How To Tune An Electric Guitar Without A Tuner?

Before playing guitar, you need to check whether your guitar is tuned or not. Proper tuning is important for practicing guitar. Mostly, guitarists make use of a digital tuner to tune their guitars. You will also have a tuner if you are an expert guitarist. But if you have just started practicing guitar and do not know about the tools for a guitar, then it is quite normal not to have access to a tuner. Well, no need to worry. Because, in this article, I will tell you how to tune an electric guitar without a tuner. So that you could be able to carry on your guitar practice properly.

If you have clicked on this article, it means that either you do not have a tuner to tune your guitar or can’t access your tuner at the moment.

Whatever the situation, I will make sure to guide you through the complete process of tuning your guitar without a tuner. So, let’s learn how to tune an electric guitar without a tuner.

Also Read: How To Tighten Guitar Strings? | Let’s Learn!

Methods Of Tuning:

There are several possible ways of tuning a guitar, but I will teach you only two of them. These are:

  1. Tuning a guitar by itself
  2. Harmonics method

Method 1: Tuning A Guitar By Itself:

It is the most common method of tuning a guitar with bare hands. Step by step process of tuning your guitar is given below:

Fret The Low E String:

First, you must fret the low E string on the fifth fret. Also, the low E string is the softest and thickest string on your guitar.

The note of the low E string is the same as that of the open A series, which is the string next to the low E string.

You do not need to first tune your low E key in this method. Your guitar still sounds good. The strings will still be adjusted if not on the concert pitch.

Matching A String To Low E:

Now listen to the sound of low E and then play the sound of open A. check the difference and tune open A up or down to low E.

If the open A string sound is higher than A at the fifth fret of low E, first tune it down and then bring it back to tune properly.

Tuning D And G:

After you tune open A, fret it at the fifth fret and pluck the string. This is open G; now tune it up and down to compare with the sound of available A.

Once open, D is tuned at the fifth fret with the open A, fret available D at the fifth fret to tune open G. So, to match the sound, tune them up and down.

Fret G At Fourth Fret To Tune B:

The process is quite different for tuning B strings. There comes a small gap between G and B. first, fret G at the fourth fret, then pluck B to tune it according to G.

Tune it up and down to match the sound.

Tune The High E String By The Fifth Fret:

Once you have tuned the B string, fret it at the fifth fret, and then pluck the high E to match the tune. Bring it up and down to match the sound to open high E.

If the pitch of the open high E string is higher than that of high E played on the string B, tune it up and down and then pitch the sound slowly and gradually.

Strum To Test The Tuning:

Before playing a song, you would need to strum the guitar and check the tuning of the chords according to the music.

Listen to it carefully, and with the requirement, adjust up and down to make the best suitable combination.

Method 2: Harmonics Method:

This is another method that is also widely used for tuning a guitar without a tuner. Therefore, the Step by step process of this method is as follows:

Play Harmonics With Strings:

Harmonics can be played naturally by the fifth, seventh, and twelfth frets. Touch the string without applying any pressure on the frets.

If you are new and haven’t practiced harmonics before, it would need extra effort until you can play harmonics efficiently and continuously.

While playing harmonics, when you hear the sound of a bell, understand that you have done it right. 

Check Guitar’s Intonation:

In case the intonation of your guitar is not on, your harmonics will not match that of the same note when it is played. 

To check that, play the string at the twelfth fret and then fret the twelfth note for playing the actual message.

Compare Harmonics:

Play the harmonic on the fifth fret of the low E string and then on the seventh fret of the A string. Listen carefully to match the sounds.

Therefore, to tune, move them up and down until you feel the same sounds from both the strings.

Tune D And G By The Same Process:

After the A string is tuned, fret it on the fifth fret and compare it to the seventh fret of open D. tune this string up and down to match the sounds.

For tuning G, fret D at the fifth fret and compare it to the seventh fret of open G, and then match the sounds to tune it.

Tune The B String:

The harmonic on the seventh fret of low E plays the same tune as B. So, you don’t need to play harmonics on the B string; you can strum the guitar.

Tune the high E using harmonic.

The process for tuning high E is quite similar to the tuning of B. the sound produced by the seventh fret of high A should be matched by that of high E. when you tune high E, your guitar will be adjusted.

Also Read: How To Restring An Electric Guitar Fender?

Final Thoughts:

Depending upon the steps to tune, you can choose any of the above two methods for tuning your guitar merely with your bare hands. After reading this article, I hope you’ll not need to look for the answer to your question of how to tune an electric guitar without a tuner.

In this article, I have tried my best to provide you with the best, authentic and practical methods of tuning your guitar. I hope you liked it.

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