Playing An Out-Of-Tune Guitar – Bad Guitar Habits

bad guitar habitsSeriously? Is this even something we need to talk about? It seems pretty clear to me that there really is no situation or set of circumstances where it would be okay to call this not a bad guitar habit. And that very habit does exist, whether you want to believe that or not. I can share plenty of examples with you, but anyway, now that we’re already on the topic, let’s talk about this in a little bit more detail. Because this is more than just a nuisance, willingly and knowingly practicing and playing an out-of-tune guitar will not do you any good, trust me. This goes beyond the ‘bad habit’ thing, it’s just plain silly if you ask me.

So, why do some people seem to not care as to whether or not their guitar is tuned? In my experience, it typically comes down to two reasons – I’m actually struggling using the word ‘reason’ here, because it sure is no ‘valid reason’. Anyway, let’s don’t split hairs (I don’t have any left to split at this point..hehehe). First, you have guitar students who simply struggle with the task of getting their guitar tuned. And trust me, I can certainly sympathize with that, because I too had massive issues getting my instrument into standard tuning when I started my guitar journey a couple of decades ago. It was especially difficult for me when I changed the old strings and put new ones on.

Now, while the above to me is certainly very different from a scenario where someone is perfectly capable to tuning his guitar, but simply chooses not to, for a lack of care, laziness or something else that I seem to fail to understand. Because what we just discussed is a situation where a new guitar player simply has to learn the task of getting the instrument in tune. That’s a matter pf practice, just like with all things guitar. The more you practice tuning your axe, the better you will get at it. In the beginning, I strongly recommend that you get yourself a decent guitar tuner. These devices are dirt cheap, handy and work remarkably well. You can get a very good clip-on guitar tuner, such as a SNARK, for under $10. Get yourself one of those or any other model and I guarantee that you will improve your ability to tune your guitar. The more experience you get in that, the faster and easier the whole process will become eventually.

Alright, no let’s talk about the folks who could, but don’t want to tune their guitar, for whatever that may be. To you guys, I will have to say what I’ve been telling my students all along – GET YOUR ACT TOGETHER. There is virtually no set of circumstances that I can think of, where playing an out of tune guitar would make any sense. Tune your guitar, please – it takes a couple of seconds and you are doing others and yourself a solid favor, believe me. Playing an out of tune guitar is a bad guitar habit and entirely unnecessary.

You disagree with me? Fine, leave a comment below and let me know why that is. Also, should you agree, I’d appreciate your thoughts on this topic.

Published date: July 5th, 2016 by Ulrich Peise

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