Can You Tune an Electric Guitar With an Amp?

Hey there! Some links on this page are affiliate links which means that, if you choose to make a purchase, I may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. I greatly appreciate your support!

Before actually playing your guitar, you’ll often find the need to tune it, to get the perfect tone first. With rapid technological advancements, you can tune your guitar in several ways, but is tuning your guitar with an amp one of them?

A lot of guitarists tune their guitars using their amps and you can do that as well. Most amps come with a tuner built into it that allows you to quickly tune your instrument before playing. You can also plug your guitar into an amp and use external tuning software on your phone to tune your guitar.

As you read further, you will find details on how to properly tune your guitar using an amplifier and other tuning methods that may be helpful in various stages of your musical career.

Want to see the latest guitar accessories that are popular right now? Just click here!

What To Do If Guitar Gets Wet?

How to Tune Your Guitar Using an Amp?

There are many different options to choose from when it comes to amplifiers for your electric guitar. From small 5-watt amps to assist you in room-playing to big 50+ watt amps to rile up huge crowds, you can use all amps to tune your electric or semi-acoustic guitar.

There are two different types of amps available in the market. Either your amp has an in-built tuner for your electric guitar, or you will have to use tuners or tuning software to tune your guitar.

1. Amps With Built-in Tuners

Tuning your electric guitar with an amp that has a built-in tuner is very simple. Follow these steps to tune your guitar perfectly:

  1. Plug your guitar into your amplifier.
  2. Press the button that says tuner from the amp options to go into turn mode. (It can be a combination of different buttons, too, depending on the brand)
  3. Pluck your guitar strings one by one and tune them according to the tuner (tune up if the sound is flat, tune down if the sound is sharp)
  4. Re-press the same button or button combination as before to go out of tuner mode
  5. Enjoy playing your favorite songs on your guitar!

2. Amps Without Built-in Tuners

You should remember, though, that few amplifiers have the tuner feature built into them. Modeling amps usually have guitar tuners inside them, but they are on the more expensive side.

If you are just starting out on the electric guitar and don’t need any of the other features that a modeling amp offers, you are much better off with a normal amp. 

To tune your guitar with an amp without a built-in tuner, follow the steps below.

  1. Plug your guitar into your amplifier.
  2. Make sure to turn off any distortion or effects on your guitar.
  3. Turn the volume up so that you can clearly hear the sound of your guitar.
  4. Open up tuning software such as Guitartuna or Fender Tuner on your mobile phone or tablet.
  5. Place your device near your amp such that your device’s mic can easily detect the sound from your amp.
  6. Pluck your guitar strings one by one and tune them according to the tuner (tune up if the sound is flat, tune down if the sound is sharp)
  7. Once all your strings are in tune, turn off your mobile application
  8. Enjoy playing your favorite songs on your guitar!

3 Other Tuning Options

Tuning your guitar using an amplifier is a quick and easy way to get in tune. Still, a few other alternatives are just as efficient and reliable in tuning your electric guitar.

1. Tuning Your Guitar With an Electric Tuner

An electric tuner is the most accurate method of tuning your guitar. Using an electric tuner is simple because all it requires is the knowledge of your open string notes. 

After that, it is simply picking out each note until it’s perfect!

2. Tuning Your Guitar With Relative Tuning

Relative tuning is a method where you tune each string to match the sound of the previous string. 

Keep in mind, though, that this method may not be useful if there is another guitar playing with you as both the guitars may not match in sound.

A better way to go about this would be to tune both guitars to each other so they sound the same.

3. Tuning Your Guitar With an Effects Processor

Modern-day effects processors come equipped with a bunch of useful tools for guitarists. If you have an effects processor, it will likely have a guitar tuner built into it. 

These tuners are also very accurate and also very efficient to use as an animation on the processor screen shows you the tuning process and guides you through it.

When to Tune Your Guitar?

There are many instances when you may need to tune your guitar. Here’s when you’d need to tune your guitars:

  • It can either be brand new out of the box. 
  • You’ve played your guitar heavily, which may result in the detuning of the strings.
  • You’ve changed your strings.
  • Your guitar is bumped around or has traveled.
  • Your guitar has experienced significant temperature changes, which may have caused expansion or contraction in your guitar strings.
  • There’s something wrong with the intonation or tuners.


Q. I Have Tuned My Guitar Multiple Times, but It Still Sounds off When I Play It. Why?

Sometimes, especially with an electric guitar, the issue lies not in the instrument’s tuning but in the intonation. Get your guitar checked out and set up by your nearest guitar store, as intonation and bridge setting is a complicated process.

Q. Can My Guitar Amp Tune in Different Tunings?

You can most likely tune your guitar in different tunings other than standard tuning using your guitar amp. Look out for the string you want to tune in and rotate the knobs when you meet the desired level. Also, you can quickly tune half-step down by putting a capo on the first fret and tuning to standard tuning.

Final Thoughts

Playing an instrument requires a lot of skill and effort, which may all go in vain if your instrument is out of tune. Even a masterpiece played on an untuned guitar will sound just weird. It is important to know how to tune your instruments, and knowing multiple ways to go about tuning will prove beneficial, especially in places where you are in a rush.

Similar Posts

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments