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The Importance of Accurate Guitar Tuning
Lesson for Teaching Beginning Guitar Students
Aaron Schulman

Teacher notes: We will be teaching the tuning of a guitar, as well as a mnemonic device to help students and children learn how to remember the regular tuned notes of a 6 string acoustic guitar: E B G D A E. Also- we will be using mnemonic devices (memory devices) to make learning more fun, creative and engaging.

Supplies needed: acoustic guitar (2 would be ideal but 1 will work), tuner, pitch pipe or other tuning device for guitar.

Introduction: There are many ways to tune the acoustic guitar, but there are also the “right” ways. One of the best ways to learn is by using a “tuner” which matches the frequency or vibration of your strings, 1 at a time, and tells you to “tighten” or “loosen” each string. Using a tuner is best at first, because it will help a person with an untrained ear. Additionally, tuning should be learned by using a pitch pipe, a piano, harmonica, or other instrument that is “in tune” in order to train the ear as well. If you have ever heard an instrument out of tune, you would know by the awkward or poor sound it produces. Acoustic guitars come in all kinds of models, finishes, brands and acoustic guitar sizes, but regardless, all 6 strings are tuned originally in the same key, and should always be played in tune for the best learning and teaching results.

Mnemonics: The teacher can introduce different kinds of mnemonics, such as
"HOMES" for the Great Lakes: Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie, and Superior.
Then the teacher can ask the student to come up with some other acronyms or mnemonics they have learned or heard.

Contextualization: Ask if students have heard an instrument played out-of-tune. Students can respond with various responses. The teacher can also ask what an out-of-tune instrument sounds like and let the students respond.

Demonstration: The teacher can have either two acoustic guitars, one in tune and one out of tune and play them both to demonstrate.
If the teacher has only one guitar, he or she can play a chord in tune first, or all open strings in tune by strumming across the strings or picking them one at a time. Then the teacher can de-tune the guitar and play it again to get a reaction out of the student or students.

Next, the teacher can tune them back up one at a time while sharing his or her own mnemonic device, saying “we're going to tune this guitar back up to the standard tuning, E B G D A E, but will first teach this simple mnemonic for learning the names of the strings in order from smallest to largest: Every Boy Gets Drums and Eggs. Have the student repeat it. Then have the student repeat it each time stating the first letter – like this:

Every (E) Boy (B) Gets (G) Drums (D) And (A) Eggs (E)

If it helps, the student can write these down while looking at the chart.

Next, the teacher tunes all strings up while slowly repeating the mnemonic device.

Assessment: Ask the student to use the same 6 letters in order to make his or her own mnemonic device to remember all 6 acoustic guitar strings in the right order, from smallest to largest ( 1 through 6) or from largest to smallest (from 6 through 1). After the student has their own mnemonic, the teacher can guide the student while the student tunes the guitar in conjunction with his or her mnemonic device.

This beginner acoustic guitar lesson guide was developed by Aaron Schulman from http://www.strumviews.com , a place for honest acoustic guitar reviews. He has been playing, writing and teaching acoustic guitar since 1990, and has been helped many beginners and advanced players find the best acoustic guitar for their budget, size and desired tone qualities. If you are a beginner or intermediate player, you can study more before buying your first or next guitar here: http://www.strumviews.com/best-acoustic-guitar-for-beginners

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