Tuning: Recommendation for Beginners
Go to Jeff Newman's site:
His tuning charts for E9, C6, and E9/B6 Universal are on this page:
Don't obsess over tuning. As soon as you begin playing and the strings warm up they will change anyway. The best time to tune is at the end of a set. This is a phenomenon that you will just have to get used to. Some guitars exhibit this behavior more than others. Listen closely and try to train your ears to hear what's in tune. A good steel player can usually tune from a single note on a tuning fork.
Some players prefer to tune 'straight up'. This is also called EQUAL TEMPERAMENT. To try that system, set your tuner to A440 (see below) and tune ALL NOTES to that calibration setting.
HOW TO TUNE USING AN ELECTRONIC CHROMATIC TUNER
Buy yourself a chromatic tuner. (NOT A GUITAR TUNER that only tunes the strings of a six string guitar)
The Korg GT-12 or 12-H is a good, small battery operated tuner. The best results I've found are from the Peterson tuners. You can read about with a precision of 0.5 cents. Since most folks can't really hear a difference of 1-2 cents, don't get too hung up over precision.
That was all explanation -- here's how to do it
Tune each open string and pedal / lever change to match the numbers on the chart. Follow this procedure:
play the 1st string
tune the open string to the chart
tune a pedal or lever that pulls that string (if there are any)
check the open string tuning to be sure BOTH THE UNCHANGED TONE AND THE CHANGED TONE match the tuner settings
tune all changes for that string
go through the same process for the 2nd string
check both open strings before moving to the 3rd string
continue to the other strings, checking that the open string and the pull are both in tune, and that the strings you tuned previously are still in tune. AS YOU CONTINUE, THE OVERALL PRESSURE ON THE NECK MAY CHANGE SLIGHTLY CAUSING ALL STRINGS TO CHANGE SLIGHTLY.
If you play a double neck, start with the E9 neck. Listen to the open tuning and the A+B pedals. Go back and check your tuner -- tuning one string can affect the tuning of the others.
If you have problems with this tuning method . . . or, if you just want to learn more about how that chart was created or how to create your own, go back and check the links on the previous page.