The tuning methods described in this book are different from what I wrote and what’s usually done.
First Step: Learn How to Hear Differences in Pitch
After some preliminary text, the book goes into a few exercises designed to help the student learn to hear beats between out of tune unison harmonics. This is an often skipped step. Teachers, including myself, just show the student where to put the fingers for tuning with no mention of how to recognize differences in pitch. The book’s system relies on hearing the beats between unison pitches and adjusting them strings until the beats sound a certain beats per minute.
In an equally tempered instrument, such as the guitar, only the octaves and unisons are in tune and tuned beatless. The other pitches are adjusted. The seventh fret harmonics sound pure fifths, not tempered ones. As such, tuning open strings to pure fifths of harmonics puts other intervals out of tune. Gerald Klickstein’s method for tuning factors this in. Each string is first tuned with harmonics. The strings are adjusted until the beats between unisons sound at a certain metronome marking. The secondary tuning method is a series of checks and test chords that ensure the guitar is in tune.
So, does it work?
Yes. It works very well. I have started using some of the checks and test chords to tune my guitar. The book’s strength is its inclusiveness; every detail of tuning by ear, from muting strings to moving to and from altered tunings, is covered in the text.
My test of a book is always, “did I learn something?” The answer, with Tuning the Guitar by Ear, was a resounding, “yes.”