How to tune a tenor guitar

By | April 10, 2021


Hold the tenor guitar in your lap in playing position. Your right arm should be draped over the guitar, leaving your right hand in the strings.


Turn on the tuner and place it on the leg or flat surface near the front of the guitar.


Pick over the string with your right hand. Let the note ring so that the tuner has time to analyze it.


Look at the tuner to see what pitch the string sounds. If the pitch is below C, turn the setting key so that the pitch rises. If the pitch is above C, turn the tuning key so that the pitch falls.


Lower or raise the string on the string until it is C on your receiver. Make sure the needle is centered on the tuner so that your C note is not sharp or flat.


Repeat steps 3 through 5 for each of the remaining three strings, tuning each to its respective pitch.

Tips and warnings

  • Another common tuning for tenor guitar is GDAE, the same setting as mandolins and violins. If a tuner is not available, you can also tune your tenor guitar by matching places with piano, riser or other string instrument that you know is in line.
  • The popularity of the tenor guitar is rising. Many used models can be found quite cheaply and several guitar builders have started producing new models that are quite affordable as well. If you have a tenor guitar, an important first step towards getting a good sound is to make sure your instrument is in line. In this article, we will look at how to tune your tenor guitar to the common CGDA tuner using an electronic chromatic tuner.