Weekly Tip – How to Tune Your Electric Guitar

One of the most annoying things when learning to play any electric guitar is that no matter what you do nothing ever sounds any good. You get frustrated thinking that you may never be able to play the way you want to play.

While it’s true that it learning to play an electric guitar does have a definite learning curve to it, it is not impossible to master. But what most beginners and truthfully some guitarists who should know better but forget is that most of the time the reason you sound bad is because your guitar is not in tune.

Standard tuning for 6 string guitar

So How Often Should You Tune an Electric Guitar?

In order to have the best playing experience, you really should tune up your guitar every single time before you play. Yes, every time. Guitars, no matter how expensive eventually go out of tune. And some cheaper models will go out of tune fairly quickly. If you make sure your electric guitar is in the proper tune every time you play, you may be pleasantly surprised at how much better you sound.

Another thing to bare in mind that act of doing your “Guitar God” impersonation, i.e. playing or practicing with any guitar for just a few hours can easily slip it out of tune. So you basically always have to be aware of the guitar and stop and re-tune when necessary.

Now tuning you guitar need not become a time consuming burden. In fact if done right it will only take you a few minutes at first. And the longer you play the faster you can tune your electric guitar on the play.

In fact master musicians can tune their guitars so fast that they can do even while performing in a concert, without anyone really noticing them missing a beat. A professional can get a guitar back into tune in 30 seconds or less with the sound being clear in all the electric guitar pickups.

You will need to tune up your guitar either using a piano, by ear using a free chord website like GuitarChords247.com, a electronic tuner or  mobile MP3 based tuner like one of theses Iphone guitar tuners. As you imagine, getting access to a piano in a hurry can become problematic. And while it seems just about every thing can store MP3 files from iPods, cell phones to digital recorders, these solution too can become a burden.

So realistically until you can do by “ear” which will come with experience, your best and fastest route to a perfectly tuned guitar, especially one with decent tonal qualities, is a mobile app or electronic tuner.

Electronic tuners are little digital devices that many musicians ,both professionals and talented amateurs, use to detect off key notes from the electric guitar pickups and display the pitch as it is being played on instruments like electric guitars.

Some like the Peavey SPT-6G Wolfgang guitar tuners use simple LED lights to give you an approximate visual reading of whether the note is higher, lower or close to equal to the desired pitch you programmed in.

A more accurate and hence more expensive tuners like the Peavey PCT-6T Wolfgang guitar tuners can use a Quartz system along with a condenser microphone for acoustic tuning. The tuning process can be completely hands-off tuning with the results displayed on a digital LCD screen.

But not matter which Peavey Wolfgang guitar tuners you choose, you need to keep your guitar in tune every time you pick it up to play.

 

Music and Me

Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life. I recently found out that these words by Berthold Auerbach are bang on target. I often travel a lot. Traveling to work and back and traveling on weekends for visual delights, I have always been an out-going person. The surprising part is that never have I felt the importance of music while traveling so intensely. After having lost my wireless Bluetooth speakers on one of my travels, I was left with no music at all. This was when I felt a void and realized that I could not live without music, especially when out.

Jazz MusicWith this experience done, I thought to myself if I was a music addict. I was. At the risk of stating an oxymoron, I went on to read about how music is a good addiction. I would like to share with you the points I believe we all music addicts can related to:

Artists Ahoy: If you have an artistic nature, ambient music can help you improve creativity. Scientific research proves that a moderate noise level helps your brain generate fresh ideas. Ambient noise helps eliminate easy processing of information. Apparently, struggling to process things around us and trying to overcome a difficulty improves creativity.

Music Improves Visual Attention: If your favorite songs are among some specific genres of music, it can help you improve visual attention. Classical music was found to improve visual attention when studied with stroke patients as subjects. So when you feel like cutting off from the world when out in the city, simply get out your favorite outdoor speakers. Focusing on the things you like the most – city lights, running traffic, buildings, parks, gardens, forests or absolutely everything under the sun, helps you think creatively as you notice things better than you normally would. Music helps you focus. Some genres that help improve visual attention are- Blues, Jazz, Ambient, Classical and Reggae.

Conversations: They say that once you share a cigarette butt with someone, you share a healthy friendship with them. Same goes with music. You share the same taste in music with someone and you are bound to be friends. You have the most wonderful conversations with people who share the same love for music as you do. Icing on the cake is when their favorites are yours as well. A recent research also showed that people who listen to slow music are much better at presentations and interactive orations.

While this helped me understand why I missed my music, I also came across a very interesting piece of information which absolutely amused me. You can get to know about a person’s personality by getting to know their favorite genre. Here’s the classification –

  1. Blues and jazz: People who love to listen to Blues or jazz or both are mostly creative, have high self esteem, are polite and gentle and are outgoing.
  2. Rap fans are very social, outgoing and mostly have a childish charm to them.
  3. Country music lovers are hardworking and outgoing.
  4. Rock/heavy metal fans have been found to have low self esteem, not hardworking, not outgoing and gentle. (I highly doubt it)
  5. Reggae fans are creative, hardworking, gentle outgoing and at ease.

It doesn’t matter if you believe it or not but then getting to know these things is simply a living example of how music can be a good addiction.