How To Tune A Guitar By Ear

How to Tune a Guitar by EarEver wondered how to tune a guitar by ear? Well, here’s a cool trick that I use to tune my guitar by ear.

Wherever possible, you should try to get a reference note. If you can hit a note on a piano, or from another guitar, or whatever, that’s great. Just try to make sure the note you work off of is in tune. You can even get a tuning fork and use this method with that.

If there’s nothing around, that’s cool, don’t worry about it. At least your guitar can be in tune with itself. Knowing how to tune a guitar by ear can really benefit you if you’re playing at a campfire gig out in the boonies!

I use this method when I don’t have a guitar tuner handy, or when I’ve just recently tuned and there’s one string that’s going on the fritz. I can then adjust that string back into tune with the others really quick using the harmonics you’ll see in the video.

Video Problems? Watch How To Tune A Guitar By Ear on Youtube

You might also want to check out a related lesson I did on How To Use A Guitar Tuner.

Leave a Reply 8 comments

Wayne - November 23, 2009 Reply

did not see video, sorry

JOE - August 5, 2010 Reply


joe a. - October 31, 2010 Reply

i think the videos are great even though i am an advanced guitarist. i like to watch because i can go back and refresh what i havelearnsd and maybe ther is something i missed or did not know. question is what of guitar / guitars do you play. (brand)

Victor - November 1, 2010 Reply

Can you make a pdf file or word file explaining this. It is really hard to see what you are doing on the video.


Tom - November 11, 2010 Reply

Jonathan, it is often a good idea when traveling in cold weather, when you reach your destination,to open your case and let your guitar adapt to the surroundings before tuning. And remember, you can tune a guitar but you can’t tuna fish. Sorry. 😉

Brian - March 31, 2011 Reply

Please tune your guitar before you get on stage. No one wants to hear you tune youe guitar on the stage. Be a profesional. Please.

J-DuB - June 30, 2011 Reply

The dial-tone of a landline… Is an A-440 Harmonic and can be refrenced for your 5th harmonic A string

    Jonathan Boettcher - June 30, 2011 Reply

    There’s an odd bit of trivia for you! I knew A was 440 – also at 12th fret 5 string, and open A is 220; but I didn’t know they used that for the dial tone. I guess you have to use something right?

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