It’s essential to learn how to tune a guitar without an electronic guitar tuner. Still, there are good reasons to have one of these handy gadgets.
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Benefits of an Electronic Guitar Tuner
- It’s faster. Tuning takes time. If you’ve got a limited amount of playing time, don’t spend half the session tuning by ear.
- It’s visual. You see if you need to tune. It’s common for tuned guitars to go out of tune while playing. You’ll see that you are going out of tune before it affects the music.
- You can tune an electric guitar in a noisy environment.
- It will help you learn to tune by ear. Learning to tune by ear is essential. Using the electronic guitar tuner is a great way to check your accuracy. Use your ear to get your guitar in tune, then check it with the tuner.
Some guitar tuners also function as a metronome, which is a really good idea.
Some popular electronic tuners include:
- Korg CA-40 Chromatic Tuner
- Korg TM-40 Digital Tuner and Metronome
- Boss TU-80C Chromatic Tuner and Metronome
Auto-Sensing Chromatic Guitar Tuners
Most of today’s guitar tuners are the auto-sensing chromatic type. Chromatic means that the tuner can tune all notes on the major scale including sharps and flats. This would allow you to tune any stringed instrument, not just a guitar.
The guitar tuner listens to your note and indicates what chromatic pitch it is closest to, and if you are sharp, flat, or right on pitch. As you tune your string, the meter indicates the change in pitch.
Some guitar tuners, in addition to the meter, feature lights that indicate if the note is flat, sharp, or on pitch. This is helpful if you’re tuning up in the dark.
Chromatic guitar tuners start at around $15. There are models for guitar and bass only. These start at $10.
Clip-On Guitar Tuners
The clip on guitar tuner is another electronic chromatic tuner that will interest acoustic guitar players who need to tune in noisy environments.
The clip on tuner clamps on to the headstock of the guitar (or banjo, mandolin, ukulele) and picks up vibrations of the vibrating string. Most clip on tuners feature a back-lit display that’s mounted on a swivel. When you pluck the string, the nearest-pitched note displays, indicating if the note is sharp or flat.
While this tuner works fine for any acoustic or electric guitar, it would be a big benefit for acoustic players who need to tune in noisy environments. Electronic tuners with external microphones will be affected by ambient noise.
Some popular clip-on guitar tuners are:
- Intelli IMT500 Clip-on Chromatic Tuner
- Snark Clip-On Chromatic Tuner, Red
- Sabine Chromatic Clip on Tuner with Metronome