Is Tuning An Electric Guitar The Same As Acoustic? (Tuning Advice For Newbies)

One might have in their mind the question that they want to ask “Is tuning an electric guitar the same as acoustic?” looks like a type of question that is very basic for anyone to search online but you don’t need to worry as the answer is quite easy to find around.

When someone starts to learn electric guitar this question is one of the commonly asked, hence anyone looking for the right answer need not worry as we have got the right answer for you.

Is tuning an electric guitar the same as acoustic?

The answer to the question is that it’s possible to tune the electric guitar in the same way as acoustic guitar and use the same notes as an acoustic guitar. However, the electric guitar needs to be plugged into an amplifier to hear the notes loud enough.

Below I will clarify what it means. 

Due to the type of the instrument, acoustic guitars are themselves loud enough.

Actually, acoustic guitar features a big hole in it that develop sound without the need to be plugged in. Without getting connected to an external amplifier the electric guitar develops very little sound.

However, the requirement to plug in the guitar to an external amplifier makes it more challenging to tune but the method is quite similar.

Check out this article for the ultimate beginner’s guide to tuning an Electric Guitar.

(And alternative tunings!)

The normal thing when guitar tuning for both acoustic and electric guitars, starting from the thickest, lowest-pitched string (the 6th string) at the top of the neck is: E – A – D – G – B – E – The highest E string—is the thinnest, highest-pitched string at the lowest side of the neck—is recognized as the 1st string and all others follow on from there from string 1 to string 6, The strings mentioned are the same on both acoustic and electric guitars.

Which Tuner Is Best For An Electric Guitar

You should be familiar with the fact that the best tuner for an electric guitar is one that doesn’t altogether necessarily needs the instrument to produce a sound? 

As the tuner doesn’t require electric glass to produce a sound it’s very possible to tune the guitar anywhere, anytime no matter if you’re located in an environment with lots of sounds, without the need of having an external amplifier connected.

The Planet Waves PW-CT-12 NS Micro Headstock Tuner is a tuner that works on vibrations produced by the guitar instead of using the usual sound waves to tune the guitar!

The Planet Waves tuner is small enough that it can be left permanently attached to your guitar and it also has an inbuilt metronome for practicing those pesky scales!

D’Addario Guitar Tuner – Micro Headstock Tuner – Tuner for Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar, Bass Guitar, Mandolin, Banjo, Ukelele – Compact & Discrete – Clip-On – 1 Pack

  • EASY TO READ – The easy-to-read, tri-color backlit screen displays the note in red when out of tune, yellow when close, and green when in tune. Powered by a readily available (and included) CR2032 battery, you will enjoy maximum battery life thanks to the tuners auto-off function.
  • VERSATILE – Featuring a 360-degree swivel mechanism and adjustable padded clamp, the NS Mini offers optimal viewing angles and maximum positioning flexibility. For left or right-handed instruments with small or large headstocks, it is the ideal choice for acoustic and electric guitars, basses, mandolins, banjos, and ukuleles.

Check Price On Amazon

A tuner is necessarily required and not an accessory.  Although a few accessories that anyone will not be able to live without as a guitar player

I’ve listed 21 of them in this article

Tuning Tips For An Electric Guitar

Make the electric guitar tune in for making sounds of great chords and playing an instrument in a great manner. One can be out of tune in an electric guitar in two different ways. If you’re sharp or flat on every individual string. The sound of the string being flat meant your note is underpitched or too low. The sound of the string being sharp means your note is overpitched or too high.

To get the visual reference to tuning use The Planet Waves PW-CT-12 NS Micro Headstock Tune, if the visual tuner gauge displays string on the left means it is flat or under pitched and the strings are displayed to the right on the tuner gauge means sharp or pitched too high.

As a common rule, it’s commonly advised to tune a guitar from a flat string (pitched too low) to the correct pitch. This makes the pitch be maintained exclusively at the time when strings are newly introduced as it makes them not diminish off. 

When tuning a guitar string from the point when it’s too sharp (over pitched) to the appropriate position one will find that their guitar hustle to remain in tune.

