I am super new to the guitar world and I just bought an electric guitar for myself, but I am having a problem in tuning the guitar. Like should all strings be tuned to E for beginners? It is a simple question but I do not know why no one asked it in the web. Or maybe that is not how you ask that question?

Excuse my ignorance and thank you so much :)

2 Answers 2


The answer depends on what you want to achieve. If you want to learn to play guitar the way most folks play the guitar, standard EADGBE tuning is your best starting point. Almost all YouTube tutorials, method books, and other means of self learning will be using standard tuning. So any other tuning would prevent you from benefitting from any type of learning resources geared towards beginning guitarist.

If on the other hand, you simply want to get to a point where you can actually play something that sounds like music as quickly as possible, some of the open tunings may get you to that point faster. Many open tunings (Open E, Open G, etc.) will allow you to play a chord by simply strumming all 6 open strings (can't get any easier than that)! You can add more cords by using your index or middle finger (or both) to hold down all six strings on one fret. Then by strumming all six strings while barring all six on a certain fret, you will be playing different chords depending on which fret you are pressing the strings down on. With an electric guitar and super light strings, you should have no trouble holding the strings down on one fret with one finger or perhaps using the other finger on top of the one for extra leverage.

It should be noted that the one finger barre chord in open tuning will only allow you to play the basic major chords - but there are thousands of songs that only use 3 chords (the I, IV and V).

If you start with an open tuning and learn to play a few songs that way, at least you will be deriving some instant gratification that might inspire you to continue to improve your skills. You will also be building some finger strength, practicing strumming patterns, and learning to keep a steady rhythm. All of these skills will benefit you later when you become more interested in challenging yourself to learn to play in standard tuning.

If you want to try open G - tune your guitar like this - DGDGBD. Note that with standard tuning, if you play the 2nd, third and fourth strings, you are playing a G chord. But it's hard to miss the other strings. So if you just change the tuning of the other three strings so that they all play one of the three notes in a G major triad, then you can't miss.

For other alternate tunings, you can search on line for how to tune them.

Good luck with learning the guitar. It's difficult in the beginning, but once you start getting the hang of it, playing guitar is very rewarding and can provide a lifetime of personal enjoyment and relaxation.

  • 2
    Open tunings are nice for easily-frustrated beginners, especially in my experience with very young people. I tune my 3-Year-Old's 1/2 size guitar to Open D so she can easily strum the strings and hear something musical. When starting out it's more about harnessing the desire to play than to actually play sometimes.
    – user6164
    Dec 29, 2015 at 16:35
  • 1
    @ShawnStrickland I agree 100% about harnessing the desire. It is rather challenging to learn to play guitar and I believe most aspiring beginners give up out of frustration before the experience the joy of making "music" on the instrument. So I encourage any device, method or practice that gets a newbie to the point where they can feel like they are actually playing something that sounds like music. Once the desire is firmly ingrained, they will be willing to tolerate the pain and frustration better. Dec 30, 2015 at 1:52

The normal tuning is EADGBE starting from the thickest string. This should be your starting point!

  • 1
    Exactly; you should use the standard tuning unless you're going for something specifically Dec 29, 2015 at 7:59
  • If you do not have a tuner, google youtube for a440 (or a442, depending on what a "normal A" is where you live). You will find a video that plays the note of the "open A" as mentioned in Lars' answer. So tune the open A, then tune the E by placing your finger on the 5th fret. It should be the same as the open A. The open D is the same as "the A string at the 5th fret". This repeats, with an exception on the G string. E5 = A0;A5= D0 etc: 5-5-5-4-5
    – Yorik
    Dec 29, 2015 at 20:23

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