What is the best ukulele tuner? I have been playing the ukulele for a good while now. As a result, I have used several tuners. I am going to tell you now, the vast majority of the tuners I have used are terrible. We are talking tuners which are not accurate in the slightest. We are talking tuners which are just plain cumbersome to use. Using these tuners sucks the fun out of playing the instrument as what you are playing is never going to sound as brilliant as it can.
So, I set out to find the best ukulele tuner out there, and I think I have found it. Let me introduce you to the best ukulele tuner on the market: Snark SN6 Clip-on Ukulele Tuner. We will then, briefly, cover how to tune a ukulele with this and other similar tuners.
Best Ukulele Tuner: Snark SN6 Clip-On Ukulele Tuner
Typically when I look for a new best ukulele tuner, I tend to veer away from the cheaper end of the market. These tuners tend to have poor quality components which mean that they are not very great.
I picked this one out of a friend’s bag because I did not have my tuner to hand. I must say, when I first got my hands on it, I thought that it was a far more expensive tuner. I never anticipated that it was the same price as a couple of coffees.
This instantly showed me that the best ukulele tuner out there may not even have been one of the most expensive around. So, try to ignore the cost if you can, because the Snark SN6 packs a punch.
While this is listed as a ukulele tuner, it can actually be used on several different instruments. We will come to why soon. So, therefore, if you play ukuleles, guitars, or even violins, then you may want to introduce this one into your arsenal. It works wonderfully well for all of them.
The main issue I have with some tuners out there is the fact that they are not very accurate. Clip on tuners, like this one, work by sensing the vibrations on the headstock.
When it gets loud, it can cause small vibrations in the headstock. This can throw the tuner out of sync, meaning that it will not be 100% accurate. This is where this tuner differs. Yes, it is a clip-on tuner and, yes, it is going to sense vibrations too (and it is accurate at that!) but if you wish, it also has a microphone built into it.
You can turn this microphone on at the flick of a switch. This means that it works well in live situations.
It is this microphone feature which makes the best ukulele tuner so great at working with other instruments. However, this is not the only reason. Most ukulele tuners on the market only register the notes GCEA. They do not need to do anything more than that. This one can check the tuning of all notes. This means that it can work well with all instruments.
The design is fantastic too. One of my favorite features of this ukulele tuner is that the head of it can be rotated 360 degrees. This makes it easy to view. The tuner is lit brightly so you can easily tune your instrument, even if it is a little bit dark.
The screen is a touch larger than some of the other tuners that I have worked with, and I must say that I love that! Some of the cheaper tuners on the market have smaller screens which can make it tough to focus. You may even end up with the wrong tuning, which is never going to be good.
A real highlight of the design is the ‘padded’ clips. Many of the cheaper tuners on the market are not padded. This means that they can ruin the headstock of your ukulele. This, of course, is not going to be good if your instrument is expensive. The Snark does not do that. It is kind and gentle.
There are a couple of extra features thrown in for good measure. One of my favorites is the inclusion is the calibration buttons on the back. This is useful if, say, you are trying to calibrate your ukulele to an instrument which is ever so slightly out of tune e.g. a piano. It makes it easier to accompany it.
I am very hard-pressed to find something wrong with the tuner. I think the only real issue is the fact that the design may not be for everybody. However, even then, try to look beyond that. This really is the best ukulele tuner that money can buy right now.
How to Tune A Ukulele
It is all well and good having the best guitar tuner around, but if you do not know how to use it, then it just is pointless owning it. This means that you must learn how to tune a ukulele. The information in this section is going to go a long way towards helping you.
Firstly, it is important that you know what the pitch of your guitar is meant to be. It is likely that you have a soprano or tenor ukulele. If that is the case, then the strings should be GCEA. If you do not have a tenor or soprano instrument, or you are unsure, then please carry out your research. This is important when it comes to tuning your ukulele.
It is also important to know how your tuning pegs work. Obviously, all you should do is twist them. This will change the pitch. If your ukulele tuner says that your guitar is too low in pitch, then you will tighten them.
If it says that it is too high in pitch, then you will loosen them. I know that this may sound like obvious information, but you must know it. This is because there are several people out there who will overtighten the strings on their guitar.
This leads to the string snapping. You do not want this. Strings snapping due to being overtightened tends to be most common on the highest pitched strings on the ukulele as they are a lot thinner.
Once you know that, it is important that you know how to identify the strings. Again, I am going to assume that you have either a tenor or a soprano ukulele here. I am also going to assume that you are playing the instrument right-handed.
The top string will be the G, then the C, then E and finally the A. This is important to know as you will be tuning the instrument to these notes.
While there are several ways in which you can tune your ukulele, including:
- Tuning it to a piano
- Tuning fork
- Pitch pipe
- ‘By ear.’
The easiest and the most efficient method for tuning your guitar is by using an electronic tuner. If you choose a quality tuner, like the one that we discussed previously on this page, then it is going to be far more accurate. This means you will end up with a ukulele that sounds great. If you have an electronic tuner, clip it to the headstock of the instrument and switch it on.
Now you can start to tune the individual strings. Start from the top and work your way down. Look at the electronic tuner to see how in tune you are. One of the followings will happen:
- It will list your note and say that you are in tune. This happens when the needle is in the center of the tuner.
- If will list your note and the needle will be in the + or the -. If it is the plus, then loosen the strings. If it is in the negative, then tighten the strings.
- The note will be wrong. What you must do will be dependent on the note that is displayed. If the note displayed is a higher pitch than what you are aiming for, then down tune until the correct note is displayed. If it is a lower pitch, then tune the ukulele up.
It is important to note that if you wish for your ukulele to be in tune, then you must invest in the best ukulele tuner. There are far too many people out there who have poor quality tuners. There are even more people how there who do not put the research into how to tune a ukulele correctly.
If you are one of these people, then your ukulele is going to sound abysmal. An instrument which is even slightly out of tune can really hamper the playing experience. You will never be able to get the correct sound that you want, which can often make you feel like you are not a brilliant player. Trust me, you probably are. You just need to make sure that you get that ukulele into tune right at the start!