A: There are two main factors that go into a guitar tune. First is the number of notes that you have to play, second is the pitch. The difference between a “soft” and “hard” guitar tuning is the ratio of the key to each note.
Here’s a diagram of a guitar key and its equivalent note:
Here is the same basic formula again, but for a note:
How many key-to-note ratios do we need?
There are several ways to break down a note to determine how many key-to-note ratios. If the first note is a high C#, the second (high C) can be figured by dividing the first note by four. If the second note is a low B, the second can be figured by multiplying the first by two.
When tuning with a guitar, the key will always be in the center of the neck. The only time you could tune using a guitar is with a bridge, so we will use that as an excuse to talk about our second factor.
When we tune with a guitar, we want to do a “one-note” operation. If we don’t know the note, we’ll play another note and try it. When we play another note, we simply lower the pitch of our tone and adjust the pitch of the other note in between.
There are two “one-note” tunings: A, and B. There are a lot of variations on these tunings, but the principle is the same. If our key is A, the lowest note in a key of A is the lowest note in a key of A, the second-lowest note in a key of A is the second-lowest note in a key of A, etc.
Here are some simple examples to help visualize how A to B is usually calculated:
A – C#: A = 1.6 A = 1.618 C# – C
So we know that if we play C#, it will be played in F#, just like any other key to C.
B – A: B = 1.618
This is usually calculated by dividing C by 2 (because C# is the lowest note in A).
C – B: