How to Tune a Guitar in Noisy Environments

by Frederik Nielsen, Jul 30, 2019 . 3 min read

How to Tune a Guitar in Noisy Environments

It’s easy to tune a guitar when you’re at home in a comfortable and quiet setting. But what if you’re in a rehearsal room, backstage, or on stage with the rest of the band blaring in the background?

Not only will a noisy environment make it impossible for you to tune by ear. A roaring PA or a drum kit in action will cause vibrations that render even digital tuners useless.

How to tune a guitar in noisy environments

Fortunately, there’s a solution. Actually, we’ve got four solutions for you.

Read on to find out how you can tune a guitar in noisy environments using…

Never again will you have to scream at your drummer to calm it down for just a second.

1. Undersaddle pickup

An undersaddle pickup is the most common solution to this problem. Some even have microphone blending capabilities, which makes the job a whole lot easier for your tuner.

However, tuning this way in large and loud venues will require you to turn the microphone down to a minimum and cover the soundhole of an acoustic guitar.

undersaddle pickup

2. Compressor or overdrive pedal

Sometimes the pickup will hear the vibration from the guitar body caused by the PA and other noise, which means that the tuner still can’t pick up the sound of the strings being played.

That’s why many guitarists resort to slapping a compressor or an overdrive pedal on to boost the signal to the tuner by turning the gain down and the output all the way up.

overdrive pedal

3. Humbucker pickup

If your hands are as good at DIY as they are at playing the guitar, then you can also use a modified humbucker pickup to get your guitar in tune when you’re in a noisy environment.

You can solder the leads on the humbucker onto a guitar cable that has a 1/4″ male end and then plug it into the tuner. It won’t pick up any ambient noise, just the sound from the plucked string.

humbucker pickup

4. Roadie 2

The Roadie 2 is perhaps the easiest option because it doesn’t require you to use a pickup or pedal to ensure that the tuner picks up the signal — it just does.

Roadie 2 automatic guitar tuner

But don’t take my word for it. We’ve put the gadget to the test and even created a short video where you can see exactly how it works in a noisy environment.

Check it out here below:

Ready to rock out?

Now you have four different ways to tune a guitar in noisy environments, and the rest of your band can carry on jamming while you get your strings in order.

Do you know of any other ways to get in tune with lots of background noise interfering with your tuner? Then drop us a comment below and share your wisdom!



Get our free Alternate Tunings Guide!
Submit

Check out some other similar articles

Take advantage of our biggest backer-exclusive discounts and get your hands on this next-generation automatic tuner. Back the Kickstarter campaign today and be the first to receive the Roadie 3.

Today we’re going to talk about 5 ways musicians get inspired. The term inspiration refers to being mentally stimulated to do something, especially in the creative realm.

Rodrigo Sanchez
Jul 2, 2021 . 4 min read

A list of the best fingerstyle guitarists is a tough one to make. Instrumental fingerstyle guitar has crawled its way into the mainstream more and moreover the last few years, but it’s still swamped by almost every other genre.

Evan Ceretti
Jun 29, 2021 . 6 min read

There’s a ton of stuff you need to learn if you’re a guitar beginner. You have to learn the riffs, chords, and different finger techniques before you even learn to play your first song.

Frederik Nielsen
Jun 25, 2021 . 4 min read

We recently covered how different kinds of arthritis can affect your guitar playing. We also provided some tips on how to avoid it.

Frederik Nielsen
Jun 21, 2021 . 3 min read

Everyone loves a bit of bluegrass, and the wonderful sound of a mandolin that always comes with it.

Frederik Nielsen
Jun 11, 2021 . 3 min read

Wondering what are the 5 most covered songs of all time? Spoiler alert! They’re not the ones you would think.

Frederik Nielsen
Jun 7, 2021 . 4 min read

The 4 lies musicians tell themselves are truly baffling. Each of them are indefensible and together they form a sure stairway to failure. However, all these lies have a common denominator: lack of any kind of work ethic.

Rodrigo Sanchez
May 24, 2021 . 4 min read

These 4 legendary recording studios that are active today have survived a plethora of adversities.

Rodrigo Sanchez
May 21, 2021 . 4 min read

These 5 hit songs disliked by their songwriters are a true study into human nature. You wrote a song, it became a massive hit, and now you hate it? That’s right! It happens more often than you’d think.

Rodrigo Sanchez
May 14, 2021 . 4 min read

The top 5 young guitar players today seem to defy the odds. You need a lot of time to get really good at something like playing an instrument.

Rodrigo Sanchez
May 10, 2021 . 3 min read

These 5 inspirational books for musicians can be considered modern classics. They are a fantastic resource to feed our drive and keep us inspired.

Rodrigo Sanchez
May 3, 2021 . 4 min read

The 5 jazz albums every music fan should have are a collection of incredible music by incredible artists. These records marked a moment in history and continue to inspire generations of music lovers across the globe.

Rodrigo Sanchez
Apr 30, 2021 . 4 min read
We'll be bringing you recommended tabs and plenty of interesting quotes from guitar legends along the way!