Poll: Which method do you use
Poll Options
View poll results: Which method do you use
By ear only
19 18%
With a tone reference
18 17%
With an electric tuner
57 55%
Another method
7 7%
I can't/someone else does it for me
2 2%
Voters: 103.
This thread is to satisfy my own curiosity regarding the tuning habits of the acoustic forum. I'd like to know how everyone gets their instrument in tune. Do you...

A) Tune totally by ear.

B) Use a tuning fork/pitch-pipe/tone to start.

C) Rely completely on an electric tuner

E) Use some combination or alternative method.

D) Tuning? What is this I don't even?

Please explain as much as you care to.
if I am just playing by myself I tune by ear but if I am playing with a group I will either tune to them or use an electronic tuner.
Quote by StillSoundRG
I don't like you ACFCPatrick. Your views differ from mine.
I always use a tuner. I can get close without but it's usually never perfect
Boss Tu-12 if it's handy or I'm performing, recording, or playing with other people. Otherwise I use relative tones to tune by ear.

Partscaster/Tele into a bunch of pedals, a Maz 18 head, and a Z Best cab.
A and C. But usually by ear if I can't find my tuner.

Quote by mattman93
This, atheists talk about religion more then religious people.

I mainly tune by ear because:
1. I have really good pitch.
2. I'm usually just playing for myself, so I don't really care all that much if I'm a bit off.

If I'm doing something live for people though, I'll go tuner.
- Art & Lutherie Cedar CW (SOLD! )
- Martin D-16RGT w/ LR Baggs M1 Active Soundhole Pickup
- Seagull 25th Anniversary Flame Maple w/ LR Baggs Micro EQ

Have an acoustic guitar? Don't let your guitar dry out! Click here.
If the thing is flat I will put one foot on either side of the neck and pull on the head stock until it's back in tune. If it's sharp I set the headstock on the floor and sit on on the end of the guitar until it's in tune.

Been doin' that ever since I moved into my trailer.
A and C
talk to me
and i better not hear a word
do me baby
i better not feel it girl
i still got one bullet left in my nine
finna do a love crime
love crime
finna do a love crime

lovecrimes -- frank ocean

Same way as Cap.
Bluegrass Rocks


Quote by Basti95
People only come here to get sigged anyway

Quote by Basti95
Rats, I thought someone would sig it and make me famous...

it was going to be my big break

Ill just tune to my low e unless Im performing or rehearsing. In that case Ill use a tuner.
C and B
Quote by rgrockr
You can buy whatever guitar you want, you don't have to be at a certain skill level to buy one. This is real life, not some guitar-playing RPG where you have to unlock new guitars.
Harmonics, or a tuner if everything is way out of whack and I don't have a point of reference.
often by tone reference of an tuned instrument
or with this site.
When tunings are more complex (flat tunings etc.)
I'm starting by tone reference to guitar pro and
than go on by playing the tones on the tuned string,
because that's often more quick than clicking
Oh my tube, they rocked zwenny ! - Let's r0ck 0n!!
If I'm not playing to a backing track or with anyone, then I just even it up at whatever deviation from A440 it's at.

Open high E compared to B string 5th fret, G string 9th fret etc
Natural harmonics (5th fret low E string to 7th fret A string etc)
Fretted notes compared (5th fret low E string to open A string etc)
Strumming a chord and tweaking

A combination of several or all of them usually gets me in good relative if not concert pitch tuning.
Usually by ear, harmonics are the way to go, especially if you can feel that "off-tune humming" with your hand.

However, sometimes I can't hear whether it's higher or lower (you know, when it's only the tiniest bit off-tune), in which case I'll dig up my tuner and tune it completely right again.

Also, getting it up to pitch after changing your strings is annoying as hell without a tuner, so that's when I use it as well.
Electronic Korg to start out, then reference two ways after that if it's grossly out of tune, such as after a string change or coming back to standard from an alternate tuning, or just one of the ways if it's very close to begin with. My Alvarez holds it's tuning very nicely. My SG on the other hand does not. The neck of the Gibson is really tweaky when it comes to changes in humidity and temperature, and I find that I have to constantly retune. I hope this a newness issue with the guitar rather than a lifelong hassle I'll have with it.

For the reference tuning, I'll match say all E notes. High E to the e's at various points along the fretboard of the other strings.
Then to cross check that, harmonics at the 12th fret vs. fretted notes of the next string up, starting at the low E.
I find that by doing both my guitars are more in tune with themselves and intonate out more precisely. I'm really anal about being in tune as you can see.

I use my tuner pedal, if I hear a note is a bit out when I play i fix it.

Tune by ear mostly.

If im playing with someone else, i make sure i get the first E off a piano or some well tuned instrument so im definitely in tune with other instruments not just myself.
Usually I don't play with others, so mostly I do it by ears which works out just fine. I always retune a certain string if it sounds out of tune. Tuning with 5th/7th harmonics is my method.

Since I play a lot of fingerstyle I'm used to retuning the guitars often, but if I'm lazy or tuning to an odd tuning, I just grab the chromatic tuner.

I didn't vote as I think the options are limited. Add an option of "A bit of both"
i only attempt to tune mine ocassionally (scared ill break a string as usual). & ive lost my tuner... so atm i take it to guitar lessons & get my teacher to tune it cos he's pitch perfect.
i say harmonics rtw (rule the world, that is; i stopped using profanities as in ftw a long tym back)
ftw=for the win.
I use a piano for all the notes, then do relative tuning, then do relative harmonic tuning, then check again with the piano. Occasionally I'll use an online/electric tuner, especially right now as my piano is out of tune.
it's all just coming back
it's all coming back

it's all coming back to me
Tone reference or harmonics or electronic tuner. I have an Ovation with a built in electronic tuner............
i use the built in tuner my Takamine came with, However one of my uncles told me that my grandfather used to use a telephone to tune his, the dial tone is a low E and he knew what #'s corresponded to what strings, something i wish i learnt from him.
I use a chromatic korg tuner. I will do it by ear for something like switching between e standard and drop d. That's just one quick string detuning. But every time I pick up my guitar, I check it to make sure that it is in perfect pitch.