How Do I Tune Thee? A Guide To Tuning Your Guitar


Staying in tune can be the bane of any musician’s life. But with all the methods of tuning out there, what is the difference and what is best for your situation? Well, we at Better Music are here to help.

Tuning Forks & Pitch Pipes


When I started playing, I began with a tuning fork. Strike it on a surface and hold it to the bridge of your instrument to make it produce a tone to which you can tune. Pitch Pipes do what they say on the can. You blow through it and it makes the tone to tune to. The benefits of these methods are that they help you workout your ear, but they are rather out-dated.

Chromatic Tuners

korg ca1

The Korg CA-1 has been a mainstay in the world of tuning. This tuner, similar to a Pitch Pipe, can produce a tone to tune to, but it also gives you many more tuning options. It has a built in microphone, so you can sit it in front of your instrument & the screen on the tuner will tell you if you are out of tune. Also, if you have a pickup built in you can plug directly into the tuner. This is helpful if you are in a noisy setting, but the screen can be rather small & is not backlit, so may be hard to see in darker environments.

Clip-On Tuners


Clip-on tuners have grown in popularity recently, and are now the most popular tuners we keep in-store…for very good reason. They are small, accurate and easy to use. As the name suggests, they clip on to the headstock of any instrument & use vibration to determine the note. The most popular, Crafter’s TG-200K, changes between Orange (out of tune) and Green (tuned to a note), which makes it easy to understand. The Boss TU-10 is another popular option. The Boss has more display options, including a power-saving mode. If you’re rougher with your gear, the TU-10 is more your style. If, however, you don’t want to worry about taking your tuner off your guitar there is the Planet Waves NS Mini Headstock Tuner. The NS Mini is small enough to put on your headstock & leave it there, so you’ll always have a tuner ready to go when you need it most.

Pedal Tuners


Pedal Tuners are perfect for playing live! Their stompbox format is perfectly suited to the stage and they provide a mute function when activated so your audience does not have to listen to you tune up between songs. Our favourite pedal tuner is the classic Boss TU-3. A solidly built Chromatic Pedal Tuner, with the TU-3 you have several different display modes depending on how much activity you want to see while you tune. The newest development in tuning is the TC Electronic PolyTune II & PolyTune Mini II. The PolyTune allows you to see if any of your strings are out of tune with one quick strum of your guitar.

To browse our range of tuners, starting at $25, click the link here.

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