How To Tune A Mini Guitar

A mini guitar, also known as a guitalele is one instrument that creates a lot of confusion when it comes to tuning. So today, we are going to find out how to tune a mini guitar. 

The biggest confusion is usually whether to tune it as a guitar or as a ukelele. This instrument is sized like a ukelele, it also has a similar string arrangement with the ukelele.

However, the mini guitar has six strings like a standard guitar. So, it is safe to say that the mini guitar is a mix of a regular guitar and a ukelele.

Now, the main question is, how do you tune the mini guitar?

How To Tune A Mini Guitar

The One Thing You Need To Do Before Tuning Your Mini-guitar

The first thing to do to properly tune a mini guitar is to understand how the strings work. The mini guitar has six strings like a standard guitar. However, four of the lower strings have the same notes as the four strings of the ukelele.

Why You Shouldn’t Tune A Mini-Guitar With An E-Tuner

Using an e-tuner for the mini guitar will not give you the proper tune for the instrument. This is because the e-tuner is programmed to tune a standard guitar.

So, tuning with an e-tuner makes the mini guitar have very low octaves. This would cause the strings to be floppy and sag.

There are two steps that would work best for tuning a mini guitar. The first would need you to have a standard guitar.

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When you place a capo on the fifth fret of a standard guitar, this creates the open notes of a mini guitar. With the notes, you can now tune the mini guitar.

For the second option, you can make use of a clip-on tuner. The important thing about tuning the mini guitar is the pitch.

So, with the clip-on tuner attached to the headstock of the guitar set to chromatic settings you can now tune the mini guitar.

Tune Your Mini Guitar To These Keys:

First string – A

Second string- D

Third string – G

Fourth string – C

Fifth string – E

Sixth string – A

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Now, the main issue that comes with tuning a mini guitar is the pitch to use. With the two simple tips in this article, you can easily tune your mini guitar and produce good sound.

It is also important to note that there are other different methods of tuning the mini guitar that could work perfectly.

The two methods mentioned above are key-A based. Some other tools or methods might tune the mini guitar like the standard guitar. The only difference would be that the mini guitar will be tuned to a higher pitch.

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For a key E based tuning method tutorial (like a standard guitar), below is a video that would guide you through the process.

How To Tune A Mini-Guitar – Frequently Asked Questions

Can I tune a guitalele like a guitar?

For a guitalele to sound more like a guitar, you would need to tune it down.   

Guitaleles are set up a fourth from the normal guitar tuning which is A-D-G-C-E-a. When you tune each string down, it gives you EADGBe and this is standard guitar tuning.

We must warn you though, after a while, the sound can get really floppy.

What is a small 6-string guitar called?

It is called a guitalele (AKA Kiku or travel guitar).

A guitalele is a mix of guitar and ukulele. It is usually a ¼ sized guitar with impeccable classical sounds like a guitar and tenor tuning like a ukulele.

Taking after the portability of a ukulele, the guitalele usually has only six single strings and the chord possibilities of an actual classical guitar.

Which type of guitar is best for beginners?

Acoustic guitars.

Most times, beginners get more comfortable with steel-stringed acoustic guitars This is because it is less stressful to get a good sound off an acoustic guitar than any other guitar.

Unlike electric guitars that produce a plethora of sounds that can be quite confusing, an acoustic guitar is pretty much a lump of wood that has a hole in the middle which produces just one tone. What this means is that it produces a very consistent tone which is what every beginner needs.

Are ¾ guitars for adults?

¾ guitars also known as travel guitars are most suitable for kids below the age of 12 because of their small size. However, adults can also make use of it as travel guitars as it is more convenient to carry around.

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More and more, adults are becoming inclined to the ¾ guitar not only because of its portable size but also because of its punchy sound.

What size guitar does Ed Sheeran use?

Ed Sheeran uses a ¾ Martin LX1E guitar.

The Martin LX1E, nicknamed “Little Martin” is the smallest in all of Martin’s guitars and even though it was advertised as a student’s guitar, Ed Sheeran thought it was a good idea to buy it.

The Little Martin LX1E has its soundboard made out of the most popular wood for acoustic guitars- Sitka spruce and is ideal for any type of tone or style.

The best part of the “Little Martin” LX1E is that the sides are made of HPL (High-Pressure Laminate) which makes the guitar very rigid and durable.

Are smaller guitars easier to play?

Due to their shorter scale lengths and frets that are so much closer than a regular-sized guitar, smaller guitars are easier to handle. 

However, this depends largely on the size of your hands. 

While people with smaller hands enjoy playing small guitars, average to large-sized adults don’t because they find it extra difficult to properly position their fingers on the fretboard.

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