Tuning With An Electric Tuner

While the app we provide here at UkeTune is enough to get you started with tuning your ukulele, you may find yourself wanting something more. You may want to invest in an electronic tuner. They provide a quicker and more accurate way to tune. Let's look at the different types of electronic tuners:

Chromatic tuners

You'll want to get a chromatic tuner. This means the tuner will show you all 12 notes. Many cheap tuners will be advertised as "Guitar tuners" or "Bass tuners" and will only tune the notes in the basic tuning for that instrument, e.g. EADGBE for guitar. There are even ukulele tuners that will just show GCEA tunings. However chromatic tuners usually don't cost much more, and will allow you much more flexibility in the future if you want to use alternate tunings - plus you can use it on a number of instruments.

Standard Electronic Tuners

A standard electronic tuner usually consists of three main components.

1. A screen that displays the current note and a needle (or similar indicator) displaying how close you are to the proper note.
2. A small microphone to pick up the plucked note from your uke.
3. A 1/4" input jack, if your instrument has an electric output.

I've had a few of these over the years, and while they worked great for my guitars, I've had mixed luck with my ukuleles. The microphone doesn't always pick up the notes. Some tuners work perfectly though, so if you go this route it may be best to try it out in person.

A variation of this is a pedal tuner, which is useful if you're performing and your uke has an electric output. This only has a plug, and you can easily see the note you are tuning while on stage, with the added benefit of muting your output when activated.

Clip-on Tuners

A few years ago, clip-on tuners hit the market, and they're very useful for us uke players. They work by clipping onto the headstock your instrument and reading the vibrations. I've found these to be very accurate on my ukuleles, and unlike a microphone based tuner, they work in noisy environments. My sister even uses one on her harp with good results. Again, you'll want to make sure you get a chromatic one for the greatest flexibility. Here are a few of my recommendations: