Tuning forks might seem a bit archaic in a world with tuner-equipped guitars and self tuning instruments, but there is a reason they have managed to stay around longer than their ill-fated cousin the pitch pipe (which sounded really annoying and produced questionable pitches).
For one thing, tuning forks never need to be calibrated (meaning they always produce the same pitch). Some old needle type tuners would routinely need to be calibrated-and the trusty “flatware” would correct their deficiencies.
Tuning forks can come in several pitches, but the most common one is A=440 Hz. This is what is known as concert pitch.
***Most all tuning forks have the letter they produce stamped into the handle. Don’t guess-you can break strings and damage the bridge!!!
If your tuning fork is labeled E, this will tune your 6th/Low E string. After it’s tuned, you can tune the other strings the way we learned in the Tuning a Guitar to Itself section. Now we are at concert pitch.
If your tuning fork is labeled A, this will tune your 5th/A string. After it’s tuned, you can tune the other strings (DGBE) the way we learned in the Tuning a Guitar to Itself section. Remember we still have to tune your 6th/Low E. The easiest way is to play the Low E 5th fret and tune your 6th string to match the open A string.