How Many Types of Guitar Tuners Are There?

Tuning a guitar can be a tiring process if you don’t have a guitar tuner. But do you know how many types of guitar tuners are there?

Guitar tuners are primarily of 2 types: chromatic and non-chromatic. Chromatic tuners catch the exact frequency of the note being played and display how flat or sharp it is compared to the closest semitone. But a non-chromatic tuner can only recognize the tuning that it’s been programmed with.

The devices can also be categorized in terms of their usability. There are so many types of guitar tuners that it gets hard to choose from.

So, here we’ve assembled the knowledge you need for getting a guitar tuner. For further information, follow along as we discuss each type of guitar tuner in detail!

How A Guitar Tuner Works

In most cases, an amateur guitarist doesn’t have the ears to tune the guitar perfectly by himself. So, he must get himself a guitar tuner that does the job for him.

Any guitar tuner fundamentally listens to a musical note that an instrument is producing and calculates its pitch. Then it’s shown in the display with which one can identify and decide either to tune it up or down.

A simple tuner shows a set number of pitches. You have to tune precisely to the tuning that has been fixed in the tuner. But a complex tuner offers can help you tune in any pitch you want.

Types Of Guitar Tuners

Chromatic guitar tuners sense the vibrations that the strings generate and identify their frequency. Then, it displays how much you need to tune it to get the exact frequency that you want.

There’s also a type known as the non-chromatic tuner, where a standard tuning has already been set by default. So, you just have to tune your strings to the default setting and start playing right away!

Chromatic Tuners

A chromatic tuner offers extra flexibility in terms of tuning any instrument. That’s because you can try any and every type of tuning that your heart desires.

You can experiment with it and find the tuning you want to use in your songs to give it a new dimension.

Non-Chromatic Tuners

The non-chromatic tuners only work with the tuning that they’ve been programmed with. If you’re a beginner and only use the standard tuning for the time being, then you can go for these tuners. These are usually cheaper and a lot easier to use for amateur guitarists.

Standard Tuners

Standard tuners come with built-in microphones and rectangular-shaped boxes. These also have a plug-in option with which you can put in a jack and tune the guitar after. Although the microphone is not of outstanding quality as it catches the nearby unnecessary sounds.

These tuners sometimes include other features such as a metronome. These types of tuners are usually pretty cheap and can be either chromatic or non-chromatic.

Clip-On Tuners

Clip-on tuners function a little differently from the other types of tuners. These tuners pick up the vibrations of the guitar body created because of the vibrations of strings. They’re clipped on the headstock of a guitar.

The devices are compact-sized miniature tuners that come in handy for a live show. In this kind of show, there’s usually a lot of noise all the time. So these tuners have to be equally accurate in noisy surroundings.

Pedal Tuners

Pedal tuners are applicable for those who have a setup that includes different hardware accessories.

If you already have a guitar rig to begin with, you might as well add it to the collection. Then you’ll easily be able to tune your guitar with a click of the pedal.

Polyphonic Tuners

Polyphonic tuners are the new wonder in the tuning market. Unfortunately, these are yet to be popular amongst the mainstream market, though some companies have started making them.

These tuners detect all the strings in an instant and show which of them are out of tune. Thus, it makes the tuning process a lot faster and easier for the guitarist.

Tuning Apps

Smartphones are playing a massive role in our lives in modern times. There’s virtually nothing a smartphone can’t do.

Suppose you hurriedly packed for a live gig but forgot to take your tuner with you. But it’s very unlikely that you’ll forget your smartphone. So, get a tuning app from the store for your mobile. It’ll allow you to tune your guitar as long as you have your smartphone with you.

Virtual Tuners

The virtual tuners are used in home studios or professional studios. In addition, these are used inside every DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) while recording an instrument.

Most of these virtual tuners are available in the DAWs, but you can also buy them online. Hook up your electric guitar with your computer and select the tuner you want to use. It’ll automatically start showing the pitch when you pick the strings individually.

How To Use a Guitar Tuner

Guitar tuners are primarily used in live shows or any recording purposes. It allows your guitar to be in perfect tune for it to sound nice.

You need to connect your tuner to the guitar physically (via an input jack or clip). Or set the microphone of the tuner close to where it can catch the sound of your guitar. Then you just pick the strings one by one and tune them according to the tuner’s information.

If it’s a bit sharper than your desired pitch, then lower the tuning and if it’s flat, then tune it higher.

Final Note

In this guide, we’ve shared all the information one needs if he doesn’t know how many types of guitar tuners are there.

You can get a general idea of all types of tuners and go for the one that’s suitable for your purpose. We suggest checking them out before buying as some might not work correctly due to poor maintenance.

Be in tune with your guitar and make great music that inspires others!

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