enter image description here

So I noticed the fourth note of most strings is a semi-tone below the next string.

For example, G♯ (4th note) on the low E string is a semi-tone below the next string, which is A; the C♯ on the A string is a semi-tone below the next string, which is D.

This seems to be the pattern but it is not the case on the G string's B (4th note), which is not a semi-tone below the next B string,

I was wondering why the choice to tune it this way?


The following questions may be interesting:

Why is the guitar tuned like it is?

What are the advantages and disadvantages of an all-fourths guitar tuning?

The most important practical reason for standard tuning is that it makes playing chords a lot easier in many ways; for melodic playing, arguably it isn't the 'optimal' tuning.

Remember that ultimately, the choice of how to tune the guitar is the player's: Many guitarists prefer alternative tunings, or make use of them for some songs.


There are many, many ways in which a guitar may be tuned. Every one is a compromise to a certain degree. The way it's tuned 'standard' is more than likely the least compromising. let's face it - if there was a better one-fits-all, that would be the one that is standard!

Chord-wise is the real reason. The top and bottom strings are way more convenient in fingering chords than any other tuning. They're two octaves apart, so work well with barre chords where one finger covers top and bottom strings, creating the same note name (and often other notes in that chord too).

Another reason is that as most of us possess four fingers, there's that many frets before we reach the next note, chromatically. That falls apart, obviously, between 3rd and 2nd strings, but again, that's part of tha compromise. Were we a race with, say, six fingers, the guitar would be re-tuned appropriately!

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.