Your guitar is out of tune again. Whether during a live performance, recording session, or moment of songwriting clarity, nothing can throw a wrench into your flow than having to stop what you’re doing and get your instrument back in tune. Still, it’s a simple fact of life, and as long as we’re playing instruments made of wood we’ll have to deal with tuning that fluctuates with every imaginable environmental factor from heat and humidity to accidental falls. Fortunately for the modern musician, going out of tune no longer has to be a showstopper thanks to a huge selection of creative products designed to make tuning up a quick and painless process. Keep one of these products close at hand and you’ll ensure that your musical moments will never fall flat again.
Here are a few of our favorite guitar tuners currently available.
Even the best portable guitar isn’t worth hauling around if you can’t keep it in tune. Sure, you could download an app onto your phone and fiddle with the screen on your knee, but wouldn’t it be easier and less disruptive to clip a tuner on to your guitar? This KLIQ UberTuner literally feels the vibrations on your guitar to detect pitch rather than using a traditional microphone, so it’s easy and accurate even in noisy environments. With its large display and bright screen you’ll never have any doubt where you stand, and its swivel head tilts and conforms to your preferred viewing angle. It’s got dedicated modes for guitar, bass, violin, and ukulele.
This Korg TM60 is the latest and greatest form of a design cherished by music students and teachers everywhere. It has an onboard microphone, speaker and a ¼-inch input jack so you can tune how you prefer—visually, by ear, or both. Its built-in digital metronome and super bright backlight make it an ideal choice for both casual and strict practicing, from working on scales to playing songs. You can use the tuner and metronome simultaneously, too, should the situation call for it.
This tuner will do the job for you. Less of a tuning aid and more of a highly-evolved robot guitar doctor, the ROADIE is one of the first automatic rechargeable guitar tuners out there, and it’s as awesome as it sounds. Charge it using USB-C and take it on the road with its battery that lasts up to a month. It uses vibration-sensing tech similar to that in clip on tuners so you can use it in noisy places too.
The Boss TU3 can be found on pedalboards of touring guitarists across the globe, and for good reason. Its metal chassis and compact form factor mean it’s sturdy enough to withstand almost anything you throw at it. Click on to tune and it mutes your signal so you don’t need to fiddle around with your instrument’s volume knob. This edition also sports features like a high-brightness mode for outdoor gigging so you can easily see its red and green 21-segment LEDs in all their glory. If you’re looking for durability and simplicity, look no further.