When facing a distinctive issue as compared to basic guitar tuning, like the guitar which might not stay in tune, make an effort to check out my article covering this exact problem here

A useful piece of information I would like you to remember is always tune UPWARDS. At a point when you find that one is already having a sharp tune(over pitched) then it’s better to DE-tune the chosen string to somewhat under the correct pitch (flat ) and start to tune UP to the appropriate note. This will make the dullness go out of the string and makes the tuning process easy, specifically on an electric guitar.

Here’s a basic video on how to get IN TUNE.

Common Guitar Tuning For Various Types Of Guitar

Here I am including some basic tunings for various guitar types.

  • Standard 6 String Guitar E A D G B E
    4 String Bass E A D G
    5 String Bass B E A D G
    6 String Bass B E A D G C

How to pass Common Problems When Tuning An Electric Guitar

The question most people ask when starting to tune the guitar Is tuning an electric guitar the same as acoustic? And this has been answered to some extent. Below we discuss more about this question and try to answer more in detail. As anyone practices guitar to tune it gets perfect at it and get the guitar to stay in tune the more time the person playing the guitar will have to play it, here we’re going to discuss some common reasons electric guitars occasionally just won’t stay in tune no matter the amount of effort you put into it.

  • Tuning Pegs. Did you know you can adjust how resistant the tuning pegs are? When turning the tuning pegs the resilience one feels can be adjusted and here we are not talking about actual guitar strings. The resistance to tuning pegs can be changed on various electric guitars using a small flat or cross-headed screwdriver. You could face problems in keeping the guitar in tune if the tuning pages are adjusted unevenly to each other.
  • Intonation throughout an electric guitar. Your guitar first needs to be tuned with itself, before it could be tuned with other attachments. The thing to be noted with electric guitar compared with an acoustic is how the actual strings feel when you hold them down to play. If the strings are feeling too stiff to press down the reason behind it is that they are adjusted too high in concern to the fretboard/neck. If you feel that strings are lower than they should be making rattling and vibration noises that you will be able to hear. 
  • If you adjust the bridge of the guitar as an entire unit then it will adjust the height of the guitar(not the length) or by setting the height of the respective string gives seating on the bridge. The individual string saddles can be turned clockwise to drive the string higher (away from the fret-board) or anti-clockwise to move it lower.
  • Make sure to attach the accurate tuning device such as Planet Waves PW-CT-12 NS Micro Headstock Tuner to the electric guitar that will help you check all these adjustments as you tune the guitar. Make sure to check out the description of this tool as it’s essential to have it.
  • Check out my article that is written on the best 21 guitar accessories you need and why.  You can view this helpful article here 
  • For more in-depth advice on keeping your guitar in tune over a longer period check out my more advanced article here

Here’s a video explaining exactly what I mean. It’s described in really simple terms so anyone can understand it. 

One important thing I learned from this video is to Make sure your open strings are in tune before adjusting the saddles to correct any intonation issues.

Final Thoughts

If you’re a newbie to the electric guitar or just starting on your playing journey try not to get too overwhelmed with too much in-depth information to start with. 

Adjust each string with your tune before trying to do anything that consumes time, it’s going to help people with other issues as they arise when playing the guitar.

Buy good quality strings from a reputed brand such as D’Addario and this will make sure that you get a string that is not slipping, When first adjusting from the beginning give them a good stretch and make sure the vibrations are not coming anymore and then re-tune.

Make sure when visiting a local guitar shop to ask questions and not waste time of the shopkeeper if you really interested in buying a guitar and if the shopkeeper is not answering the questions which I expect them then make sure to consult a guitar adjustment expert which are available to provide their services as a professional.

I’ve listed 21 of the most essential guitar accessories in another article, Take a look here to find out exactly what they are, and why you need them.

Make sure you remember that everyone starts from the begenning!

Once you have your guitar in tune be sure to read through my article that explains some secret sauce on making sure it stays in tune.

Be sure to check out that article here

Happy Playing

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