how to use a guitar tuner

Are you just getting started in the world of playing guitars? If the answer is yes, then you need to learn how to use a guitar tuner if you want to do it like a pro.

Even professional guitar players comprehend that learning how to tune your guitar is inevitable especially if you do not want to sound terrible. If you are getting started playing a guitar and you feel that you are out of tune, then the problem could be the tuner. It’s simple you need to learn how to use the tuner if you want to get everything right.

This guide is specifically compiled to help guitar enthusiasts to learn how to use the tuner and remain toon the tune. It can be demoralizing playing your guitar and being out of tune all the time. To have fun and enjoy playing your guitar during practicing sessions it is important to know how your guitar should be tuned.

There are different types of guitar tuners out there that can get the job done perfectly. However, the type of tuner you use in your guitar depends on the guitar you will be playing.

Types of Guitar Tuners

It’s essential to use a guitar tuner no matter your style of play. It is particularly very important to use a guitar tuner when getting started, because you need to understand that if the tune doesn’t sound as expected it’s not your fault or the guitar but it’s because you have not tuned your guitar as expected.

There are different types of tuners in the market, so in order to make things easy for you, we want to look at these types.

Clip on Tuners

These tuners can be used in acoustic and electric guitars. They come with an in-built microphone for use, especially in acoustic guitars. Clip- on tuners also have a plug for jack input for tuning electric guitars.

Using it is simple because you just clip it on the head of your guitar where it will detect the string pitch through the vibrations as a result of playing your guitar.

Chromatic Tuners

There are non-chromatic tuners and chromatic tuners. Non chromatic tuners are specifically designed to tune your guitar conventionally following the EADGBE way of tuning a guitar.

Non-chromatic tuners will recognize the string you are tuning and also show you whether the resulting tune is flat or sharp.

Chromatic tuner ,on the other hand, will indicate your tuning to the closest semi-tone as per the chromatic scale. Apart from guitars, Chromatic tuners can be used in other music instruments to indicate the tune because of their flexibility.

Pedal Tuners

This type of tuner is ideal for guitar players who do not want to clip and unclip or plug and unplug their tuner from the guitar. Pedal tuners are suitable for use in electro acoustic and electric guitars.

To use this tuner, you will need a jack cable and plug your guitar into it. It does not come with an in-built microphone. If you are a person who loves gigs then this is the best guitar tuner to use.

Polyphonic tuners

These are unique types of tuners that are not so common as what we have already discussed above. They can detect all your guitar strings as you play and determine the strings that are out of tune all at once.

Since they are a new development in the world of guitars, the number of guitar players currently using them is relatively small.

Their main advantage is the fact that you can determine the strings that are out of tune without necessarily playing every string at a time to determine the wrong tune.

Advantages of Using a Guitar Tuner

In our guide on how to use a guitar tuner, we do not want to leave no stone un-turned. We want you to get all the relevant information needed to make you become one of the best guitar plates. Let’s look at the benefits of using a guitar tuner.

  • They help you stay in tune and remain relevant
  • Very accurate and useful especially when playing in environments that are loud.
  • Portable and easy to carry with you when going for a gig or practice session.
  • Some tuners come with extra features to ensure that you get the tune right

How To Use a Guitar Tuner – Step by Step

In this section we are going to look at how to use a guitar tuner. We shall look at the following:

  • How to use electric guitar with a digital tuner
  • How to use a clip-on tuner for acoustic guitar
  • How to use an inbuilt guitar tuner
  • How to use a chromatic guitar tuner
  • How to use guitar tuner app

How To Use Electric Guitar with a Digital Tuner

digital tuner

Did you know that the type of guitar you use determines the type of tuner you can use? For electric guitars the best way to get the job done is by using a digital tuner.

Digital tuners are good at simplifying the job as most of them will indicate the pitch whether it’s flat or sharp on the display.

Digital tuners from different brands come with varying features. They are mostly useful in loud environment because the player can pre select the pitch they want to play at instead of searching from one string to the next.

The process of using guitar tuners is pretty much the same because most tuners detect the vibrations from your guitar to determine the tune.

Many digital tuners come with magical powers and technology capable of indicating the string being played and indicate your pitch

Step 1

Attach your guitar using a jack cable to the tuner. Turn your tuner. Start playing a note and find out if the tuner is getting the signal.

Step 2

You can adjust or alter the pitch of the guitar to lower or higher using the tuner depending on how you want the tune to be.

Step 3

For a digital tuner, it will display red when the tune is sharp or flat. If you are in tune your digital tuner will indicate green on the display.

If the red light on your tuner moves past the middle of intended note, in such a case it is sharp and you will have to turn it down a little to the centre. You will need to turn it up if it does not quite get to the middle.

For all the subsequent strings, the same procedure should be repeated to make sure that you stay in tune or get the right tune.

How To Use a Clip- On Tuner for Acoustic Guitar

guitar tuner

Just like other types of guitar tuners, the technique of using a clip- on tuner for acoustic guitar works under the same mechanism of detecting the vibration signals to determine the tune.

