How to Use Guitar Tuners
A guitar tuner is an essential tool and is used by beginners and experts alike. Learning music can go completely wrong if the ear is not attuned to the right sounds. Having a properly tuned instrument is extremely important, and any student or novice player must learn to tune their guitars every day.
There are many kinds of guitar tuners available and making the right choice can be confusing. Beginners must carefully listen to the sounds that their instruments and making and must identify when it doesn’t sound right.
Choosing between chromatic tuners and non-chromatic tuners
The first level of distinction that one should make is whether one should go for chromatic tuners or non-chromatic ones. The typical non-chromatic tuners only allow the players to tune their guitars in EADGBE fashion. A chromatic tuner, on the other hand, can be used for many alternate kinds of tunings. Chromatic tuners can also be used to tune instruments other than guitar. For beginners and those who are going with conventional playing styles, a non-chromatic tuner serves just fine.
Before blaming the make of the instrument, one should always check the tuning. Mentioned below is a guide to the various popular guitar tuners that are available.
- Clip-on tuners- These are probably the most popular form of tuners and rightfully so. Their compact and convenient design allows the player to clip it to any location on the guitar and tune their instruments. They have a built-in microphone which is used for tuning acoustic guitars and a port for a jack for those tuning their electric instruments. The main advantages of these tuners are that they are small and very convenient. They are also capable of providing accurate readings in noisy environments.
- Pedal tuners- Pedal tuners are especially aimed for those playing electric or electro-acoustic guitars which are connected to an amplifier. These tuners are built into the chassis of the pedal and unlike clip-on tuners have no inbuilt microphones and rely completely on the jack from an electric guitar. Apart from an input, the pedal tuner also has a jack output which can be connected to a pedal board. The main advantage of this is that the guitar player can easily switch the tuner on and off from the pedal board itself. When these tuners are switched off, the signal passes straight through the amp itself. These tuners typically have very bright displays and are designed keeping performance and gig conditions in mind.
- Polyphonic tuners- These tuners are a new variety of tuners that have been recently introduced to the world of guitar. With standard tuners, guitar players usually tune one string at a time, with these polyphonic tuners, all the strings are strummed openly, and the tuning of every string is checked at the same time. This conserves time and allows guitar players to configure all of their strings with a single strumming.
- Miscellaneous tuners- There are certain other kinds of tuners that are not often used such as rack tuners and multi-range/multi-string guitar tuners that are not very popular. They have very specific or niche applications, for example, the rack tuners are a collection of 19-inch rack sized tuners, which are designed to for rack guitar gear. This is specially designed for artists who play at live gigs and need to transport their entire rig as a whole. One of the most basic and old-fashioned varieties of guitar tuners includes the humble pitch-pipe. It is a whistle which produces the right note, according to which a guitarist tunes his strings.