Use this free online guitar tuner to ensure you’re in tune!
The easiest way to instantly improve is to just make sure you’re in tune! Take as a habit to always use a tuner before you start playing anything.
This doesn’t mean that it’s enough to just tune the guitar to itself, it means to be perfectly in tune, at 440Hz.
Only using an actual tuner can get you there. As you then play with someone else, especially a keyboard player, you will automatically be in tune with them.
Also, when you play along with my videos, I’ve used a tuner so all you have to do is the same.
When it comes to tuners that use a microphone, like the one you find above, there are a few things to consider.
Using a laptop or computer microphone doesn’t work that well. Instead, for best results, place your mobile phone in the waist area of your acoustic guitar and load up the tuner on your phone.
It works best like this as it resembles one of those clip-on tuners and you need contact with the body of the guitar for best results.
In order for the tuner to work, ensure you allow the app to access your device’s microphone.
The great advantage of using this tuner instead of a clip-on is that you probably always have your phone with you, and also, clip-on tuners tend to run out of battery just when you need them the most.
If you have a built-in microphone in your guitar or are using an electric guitar and need to mute and tune on stage, I recommend you get an actual stompbox-style tuner.
There are a seemingly endless amount of tuners on the market, after extensive research I have found one of them to be superior, the TC Electronic Polytune.
Staying in tune
Getting in tune using an actual tuner is a great first step but it won’t help much if your guitar doesn’t actually stay in tune.
To make sure you stay in tune you need to do two things.
- String your guitar properly.
- Stretch your strings in.
Let’s start with how to string your guitar properly.
Start with removing the strings. Some people say you should remove a string at a time as you fit a new one. This apparently should help with the neck not bending and make the process of getting in tune quicker.
Personally, I’ve found it’s better to just remove all strings as you can then clean the fretboard before you put new strings on.
Secure all strings to the bridge. How this is done depends on the brand and type of guitar you have, but it’s usually straightforward.
Align all tuning pegs with the nut slot and pull the 6th string through the hole of the tuning peg. Decide how much slack you want, a couple of inches or less is probably a good starting point.
Bend the string around the peg and put it underneath itself where it goes in the hole.
Give the string a sharp bend upward and keep it in that place as you tune.
Tune the string to the right pitch using the guitar tuner app above.
Make sure the windings go down from the top. You don’t want the string to go over. Keep winding until the string is in tune. Two to three loops around the peg are ideal.
Once in tune, stretch the string by pulling it upward. This increases the stability, new strings go out of tune easily.
After stretching, tune it again. Repeat this until the string doesn’t detune anymore.
Repeat this process for the remaining five strings.
Once all strings are on, play a few chords, bend each string as you play a few licks, stretch them again, and keep tuning.
This whole process won’t take longer than ten minutes once you’ve done it a few times.
440 Hz vs 432
The tuner above does allow you to change from 440 (Concert A) to any desired Hz.
Apparently, tuning an A to reference 432 is supposed to tap into the magical frequency of the universe.
By tuning your guitar to this frequency, you should be able to access healing powers.
There are videos out there that will show how sand shapes align more pleasingly when in this frequency, compared with 440.
However, if you dig deep enough, most conclusions end with that as long as you’re in tune, it’s all good!
On a final note, if you play electric and need to tune down quickly to Eb or even D, it may be a better idea to just stay in standard tuning, and then use the Digitech drop pedal to get you down for just a song or two.
Online guitar tuner | Related tools
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Now available as both a chromatic (original version) and “within a key”, developed with the help of a Spytunes student.
Digitech drop pedal
The Digitech drop pedal is the working guitarist’s best friend. Now when whoever is in charge tells you to do the impossible – you can!
Use it to change the key last minute or as a substitute for bringing a spare guitar tuned a 1/2 step down to the gig.
Tap Tempo Metronome
Spytunes Tap Tempo Metronome can help you when practicing songs and exercises by getting yourself organized.
Manually enter the tempo or simply tap it in. You can also add accents, helping you learn complicated rhythmical patterns.