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Well I recently picked up an epiphone acoustic. Its my first guitar and coming into this I knew absolutely nothing about guitars or playing. Anyways, it came with a small electric tuner, which is easy to use and has helped me a ton. So today a friend ended up buying an acoustic, much more expensive and is trying to tell me that people don't use tuners and everybody just learns to tune on their own. But my question is, how do you learn to tune on your own if you have nothing to base that perfect sound off of. Like for me im coming to learn the sounds of each string and I wouldn't doubt that in the near future i'd be able to tune it myself without the tuner.

More or less they'd say I suck for using a tuner, while they're just learning how to do it "old school" by listening to music.

Thanks!
 
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Your friend is an idiot. No one is going to tell you you suck for using a tuner. Maybe Joni Mitchell can get away with tuning her acoustic to the sound of the seagulls overhead, but that ain't gonna fly in a band situation.

What you may find though is that an acoustic tuned open with a tuner doesn't necessarily sound in tune across the neck. It's an intonation thing. I'll compensate for intonation problems and neck quirks by manually adjusting the tuning in these cases. But I always use a tuner to get my EADG strings in tune first. For the adjustment I check the 12th fret harmonic on the D string against the fretted D on the B string and the 12th fret harmonic on the G string against the fretted G on the high E string. This helps even out the tuning and is particularly nice on acoustics with uncompensated bridges. Sort of a happy medium between good open tuning and good fretted tuning in the higher registers.
 

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tempered tuning

try this method (you can use the tuner or ear to make sure the notes are the same)
Tune the hi E.
tune the lo E the same at the 12 fret harmonic
Tune the D string 2nd fret (E) to the lo E harmonic at 12 fret
tune the B string third fret (D) to the D string 12 harmonic
Tune the G string 12 harmonic to the high E fret third fret (G)
Tune the A string 12 harmonic to the G string second fret (G).

Repeat if necessary.

Your guitar is now tuned as close to perfect as it can get; a really sensitive ear will note that every chord sounds "out " just a bit, but none will be way out.
 

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With all due respect to your friend, there is absolutely nothing wrong with tuning your guitar using an electronic tuner, particularly if you're just starting out. Electronic tuners are great these days so take advantage of that fact. Once you get a more sensitive ear (as you play more and more), you may find you'll want to fine tune your guitar with other methods as stated above. But you shouldn't feel 'lesser than' for using electronic tuners. I've got 4 or 5 of them. Enjoy your new guitar!
 

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i have a very good ear when it's come to pitch,being in the right pitch and so on.

i always use a tuner in the end because you can't fight the facts.

a pitch pipe (or forky thing) work great to.
 

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Use the tuner. I'm a lazy person, so eventually i just got compelled to tune by ear (in lieu of searching for my tuner)... But i still do it the Fifth fret way :(.

(My Ibanez acoustic has an on board tuner now though)

Edit:

If you know nothing about guitars or playing, you should probably learn the very basics.
A standard tuning is EADGBe, thickest string to smallest, top to bottom.

Don't try any songs too complicated, you'll only get frustrated.
Easiest chord to play (arguable, maybe) is E Minor, tabbed out its 022000

which means you place a finger on the second fret of the A string and the D string.
 

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Easiest chord to play (arguable, maybe) is E Minor, tabbed out its 022000

which means you place a finger on the second fret of the A string and the D string.
The easiest would be the trusty E5 power chord... 1 finger!

|-----|
|-----|
|-----|
|-(2)-|
|--2--|
|--0--|
 

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Buy a tuner

There is a reason that tuners have come down in price. Supply and demand. There is demand, a large supply is being made, so they are cheap. I would just buy a tuner. It is very good as well to train your ear. I think musicians nowadays are not taking enough advantange of the electronic equitment these days. A hundred years ago, you could not use a tuner. You had to use a pitch pite or fork. These were very inexact. Now, we have the ability to tune something perfectly and we are not going to use it? Nowadays you can buy a chromatic tuner for under $25. Why not?

With the exception of a electic guitars, where intonation can be set perfectly, it is wise on an acustic to tune the instrument to itself, but this can be done after you use the electric tuner to train your ear.
 
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