how to tune a guitar with a tuner

How to Tune a Guitar with a Tuner. Easy Step By Step Guide – Tutorial

How to Tune a Guitar with a Tuner.  Knowing how to tune in a guitar is a very important thing to know for any guitarist.  I have arrived countless times playing for my church band to find my guitar out of tune.  This is very frustrating as most of the time I did not have my guitar tuner with me.  Going around begging people to use theirs is also embarrassing.  There are a few ways to getting around not having a tuner with you that I will go through later in this article.

HOW TO TUNE A GUITAR WITH A TUNER

In the below article I will go through 7 steps to tuning your guitar with a standard tuna.

The tuner we going to use is a digital chromatic tuner.  This will work for your acoustic guitar, electric guitar as long as it is not a baritone guitar. – How to tune a guitar with a tuner

THE GUITAR NOTES

The six string guitar uses six different notes.  These are the notes you will need to tune in.

Acoustic guitar tutorial

The strings are:

E
A
D
G
B
E

Most digital guitar tuners will look like the tuner in the below picture.  The screen of the guitar tuner will have a line that will show if the guitar is out of tune or in tune.  If the line is directly in the middle then the guitar is in tune.  When it is to the left then it means that the guitar is a little flat or below the note.  If the line is to the right then you know the guitar is too far above the note or as we know “sharp”. – How to tune a guitar with a tuner

how to tune a guitar with a tuner

TUNING IN THE GUITAR

GUITAR STRING E

Tuning in the first note will require that you have the tuner with you.  You will need to clip the tuner on the head of the guitar near the tuning machines.  You will then need to test one string at a time. The first string you will need to test is the E string.  The E string is the thickest string. – How to tune a guitar with a tuner

how to tune a guitar with a tuner

You will need to strum the E string and as you can see in the above picture the E string is a little flat.  Turning the tuning machine anti-clockwise until the line goes in the middle will mean the guitar is in tune.  Once it is in tune the screen will go green. – How to tune a guitar with a tuner

GUITAR STRING A

how to tune a guitar with a tuner

As you can see in the above picture string A is also a little out of tune.  Turning the string anti clockwise until the screen goes green means the guitar string is in tune.

THE REST OF THE STRINGS

The rest of the guitar strings a tuned in the exact same way.  Simply turning the tuning machine until the screen turns green or the line is in the middle.  Most guitars will need to be tuned in on a regular basis.  More expensive or better quality guitars can stay in tune for longer periods of time.  The test your guitar with all the strings so play a few chords and you will hear very quickly if the guitar is out of tune. – How to tune a guitar with a tuner

HOW DOES A GUITAR GO OUT OF TUNE

Guitars that go out of tune can be caused by multiple reasons.  The main reasons they go out of tune are in the below list:

  • If a guitar is bumped it can cause the guitar strings to go out of tune.  The best way to protect your guitar is to use a guitar bag or gig bag.  The bag will protect the guitar from bumps.
  • Bending the strings of an electric guitar might sound great but can also cause the strings to pull out of tune.
  • Old strings can also cause the string to go out of tune as they could be stretch or can stretch while playing.  The stretching of the strings can cause the string to be longer, therefore, causing the string to be out of tune.
  • A  cheap guitar can also cause the guitar to go out of tune because most cheaper guitar will use cheap guitar tuning machines.  The pulling and strumming on the strings will cause the tuning machines to pull of out tune easily.
  • The climate also causes the guitar tuning machines and the strings to pull out a lot easier.
  • The capo can also be the cause of guitar string being bumped.  This will cause most guitars to be out of tune.  The best way would be to place the capo on the strings in a gentle manner. – How to tune a guitar with a tuner

HOW TO TUNE A GUITAR BY EAR

You left your phone somewhere or forgot your tuner at home and need to tune in your guitar.  What do you do?  This is any guitarists worst nightmare.  In this articles, I will show you how to tune in your guitar with itself. It might not be tuned in 100% correctly to the tuned universe though.

HOW DO WE DO THIS

First off we have to assume that one of your strings are in tune.  If you are not too sure that a string is in tune you can go through them and try to hear if one does sound right.  Once you have found the string.

how to tune a guitar with a tuner

To tune your guitar in we will be using fret 5 as our tuning guide.  Each string will sound different even when the guitar is out of tune. By strumming the 5th fret on the 6th string it should sound the same as the open 5th string when strummed or picked.  If the string sounds lower or higher then that string is out of tune.  So you can basically turn the tuning machines until the string sounds the same. Listen if that specific string is lower or higher and adjust the string accordingly. – How to tune a guitar with a tuner

IN TIME YOU CAN HEAR THE DIFFERENCE

You might think that tuning like this won’t work as how can you hear the difference.  But with loads of practice and listening, you will eventually be able to hear that the strings sound the same.

THE FORTH STRING

Now that the string is in tune go to the fourth string and tune it in the same way.   Press the 5th string in on the 5th fret and make sure they sound the same. The 5th fret of the 5th string must sound the same as the open 4th string.

THE THIRD STRING

Now press the 5th fret of the 4th string, this must sound the same as the 3rd string.  Use your ear carefully to try and hear the difference.  Turn the tuners until they sound the same.

THE SECOND STRING

Press the 5th fret of the 3rd string and tune in the second string until they sound the same.

