While not absolutely necessary, it makes tuning much faster and more accurate, particularly for the beginner who may not have developed their ear yet.  Clip on tuners work best, and Snark brand tuners consistently get great reviews and are only about $11 on Amazon, so there’s no need to pay $40 for one in the store.

Ideally, by the time you start gigging, you will be able to hear an out of tune string and reach over to bring it back in tune.  Gigging Electric Guitar Players often use tuner pedals, some of which can show the tuning of all 6 strings at once.  Larger acts may have a roadie tune their guitars between songs.

Remember to always tune your strings up.  If you over shoot, loosen the string and try again.  If you tune down to a note, there is a lot of slop in the mechanism, and above the nut that make your string go flat in a hurry.  Similarly, stretching strings when installing new strings will help keep the strings in tune longer.

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