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How To Tune A Guitar: Classical, Electric, Bass: Best Full Guide 2023

How To Tune A Guitar Classical, Electric, Bass Best Full Guide 2023
  • Max Kuehn

Learning how to tune a guitar is a necessary skill for any beginning guitarist. The process is relatively simple, but it does require some patience and practice. With a little bit of time and effort, you’ll be able to tune your guitar like a pro in no time!

What Does It Mean To Tune A Guitar?

Adjusting the tension of each string on your guitar to fit a given pitch is known as tuning (frequency). The pitch is raised or decreased by tightening or loosening a string.

You can adjust the tension and pitch by twisting the tuners (also known as machine heads or tuning pegs) on the guitar’s head.

If one or more of your guitar strings are out of tune, your guitar is considered “out of tune.” You can consider your guitar “in tune” once the pitch of each string is perfect.

What Does It Mean To Tune A Guitar

What Is The Significance Of Tuning Your Guitar?

Tuning your guitar is the most crucial thing before you start playing because nothing you play will sound decent if it is out of tune. Though your guitar is out of tune, it will sound like you are playing incorrect notes.

An out-of-tune guitar can spoil a performance or, at the very least, make you and your audience uncomfortable.

Tuning your guitar is critical if you’re playing music with other people, but it’s also essential if you’re a solo musician.

What Is The Typical Tuning For Guitar?

Six strings are common on guitars. The most typical pitches to which these strings are tuned are standard tuning. The typical tuning of a guitar is E, A, D, G, B, and E, from low to high pitch.

The tuning is E2, A2, D3, G3, B3, and E4 in scientific pitch notation (which helps distinguish between octave notes with the same name).

All music pitch is measured in frequency hertz (Hz), and the A4 pitch at 440 Hz is the most popular frequency for tuning musical instruments.

The purpose of this article is not to explain how frequencies work. In terms of hertz, the conventional guitar tuning is E (82.41 Hz), A (110.00 Hz), D (146.83 Hz), G (196.00 Hz), and B (246.94 Hz), E (82.41 Hz) (329.63 Hz).

How To Tune A Guitar

How To Tune An Electric Guitar

How To Tune An Electric Guitar

Tuning An Electric Guitar By Ear

It is a technique for tuning an electric guitar by ear.

Before using an electronic tuner, all guitarists should learn this method. Learning to tune by ear is a crucial skill to have and will benefit you throughout your guitar career.

Tuner with a microphone. The sound of each string is picked up by a microphone in these electric tuners. They include a straightforward user interface and a display that shows how near your string is to being in tune.

Tuner that is activated by vibrations. These tuners are ideal for tuning an electric guitar in a noisy or crowded environment. Guitarists use vibration-based tuners, which come in a variety of forms and sizes.

Plug-in/Pedal. On stage, these electric tuners are frequently seen alongside a range of more lively and engaging pedals. For gigs and studio setups, a plug-in/pedal tuner is ideal.

A beginner’s instruction to tuning an electric guitar is provided here. It goes over the most popular tuning methods as well as some more contemporary ones.

Tuning an Electric Guitar with a Tuner

If you want to make tuning your guitar easier, you can use one of the several electric guitar tuners available. Many ingenious electric tuners have been developed throughout the years to make your tuning experience easier and more exact.

Tuners are divided into three categories:

Tuners that use microphones

Microphone-based tuners are a great addition to any guitarist’s toolkit. When tuning an electric guitar, they’re really useful. These tuners employ a microphone to pick up the audio of each string, as the name implies. Most include a simple interface and a gauge that shows how close your string is to being in tune.

They’re easy to find and, for the most part, inexpensive. The simple display and application make it the ideal entry point for a newcomer when it comes to tuning your electric guitar.

I recommend looking into the Korg CA-50, which is a popular microphone-based guitar tuner. It will make it simple to tune your guitar.

