Keeping your child's guitar in tune is an essential part of creating beautiful music and, less obviously, maintaining motivation. An out-of-tune guitar can be a motivation-killer because an out-of-tune instrument sounds bad! If your child repeated plays with an out-of-tune guitar, they'll begin to attribute the bad sound as a lack of their own skill (rather than simply an out-of-tune guitar).
Because of this, it is essential to tune your child's guitar before each-and-every practice session.
Before you Start
You'll need the following items:
The 90% Version
(aka The Quick-and-Easy Version):
This should get the job done in most situations. However, your guitar will eventually run into a situation where you need to know the 100% solution. So bookmark this page. When you tune your child's guitar and it still sounds out-of-tune, come back read the whole page.
For parents of Book 1 students: You only need to tune the first 3 strings (at least, until we start playing with the thumb).
Warning for Guitar Playing Parents: On smaller instruments, some strings have been re-tuned to compensate for tension issues that crop-up when playing small strings. Because of this (and to ensure that your child is playing at concert pitch), please use the tuner when tuning your child's guitar. (Do not use the fifth-fret method or other methods of tuning the guitar to itself). Additionally, if your child is playing on a very small guitar or ukulele, do not tune the bass strings (unless they are playing songs or exercises which use the bass strings).