If you own an electric guitar, you will surely admit how hard it is to tune it finely, even if you have a tuner or an amp. However, what if you do not have a tuner available or your tuner runs out of order? This may bring you to hot waters. If you’ve ever been in such a condition, you might have asked how to tune an electric guitar without a tuner?
The best way to Tune an Electric Guitar Without Tuner is by listening to harmonics, pitch pipe, use of a piano, fluorescent Lights, and tuning fork.
Detailed tricks are discussed in the article. So, if you want to tune your electric guitar without using a tuner, follow this article religiously.
5 Useful Ways to Tune an Electric Guitar Without Tuner
There are a lot of ways to tune a guitar if you have no tuner at hand. But, what methods are useful and easy to go is still a question. So, to provide you with easy yet amazing methods of tuning an electric guitar, we have listed below fine of the most common and effective means to tune an electric guitar.
1- Tune an Electric Guitar by Listening to Harmonics
In music, a harmonic is a sound wave with a frequency that is an integer multiple of a fundamental music tone. Sounds difficult? Let’s keep it simple. On an electric guitar, when you touch any string without pressing it on the fretboard, the sound it creates is called harmonics.
But, how will harmonics help you to tune an electric guitar without a tuner? The harmonics tuning is basically known as fifth and seventh fret tuning. For instance, you are starting with the sixth or E-low string. You need to play the string on the fifth fret and then synchronize it with the sound of the fifth or A string on the fret seventh.
Tune your guitar until and unless the sound of the sixth string on the fifth fret and the sound of the fifth string on the seventh fret synchronizes. The same pattern will go with other strings except for the G and B strings because both of these strings are two tones apart and not two and halftones. And, if you know, the tone difference between two frets is two and halftones.
So, you cannot tune the G and B strings with the help of harmonics. For this, you can either use your expertise once you are done tuning the other four strings, or you can follow other methods, which will be enlisted below.
2- Pitch Pipe Help to Tune an Electric Guitar
If you are a true music student, you know how important it is to understand and learn about the pitch. It’s one of the most common yet hard things to understand. And, people who know nothing about pitch will surely fail to tune their electric guitar.
But, if you have some basic knowledge about pitch and harmonics, we suggest you get a pitch pipe for tuning your electric guitar. It is one of the finest things that you can use to tune your guitar. For this, you need a guitar, pitch pipe, and a sound understanding of the pitch.
It will be better if you turn on your amp’s distortion and effects off, so you can listen to the tune and pitch finely. But, if you have no amp available, you can tune it normally too.
For this, first, you need to select the string you want to tune. After it, blow air into the pipe of that particular string on your pitch pipe and then synchronize the sound coming out of the pipe and your guitar’s string.
This will help you tune your electric guitar within minutes. Hence, if you do not trust a tuner or have no tuner at all, a pitch pipe (like this) can heartily help you tune your electric guitar.
3- Use A Piano to Tune My Electric Guitar
Indeed you can use a piano to tune your electric guitar. People usually do not know, but certain piano tabs synchronize with the harmonics and pitch of a guitar. So, you need to find the right key for the right string, and for this, we will help you out.
First, you need to locate the middle C key. It is right beneath the two black keys in the middle of your piano. Now, go up two steps, and you will find your first guitar string- the E-high string. Next, you need to go one-half step below from the middle C, and you will find the perfect sound for your second or the B string.
After it, go two notes below, and you will land on your third string of the guitar, which is the G string. Once you are done with it, go down four steps from the G key on your piano, and you will easily find the fourth or the D string sound of your guitar.
Now, go down four steps from the D key on your piano, and this will help you land on the A string of your guitar. Lastly, you will have to go down four steps, and you will find the perfect sound for your E-low or your sixth string.
This is how you can tune an electric guitar without using a tuner. You only need to learn the basic operation of a piano, and you will be able to finely tune your electric guitar even though you have no tuner available.
4- Electronic Hum from Fluorescent Lights Can Help To Tune Electric Guitar
If you are left with no options to tune your electric guitar, an electronic hum from fluorescent light can help you tune it. We know that it sounds weird, but you will be amazed to know that the humming sound from fluorescent light sounds similar to a Flat B on an electric guitar.
However, for this, you will need an expert-level understanding of your guitar chords, pitch, and harmonics. Without knowing these things, no hum from electronic light will help you tune your guitar. So, if you have the right knowledge, you can tune the guitar with a simple electronic light hum.
You need to play a Flat B, then try and synchronize the sound of the guitar from that electronic light hum. Though it will not be heartily accurate, at least it will allow you to tune your electric guitar to some extent.
So, if you are left with no options, then this may be the ultimate solution that will enable you to tune an electric guitar without a tuner.
5- A-Tuning Fork Can be the Best Alternative to Tune Your Guitar
A tuning fork is one of the most helpful yet less talked about guitar instruments that you can use to tune an electric guitar. It is a metallic two-mouthed bar that helps you get the exact note of your strings.
What you need to do is get a tuning fork for any of your guitar strings. Preferably, you should either get an E-low, A, or D. Now, once you have the tuning fork available at hand, what you need to do is hit it on a semi-hard surface and then place the bottom of the fork on the guitar, and it will give the exact sound of that particular string.
However, if you are an expert, you can bring the fork close to your ear after hitting it, and it will help to tune the guitar too.
As your guitar has six different strings, there are six different tuning forks available in the market for each string. But buying six different forks will be insane. So, you only need to get a fork for any string and then tune other strings with the help of that tuned string. For this, the above-mentioned methods will help too.
How Can You Keep Your Guitar Tuned for a Longer Time?
Tuning your guitar without a tuner is a hard nut to crack, and if the issue is persistent with you, then it will be better if you learn to keep your guitar tuned for a longer duration. It will help you save time, energy, and effort.
So, if you want to keep your electric guitar tuned for a longer duration, then the first thing to do is to replace your strings if they are old. Most of the guitarists keep on using the old strings, and this leads them to tune their guitars every time they pick them up. So, if you want to keep your guitar tuned for a longer period, do not forget to change your strings when they are old.
Second, if you want to keep your guitar tuned for a longer period, then you need to stretch your strings whenever you replace them. For stretching, you can either pull them gently before replacing them or play them slowly after replacing them. It will allow you to keep your electric guitar tuned for a longer period.
Tuning an electric guitar without a tuner is not child’s play. However, if you want to know how to tune an electric guitar without a tuner, this article has everything you need. Above, we have listed five of the most useful ways to tune an electric guitar without a tuner. Along with it, we have also provided the readers with two useful ways to keep an electric guitar tuned for a longer duration. However, if you still have questions left, do let us know.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you tune an electric guitar without it plugged in?
It is not impossible to tune an electric guitar because its volume reduces drastically, but it is indeed Difficult to Tune it in without plugging in. For best results, choose a quiet environment so you can hear the output.
How do you tune a guitar manually?
For tuning the guitar manually, fret the lowest string, i.e. E string, up to the fifth fret. Once the E string is tuned, apply the same procedure to the other Strings, A, D, and G, respectively.
Is it possible to tune the guitar by ear?
Yes, it is possible to tune the guitar by ear. It is the oldest and most common method to tune the guitar. But to tune the guitar by ear, you have to be a good listener because you tune according to the feedback you receive by listening.
Can you use a clip-on tuner for an electric guitar?
Yes, you can use a clip-on tuner for an electric guitar. The simple way to do it is by attaching the clip of the tuner to the headstock of your guitar. Make sure it is firm. Now pluck the string you want to tune.