How to tune your guitar by ear

Man tuning acoustic guitar
(Image credit: Future)

Left your tuner pedal at home? No spare batteries for your clip-on? Never fear! In this lesson on tuning a guitar for beginners, you'll learn two methods of how to tune your electric or acoustic guitar using just your ears.

Even if you happen to have your tuner on hand, learning these - the 5th interval and unison/natural harmonic methods - is great ear training exercise, and will make you more in tune (see what we did there?) with the slight differences in pitch that can mean the difference between sounding professional or sloppy. 

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Jimmy Brown

Over the past 30 years, Jimmy Brown has built a reputation as one of the world's finest music educators, through his work as a transcriber and Senior Music Editor for Guitar World magazine and Lessons Editor for its sister publication, Guitar Player. In addition to these roles, Jimmy is also a busy working musician, performing regularly in the greater New York City area. Jimmy earned a Bachelor of Music degree in Jazz Studies and Performance and Music Management from William Paterson University in 1989. He is also an experienced private guitar teacher and an accomplished writer.