Tuning Your Guitar
I cannot stress enough the importance of tuning your guitar. It is the most crucial aspect of playing music. If instruments are not tuned properly music sounds very bad, no matter what you play. In my experience teaching private lessons, I have had many students ask “why does this sound so bad when I am playing it right”. The answer is almost always that they are not in tune. Even just one string slightly out of tune can cause every chord to sound bad, let alone an entire ensemble. You should tune your guitar before every practice session and even several times within a practice session especially if you are doing a lot of string bending. During a gig, I will check my tuning before nearly every song. There are several factors that can make a guitar go out of tune. First, the weather. Yes, changes in humidity and temperature can greatly affect the tuning of your guitar. Second, playing it and bending strings.
The easiest way to tune accurately, especially for a beginner, is to buy an electric tuner. I would highly suggest buying a clip on tuner such as a Snark Tuner. These tuners work based off of the vibrations on the guitar so other noises in the room do not interfere. They are fairly inexpensive, costing around $20. Tuning by ear is a skill that should be learned, but this can take time. Start with a tuner. Playing in tune will greatly improve your ear, hearing skills, and playing.
Learn how to tune your guitar here.
Play ukulele too? Learn how to tune your ukulele.