“I can’t explain but I’ll find a song that can.”

The internet is becoming increasingly popular in terms of music. Digital sales are increasingly dramatically. Downloads and paid streaming have replaced the good old vinyl our parents listened to.

When it comes to learning how to play guitar, you need to also learn how to tune a guitar so that it’s neither sharp nor flat and it sounds nice. Even the best guitar player will sound terrible if it's not tuned.

In this article, we’ve got some online tuners you can use for free.

Why Choose an Online Tuner?

Online tuners are useful when you first start playing the guitar. You can use them for a number of different reasons:

  • When you don’t have an electronic tuner.
  • Because you don’t have a tuning fork or a landline (which always plays an A).
  • When you travel or your forget your tuner.
  • Because very few people have perfect pitch.
  • When you want to quickly tune your guitar and you don’t have a tuner.
What is standard tuning?
Make sure your tune your guitar before you play it. (Source: RyanMcGuire)

Online tuners are free, quick, and easy. However, if you play in a band, you should get an electronic tuner or tuner pedal. They’re more precise and allow all musicians in the group to be in tune.

In any case, you can’t skip tuning up or else you’ll be constantly playing out of key - and that really won't sound good when you record your guitar music on your MAC...

What Type of Guitar Tuner Should You Buy?

Before you learn to play the guitar, you’ll need to know how to tune up as you won't always have a teacher, tutor, or guitar tech there to help you!

Which is the best guitar tuner?
There are plenty of different types of tuners available. (Source: Pexels)

The first thing you need to know before you start tuning your guitar is which notes you have to tune to. We always start from the lowest and thinnest string (in terms of pitch).

  • 6th string: Low E
  • 5th string: A
  • 4th string: D
  • 3rd string: G
  • 2nd string: B
  • 1st string: High E

While standard guitar tuning is EADGBe, in some cases, you may come across the European names for notes. That said, most tuners will give you the notes in terms of their letter. However, if they don’t, or you're reading tablature, this is what they correspond to:

  • Mi: E
  • La: A
  • Re: D
  • So: G
  • Si: B
  • Mi: E

If you’re struggling to convert between the two, there’s an easy way to remember. Like in the song, you start with Do. Then you have Do, Re, Mi, Fa, So, La, Si, Do.

The fundamental note is the A 440, used in music all over the world. This means you actually tune La, Si, Do, Re, Mi, Fa, So, La, etc. However, you just need to remember the following:

  • La becomes A
  • B
  • Do becomes C
  • Re becomes D
  • Mi becomes E
  • Fa becomes F
  • So becomes G

There are several types of guitar tuners and various ways to tune the guitar. This means you won't always tune your guitar to EADGBe.

Check for guitar lessons on Superprof.

Chromatic Tuners

Chromatic tuners listen to the sound of your guitar and instantly tell you whether you’re sharp or flat.

How often should you tune your guitar?
If you don't tune your guitar, it'll probably sound awful. (Source: Free-Photos)

When you play a string, such as the E string, the tuner will tell you how in tune you are. If you’re in tune, it’ll tell you the name of the note.

Some tuners show the closest note and how far off you are. They often light up green in the middle when you’re perfectly in tune. If you’re not, the needle will point either to the left or the right depending on whether you’re flat or sharp respectively.

You just need to turn the tuning peg on your guitar to tighten the string (if you’re flat) or loosen the string (if you’re sharp). If the string is nowhere near the right note, you’re going to have to turn the tuning peg a lot before you get to the note.

I recommend letting the note ring out and turning the tuning peg while it’s ringing out. If you’re a beginner, you should use a chromatic tuner.

Diatonic Tuners

Diatonic tuners are harder to use than chromatic tuners as they require the user to have a good ear. Diatonic tuners don’t listen to the sound from your guitar which means it’s entirely up to you to match the sound from your guitar with the sound from the tuner.

Learning to play the guitar is already a difficult task. It’s even more difficult when you have to tune your guitar with a diatonic tuner. However, a diatonic tuner can help you to tune a guitar in different ways and not just in standard tuning.

It’ll help you quickly develop your ear and you’ll soon recognise each of the notes. Once you've advanced to that stage of playing, you might want to play these French songs!

Which Is the Best Online Tuner?

When you start playing the acoustic guitar, folk guitar, or electric guitar, you won’t necessarily want to spend a lot of money on guitar accessories like metronomes, capos, pedals, or electronic tuners. Get a decent guitar amp for a good sound and get a decent guitar that will stay with you for a while. You don't want to have to replace your guitar regularly!

That is why you need Superprof's everything guide to beginning the guitar...

How long does a guitar stay in tune?
This mechanism is what keeps your guitar in tune. (Source: PublicDomainPictures)

There are a number of online tuners you can use to save money. In most cases, these tuners will need access to your computer’s microphone in order to work. It’s also recommended that you download Flash Player in order to use these tuners.

TicTone Online Guitar Tuner

The website TicTone has a metronome, tuning fork, and tuner you can use.

It’s got a simple and intuitive interface. On the other hand, you need to know how to tune your guitar.

You’ll have the notes E2, A2, D3, G3, B3, E4. E2 is the low E. Thus, if the screen isn’t showing E2, you’re going to have to adjust the string until it does.

When you’re tuned, you’ll see green. If this isn’t the case, you’ll see yellow.

Tuning Your Guitar with ProGuitarTuner

This tuner is especially good for beginners. It’s easy-to-use and works really well. You can also get it on Android and iOS for smartphones, allowing you to tune your guitar wherever you are.

You will certainly want to tune your guitar before recording your music on your PC!

Online Diatonic Tuners

If you prefer tuning your guitar by ear or want to use different tunings, you can use a diatonic tuner.

The diatonic tuner won’t listen to your guitar. You’ll have to reproduce the sound you can hear from your computer on your guitar. This is a great way to improve your ear, too.

Cameratabs’ Online Tuner

This tuner is extremely simple. You just have to click on the button or string you want to tune and listen to the sound. However, you can’t tune a bass or a guitar to Drop D tuning, for example.

However, for standard tuning, it does the trick.

The Tabs4acoustic Online Tuner

Guitarists should be familiar with this site where you can also find a diatonic tuner. You can save your favourite tunings to this tuner as well as modify the type of sound you want to hear: electric guitar, nylon strings, distorted guitar, etc.

You can also modify the type of tuning you want.

The Fender Tuner

This is one of the only online tuners to show the guitar head and the tuning pegs.

This simple and intuitive tuner is great for beginners trying to wrap their heads around how guitars work. You can choose different types of tuning as well as choosing whether or not the note repeats. The best online tuner is the one that works for you in terms of standard tuning, other tunings, the interface, etc.

It’s up to you to decide on which one you prefer! Of course, there's nothing wrong with playing using open tuning if the type of music you're playing calls for it.

If you know how to tune your guitar and are ready to start learning, you should check out some of the tutors on Superprof. You can search for what you want to learn and by where you live. Most tutors offer free tutoring for the first hour, so try a few out and see who you like!

If, for some reason, you can't find any suitable guitar tutors in your local area, don't forget that you can always opt for online private tutorials via webcam using a programme like Skype. This is a useful solution for those who live remotely or have awkward schedules as you just need to have a computer with a decent webcam, microphone, and a good internet connection. Additionally, they tend to be cheaper than other private tutorials as your tutor doesn't need to factor travel costs into their rates!


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Joseph is a French and Spanish to English translator, language enthusiast, and blogger.