I recently needed to tune a 12 string guitar and this was less trivial than I expected. Thus, here is my guide, which does not involve any payed apps.


When you install strings, try to keep the right order of pegs. In other words adjacent strings should be wired through adjacent pegs. This will help you a lot during tuning and will prevent any confusion.


  1. Tune the lower string in each pair as if it is just a normal 6 string guitar.

  2. Now we start tuning upper strings in each pair starting from the bottom.

    1. The two lowest are just the same as their paired string.

    2. The remaining 4 should be one octave higher than the other string in the pair.

If you have a tuner for 6 string guitar, tuning one octave higher may be non-trivial. However, you can use a tuner, which shows hertz measurements. I used an Android app DaTuner for this (I am not associated with this app in any way and find it quite confusing, but it shows Hz measurements which was enough for me).

So the final tuning in herz should be:

  1. (bottom most string) E4 – 329.6 Hz

  2. E4 – 329.6 Hz (same as above)

  3. B3 – 246.9 Hz

  4. B3 – 246.9 Hz (same as above)

  5. G3 – 196 Hz

  6. G4 – 392 Hz (one octave higher)

  7. D3 – 146.8 Hz

  8. D4 – 293.7 Hz (one octave higher)

  9. A2 – 110 Hz

  10. A3 – 220 Hz (one octave higher)

  11. E2 – 82.41 Hz

  12. E3 – 164.81 Hz (one octave higher)

You may ignore everything except the Hz numbers. Just make sure that the app shows the given number for the given string.

People in the Internet suggest to tune the 6th string (i.e. G4) slowly and letting it to “rest” in the process, since it is so high.

Also the tension is high, so after tuning some strings, the later strings will detune earlier ones a bit and you can to check them again.

Once you have a guitar more or less tuned, you don’t need to use Hz measurements anymore, since majority of tuners know all the notes and will show you the distance to the closest note even if it is not one of 6 string guitar.

Happy well tuned playing!