read a guitar tab is a very simple exercise when you’re starting learning the guitar. You might ask yourself, but how to read a guitar tab ? It’s a common question we ask if we have to start with music sheets or guitar tabs to play guitar. Whether it’s an electric, classical or folk guitar, the guitar tab will allow you to learn very quicly and as efficiently. In this video, you can find some explanations and examples on how to read a guitar tab. Be sure to activate the subtitles!

It’s one of the very first video you will find on mymusicteacher.fr that allows you to learn how to read a guitar tab easily.

  • Each line represent the strings of the guitar in reverse. (On top, the thinest string, on the bottom the thickest)
  • The numbers represent the frets of the guitar in reverse. (the O for the open string, the 24 for the closest one to the bridge).
  • You can also find some symbols or special notations, such as a “h” (hammer-on), a “p” (pull-off), a “s” (slide). Those are effects of guitar technics you’ll have time to learn after you’ve initiated yourself to the guitar.

We advise you to look at this video, and even to launch yourself in the first learning chapter of MyMusicTeacher for free. You will find guitar exercises to train, as a beginner, intermediate or expert ! Whether it is to recognize the strings or to play some legendary songs like the ones of Iron Maiden, The Beatles, …, U2… You will be on board for a very easy and efficient online method.

The basics to read a guitar tab

To read a guitar tab, or tablature, it’s very easy. You have to take for account that every line represent a string of your guitar. The lowest line on the guitar tab refers to the thickest string. The highest line symbolize the thinest string.. and so forth !

Then, we’ll place numbers and symbols over it. Each number is associated to a symbol or no. The number refers to the frett of the guitar. 1 on the lower line means you have to place your finger on the first frett, on the biggest string, of course, close to the metallic bar, on the body side of the guitar. Then, there might exist a symbol, a letter.. Those are effects you can apply on a note.

If many numbers are overlapped on the same line, it means that you have to play a guitar chord ! So many notes/strings at the same time.

Exceptionnal case : When a 0 is available on a line of the tab, you must play the string empty.

Thanks to this video lesson to learn how to read a guitar tab, you’ll discover the basics. I invite you to subscribe on the website to go further in the understanding of this concept.

Find out this video on YouTube : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8cKpS68_C5w

Now that you know how to read a guitar tab, what do you say about putting it all in practice ? On the guitar classes application MyMusicTeacher, you’ll find thousands of interactive tabs to correct you automatically with the microphone of your device !

With the shown above video, you’ll learn easilly how to play tapping by reading the notation associated with the guitar tab !

How to count rhythms : reading and counting music tips for guitar players

compter les temps guitare

How to count the rhythms in guitar

how to count the rhythms in music? Here is a video coming from the first chapter teaching you how to count the rhythms easily. The lenght is determined by the counting at the begining of a series of measure. Whether the time signature is binary, ternary, etc… Let’s start by the simplest ! With a 4/4 count, each measure content exactly 4 pulses (or beats). The symbol of reference is the crotchet ! Worth one pulse. Then, it’s all about multiples. A whole note, or semibreve, is worth 4 pulses. Divided by two, you get the half note, or minim. Divided again by two, you get the quarter note, or crotchet, worth a pulse. Finnally, if you divide it again by its half, you get the eighth note, or quaver worth 0.5 pulse. You see, quite easy to get the rhythm ! In term of 4/4 time signature, we can sum up :

  • The whole note (semibreve) = 4 pulses
  • The half note (minim) = 2 pulses
  • The quarter note (crotchet) = 1 pulse
  • The eighth note (quaver) = 0.5 pulse
  • The sixteenth note (semiquaver) = 0.25 pulse
  • The thirty-second note(demi semiquaver) = 0.125 pulse

But everything isn’t all mathematical !

Then, to count the pulses, we will read aloud :


That will allow us to mark the pulse. We can follow the clicking sound of a metronome, or beat the pulse with our foot in a regular way. Then, we need to play the guitar melody at the same time.

But I said too much already ! Take a look a the video below to learn how to count the rhythm with your guitar. 😉

A precious aid to learn how to count the rhythm in music and keep on the rhythm

How to keep on the rhythm without being a professionnal at counting time in music ? Thanks to our innovative and visual way to learn the guitar with interactive exercises ! The ball will jump from note to note to indicate you when to pick the strings of your guitar. Thus, when the ball touche a note, you will have to play the string and the finger on the corresponding fret. By following this indication, you will be able to feel the rhythm. Easily and instinctively know when to play the strings.

Then, you can also count the pulses according to the rhythm symbols on top of the guitar tab. This guitar app is certified gold medal from the Concours Lépine, a famous french invention contest. It will help you improve your skills in a gify ! You can also slow down the rhythm, play over a backing track and even see if you played the right notes, at the right moment !

The interfactive interface of our guitar exercises. Our guitar lessons are divided in several parts to let you manage the tempo at your rhythm or play over a backing track.
The interactive exercice of MyMusicTeacher is the best way to improve your guitar playing skills. You can even find printable or PDF Guitar tabs !