Tuners that work by vibrating

Consider using a vibration-based tuner if you’re worried about tuning your electric guitar in a noisy area. These tuners are attached to the headstock of the guitar and use vibrations to detect the tune of each note.

The needle and interface on most of these clip-on tuners light up to indicate whether you’re already in tune. Tuning your electric guitar with a vibration-based tuner is a quick and easy process.

I recommend the Fender FT-2 Professional Clip-on Tuner, which is one of the most popular vibration-based guitar tuners. It will make it simple to tune your guitar.

Tuners that can be plugged in or used with a pedal.

Plug-in or pedal tuners may be the ideal option if you wish to play electric guitar on stage or in a live performance. While vibrations and microphone-based tuners can be used on any instrument, plugin/pedal tuners are designed specifically for electric guitars.

The electric guitar is connected via a jack lead. Its interface will use a needle or light to indicate how close each string is to being in tune. Electric guitar tuners have the disadvantage of being more expensive than vibration or microphone-based tuners.

I recommend checking out the BOSS TU-3 Tuner, which is one of the most popular electric guitar plugin tuners. It will make it simple to tune your guitar.

Each has its own set of advantages and disadvantages, and they are all widely available and reasonably simple to use. Depending on what you want from your tuner, you can choose which one to use.

Using an App to tune your electric guitar

You might also be interested in utilizing an app to learn how to tune your guitar. You just need to know how to use a tuning app if you have an electric guitar and a smartphone. When it comes to setting up an electric guitar before a gig or when you’re on a tight schedule, finding the right app might make all the difference.

On the Apple and Android app stores, you may find a variety of tuning apps. However, there are times when spending a little money is required to ensure that you have access to a tuning application that is dependable, swift, and easy to use.

Before beginning practice or a session using the Guitar Tricks app, I tune my electric guitar. The tuner in this app incorporates real guitar tones, so you can hear how each string sounds.

The application is trustworthy, and the user interface is straightforward. It’s a straightforward piece of software that will take care of your electric guitar’s needs. As a result, you should download it from your Google Play or App Store.

How Do You Keep Your Bass Guitar In Tune For A Longer Time?

After you’ve tuned your bass guitar, there are a few things you can do to keep it in tune for longer.

Change your strings on a regular basis. When your strings start to sound dead or have difficulties keeping in tune, it’s time to replace them. When changing strings, make sure to stretch the new ones. You can achieve this by playing or gently pulling on the strings (don’t pull too hard or the strings will break).

Basses are often more stable than guitars due to the thicker string gauges, and as a result, they are easier to tune. Bass strings also have a significantly longer lifespan than guitar strings.

If you play bass guitar frequently and want your notes to sound bright, you should change your strings on a monthly basis. Others enjoy the sound of broken-in bass strings, which should last many months for most players.

Keep your bass in good shape. Wash your hands before playing and wipe your strings down when you’re done rocking to keep your bass strings feeling new.

In this case, keep your bass safe. Keep your bass in its case or bag when you’re not playing to protect it from the elements. Avoid exposing your bass to extremes in temperature or humidity.

How To Tune A Bass Guitar

How To Tune A Bass Guitar

When it comes to tuning a bass guitar, you have a lot of alternatives.

On Your Smart Device, Download A Tuner App.

Hundreds of tuner apps are available for mobile devices, many of which are free. To hear the pitch of the strings, these apps use the built-in microphone on your mobile device. The display on your device will notify you when you are in tune as you adjust the tuning peg for each string.

As A Reference, Use Another Instrument

You can also use a reference pitch from another instrument that you know is in tune, such as a piano. Because you have to tune one of your strings to the reference pitch “by ear,” this is a little more challenging. Listening to the reference pitch, playing the identical note on the bass, and comparing the pitches are all part of this process.

Match the pitch of your note to the reference pitch. Once one string is in tune, you can tune the bass to itself by playing a fretted note on a lower string and then tuning your open string to match.

