There are currently several different devices that are available on the market that will help you electronically tune your guitar. These are all handy in a pinch but I am a little bit old school when it comes to being able to tune by ear. Knowing to tune by ear means that you are also much more likely to recognize when the guitar you are playing becomes out of tune, which can happen easily with playing tension on the strings, or even a temperature change to the instrument body itself. Here are a few techniques to help you keep you tune in check:
Here is what the Guys over at Chord Buddy have to say about it:
Guitar Tuning Basics
Tuning a guitar involves adjusting 6 strings on the instrument. Standard guitar tuning, starting from the thickest, lowest-pitched string (the 6th string) at the top of neck is: E – A – D – G – B – E – The high E string—the thinnest, highest-pitched string at the bottom of the neck—is known as the 1st string and all others follow suit.
Here is a way to remember the string names, starting from the small “E” to the big “E.”
E-very B-oy G-ets D-onuts A-fter E-ating.
How to Tune a Guitar by Ear
To tune a guitar the old-fashioned way, first tune the 6th string to low E. If you already know this pitch, tune on. You may want to go online to find samples of a low E. If you’re playing with others, you may want to have one person tune, then the rest tune to match that person’s tune.
Pluck your tuned low E string with your right hand (for right-handed, standard guitar players—lefties playing left-handed guitars should reverse this) while holding the string down with your left hand at the 5th fret (starting from the headstock, count 5 frets up toward the body.) The tone that emanates, because you are holding the string down at the 5th fret, will be an A.
Pluck the open string below it (“open” meaning, not holding down the string on any frets with your left hand) and turn the second tuning peg until your A string produces the same tone as your low E string when played at the 5th fret. Following suit, you’ll play the A string at the 5th fret to find the correct tone for the D string, the D string at the 5th fret to find the G string, but when you’re ready to tune your B string, you’ll play the G string at the 4th fret instead of the 5th.
To tune the last high E string, you’ll move back to the 5th fret where you’ll play the B string to find your high E tone. Got it? It’s pretty easy once you do it a couple of times. The down side to tuning your guitar this way is you may not be in “standard 440.” Tuning to A 440 assures you of being in tune with other guitars all around the world.