I'm a newbie to playing the guitar. It was a hand-me-down from a relative and I have recently changed the strings. Every string works fine except the low E string. It's somewhat loose. When I tighten the string, it rings a higher note than the low E. When I loosen the string, it becomes too wobbly to produce a clear sound. Any ideas on how to fix this? Thanks!

  • 2
    Unless your tuning is a long way off the correct pitch, most likely like you have the wrong gauge string (too thin) or you accidentally swapped over the lowest two strings, in which case the A will probably be "somewhat tight". The quickest way to find out would be to let somebody with more experience look at it - take it to a music shop if you don't know any other guitarists!
    – user19146
    Commented Mar 29, 2017 at 2:48
  • My tuner is set to tune a different amount of instruments, and also includes a chromatic tuner. Make sure that, if you are using such a tuner that it set to guitar, and not chromatic. It might be that your low E is tuned to E, but an octave lower than it should be. I've made that mistake as a beginner before ;-)
    – rock-on
    Commented Mar 29, 2017 at 7:01
  • Another possibility is that the string is hitting a fret- not an uncommon problem with hand-me-down guitars. Get a guitarist or luthier to check it out. Commented Mar 29, 2017 at 8:32
  • 1
    note that @rock-on suggests it may be an octave low, the cross check for this is to fret the E on the 5th fret and then play an open A, they should be the same note, the same pitch
    – Yorik
    Commented Mar 29, 2017 at 14:14

1 Answer 1


I definitely agree that your guitar is tuned to E but a few octaves lower than it should be.

If you are unable to visit a guitar shop or someone to help you I would suggest listening to the sound of someone tuning the E string to hear that it is the correct pitch:

If your issue then still persists it could be a "hardware" issue, which is highly unlikely if your 5th string 'A' is not giving you any issues.

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