Guitar Tuners

Author: classic-guitars  //  Category: Music
Tuners are vital for guitarists. Whether tuning by ear or using computer software or a pedal, tuning is necessary before one can maximize performance of his/her instrument and perform at his/her best. Normally, if you play your guitar only on a daily basis your strings will not get out of tone. But if your guitar is rarely used or is in a bad condition or your playing is extremely hard, then most likely you’ll need to tune your guitar always. Tip: TUNE your guitar EVERY TIME you pick it up.

For professional tuning, you MUST use electronic guitar tuners. These devices allow tuning with the use of pedals, little boxes, or rack mounted units. There are a number of manufacturers who specialize in these sophisticated gadgets


• Boss, a division of the Roland Corporation (big japanese company), employs its proven technology in musical equipment and accessories to develop sophisticated tuners – known for their accuracy and superb functionality. One of its renowned inventions is the TU – Series tuners technology, which incorporates tuning accuracy in an ultra convenient tompbox design…ideal to take them into the guitar case everywhere.

• Korg. This world’s favorite tuner started introducing excellent tuners in 1999. It came out with the DT-7 GUITAR/BASS chromatic tuner, the first guitar tuner to feature the legendary Buzz Feiten Tuning System. The critically acclaimed DT-7 could be one of the most accurate tuners in the market ever, featuring an ultra – wide tuning range. Later on, Korg introduced the extremely flexible GT-12 GUITAR & BASS chromatic tuner and the OT-12 designed for Orchestra.

Other models that came out were Korg GA30 Guitar & Bass Tuner which features a pitch reference tone and quinta-flat tuning while maintaining functionality and convenient tuning functions in Ultra – Compact bodies.

The Korg CA30 Chromatic Tuner and the Korg TM40 Chromatic Tuner/Metronome; Tuner with Metronome which can function simultaneously or independently, its large LCD-type needle delivers both the accuracy of an LCD and the excellent visibility of a needle indicator. It also has LED indicators that show pitch deviation or blink to indicate the tempo, thus, making the TM-40 a highly visual tool. The superb functionality and the highest accuracy have made Korg tuners a worldwide favorite.

• String Master, is another respected manufacturer. String Master produced the world’s first motorized guitar tuner featured in the Guitar One and Guitar Player Magazines. This guitar tuner is very innovative, convenient and could be the friendliest tuner ever invented

• The Qwik Tune QT-11 is the next generation’s automatic guitar tuner. Featuring an electronic pitch pipe with an internal speaker it plays E, A, D, G, B, and E tones for tuning reference. It also includes an Off-Meter tuning mode, which detects the string which the user is trying to tune (even if the guitar is severely out of tune). This portable battery operated Guitar or Bass tuner features an ‘electric pitch pipe’ that plays the note for the user. The user can tune each individual string while the display tells her/him which string is being tuning and whether the note is sharp or flat. The highly sensitive built-in microphone & spèed metering allow easy tuning.



Tuning via use of software abounds. Free or for a fee you can find various guitar tuners in the internet. These softwares eliminate the need to tune a guitar with an instrument or the conventional tuning by ear. All you have to do is to listen to the sound from the software, play it on your guitar and adjust the tuning machines tension until your guitar produces the same note as the tuner software.Keep in mind that the basic requirement in tuning is to get the same note as the tuner, not the sound because the difference in thickness of strings may cause varying frequencies and sound…just listen to the pitch.

Listen to the tuner and tune your guitar until you hear almost the same sound, though, it might be deeper. This is specially true when you get new strings and tune your guitar immediately after putting them on. Your stings have to adjust to the pressure applied to them so initially your guitar will not make the right tuning, it will sound detuned. But after exposure to a certain limit of stretch, they will hold on to a certain tone. Tip: Tune your guitar and leave it alone for a few hours then tune again and…that’s it. After each playing session the strings tend to mantain the pitch with better accuracy and stability.

One of the common (and free) tuners available in the internet is the DGT or digital guitar tuner. DGT is windows software, which allows you to accurately tune your guitar using direct input or microphone. Another free software is AP Tuner3 which supports an improved detection algorithm for low notes for bass and piano. It has a helpful Harmonics Graph window to see the harmonic content of any note. PitchPerfect can also be downloaded for free. It also provides a highly accurate professional tuner with a very simple to use interface. There is more flexibility in the PitchPerfect software because it automatically detects the note you’re playing and therefore, you’re not limited by standard tunings.

Apart from free downloads on your personal computer,you can also download tuners on your pocket PC or on your ipod. An example of this is the 4Pockets Guitar Tuner. Because it can be downloaded on your pocket PC, you can take the 4Pockets Guitar Tuner with you on your gigs . A high precision real – time guitar tuner,this Guitar Tuner can accurately determine the frequency,musical note and octave for each of your strings. The ability to estimate the note and octave makes this a very useful tool in musical notation and musical learning.

The iRocker is another convenient set of tools for guitarists which you can load on your iPod. iRocker is produced by Talking Panda,the makers of iBar.A great help for beginners, the iRocker includes not only a virtual book with 200 chords and fingerings but likewise a guide to scales. It also provides 5 different chord progressions/riffs that you can play along. Moreover, it contains a set of guitar tuning recordings with a variety of tunings and a basic 10 – speed metronome.



Your choice of tuner would depend on your needs – amateur or professional use. You might use a tuner for practicing at home or gigs with friends or you might need the tuner for a larger audience – like performing in a big concert. Regardless of your need, convenience and accuracy, tuners are of foremost importance…you can avail of a wide range of guitar tuners, free or for a fee.

By: Luciano Figallo

About the Author:

Luciano Figallo
Guitarist, Singer, Songwriter, Producer and Owner of
With more than 25 years in music, now he writes and shares his hard gained knowledge
about electric guitars, acoustic guitars, guitar amps, guitar tuning and
about guitars.

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