Three Things to Consider Before Buying a Guitar Tuner

If you’re learning to play the guitar, or another stringed instrument, an electronic tuner can help you dial in your sound.

Face it—playing a guitar without a tuner is like baking a cake without measuring the ingredients. You get a result, but it likely won’t be the result you’re after. With the availability and low cost of today’s tuners, there’s just no excuse for not using one. With a tuner you know you’re starting to play with all strings in tune. Whatever happens next is up to you! Here are three things to look for in a tuner.

Super Convenient

Also features a metronome. Snark

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Some tuners attach to a guitar via a clip, and others just need to be held near the sound hole. Still others connect electronically via the guitar’s pickups, and some guitars have built-in tuners. Most are battery-powered, so be sure the batteries are easy to change.

Bright Display

A color indicator tells you whether you’re sharp or right on-point. KLIQ Music Gear

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Most tuners offer a chromatic display option, meaning you will be tuning to a particular note on the chromatic scale. With this you can create different tunings other than the standard E-A-D-G-B-E tuning. Some tuners also offer the option of tuning to a frequency, which is the measure of the note as it vibrates. Some tuners indicate the number of the string being tuned instead of the note.

For Shows

This pedal style features a mute switch. BOSS

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If you’re going to be playing gigs outdoors or in dark, crowded venues, look for a tuner with high brightness modes so it’s easily visible while you’re playing. A mute button means you won’t have to keep turning your back to your adoring fans to fiddle with the tuner.