Tune Guitar Harmonics - Another Way To Tune Your Instrument

Happy 4th of July everybody! I went down to the parade today and saw all the firetrucks, the cheer leading teams, and all the baseball kids throwing candy way too hard. It's days like these I just love to live in America. haha

I hope that everyone is having a great 4th and I want you all to enjoy this tip today which will be about tuning your guitar by harmonics which can be very helpful to very accurate pitches.

The very first post that I wrote for How To Guitar Tune (the blog) was about tuning your guitar and ironically was named How To Guitar Tune (the post). In this post, I explain the very basic concept of tuning your guitar by ear if you're familiar with the pitches of the strings.

But another way of tuning your guitar, either by itself or with a combination of other tuning types is with guitar harmonics.

What are guitar harmonics?

Guitar harmonics are very high pitches that actually can't be reached on a most guitar fret boards unless you have an unruly amount of frets. They're very pure tones that can be created from ordinary notes.

Guitar harmonics are used in actual guitar tunes for a little bit of flavor, but it's also used for tuning your guitar as well. Some guitarists say that harmonics tuning of your guitar is great and almost flawless, while others may not agree.

Nonetheless, I'm going to explain to you how to do it.

Standard Tuning

If you've looked over my post on guitar tuning, (How To Guitar Tune) you'll have learned that pattern in which to compare notes for tuning purposes.

Here are the standard tuning fingers to compare notes for: E, A, D, g, b, and e respectively.


By hitting these pitches together, you can make comparisons to tell whether your notes are flat or sharp.

Tune Guitar Harmonics

How do you make harmonics?

Guitar harmonics are made by instead of placing your finger in between the fret markings and striking a string with a pick, place your finger on the fret marking (lightly only to touch it. We're not pressing down), and then striking the string.

If this is done correctly, you should hear a very high-pitched note ring from the instrument, and that is the harmonic note.

Now, some frets are more receptive to harmonic notes than others, so you may find yourself looking at a whole bunch of different frets in order to make harmonics, but for tuning, we're only going to need a few frets.

First Try

Let's make our first comparison between the low 'E' string and the 'A' string.

Place your finger gently on the 5th fret mark on the 'E' string (no pushing down). Then, strike the string with your pick. You should hear a high-pitched note.

Now, place your finger on the 7th fret mark on the 'A' string and strike the note. You should hear the same pitch. If this pitch is off, adjust your tuning pegs either tighter or looser depending on the flatness or sharpness of the pitch.

There really isn't that much more to it, but here are all the comparisons to make on your guitar to tune all the pitches.


When you really get the grasp on making harmonic notes ring well, try plucking two strings at once to save time. It'll speed up the tuning process and really make you look like a professional.

If you still think that you need the help of an electronic tuner, check out a wide selection at the How To Guitar Tune Store.


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