Vital to all guitarists is a great sounding guitar. Having a well-tuned guitar the best way to ensure it will sound brilliant. However, tuning by ear is a tricky skill that comes with time. Fortunately, there are several handy tuner tools available to make tuning a guitar a less time-consuming and simple process.
If you are just starting out, there are several good online video demonstrations that will show you how to tune a guitar.
Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned musician, every guitar player should have a tuner handy. Tuners come in several shapes and sizes and can be used with acoustic guitars and electric guitars, as well as bass guitars. A standard tuner costs around $20, but some tuners allow you to plug your guitar directly into the tuner for on-stage and studio tuning and can run between $40 – $80. Plugging the guitar directly into the tuner ensures tuning is precise and it is much quicker than tuning with a standard tuner. Most tuners also come with a built-in metronome, a nice feature.
Below are six awesome tools to help you have a brilliant sounding guitar.
1. A good standard tuner that can work with acoustic guitars and electric guitars, as well as bass guitars, is the Boss Chromatic Tuner and Metronome. This tuner works with both a 7-string guitar and a 5-string bass. It is a cheap and easy tool to use.
2. There are also clip-on tuners, which attach to your guitar. If you are a performing guitarist, having a clip-on tuner will make it easy to tune between songs, and even tune with a capo. It will eliminate fumbling around to find a tuner while performing on stage.
3. Another good tool for on-stage tuning is a pedal tuner. Pedal tuners make it possible to tune silently while on stage. Fender makes an excellent pedal tuner that costs around $50.
4. If you are recording in a studio, it is imperative that the tuning of your guitar or bass is precise. Using a Digital Rackmount tuner makes this possible. Proprietary circuitry locks right onto the root tone, ignoring harmonics that confuse lesser tuners. These types of tuners can cost $60 – $90.
Other tools for tech-savvy musicians to tune their guitars are available online and as iPhone applications. Of course, these are not recommended for on-stage performing, but can be very useful for practicing while at home.
5. You can find an array of guitar tuners online by searching “online guitar tuners”, but one that stands out is Chordbook.com’s guitar tuner. It will allow you to do drop down tuning and other alternative tunings.
6. “Is there an app for that?” is a common question these days and the answer in the case of guitar tuners, is yes, there is an app for that. Gibson has an excellent iPhone application that is free, allows for alternative tunings, and also includes a metronome, chords, and lessons.
Whichever tool you choose for tuning your guitar, make sure you tune up frequently. Your guitar will sound awesome and it will help you learn how to tune your guitar by ear – without a guitar tuner!