Best ukulele tuners
A tuner is essential for anyone who regularly plays a string instrument and wants it to sound just right. Violins, guitars and cellos all need to be regularly tuned to keep them sounding the best they can, and ukuleles are no different. Below, learn which tuners are best for ukuleles as well as some popular apps you can try to get your ukulele in tune.
Why is a ukulele tuner necessary?
With use and over time, the strings on a ukulele are likely to naturally loosen and stretch, which leads to them becoming out of tune. Out-of-tune strings are either flat (below the correct pitch) or sharp (above the correct pitch) and will sound pretty unpleasant when played. Investing in a quality tuner for your ukulele will keep your instrument sounding its best.
If your ukulele is old and you’re noticing that your strings are going out of tune very regularly, it may be time to change the strings rather than constantly re-tuning them. On very old ukes, the sound quality generally decreases over the years and replacing strings can save time and money in the long run, as well as improving the sound.
The best ukulele tuners
KLIQ UberTuner: available at Amazon
This clip-on tuner offers professional-quality tuning for a range of string instruments. As well as being used for ukulele tuning, it is also compatible with guitar, bass, mandolin and violin. If you play more than one string instrument, the KLIQ tuner is a great option, as you can tune many instruments with one small device. It features an adjustable and bright screen for displaying the pitch of your instrument. It’s also designed to be super durable and long-lasting for musicians on the road, so if you’re taking it on the go with you it will withstand a few bumps without breaking.
Snark SN6X Clip-On Tuner: available at Amazon
This little tuner is inexpensive but still offers reliable quality with every use. Its HD display makes the tuner easy to read. It’s also fully adjustable and can be turned a full 360 degrees, meaning that it’s suitable for both left-handed and right-handed players. You won’t need to worry about a poor fit or your tuner sliding off, as this clip-on is specifically designed for ukuleles and its clips have grips to ensure they stay firmly in place while being used. Batteries are also included, so you can begin tuning right away.
Rinastore Clip-on Tuner: available at Amazon
Ideal for both professional players and beginners, this tuner has five different tuning modes: ukulele, guitar, violin, bass and chromatic. Its chromatic mode is suitable for use on almost any other string instrument. With advanced and highly sensitive sensors, this tuner is still effective when used in loud environments. If you’re looking for a super-compact tuner, this one is very portable at only 1.2 inches wide.
Best ukulele tuner apps
If you’re trying to keep equipment to a minimum, many devices including phones and tablets offer downloadable apps to help you tune your ukulele. They’re often just as effective as using a real-life tuner and are super quick and easy to use.
Best of the best
This app can be downloaded and used with iPhone, iOS and Android devices. While it’s technically designed for guitar tuning, the app still works very effectively for ukulele players. It’s very simple to use, with a noise alert that lets you know when your string reaches the correct pitch. It is completely free to download and use for tuning, but there are optional add-on advanced features that require a paid version.
Best for apple devices
Unlike many tuners and tuning apps available which offer ukulele tuning but are designed for guitars, this one is intended specifically for use with a ukulele. The app offers both automatic and manual tuning modes and is simple to use. The downside is that the app is specific to Apple, so it’s unfortunately incompatible with Android or other operating systems.
Best for Android devices
Unlike the above, this tuner is only compatible with Android devices. Using your device’s microphone, this tuner provides precise tuning with each use. As well as standard tuning, this app also allows for baritone and bass-tuning, depending on the model of ukulele being used. The app also offers a helpful guide detailing how to tune your instrument, which is great for beginners and those wanting to improve their tuning skills.
Tuning by ear
Ukuleles can be tuned by ear, but this is harder to do and can be time-consuming. Tuning by ear usually requires a more experienced musician who knows their instrument well and has a little knowledge of music theory. If you’re a beginner and want to learn more about your ukulele and tuning by ear, this ukulele music theory book is a great place to start.
Heather Roy is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money.
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