How to Use an Electric Tuner

Learn how to use an electric tuner in this Howcast video about how to play a pedal steel guitar.

How do you use an electric tuner? Okay. Well, it’s actually pretty straight forward. You plug into the tuner. This is a battery operated Boss tuner.

This is the kind I use. I recommend it.

You turn it on. With this Boss, you go all the way over. You want the chromatic setting. This will give you the notes that you need. Basically, you strike the string, and you can see where the needle is indicating, and depending on what your preference is, where you are headed. In this case, I am tuning an F sharp note to 441 and a half. So, here is the 440 straight up, you can tell. So, I am just past the 440. The increments are in twos, so the second line is for 442. So, for 441 a half you want basically just shy of 442.

A lot of times if you tune, if you use the harmonic, you get a nice clean note. That’s a good way to go. They both work, but this can be, actually, a more stable way of doing it. That’s basically it.

This is a especially useful if you’ve got a preset tuning, the way I have, where you follow a specific set of settings. As apposed to just going by ear. Some people use harmonics the way they do with a guitar. Other people just tune by ear and sort of hear the vibrations of the strings ringing against each other. When they settle into a comfortable spot, then that is when they feel like it is in tune.

The tuner really is just a tool. It just tells you where you are, and what you decide to do with it is really your business. But, for my purposes, it’s very useful because I do have a specific set of settings for each note,that I can’t hear well enough myself necessarily, to be able to approximate. So I find this very useful.

It’s also extremely helpful in live situations, where you can’t really hear yourself very well anyway, even if you have a perfect ear and know exactly how to tune it, sometimes, it is a good thing to have something that doesn’t require you to play very loud at all, and just tells you what it is right there.

So that is how you get around a tuner, and this is the Boss Chromatic Tuner.