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How to Tune a Guitar Into F Sharp

Used by the renowned funk musician Curtis Mayfield, F sharp is one of the guitar's most popular open tunings. Opening up new tonic possibilities and perfectly suited for slide guitar, you can get your guitar into F sharp in about 5 minutes with the steps below.

Make sure your guitar is in tune in standard (E-A-D-G-B-E) tuning. It is easiest to put your guitar into F sharp using the benchmarks of standard tuning.

Using your online tuner as a guide (see Resources), slowly raise the pitch of your low E string to F sharp, which is a whole step above E. Be very cautious and only turn the tuner in small increments, as quickly tuning a guitar string (in either direction) can cause it to snap suddenly.

Repeat the above step so that your tuning is as follows (from bottom to top): F sharp, A sharp, C sharp, F sharp, A sharp and F sharp. This means both E strings will be raised a whole step, the A string will be raised a half step, and the D, G and B strings will be lowered half a step.

Re-check the tuning of all the strings after you have tuned the top E string, as tuning one string can cause others to go out of tune. After giving the guitar a little time to adjust to its new tuning (10 to 15 minutes), it will be ready to play.

Warnings:

  • Because the low and high strings are tuned up a whole step, thus putting more tension on them, they are more likely to break. Use caution when playing or tuning in F sharp. Do not rapidly switch back and forth between tunings, as tuning itself slowly weakens strings over time.
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