A Clip-On Electric Tuner For Tuning Your Bass Guitar

Tuning has been revolutionized thanks to clip-on electric tuners. Clip-on electric tuners, unlike traditional electric tuners that require a plug, attach to the headstock of your guitar and detect string vibrations. They’ll tell you whether the notes on your bass guitar are “flat” (too low), “sharp” (too high), or in tune.

The E string may be difficult for certain tuners to pick up (lowest note). When purchasing a tuner, make sure it can read the low string easily. These tuners are low-cost, simple to use, and accurate. Many practice amplifiers also come with built-in tuners.

How To Tune A Classical Guitar

By Ear Tuning

You must start with a reference pitch to properly tune your instrument. This should be a note that everyone agrees on, and the best option is “A440.” You’ll need an A440 tuning fork, but remember that not all tuning forks are A440!

This is the pitch that an adequately tuned High E string (string 1) should produce when depressed at the fifth fret and the open A string (string 5). To begin tuning, strike a hard surface with your tuning fork and place the extremity (not the fork) against the guitar’s body, which will resonate with the sound.

Play string 5 open and adjust the tuning peg until the string’s sound matches the tuning fork. String 5 has now been accurately tuned. Then, tune the remaining strings using the preceding string as a guide.

Any problems in tuning string 5 will be compounded as you proceed through the strings, which is the problem with this tuning approach; however, once you get more experienced, you can move on to more sophisticated but correct procedures. Here’s a quick tutorial on how to use the tuning fork from

The other strings are tuned as follows:

  • At the fifth fret, press string 6. Adjust string 6 such that there are no beats between this string and the open A (string 5) note. In other words, play them till they sound the same and as if you’re playing a single note. If you’re not sure how to identify the beats, play one string after another, tweaking string 6 until it sounds exactly like the open string 5.
  • At the fifth fret, press string 5. Play open string 4 and 5 while adjusting string 4 until no beats exist between the two notes.
  • At the fifth fret, press string 4. While adjusting string 3, play the open string 3 and string 4 until there are no beats between the two notes.
  • At the fourth fret, press string 3 (note the change to the fourth fret here). While adjusting string 2, play the open string 2 and string 3 until there are no beats between the two notes.
  • At the fifth fret, press string 2. Adjust string 1 until there are no beats between the two notes while playing the open string 1 and string 2.

By Ear Tuning

Performing on a Piano

It’s fine to tune the guitar using a piano as long as the piano is properly tuned. You can use an E or A as a reference pitch or tune each string to the appropriate key and pitch. You can use the string to string method to complete your tuning if you only have a reference pitch.

Performing on a Piano

Using a Metronome or Tuning Fork

Tuning forks provide a pitch to which you can match your tuning. You hit the tuning fork against something without batteries or electronics, and it vibrates at the correct pitch. It’s usually tuned to A 440hz, the standard tuning pitch.

You can use any tuning method to tune your 5th string A to the tuning fork. Tune the 6th string A at the 5th fret to the tuning fork if using string-to-string.

As an added function, many electronic metronomes have an A 440hz reference pitch for tuning, which you may use to tune just like a tuning fork.

One Reference String Tuning

This approach tunes all the strings using a single reference string. Because I tune the A string to the tuning fork or reference pitch of a metronome, I prefer to utilize it.

Pros: Consistency is much greater across all strings. There are fewer chances of compounding your errors.
Cons: The upper position notes should be avoided since guitar intonation can be wrong. Pushing the string down to the fret will bend the pitch, which might cause minor intonation issues. If at all possible, stay with the first few frets. It’s better to employ harmonics with it.

Tune The Guitar To Itself Using Notes Or Harmonics.

What should you do if you don’t have access to a tuner or a reference pitch? Fortunately, you can always tune the guitar based on the pitch of one of the strings that you believe is near.

Even if the guitar isn’t strictly in tune in terms of frequency, at the very least, it will be in tune with itself! Put another way, you can play the guitar usually, and it will sound excellent even if all the strings are tuned slightly higher or lower than normal.

