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Author: Lillie Little

Tune an Electric Guitar

electric guitar tuning

Read our last post on how to tune an acoustic guitar.

Professional music instrument players need only a few seconds to tune their guitar to the perfect mode as they have many years of experience about the right positioning of strings.

But the fact is that even beginners can complete this task with ease. Before playing the guitar to its best sound effects, it is really essential to spend a few minutes on its accurate tuning. Below you will find some of the essential guidelines for tuning an electric guitar to its peak performance.

Step 1:

Start with the sixth string that is denoted with letter E. As it is the thickest string in the list and stays on the bottom side below all other strings so it is good to start with this string first.

It is desired to bring this string position to maximum accuracy to produce the best music. In case you need some help to complete the tuning task then there are a few other musical instruments like a piano etc that can assist you better.

Step 2:

Now go for a fifth string that is denoted by letter A. Simply put your index finger over the fifth fret that stays on the bottom of the sixth string and then pluck the fifth string to adjust it to the desired position. Slowly adjust its tuning peg till the time both these strings produce perfect sound.

Step 3:

It is time to pick the fourth string denoted by the letter D. Simply put the index finger on fifth fret and then pluck tune the fifth and fourth string together to bring out the best sound effects.

Step 4:

Go for the third string that is the G string. Start tuning it by placing your index finger near the D string and then create a harmony of the third string with the fourth and fifth string.

Step 5:

The second string is denoted by B and in order to tune this, you need to put the index finger on fourth fret and then tune the second string to the perfect note. Here is an interesting thing to know; the second tring is the only string in your electric guitar that is tuned with reference to the fourth string fret otherwise the rest of all of strings are tuned as per the fifth fret.

Step 6:

Now go to the last string and to begin with its tuning, you need to put your index finger on the fifth fret of the B string. The first string is the thinnest string and it must be tuned carefully. Complete the tuning task by testing all strings for their standard sound effects.

With all these steps, the tuning task may appear quite simple to do and the fact is that it doesn’t even take much time to complete the process.

The best idea is to use another good quality musical instrument to compare the sound so that tuning process can achieve standard results.

When you have a good quality instrument for comparison then it is much easier to ensure higher accuracy.

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Carpet for Acoustics

music room

There are a lot of questions on how to improve the acoustics of a control room or recording space for guitarists and musicians. A common idea is to place carpet on the walls of a room in order to dull and help with the sound vibrations and acoustics in a room. So, is carpet good for acoustics?

It depends. You are 100% fine in installing carpet or rugs on the floor of a recording studio or music room in your home or apartment. If possible, leave the carpet loose on the floor. This will provide versatility for you to either leave the carpet on the floor to dull acoustics or lift it from the floor and provide better sound for drums and other instruments.

This way you won’t have to pay for professional carpet installation however you should still schedule regular carpet cleaning for aesthetic purposes. I know the owners of Hello Carpets & Floors in Beaverton, OR and they’ve cleaned the carpet in my music room several times. I would recommend finding a local service you trust and scheduling an appointment every year.

The other option is to hang carpet from the walls of the recording studio or the music room. This method for improving acoustics is not worthwhile, in my opinion. The problem is that carpet on the walls is not thick enough to dull a low or mid-level frequency. The thin carpet will likely only absorb very high frequencies but other frequencies will still bounce around the room.

This will not create an appealing sound. Instead, there will be a very boxy and dull sound you won’t want to record.

Instead, I recommend crafting a cylinder trap for sound. This is a pretty easy project that can be done in just a couple of hours. All you need to do is purchase a roll of carpet and roll it into a cylinder and stand it on its end. Then you should fill the center of the roll with Rockwool loft insulation. This insulation will then trap the sound and create a much better affect than the thin carpet on the walls.

You should place one trap in each of the four corners of the room. If that doesn’t produce the desired effect you can place the traps closer to the instruments in the room for greater impact.

If you prefer hanging materials from the walls for more space in the room I would recommend sheets of rubber or rubber-backed matting. The rubber is much heavier and thicker than the carpet backing and will do a much better job of absorbing all levels of frequencies.

So, to answer the question, carpet is fine for the floor of a music room or recording studio. You can also strategically place area rugs across the floor of a room too. But carpet won’t provide much benefit if you hang it on the wall. Instead, either purchase heavier, industrial rubber materials or consider the cylinder traps I mentioned above for the room. I use cylinder traps and so far I’m very happy with the results.

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Tune an Acoustic Guitar

acoustic guitar

Most guitarists spend several hours to set their instrument to a perfect tuning mode so that it can produce the very best notes.