Free online guitar tuner with sound detection and awesome live tuning !

Accordeur en ligne de guitare acosutique ou électrique, chromatique avec le microphone et l'aiguille qui bouge

A free and efficient online guitar tuner that uses your microphone, available on this page or as an application open for download here

The perfect online guitar tuner for beginners

Discover in this article an online chromatic guitar tuner that uses your microphone, along with an ear tuner, tips to get a perfectly tuned guitar without even needing a tuner, and a whole lesson to learn how to tune your electric guitar

An online guitar tuner with microphone

  1. Activate your microphone with the window, asking your authorization to use the micro, appearing on top of your browser
  2. Play a guitar string, whether it is the E string, A, D, G or B.
  3. If the right light on your left turns on with the note corresponding to the one played with open string. That means you have to tighten your guitar string. Otherwise, you’ll have to loosen your string.
  4. When the light is green, that means your string is well tuned!
  5. 5. Beware to tune your electric guitar, classical or folk in a silent space and to move your microphone the closer to your guitar you can.

This online free tuner uses the inbuilt microphone of your computer. We call this a chromatic tuner or guitar tuner because you can use it to shift through many note sequence / frequencies. This allows you to tune your guitar in all the tunings you want without constraints. Whether it is the inbuilt microphone of you laptop or in your webcam, the sound detected will be the one of your guitar as well as the ambiance around. It’s important to tune your guitar in a calm space. Use this experience to try and harmonize your hear with the right note. It will allow you then to tune your guitar by ear easily

Tuning a guitar by ear

That’s true, it’s possible to tune your guitar by ear. There are 3 methods to tune your instrument without any tuner close to the hand. The biggest advantage is to not depend on those applications or tuner that uses batteries and often stops, out of charge.

Comparing the notes by ear

An online free guitar tuner by ear, that’s quite handy but takes care of your ears and your strings :-)
An online free guitar tuner by ear, that’s quite handy but takes care of your ears and your strings 🙂

The most famous technic consist of searching a well-tuned note to refer to in order to tune the other notes by trusting your intuition. For example, you can use diapason (or tuning fork) or simply grab your old landline. The phone will emit a specific sound which is no less than an A clocked at 440hz. Thanks to this note, you can tune your A string and use the following fifth fret technic.

You can also use this free online guitar tuner by ear that allows you to play notes of each strings of your instrument to compare with your current situation and see if it is well tuned :

  1. Click on the string you desire to tune to create the sound.
  2. Memorize the sound in your mind.
  3. Play the string accordingly and evaluate if the note you play is too high or too low compared to the one played by the online tuner
  4. If the note produced by your guitar is too low, you will have to tighten the tuning peg of string. If the note is too high, you will have to loosen the peg.

Warning, ask you the same question whenever you’re turning your tuning peg. Is it the right turn or no ? If not aware, you can quickly break a few strings but it’s absolutely normal. Practice does make perfect 🙂

Tuning your guitar with the Fifth Fret technic

Here’s a technic I explain in detail through this article.

The realization is very simple: it’s possible to find the same note on various strings of the guitar. Thus, if you are sure that one of your string is well tuned, you can deduce the tuning of the others. For example: your Fifth string (or second thickest) is an A. The Fifth and Sixth string (so from the thickest to the second thickest) are also A. If you’re sure that your first string is well tuned, then set your finger on the fifth fret and play the note. Then play the open string above. If the sound thus produced overlaps, it means both the strings are in tune. Otherwise, you’ll have to tune the second thickest string according to the first one by tightening or loosening the tuning peg. This process can be repeated on all the strings, except on the Sol (G) where you need to set the finger on the fourth fret instead of the fifth. Then only you can ring the open string below. If this method interests you, you will be thrilled with the study of intervals: the space between notes.

About perfect pitch and notes memory

Everybody, at the time of their birth, has the perfect pitch. The absolute hearing. Unfortunately, you brain will later judge reasonable to forget this gift, considered useless to your development as a non-musician. That’s sad, I always dreamed about having perfect pitch. To sum up, this « gift », that is possible to get from hard work, allows you to identify within second the notes composing a melody. To translate the frequency into a C, D, E, F, G, A B, a sharp or a flat. Quite handy to produce, find melodies alone or tune your guitar 🙂If you possess this gift, it means you’ve memorized the height of every single note and variation. Thus you can tune you guitar very easily because, hearing a untuned guitar, even so slightly, would almost make your ears bleed.🙂

MNow, you even know how to tune your guitar without a tuner ! You can of course tune your folk guitar, or acoustic one with other notes. You would simply need to know them by heart and devise a way how to find them on the guitar neck.. Then you could even understand the logic behind music theorie in what defines notes, steps, half-steps and intervals.

How does sound work and how to define a music note ?

What is sound ?

