The guitar tuner will always be indebted to the German physicist HR Hertz (1857-1894), who gave the name to the frequency measurement unit, the hertz.
The physicist discovered the propagation of electromagnetic waves, the way they are generated, and the method of detecting them. In short, one could say that Mr. Hertz invented the guitar tuner without knowing it.
Between the different tuners on the market, some differences affect both the instrument and your level of professionalism. If you play classical guitar in family celebrations, a simple model will suffice. If you are the guitarist of a rock group, you will have to choose a pedal model.
Right below we ad selected the best guitar tuner for your guitars.
Guitar Tuner Buyer Guide
The Advantages of The Tuner
Before asking which tuner to buy from those on the market, let’s see what the advantages that derive from its use are. First of all, you have a significant frequency advantage. Because it is essential? Let’s take the classic example of the guitar, the standard tuning, let’s say, is in e.
You want a more massive, more serious sound. To get it you have to lower the tuning by a semitone or even a tone. The tuner allows you to do it with ease and speed.
Not only because it also gives you precision. If the open string is to play the note re, you can be sure that it is exactly like this when the dot (or other graphics) of the tuner is green.
Not only because you will also have precise indications on whether to increase or decrease the tension of the rope, not a little information for beginners, then it is clear the precision of the tuning (and above all the ability to maintain it) also depends on the quality of the mechanics and strings you use, etc.
The types of tuners on the market are divided into two categories: on one side there are the clip-on tuner models, comfortable and straightforward to be fixed anywhere on the instrument headstock, using the ad hoc hook.
On the other, the appliances that rest on a shelf, not too far from the guitar, the bass, etc. having a well-tuned instrument is vital when playing with other musicians to avoid a discordant result.
So the tuner shows all his usefulness in live performances but also in the recording studio to record an album that, at least in theory, should not present flaws. These devices are typically designed to be used with acoustic guitars, but some models also work with electric guitars or in particularly noisy environments. They are the ones who can measure the frequency of string vibration.
The Importance of The Display
A detail not to be overlooked in the choice of a tuner is the presence of a display that allows you to comfortably view the information, in particular the scale of the notes which, in addition to allowing a clear interpretation must offer the possibility of choosing between different types of display.
How to Use a Tuner?
If your guitar (or something else) needs to be tuned, the surefire way is to use an electronic tuner. But there are also traditional ones, although in this case, it is more difficult to obtain the perfect tuning if you do not have a well-trained ear for the purpose.
We intend to help you understand how best to use a tuner. As you will see for yourself, the task is not as difficult as it may seem, and after reading our advice, it will be even more comfortable. So, you have to read the following.
The Symbols of The Tuner
First of all, it is good to clarify the question of the symbols used by the tuner to signal the notes. In the case of tuners, the anglo-Saxons are used, which in turn take up the notations that were used in ancient Greece.
So it is important to learn them because on display you will never see, for example, a king. We report the Anglo-Saxon notation with the corresponding classical notes a (la) – b (si) – c (do) – d (re) – e ( mi) – f (fa) – g (sol).
Chromatic Clip Tuner
The first thing to explain: what does chromatic tuner mean? What has so many colors? Not. This device is so-called because it can take (or, if you prefer, recognize) all the notes.
A clip tuner is not equipped with a microphone; therefore, it must be fixed on the headstock of the instrument. In this way, it can perceive the vibrations and consequently indicate the note being played.
But it is not enough to apply the tuner on the headstock. In the case of this device, using the appropriate button, the instrument to be tuned must be set. Generally, the instrument is indicated by a letter, g for guitar, b for bass, v for violin, and you for ukulele while c stands for chromatic.
Correct tuning passes from the exact selection of the instrument on the tuner. Let’s make a further clarification, we said how a chromatic tuner takes all the notes, but if we set it to g, it will take only mi – re – la – sol and si.
Tuner with Microphone for Acoustic Instruments
The tuner with a microphone unlike the clip one does not need to be fixed on the instrument and can recognize the frequency of the played note at a short distance. However, try to keep the tuner as close as possible to the sound source.
Tuners for Electric Instruments
In the case of electrical instruments, some tuners allow you to establish a cable connection. Just insert the jack, for example, into the guitar and tuner.
A simple example will undoubtedly be useful to understand how to use a tuner. Let’s take the guitar. Play the mi casino empty. If thee appears on the tuner display, then you don’t have to do anything. But what if, for example, the display shows a d?
It means that currently, the mi cantino is in d, and therefore you have to go up a tone until not only thee appears but also that a second indicator is entirely in the center. This can be a hand, for example.
Frequently Asked Questions
How to Tune the Guitar with The Tuner?
To tune the guitar with an electronic tuner, you need to set the device to automatic tuning. Then hold the instrument near the tuner and play the low mi. you will see that the digital hand of the invention will oscillate left and right depending on the pitch of the string.
If it tends to the fa, it will mean that you will have to loosen by turning the guitar key counterclockwise, while if it manages to there sharp you will have to tighten it by turning it clockwise. Tighten and loosen until the pointer points to the center and the green light on the tuner lights up. This means that you will have reached the right shade.
How to Tune the Guitar without A Tuner?
It is possible. However, the tuning will be much less precise than that performed with an electronic tuner unless you have an ‘absolute’ ear, which is capable of correctly distinguishing the intervals between the notes.
The low mi or the first string from above is the most difficult to tune as you will not have any reference, so you will necessarily have to go by ear. Once you have tuned this, to find the right pitch of the others, you will have to play the right note on the upper string. For example, if you want to see the la tuning, you will have to play a la on the mi string and so on.
How to Tune the Violin without A Tuner?
Tuning a violin without a tuner is not easy at all, as for the guitar and other instruments you need to have or develop an ear capable of recognizing the intervals between the notes. If your violin has tyrants on the bridge, you can rest it on your lap and tune.
Otherwise, you will have to use the tongs, pinching the strings with your fingers to understand if it has arrived at the right tone. In principle, since ear tuning is never exact, we recommend spending a few euros to buy a good tuner or look for one online.
How Does the Electronic Guitar Tuner Work?
There are different types of electronic guitar tuners. Still, among the most common ones, we find the tuner to be connected to the jack input of the instrument, the clamp one that is applied to the headstock, and the classic one that perceives the notes played through a microphone.
Whatever type you use, the operation does not change, as to tune the guitar you will always need to play one string at a time and work on the keys of the headstock. The electronic tuner will provide visual indications of how close you are to the correct pitch of the string so that you can tighten or loosen the key.
Some tuners have an automatic mode configured on the classic tuning of the guitar (for the six edge strings), while with the manual mode you can find the adjustment you prefer. For example, there are many rock and metal musicians who prefer to tune their instruments in re or c instead of mi.
How Does the Clamp Tuner Work?
The very comfortable clamp tuner is applied on the headstock of the guitar and manages to indicate the note reached by the string through the vibrations produced. This type is one of the most precise and is often used for electric and acoustic guitars and electric basses.
Many musicians keep it applied to the headstock even during performances or rehearsals, to immediately tune the guitar in case some new string drops in pitch. The tuning works like any other tuner, so play each string and tighten or loosen the key according to the visual indications of the device.