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             10 August, 2022

Category:  Articles » Arts & Culture » Music


Choosing a Good Electronic Guitar Tuner

         Views: 2283
2009-09-16 02:17:55     
Article by Jennifer Martin

A good guitar tuner is necessary equipment when first learning how to play guitar. A beginner guitarist will not normally have the musical knowledge or experience to be able to tune by ear, but playing in tune is pretty important, so lets look at some of the available tuners out there.

Guitar tuners generally fall into a few different categories. Some models clip onto the guitar headstock and sense the pitch of the note through vibrations. Other models have a small built in mic and work best when placed near the guitar soundhole where the volume of the guitar is at its loudest. These microphone units generally have a physical input as well, so if your guitar can be plugged in, you will get the most accurate response as the tuner detects the pitches. Sometimes tuners are incorporated into other guitar devices, like effects pedals and preamps. They are most often used for live performances.

When buying a tuner you want to make sure to get a chromatic one. Chromatic tuners are capable of sensing any note on the scale, whereas some guitar tuners only recognize the six pitches of standard guitar tuning, E A D G B E. If you want to tune down to Eb, or use an alternate tuning, a non-chromatic tuner will not recognize the notes you are playing. Most tuners these days are chromatic, but it is a good feature to make sure to look for.

Clip-On Tuners

Clip-on guitar tuners seem to be the most popular type, at least I see around a lot these days. The Intellitouch was the first tuner of this type, and it was soon followed by companies like Sabine, Korg, and a host of others. The advantage of these type of tuners is that other noise does not affect them as much is mic-based tuners. Since they pickup the vibrations from your instrument, not any noise from a built in mic, they can be more focused in their pitch detection . As such they are handy for loud jamming situations where you may be surrounded by a lot of other instruments but still need to get tuned up. Just turn on your tuner and watch the needle as you tune each string. If you often play in venues with less-than-optimal lighting, having a tuner with a backlit screen is essential, so be sure to check for this option when shopping around. Oh, and if you are forgetful, look for an automatic shut-off feature.

Mic/Plug-in Tuners

Guitar tuners with a small built-in mic and plug input were widely used before clip-on tuners were developed. These tuners are about the size of a deck of cards, and need to be placed near the guitar soundhole, either on your knee or on a music stand. While perfectly usable, I find balancing the tuner on my knee to be difficult, and the mic will easily pick up other noise besides the guitar. They can be handy if you are tuning an electric guitar since you can just plug in with a cable, and the tuner can just sit on the floor by your feat if necessary. But, the farther away you place it, the less accurate and usable it gets. I much prefer clip-on tuners in this situation, for either an acoustic or electric instrument.

Pedal Tuners

The third main category of tuners is pedal tuners. These come in the form of a foot pedal and are either stand-alone units or integrated into another type of effects pedal. They are designed to be used with an instrument that has an amplifying pickup. Your guitar is plugged into the input of the pedal, and the output goes out to other pedals to an amp or PA system. They will also work without any other equipment in the line. The handy thing about pedals for live performances is that they will have an option to mute the output signal. So between songs if you hit the pedal, it mutes the signal, and the audience will not have to listen to your noodling and adjusting.

So there you have it, the three basic types of guitar tuners. Decide what features you want and what you are looking for, then go shop around and check out some different options!

Jennifer Martin is the CEO of RhythmStrummer.com Her site offers easy guitar lessons in a fun & supportive atmosphere, taught by teachers who care. Students learn song and technique lessons in a variety of genres, including Folk, Country, and Classic Rock - all with NO annoying advertising.

Specialized in: Easy Guitar Songs - Acoustic Guitar Lessons - Guitar Lessons - How To Play Guitar - Learn Guitar - Acoustic Song Lessons
URL: http://www.rhythmstrummer.com
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