Bass tuner

Hey guys. I’m just starting to play the bass. I also play the guitar and generally use an app on my phone for tuning it. I was wanting to know if it was possible to use a phone tuner or would I need to purchase a separate tuner for a bass? Also, do we need to connect the bass to an amp while tuning or can we tune without an amp?

Apologies if any of these questions are a bit silly :sweat_smile:


Not silly at all. Phone tuners will work and are infinitely better than no tuner, but you will probably eventually want a dedicated tuner.


Ok. Thank you!


Neither phones nor my condenser mic with an online tuner works for bass.
The low frequences of the open E and A string are often times not even picked up by those tuners.

Of course there are workarounds to it, but i would not recommend those for beginners.

This, however, is true.
I still would recommend to buy a tuner as soon as possible, because you are making the tuning process more complicated and time consuming than it has to be compared to a real tuner - especially for a beginner in my opinion.


If your phone tuner cannot pick up the E or A string well, you can still tune the D/G strings to the phone and then tune down by fifths by ear, which is how everyone used to tune before cheap tuners were available. And it works fine, but is tedious.

As I said, you can get by with a phone and it’s way better than nothing. But you’ll want a real, dedicated tuner.


also remember that unless it’s just you in your bedroom, nobody wants to stand around waiting for the bass player to tune his bass. you can get a clip on tuner pretty cheap and if you like just leave it attached to your bass, i have a tc electronic clip that josh recommended that works well. i also coincidentally was just looking at the ehx 2020 tuning pedal which is small and cheap.


My phone tuner picks up my E string fine, although sometimes it flickers over to the B overtone.