Professionals know several methods to complete this tuning task but for beginners the procedures may appear a little difficult.

If you own an acoustic guitar and are planning to tune it then the best idea is to use an electronic tuner to achieve your target. Electronic tuners are capable enough to ensure clear sound with easy to handle string settings.

To start with the procedures, first of all, you need to collect an electronic tuner for your acoustic guitar. Then start with the procedure as discussed below:

Step 1: First of all you need to set the tuner to guitar mode instead of bass mode. In case if it is already set to Bass then hit the Guitar/Bass button to shift the mode.

Step 2: Now bring your electronic tuner close to your acoustic guitar.

Step 3: It is time to pluck the sixth string from your guitar; when you do so, a green light LED will be switched on an electronic tuner.

Note that the line must be close enough to the center portion of the scale on tuner screen.

If you find this line to the left side than simply tune to key with E clockwise notation and in case if the line is towards the right side then tune key E to the counter clockwise direction.

Step 4: Whenever you pluck any string for tuning, make sure that the tuning letter and number of the screen at the top left corner is the same as that of your plucked string.

It means; when you have plucked the sixth string then it must display 6E whereas for the fifth string it will show 5A. When tuning keys are adjusted to clockwise or counter clockwise direction, it helps to generate right combinations for clear sound.

Step 5: Now pluck all other strings one by one in a similar manner and adjust them to clockwise or counter clockwise direction as necessary.

Every time when you pluck a string, note that the green LED gets activated on the tuner and also check the combination of key on the screen. It will be as 6E, 5A, 4D, 3G, 2B and 1E for different strings.

Step 6: Once you have adjusted all the strings, then simply switch off your electronic tuner and your guitar is ready to play the most awesome sounds.

Additional tips for perfect tuning …

When you are done with the tuning, then it is essential to check the results. To do this, simply play a chord and check its sound. It must resemble the ideal sound that is desired from this specific chord. If it deviates then you need to tune the instrument again.

It is always advised to start tuning from the thickest string towards the thinnest string to get the best results and you can prefer to check it twice before your next performance to ensure the guitar produces the perfect sound.

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How to Change Electric Guitar Strings

electric guitar strings

After several hours and sessions of playing your electric guitar, you will need to change your electric guitar strings. The strings will eventually become dirty or start to sound dull or it’s possible you will break a string or two during playing.

This post will explain the process for removing your old electric guitar strings and fastening new strings to your guitar. You shouldn’t need more than 10-15 minutes to properly change your guitar strings.

WHAT YOU NEED:

  • Wire Clippers
  • String Winder
  • Guitar Strings

The first step is to loosen the tension of the guitar strings. This is done with your string winder tool. If you don’t have a string winder tool you should be able to purchase one at your local music store or online at Amazon or another retailer.

Then use your wire clippers to clip the strings in half across the middle of the guitar. Then unwind the old strings from the pins of the electric guitar.

Then remove the back plate and pull the bottom half of the old strings through the back of the guitar. You can now dispose of all of the pieces of the old guitar strings.

Now is a good time to inspect your fret board and perhaps wipe it down and clean it if it is dirty at all. If your fret board is in good condition, you can move forward with changing the electric guitar strings.

It’s time to change the strings. We recommend Fender® strings but any manufacturer will do. The packaging will indicate what guitar models the strings can be used on and how to re-string the guitar so keep the package handy during this project.

Flip your electric guitar over and string the bottom string through the open back plate. Pull each additional string through the back plate and up to the machine head. Now it is time to secure the guitar strings in place.

Start with the bottom string and pull it two machine heads past the pin you will fasten it to and cut the wire with your wire clippers. Now slide the string through the pin and then use your string winder to turn the pin and fasten the wire. Repeat this process with each string. If needed, trim off excess pieces of string using your wire clippers for a clean machine head after the strings are in place.

After all of the strings are in place you will need to tune your guitar to pitch. We will publish a post in the near future on how to tune your guitar to pitch but in the meantime we have included a helpful YouTube video from Fender that offers the necessary instructions to successfully tune your electric guitar.

Your new electric guitar strings should last through several hours of playing unless you break a string. If you change your strings correct there is less chance of that occurring and it is more likely you will not need to change the strings again for a couple of months depending on the amount of time you play your electric guitar.

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Tune In!

Welcome to Guitar Logistics! We will post on topics related to tuning, maintaining and playing the guitar. Tune in for great blog posts coming soon!

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