Tips For Tuning Your Guitar Without An Electronic Tuner

Learning To Tune Needs Practice Too

It’ll take a long time for you to learn to tune by ear because it requires practice. Even using an electronic tuner requires skill. In general it would be good for you to occasionally try tuning by ear. Don’t play an instrument that is out of tune! If you are playing alone it doesn’t matter whether you manage to tune the 1st string precisely into a E note in the beginning – the main thing is to make sure that the strings are in tune with each other.

A few tips when tuning by ear:

  • Do not press the strings too hard against the fret as it will alter the pitch
  • Place the fingertip close to the fret strip. Like the pressure, the placement of a finger has a pretty big effect to the pitch of a string.
  • If you cannot decide if a string sounds higher or lower then you can just start turning the knob of the 2nd string in either direction and listen if the sound is getting better or worse. If it is getting worse you are probably turning in the wrong direction 🙂
  • If you have done everything correctly but the result still sucks then there are chances that your guitar setup needs care (strings too high, strings too old, octave point needs adjustment, bridge misplaced etc.)
  • If you use a tuner that allows you to adjust the pitch of A it should be 440 Hz. At least until you know what is it for.
  • You can get the right note to help you tune the 1st string also by using a tuning fork or a special pitch pipe. By the way, the sound your mobile phone makes when you are calling someone and waiting for them to answer the phone is close to A – it may vary in different countries, though.
... and even when you are pretty confident that you can tune by ear, there are occasions when you might need the help of our online tuner app.

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