Concretely, sound is a wave, a mechanical vibration producing a pertubration in fluid like water, or air. It will move according to the properties of waves thanks to a process called elastic distorsion of fluids. As of it, when you hear a sound produced on one side of a room, it’s because « small air molecules » will smash each other in a well-defined movement (as a wave) until it reaches your ears. The closer you get to the source of the sound, the louder it will appears to your ear because of the increasing intensity of the perturbation. You might ask yourself « But why does my english teacher speak about physics and sine waves? What is the relation between learning how to tune your instrument and using an online guitar tuner ?”. Simply, to explain that you have to play the closest possible to the tuner while tuning to avoid parasite sounds.

That’s why you need to be close to your microphone to tune your guitar and not on the other side of the room ! That’s why it’s impossible to hear sounds in space, because of the void. There is no air, nothing make the necessary contact needed for the sound to propagate.🙂Thus, the sound propagates as a wave, defined by a frequency. The lower the frequency is, the lower the sound is. Higher the frequency, higher the pitch. Guitar notes are parted on a bandwidth and our online guitar tuner detect the notes this way inside of this bandwidth. You have to play the strings one after another and not at the same time. That would constitute a chord and mess with the sound detection of the tuner.

Why are there notes with the same name but not the same sound ?

In music transcription, you’ll observe the following note sequence: La, Si, Do, Re, Mi, Fa and Sol. In English, those notes are named after the seven first letters of the alphabet A B C D E F G

  • A = La.
  • B = Si.
  • C = Do.
  • D = Ré.
  • E = Mi.
  • F = Fa.
  • G = Sol.

You must learn this code before taking your learning of the guitar any step further. It will help you to tune your folk, electric or classical guitar, without consideration for the type, but also let you easily remember the name of the chords. To play them with the « chord » notation or grids.

The Octave concept

Thus, you have 7 notes. To them, you can add sharps and flats, which are alterations.
You surely have noticed that the chromatic online tuner that detects the notes with a microphone sometime displays you A2, E2, E4. A small number on the side of the note. This in fact indicate the height of the said-note. The octave. Your own guitar indeed is tuned with a low key E, on the sixth string, and a high pitch E on the first and thinnest one. Whether they’re on the neck or on open strings, you will notice that the notes wearing the same names but from another level overlap perfectly (sounds nice). But one has a higher pitch than the other. An E4 is two octaves higher than E2. Thus, E4 has an higher pitch than E2. 🙂

You won’t be able to differentiate them when used to play. They will help you to tune yourself easily and even set a Drop D tuning very quickly. The Drop D tuning is explained on the MyMusicTeacher app 🙂

Is an A on a guitar the same as the A from another instrument?

That’s an excellent question! You can indeed tune your guitar according to another instrument like a piano. If you play an A4 with your guitar and an A4 with the piano, you’ll observe that those two notes unite their sound, they overlap. Nevertheless, the sonic signature is rather different. We speak about harmonic notion, sonic spectrum and so forth. That will help us detect the difference between a guitar sound or from another instrument. Whatever it is about, keep in mind that if you start to play a C chord on your guitar and that the pianist plays a C scale over, it will be perfectly right. Names and heights of notes are the same; the only difference is the sound specter.

Learn to tune your guitar with our online tuner :

It’s a form of art! Don’t worry if you break a few strings, that’s the job getting done! Here is a lesson to learn how to tune your guitar easily. I am certain that you’ll succeed without problems with our online tuner ! 🙂

Are there other types of guitar tuner?

Yes ! Here are the two kind of tuner explained:

The chromatic tuner (the same kind as our online tuner)

Those tuners will give you the note of the open string notes in a standard tuning system E A D G B E, detect and display all the intermediate notes, also called “ chromatic ” with all the alterations ( Ex : For the note of Do : Cb / C / C# ).
This tuner helps you tune your instrument in different tuning systems called « open chord » systems.

free online chromatic tuner
A chromatic tuner of the brand KORG with possibility to be plugged in series.

The non-chromatic tuner

Non-chromatic tuners are used guitarists to tune their instrument by the most common way possible. Those tuners are very easy to use. You simply need to select the string to tune according to the note (E A D G B E) then tighten/loosen the string until the green central led shines. On the contrary with the chromatic tuner, you can’t know the height of the note you’re trying to tune.

Un accordeur non chromatique guitare et basse
A non-chromatic tuner for guitar and bass which uses the microphone.

On MyMusicTeacher, we take care to offer you straight a guitar tuner in the inventory in order to always have well-tuned guitar.

My guitar keeps detuning ! How can I do ?

Don’t forget, temperature variations, moving you guitar or playing with it affect the tuning. You can use a string lock and place it on the top of your guitar neck to hold the tension of the strings. Otherwise, do not hesitate to pay a visit to your luthier or in your favorite music shop to make some setting and check that everything is in order.
Good music to you, and share this online tuner to all your guitarist friends in quest of a tuned instrument!