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the ultimate guide to guitar tuners

The Ultimate Guide to Guitar Tuners

Ever wondered which are the best guitar tuners? You’re not alone. There are a lot of options out there and it can be hard to find one that suits your needs. The good news is, we’ve compiled a list of the best guitar tuners on the market today so you don’t have to worry about finding one yourself! Keep reading for more information about each option and learn which ones professional musicians use.

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What is a guitar tuner?

A guitar tuner is a piece of equipment used by guitarists to tune their guitars. There are many types of tuners, including digital and analog options that you can use to calibrate your guitar strings – ensuring they’re always in perfect pitch when preparing or playing live gigs!

The guitar tuner will receive an audio signal from the guitar string through a guitar jack lead, sound vibration transmitted through the guitar, or from the sound produced by the string through a microphone built into some types of guitar tuners.

The tuner will determine the pitch of the sound and relay that information to show if each string is in or out of tune.

What guitar tuning works best?

There are a lot of different factors that determine which type of tuner works best for each individual, obviously, if you are a professional guitarist having a tuner that will tune your guitar quickly and accurately is very important.

Tuning each string for standard tuning would mean that each string is tuned from the lowest to the highest string on a 6 string guitar this would be E, A, D, G, B, E.

Many professional guitarists will actually tune their guitars with a slight variation to standard tuning, some may use drop D tuning or even half step down tuning, so it’s important to find a tuner that has the ability to be customised for your specific needs.

The best guitar tuners are those that are versatile and can be used for a variety of different tuning options, as well as being able to quickly tune your guitar without any fuss.

When playing a string on your guitar to see the results on the tuner, it is best practice to not simply play the open note as this will cause resonance in the sound which will not give an accurate indication of the note, this is easily visible on an analog tuner with a needle, you would see the needle fluctuating below and above the zero mark, you are aiming for.

Many guitarists will play the string in an attacking rhythm to achieve the best results and others often prefer playing a harmonic pull-off note further up the frets of the same note as the open string to reduce the broader sound wave that the open string note creates.

So let’s take a look at some different types of guitar tuners that are used by guitarists either in a professional capacity or as amateur guitar players.

Types of Guitar Tuners

Chromatic Guitar Tuner

Polyphonic Guitar Tuner

A chromatic guitar tuner is the most common type of tuner and is used by a lot of guitarists. This type will allow you to tune your strings chromatically, so whether the note is sharp or flat you can easily see where it needs to be adjusted on the display screen in order for it to match up with the reference tone that you are tuning too.

This type of guitar tuner can be incorporated into a simple handheld tuner, a pedal, or even a headstock tuner.

The polyphonic guitar tuner is an alternative version of the chromatic tuner that is used by guitarists. This type will allow you to tune different strings on your instrument at once, which can be very useful when playing live gigs if there are multiple guitars in use during a performance or even for practicing at home so you don’t have to change between instruments mid-practice session.

This type of tuner is normally mounted as a clip-on to the headstock of your guitar.

Strobe Guitar Tuner

Microphone Guitar Tuner

The strobe guitar tuner is one of the most accurate tuners for guitars and is widely used within the music industry. This type of tuner emits a light that is used to help you tune your guitar. The strobe effect happens when the light flashes at a certain frequency which then creates an interference pattern on the retina – allowing you to see the difference in pitch between each string.

The best strobe guitar tuner in our opinion is the Peterson strobe tuner, very often used in recording studios and in a live setting.

This type of tuner is very popular with professional guitarists as it is accurate and quick to use, guitar technicians who work on stage for top guitarists prefer to use this type of tuning method.

A microphone guitar tuner is a tuner that uses sound waves to help you tune your guitar. This type of tuner is usually incorporated into a pedal and is one of the most popular types of guitar tuners used by professional guitarists.

The microphone will ‘hear’ the note that you are playing and then display it on the screen so that you can see if it is sharp or flat.

Many hand held guitar tuners have a microphone tuner as an additional option built into it, this enables the tuning of an acoustic guitar for example.

Best Guitar Tuners for Professional Musicians

Now that we have explored the different types of tuners available to guitarists, let’s take a look at some of the best guitar tuners on offer and how they can benefit you as an amateur or professional guitarist:

Boss TU-3W Chromatic Guitar Tuner

This pedal tuner from Boss is an industry-standard tuner that is loved by many guitarists who prefer to use stomp box tuner for their guitar.

The Boss TU-3W pedal tuner produces a pure signal transfer that is essential for tuning and incorporates a buffered or true-bypass operation that has the most transparent audio pass-through possible with this type of tuner.

Peterson StroboClip HD Guitar Tuner

Peterson StroboClip HD Guitar Tuner

This compact but highly accurate Peterson StroboClip HD guitar tuner is perfect for a gigging guitarist, it also has 50 sweetened tunings for a huge amount of tuning options which will also cover a vast amount of string or even wind instruments.

The high-definition screen is bright and allows guitarists to easily and accurately perform quick tuning in low-light scenarios such as on-stage or back-stage tuning.

Korg Sledgehammer Pro Guitar Tuner

Korg Sledgehammer Pro Guitar Tuner

The Korg sledgehammer pro guitar tuner provides precise tuning for guitar and bass, it is a clip on tuner which offers amazing visibility with its three dimensional display.

A great feature of the sledgehammer tuner is it is easy to operate with one hand and allows tuning even when you are performing live, it is highly accurate and has been designed for professional guitarists and bassists.

Guitarists have identified that this is one of the most reliable clip-on guitar tuners for efficient tuning.


In conclusion, there are a vast amount of different types of tuners on the market that will suit every guitarist, whether you need them for practicing at home or performing live gigs.

The key to finding the best guitar tuner is buying one that suits your specific needs as a musician and helps deliver positive results in order for you to play better.

The most important thing is to find the best guitar tuners that will provide accuracy and speed when performing live, as this can be the make or break for any professional musician.

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