Whether you merely want to learn how to play the guitar or perform in front of a crowd at a concert, tuning the acoustic guitar is something that you cannot practically avoid. By tuning your guitar, you are able to create the sounds that you really want or as agreed with your band members. But with various types, features and brands of tuners on the market, picking the acoustic guitar tuner that suits your purpose best might be a bit confusing.
Currently, the three key types of acoustic guitar tuners are microphone, strobe and piezo:
This type relies on sound rather than vibration. So the surrounding should be preferably quiet to perform tuning. The microphone type is actually the traditional type where a musical instrument is played and the sound is picked up by the tuner. You can take your pick from various styles like clip-on, pedal and free-standing for this type.
What is the best advantage of the microphone type? Compared to the strobe and piezo types, this type offer various options of features and functionality.
Having been around since the 1930s, this type offers the best accuracy compared to the other two types. When there is a difference between the internal frequency of the guitar and the note that is being played, the disc rotates. If there is no difference, the disc remains stationary.
Piezo or Vibration Type
This type offers the best tuning capability even in the noisiest of environment. This is because it relies on vibration, unlike the other two types. Normally, the tuner has a clip-on feature, making it very convenient to clip it on to the guitar’s headstock. Apart from the type of acoustic tuner, other aspects you may want to consider are ease of use, features and accuracy.
An accuracy of + / – 1 cent seems fair enough for tuning purposes. Ease of use is another important aspect.
For example, though on sale for a fantastic low price on Amazon, the Fender FT-004 is a good acoustic tuner in a stylish chrome bezel. The built-in vibration sensor provides accurate tuning in even noisy areas. This tuner is easy to operate even on the darkest stages. If it is in tune, the large display shows it exactly. So it is very easy for the guitarist to know immediately whether his guitar is in tune or not. The display features an easy-to-read LCD needle that indicates correct pitch. The weight is only 50 grams which is an advantage in many respects.
When it comes to features like portability, ease of seeing the display in various types of lighting and accuracy, nothing beats the Korg TM50BK. Korg is a brand that has been in existent since the 1960s and famed for its product excellence and ease of use. The tuner is small enough to be unobtrusive when clipped on to an acoustic guitar during a concert. Even carrying it around is rather easy. You can take your pick of auto, soft and off when it comes to lighting conditions. Auto is best for places with terrible lighting conditions while off is most suitable for brightly lighted up places. Soft is more appropriate for dimly lit areas. You can buy the Korg AW2G tuner for a good price via Amazon.
To choose the best acoustic guitar tuner for yourself, consider various aspects like portability, accuracy, type, weight, quality and price. Are you planning to carry the tuner with you for concerts? If you are, then go for a vibration type since external sounds do not affect it.
For a fast tuning you can use this online guitar tuner for standard guitar tuning by ear: