How To Tune A Guitar With and Without A Tuner?

Tuning a guitar is one of the most important but basic things you need to know how to do with a guitar if you plan to play one. So, with that being said if you don’t know how then you should learn how to tune a guitar.

That’s what this guide is about, teaching you how to tune a guitar and the different ways you can choose to tune one. 

These are a few of the things that will be discussed in this guide:

  • Is it difficult to learn to tune a guitar?
  • How accurate guitar tuners are?
  • How to tune a guitar with and without a tuner?
  • Can you tune a guitar with apps?
How to tune a guitar
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What's In This Guide?

Is It Hard To Tune A Guitar?

Tuning a guitar is not hard when you have the right tools like anything else in life, but it can get a little tricky when you choose to tune your guitar without a tuner. Or if you just simply don’t have a tuner and can’t get one at the moment then I hope you know what your doing. 

Tuning a guitar without tuner can be difficult for a beginner for the simple reason that a beginner will probably not be use to the way each string should sound when tuned.

This will make it difficult for them to even know what sound to listen for when tuning a guitar. But on the other hand if you have more experience with guitars then tuning without a tuner probably won’t be as bad as if you were a beginner trying to do this.

Are Clip on Guitar Tuners Any Good?

Yes, clip on tuners are pretty good and they are very popular especially for acoustic guitarists. Most people like them because they are small, easy to use and carry around where ever you may need to have it.These are also good when tuning your guitar when your not in the most quiet places. 

I would say the only bad thing about clip on tuners is that they are small so they can be easily broken or lost. But if your careful with you tools and treat them with care then they can be the greatest thing to have.

Also Read: Top 5 Best Guitar Tuners

Are Guitar Tuners Accurate?

Guitar tuners are very accurate which is why most people would prefer to use them because they know how inaccurate trying to tune a guitar without one can be.

In addition to being accurate, the simplicity of using a tuner makes the process of tuning a guitar so much easier and faster.

How Do You Read A Guitar Tuner?

Guitar Tuner

Reading a tuner is fairly simple and straight forward. After you have connected the tuner to your guitar, you would simply start the tuning process by plucking one of the strings.

When one of the strings are plucked the tuner then shows you which note you plucked and a needle and scale of where that note is tune wise.

If the needle is on the low side simply up and if it is on the high side simply tune down until the needle is in the middle of the scale.

Once the need is in the middle of the scale your all done with tuning that note and can move on to the next.

It’s that simple!

How Do I Tune My Guitar With A Tuner?

The interface for almost all tuners are essentially the same, so it doesn’t really matter which one you use but if you like a specific brand then go for it.

Now let’s see how to tune with an electronic tuner.

What you will want to do after you put the tuner on the guitar is pluck whichever note you are trying to tune.

After you pluck the note the tuner will show you the note being played and the tuning level that it is at.

The tuner will show you in these three ways:

  • It will tell you the note that it think you are trying to tune.
  • You will see a balancing needle on how far away from being in tune you are for that note.
  • It will show you if the note is too flat or too high with different colored lights. 

Your goal should be to get the needle in the middle of the scale. This will let you know when you note is tuned properly.

Now, watch the video below to see an example of what was just explained above.

Looking for a decent tuner but don’t know what to look for?

Read this guide on the top 5 best guitar tuners to help you make your choice and get a good quality tuner.

How Do You Manually Tune A Guitar By Hand?

The are a couple of different ways to tune your guitar but we are going to discuss the 5th fret method.

To begin, start with the thickest string, this string will be your main reference when tuning the rest of the strings.

  1. Start at the 5th fret and fret the low E string.
  2. Continue to fret the low E and play an open A string.
  3. If the open A is lower than the E at the 5th fret then tune it until they both sound the same.
  4. Do the exact same thing on the 5th fret for the A string and the open D string. Tune those two notes until they sound the same.
  5. Again you want to do the same on the 5th fret for the D string and an open G string. Tune those two notes until they sound the same. 
  6. Now, on the 4th fret for the G string and an open B string, tune the G string until they both sound the same.
  7. Back to the 5th fret for the B string with an open E string continue to tune until they both sound the same.

Watch the video below for more tips on how to tune without using a tuner.

I hope this video was useful and helped you with your tuning process. But, if not then there is another way for you to tune without a tuner.

I’m sure that most people will have access to a smart phone so this will be very useful to most who don’t have a tuner.

You can just use an app!

Can You Tune A Guitar With An App?

The short answer is yes. You can definitely use an app to tune your guitar and some apps are pretty good at helping you to do just that. 

For most apps it’s as simple as just opening the app and selecting the note that you want to tune. From there you would strum the string and tune until the app lets you know when it is tuned properly. But some apps can be a little more difficult than that.

Let’s take a look at some of the apps that can be used to tune a guitar below. This list consist of apps for both Iphone and Android. 

What Apps To Use?

Here is a list of apps that can be used to tune your guitar. Some are for Iphones and some are for Androids.


  • Polytune
  • N-Track
  • Istrobosoft (by Peterson)
  • Boss TU3
  • GuitarTuna


  • Fender Tune – Free Guitar Tunder
  • GuitarTuna
  • Pro Guitar Tuner
  • Tuner – gStrings Free
  • Guitar Tuner – Free Tune

All of the apps mentioned in both of these lists are pretty good apps that can be used to tune your guitar. They all have good reviews, so check them out and use the one that works the best for you.


Also Read: How to play a guitar

If you enjoyed this article/guide on how to tune your guitar with and without a tuner be sure to leave a comment below to express how much this article has helped you. 

Hope to see you again on future blog posts!

Check out some of our other guides below:



Wayne is a long time guitar enthusiast that is forever learning more about the craft of guitars. Whether it's playing guitars, building them, prepping them to be played or just talking about them. Wayne would be the guy to go to.

2 thoughts on “How To Tune A Guitar With and Without A Tuner?”

  1. It’s difficult to tune a guiter without a tuner.I can try it for me according to your article.I think i will do it.

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Wayne is a long time guitar enthusiast that is forever learning more about the craft of guitars. Whether it's playing guitars, building them, prepping them to be played or just talking about them. Wayne would be the guy to go to.

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