What is a guitar tuner?

A guitar tuner is a device that assists the user in making sure that each of the strings of the guitar is playing the correct pitch. There are several different kinds of guitar tuners, from advanced electronic tuners to pitch pipes. A pitch pipe is the most primary type of guitar tuner.

The user tuning the instrument has to blow into the pipe to listen to the pitch and then adjust the tuning peg to match the right pitch. There are different guitar tuning websites as well that duplicate the function of a pitch pipe but they are no comparison to a pitch pipe.

Clip-on tuner or vibration tuners are the ones that clip on to the head of the guitar. These tuners are perfect for loud and chaotic environments. The clip-on tuner senses the pitch through vibrations and informs the user how close the string is to “playing the right pitch.”

Other kinds of guitar tuners include the microphone and strobe tuners. The merit of having a clip-on tuner is that they are comfortable, small and easily portable. A clip-on tuner can tune right in all kinds of environments without requiring plugging in with a jack, which is perfect if the user is playing an acoustic guitar.

Kinds of guitar tuners

A guitar tuner is a device that detects the pitch to open strings of the instrument and shows it on the display or the dial. Usually, a guitar tuner has a needle dial, but these days, users will find LCD or LED display on the tuners as well. They assist in determining the pitch – if it is higher, lower or equal to the desired pitch.

There is always an ideal tuner for your guitar; you just have to find it. However, there are many kinds of guitar tuner in the market today that it gets extremely difficult for the user to find the perfect tuner.

You cannot just buy any random guitar tuner for your ukulele and you cannot just purchase any tuner for your classical guitar. Whether you are buying online or from brick and mortar stores, remember to look through specifications.

Always confirm whether your guitar tuner can tune with other instruments like bass, banjo, ukulele, etc. as well. This is just an added advantage and something that comes with several guitar tuners. Guitar tuner is generally divided into two divisions:

  • The first division is for instruments that have no plug-in jack. Usually, this division comes with a ukulele, a classical guitar or a non-electric acoustic guitar. There are no clip-on tuners for this division, especially no tuners that use high-sensitivity vibration sensor.
  • The second division is for the electric guitars. There are wider types of guitar tuners in this division. However, mostly all these tuners use input-jack from the guitar as their input. The reason is that electric guitars, unlike non-electric guitars, tend to have lower resonation. In comparison to electric guitars, the non-electric guitars have higher resonation. In addition to this, the second division of guitars does not work for acoustic guitars.

The acoustic guitars can use tuners from both the divisions. Also, there are electric acoustic guitars that do not even require any tuner as they already have their own built-in tuner.

Chromatic tuners Vs non-chromatic tuners

A Chromatic tuner is a term that a guitar player must have heard a lot in their career. We will see this term in a lot of tuners but they are not present in some.

A non-chromatic is, basically, designed to tune a guitar in traditional EADGBE tuning, which means when the user plays a low E, the tune must recognize that they are attempting to tune this string. The tuner should indicate how flat or sharp the string is in relation to the note E.

A chromatic tuner, on the other hand, will show tuning in relation to the nearest semi-tone, which is the nearest note in the chromatic scale. The user can use a chromatic tuner to tune instruments other than a guitar or to tune to modify guitar tunings.

A non-chromatic tuner will be good and a lot cheaper option if the user is only going to tune to standard guitar tuning. But, a chromatic tuner is more flexible than a non-chromatic tuner.