THE FIRST STRING

Press in the 5th fret of the second string and make sure that it sounds the same as the open first string.

ALL TUNED IN?

Test yourself and check if this guitar is tuned in by using an actual guitar tuner.  See how close you have come.


THE BEST GUITAR TUNERS MONEY CAN BUY

ROADIE AUTOMATIC GUITAR TUNER RD100

Roadie Automatic Guitar Tuner RD100

This great little device is a guitarist dream guitar tuner.  Tuning in your guitar could not be more enjoyable with the ease and convenience this gadget is designed to do.  This automatic guitar tuner can even tune your guitar in a noisy room. The tuner simply connects to a mobile APP.  To be able to use this you just need to open up your APP on your mobile device.  You will then place the guitar tuner on one of the tuning machines like in the picture above.  You will then have to place the mobile device in front of the guitar.  Strum the string you need to tune in and the tuner automatically will do the tuning for you. – How to tune a guitar with a tuner

PROS

  • The automatic guitar tuner is very accurate.
  • The guitar tuner can tune in a guitar in a noisy area or room.
  • The tuner is very light.
  • The tuner also will let you know when you need to get new strings
  • Works on an electric and acoustic.

CONS

  • The tuner is a little flimsy and feels like it can break easily.
  • The guitar tuner does not tune up at all.
  • You can not tune a guitar in for capo mode.  So you can not tune in any fret modes.
  • Can be slow to respond once a string is picked.  This can be frustrating as you might need to tune your guitar in quickly.
  • The gears can strip and you only get a 30-day warranty.
  • Sometimes the tuner gets confused and can break your strings.
  • Works much better on an acoustic guitar than an electric.

CONCLUSION

This is actually a very cool little device.  I know you thinking but wait there are more cons than pros.  But you will find if nothing goes wrong then this tuner works like a beaut.  It is super convenient and it looks very cool.  Sitting just before a gig and pulling out your little gadget can get the attention of the other band members.  A great conversation starter, if you into those. – How to tune a guitar with a tuner


PETERSON STROBILUS HD HANDHELD STROBE TUNER WITH OPTIONAL METRONOME FUNCTION

How to Tune a Guitar with a Tuner

This has to be the top of the range guitar tuner or the Rolls Royce of them all.  Purchasing this tuner is purchasing great technology that has been custom made by Peterson to bring the guitarist the most accurate tuning possible.  Peterson has been in the business of guitar tuning for the past 65 years.  The accuracy you get from the tuner is 1/1000 of a semitone which is 1/1000 of a fret.  This tuner boasts about twenty times the accuracy of any other tuner in the market.  Even though this tuner is designed with advanced functions that can help the professional guitarist it is also simple enough for the beginner.

HUGE SCREEN

The screen is huge and comes in HD, I have never seen a tuner that comes in HD.  This makes tuning your guitar from any distance very easy.  The screen also can light up in a dark room.  The front panel has buttons that help you to get to any function on the tuner.  The tuner also comes with a built-in mic that will assist you in tuning in the acoustic guitar.  You can also plug in the tuner indirectly into a guitar during a performance for even better tuning during a gig or live event.  You also get a convenience tripod stand that can make tuning easy as you can mount the tuner on the instrument. – How to tune a guitar with a tuner

DIFFERENT TUNING FOR DIFFERENT INSTRUMENTS

The Stroboplus also comes with a feature that allows you to tune in different types of guitar differently.  The tuner comes with a sweetened tuner function that will give extra care to the different types of instruments you will need to tune.  You also get an option that allows you to store different tunings of your choice.  These tuning can be accessed easily.  The tuner can be charged by a USB connection.  The tuner also has got the ability to upgrade the software, keeping the tuner up to date with any future changes or technology advancements. – How to tune a guitar with a tuner

QUESTIONS

Q. Does the tuner come with a metronome built in or must you purchase it?

A. The software can be downloaded to the device and will cost $40.

Q. Does this tuner come with a charger?

A.  The tuner can plug into any PC and charge that way.

PROS

  • You can tune almost any instrument with this tuner.  Many people love this as their piano tuner.
  • You get the most accurate tuning on the market with this tuner.
  • You can tune straight out of the box.  Just put it on and tune away.

CONS

  • This tuner only comes with a USB charger.  It would be better if you could choose between the USB charger and a normal charger.
  • You need to pay for the metronome.  It costs $40.
  • The tuner seems to be made from a cheaper sort of plastic.  This makes me a little worried about it getting cracked or bumped.
  • You need to have Google Chrome installed to use the online configuration.

CONCLUSION

This tuner is the best tuner available on the market.  I do not know how I managed without it.  The cover of the tuner feels a little cheap but the tuner itself is very good.  The accuracy is just out of this world.  What sticks out the most is that you can tune in your guitar in any noise.  The plugin feature can be used in front of thousands of screaming fans and it would still do the job 110% accurate. – How to tune a guitar with a tuner


CONCLUSION

Tuning in your guitar is something that you must know as a guitarist.  They key is to always carry your guitar tuner with you.  You never know when you might need it.  Maybe you will need it in the middle of a gig and there is a lot of noise.  Eventually, after lots of listening you might be able to tune in your guitar by ear – this will come if you keep practicing.  – How to tune a guitar with a tuner

On our website, we have loads of great articles that are written with the beginner in mind.  From strumming, to putting new strings on your guitar to even building your own guitar.