So, how do you tune the guitar to itself manually? You can do this by matching the pitch of the notes you play on the fretboard or the pitch of harmonics.

Pitch and note matching

The easier of these two approaches, pitch matching by playing notes, is a suitable place for novices to start. Imagine you wish to tune your guitar to the low E2 string’s pitch (string 6).

Play the following highest string’s pitch, in this case, A, on the low E string. Place your left-hand finger on the low E string, fret 5. The A note is the pitch you hear when you pluck the string with your right hand.

Play the open A string and the note you’re holding down on the low E string’s 5th fret (A) back and forth to see if the pitches sound the same. If they don’t, raise or lower the A string’s pitch until it matches the A string you’re playing on the E string.

Here’s a breakdown of where you can discover open string matching pitches:

String 5 (string 6): 5th fret, low E string (D) String 4: A string (string 5) 5th fret (G) String 3: D string (string 4) 5th fret (B) String 2: G string, 4th fret (string 3) (E) String 1: B string, 5th fret (string 2)

Harmonics that match pitch

Low frequencies can be more challenging for some persons than higher frequencies. This is especially difficult when matching the pitches of lower notes on the guitar.

Fortunately, harmonics may be used to tune the guitar to itself. Harmonics is a technique in which the tone generated is of a higher pitch (overtone) than the note you would hear if you just put your left-hand finger down on the fret as you usually would. Harmonics have a “chime-like” feel and are widely employed in all guitar styles.

The scope of this essay does not allow for a detailed explanation of the harmonic technique on the guitar. Harmonics can be used to connect pitches.

Here’s a summary of where you can use harmonics to locate matching pitches for the open strings:

  • Play the harmonic at the 5th fret, 6th string on string 5 (A) (E). Play the harmonic on the 7th fret of the 5th string while that is ringing (A). If the tones don’t match, adjust the tuning of the A string.
  • Play the harmonic at the 5th fret, 5th string on string 4 (D) (A). Play the harmonic on the 7th fret of the 4th string while that is ringing (D). If the tones don’t match, adjust the tuning of the D string.
  • Play the harmonic at the 5th fret, 4th string on string 3 (G) (D). Play the harmonic on the 7th fret, 3rd string while that rings (G). If the tones don’t match, adjust the tuning of the G string.
  • String 2 (B): The B string is slightly different from the others. First, play the harmonic on the 6th string at the 7th fret (E). Play the natural open string 2 (B) note while that is ringing (not harmonic). If the tones don’t match, adjust the tuning of the B string.
  • String 1 (E): The high E string functions similarly to the others. Play the harmonic on the second string, 5th fret (B). While that’s going on, play the harmonic on the first string’s 7th fret (E). Tune the E string accordingly if the tones don’t match.


FAQs About How To Tune A Classical Guitar With A Tuner

How To Tune A Classical Guitar Without A Tuner?

Yes, you can tune your guitar without using a tuner or other tuning instrument.

You’ll have to manually tune your guitar to itself (way #5) unless you’re tuning it by ear to a pitch from another instrument already in tune (see method #4).

There’s a good chance your guitar won’t be precisely in tune from a frequency standpoint if you choose technique #5. Regardless, your guitar will still sound great on its own!

Is There A Difference In Tuning For Classical Guitar?

The tuning peg on a classical guitar is very different from the tuning peg on an acoustic guitar.

Can You Play An Acoustic Guitar On A Classical Guitar?

“Can a classical guitar be utilized to play ‘acoustic guitar’ songs?” is a typical question among aspiring guitarists. YES! is the quick response. An acoustic guitar is a classical guitar. Acoustic instruments are those that are not played with electronic instruments.


As you can see, there are various and simple ways to tune your guitar. Whether you want to use technology to help speed up the process or hone your tuning abilities by learning to tune by ear, Fidlar hope this post will be useful!

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