Best Guitar Tuner Reviews: Clip-On vs Pedal vs Automatic

Tuning guitar by ear is not always a possibility on stage due to a loud environment. It also might not be the most accurate way to tune your guitar. Jimi Hendrix was of course an exception because he used playing techniques to get round this. For most, this is something only experienced guitarists will be able to fulfill. We’ll be updating this article as we’re sent new tuners.

There are various types of Guitar tuners out there.

Some are clip-on guitar tuners which slot on to the head stock and measure vibration. These use batteries and have a head up display to show the current tuning. Usually there is a variety of different presets, totally necessary for Drop D tunings that bands like Nirvana regularly used. Better for practice, not to say they can’t be used on live gigs, they can it’s just a little risky.

Other Guitar tuners are actually in the form of a pedal. These are very robust, satisfying to use and vary in ease of use. Because you’re plugged in via Jack input, you can get a super accurate measurement. For professional musicians this is ideal because a pedal is less likely to be problematic when performing live.

Finally, automatic tuners can wind the strings for you making them a great option for bulk tuning. For example, guitar shop workers need to tune a lot of guitars per day for punters. Or even for a large show rig, roadies might need a robust option if they are in charge of guitar tech.

Guitar Tuner Reviews

Roadie 2 Guitar Tuner main
The Roadie 2 has several handy extras like string winding, alternate tunings and multiple instrument use, although if all you need is a basic tuner, you could find that a lot cheaper.Read full review
82
Negatives
Need to keep it recharged
Screen could be brighter
No D standard in presets
Positives
Saves your hands
Tunes variety of instruments
String winding feature
40 preset tunings
Capo tuning options
Snark ST-8 All Instrument Tuner and ST-2
The Snark SN-8 and ST-2 tuners are cheap, well-designed and accurate tuners for guitar and bass. Read full review
87
Negatives
High profile design can get knocked around
Can't handled downtuned bass very well
Positives
Great price
Easy to adjust
Accurate tuning for guitar and bass
TC Electronic Polytune 3 side
TC Electronic have hit the nail on the head with the Polytune 3, which has multiple modes, a tough build and is a breeze to use.Read full review
97
Negatives
Chromatic tuning mode is still what I ended up using most of the time
Positives
Competitively priced
Chromatic and poly tuning
Tough enough for touring
Buffered and true bypass operation
Easy to use
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