Step 1

So you are using an acoustic guitar? In order to use a clip-on guitar tuner you’ll start by clipping the tuner on the head of the guitar. As you do this, you should be careful not to attach the tuner to the strings or pegs of your guitar.

Step 2

After attaching the tuner as it is expected, the next step involves turning it on. This step involves testing from note E all the way to other notes. As you do this you get to learn how the different notes function.

Step 3

Use the LCD indicator on the display to make changes to the tune you want to use. When the screen changes the color display after the indicator hits the middle, adjust and move to the next note.

Continue doing this last step using your basic knowledge of adjusting the tuner until your guitar gets the right tune.

How To Use an In-Built Guitar Tuner

build in guitar tuner

Tuners normally come differently. Some tuners come separately with the guitar but there are also those that come in built with the guitar.

If you have the latter and you do not understand how to use it, we are going to show you how easy it is to use your in built guitar tuner.

Step 1

This type of tuner normally needs batteries to operate. Check your tuner and find where to place the battery in order to start using it. You have to turn it on in order to use it with your guitar.

Step 2

Once you have inserted the batteries in your tuner the next thing is to turn your tuner on. Make sure that the display is on once you turn on the tuner.

Step 3

Using the basic understanding of finding the right tune, continue adjusting and moving from one note to the next each time to make sure that your guitar has the right tune.

An inbuilt guitar tuner normally comes with the guitar so you’ll have to practice how to use it and make the adjustments for you to get the best tune.

Using a Chromatic Guitar Tuner

This type of tuner will pick the note being played on the guitar and indicate whether the tune is flat or sharp to the nearest semi-tone.

This type of tuner gives a guitar player many options when it comes to adjusting the tune. Even if it means half tuning to the closest up or down as long as it meets your required range.

This is one of the best guitar tuners if you are getting started with guitars. Here are the steps to follow if you want to use a chromatic guitar tuner.

Step 1

This type of guitar tuner normally comes with a jack and in built microphone. So this means that you’ll need to use a cable to connect your tuner to the guitar.

Step 2

Turn your tuner on after connecting it to the guitar. Once it’s on, start by plucking any note or string. Now that you know the basic technique used in tuning a guitar, follow the same process and your guitar in tune.

As long as you adjust the tuner correctly you’ll be able to give your guitar the required tune when playing. The good thing with chromatic tuners is the fact that they can be used in other music instruments.

How To Use a Guitar Tuner App

Many learners these days prefer using guitar tuner apps to tune their guitars. This is a good point to start from because it is cheaper and easy to use.

There are different types of guitar tuner apps that you can install from your most preferred App Store. Some of them are paid apps while others are free.

Guitar tuner apps operate the same way as the different guitar tuners we have discussed here.

If you are new and trying to learn how to tune your guitar, you can go for any guitar tuner app and follow their step by step guide. With these apps, you will be able to get your guitar in tune before you even know it.

No matter your level of playing the guitar, guitar apps will help you keep your guitar in tune without carrying any other type of tuner.

Just open your guitar tuner app and follow the instructions outlined for beginners and professionals and start tuning your guitar.

The app will listen as you play and hit the different strings. It will then guide you towards getting the best note. With guitar tuner apps there is something for everyone whether you are doing it for the first time or it is something you do daily.

Always count on guitar tuner apps if you do not have the other types of guitar tuners.

How To Clean Guitar Tuners

As you continue using your guitar tuners, they accumulate gunk with time and it is important to clean them on a regular basis.

Why is it important to clean guitar tuners? Because when they are clean, it is easy to tune and use your guitar.

Use a soft dust cloth to remove the dust and dirt that settles on guitar tuners. Polish off the dust to make sure that the tuner remains clean and easy to use.

You can use a brush polish to get rid of any stubborn dirt that prevents your guitar tuner from functioning as expected. As you clean your guitar tuner, you should make sure that the wooden side of the guitar does not come into contact with the oil or polishing agent used in cleaning the tuner.

Use a clean cloth to rub any remaining oil on the guitar tuner. Apply a lubricant on the gears and use a clean cloth to remove excessive lubricant that remains on the gear.

If you leave excess lubricant in the gear, this will attract more dust to your guitar tuner and compel you to clean regularly.

For your guitar tuner to work well, it is advisable that you clean it on a regular basis and anytime you detect gunk and dirt accumulation.

Everything should remain shinny and clean. There are many lubricants out there just make sure that you get a lubricant that will get the job done perfectly.

Whatever you go for, just make sure that you avoid common lubricants like Three in One, 30-WT and any lubricant like them.


There you go. Now that you have learnt how to use a guitar tuner to get the tune right you will now enjoy playing your guitar whether you are a pro or a beginner. Hopefully, you will now be the guitar player you have always dreamt of.

You now know the best guitar tuner ideal for your guitar. Whether you have an acoustic guitar or electric guitar, there are many guitar tuners you can go for as discussed here to get your tune right and avoid being demoralized when playing the guitar.