Forgot your tuner at home? Need to tune your guitar and you want to do it accurately? Look no further, then. If you have an Android phone and the following apps will definitely help you.
I know my fellow guitar players will probably have other trusted tuning solutions such as clip-on tuners but I find these apps useful in situations where I just don’t have my tuner or I’m about to play someone else’s guitar.
Note: To tune, pluck the string in question audibly so that your phone’s microphone can pick up the sound. If you’re playing an electric, even if you’re not plugged into an amplifier, hold the microphone close to the strings and this should suffice.
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1. Tune Your Guitar
Tune Your Guitar is a simple app which will allow you to get your guitar quickly in standard E-A-D-G-B-E tuning by ear.
Simply press the button at the bottom of the screen which corresponds to the string you want to tune and the app will play back the corresponding frequency of sound.
You can also press the loop button to keep the sound going for any string until you get it fully in tune.
That’s pretty much all there is to this app and it does serve its purpose. Sometimes this is all we need to quickly get up and running. The other apps, however, offer a wider range of features which you may find useful.
2. T4A Guitar Tuner
T4A Guitar Tuner makes it easy for you to tune your guitar with an interface which is easy to distinguish and navigate.
You can either set the app to automatic tuning or you can tune each string manually. In manual mode, the app will only listen for the particular note you choose and will allow you to get the corresponding string in tune.
T4A will tell you the frequency the string you’re tuning is vibrating at and will translate this into how ‘sharp’ or ‘flat’ the note is. In addition, this app also allows users the to use the tunings displayed in the screenshot below as opposed to simply standard tuning.
Overall T4A carries a decent feature set and is a great tool for tuning your guitar.
3. PitchLab Pro
PitchLab Pro is a comprehensive app which allows users to customize the tuning experience.
When you pluck a string on your guitar and the app picks this up, the note you played, its frequency and how close it is to the desired frequency will be displayed. The tuning interface has 2 skins which are referred to as instrument mode and stage tuner mode which can be seen below in the screenshots with instrument mode on the left and stage tuner mode on the right.
Stage tuner mode more easily accommodates operation of the app from a distance. Users also have the ability to adjust the reference note, change temperament and select the scale transposition among other options. Fiddling with the app settings opens up several possibilities.
PitchLab Pro is quite a useful app offering from the most basic to the most advanced functions you can find in a tuner. However, there are some options such as the Pitch Spectrogram which can only be accessed by purchasing an upgrade. Even without these options, PitchLab Pro is quite adequate.
4. Guitar Tuner
Guitar Tuner is a feature packed guitar tuning app which will ensure you get your guitar in tune and more.
Guitar Tuner gives users the options of automatic tuning or tuning via manual mode. In other words, the app will either automatically recognize which string you are tuning or you can manually single out a particular string that you want to tune.
Guitar Tuner like most of the other contenders, displays the frequency the plucked string is vibrating at, identifies the note and tells users how ‘sharp’ or ‘flat’ the note is. Users can also choose alternative tunings as seen below, as well as tune their ukuleles.
The app also contains a tone generator which allows for tuning by ear. To access the tone generator, click on the icon that looks like a pitchfork and the arrows can be used to adjust the frequency or you can enter your desired value of frequency manually.
You also have access to a chromatic tuner by clicking on the ‘A4’ button.
Guitar Tuner provides many useful features for getting your guitar in tune and sounding your best.
GuitarTuna functions quite well and offers functionality beyond its tuning capabilities.
You can choose to have the app automatically detect which string you are trying to tune or you can manually select the note you want to tune.
This is purely visual but you can also change the appearance of the tuner by changing the headstock which appears to that of either an acoustic or electric guitar. This option can be accessed in settings and selecting ‘Guitar headstock’.
There is also a left handed mode which thankfully takes lefties into consideration and displays left handed guitar headstocks.
What is also quite neat is the ability to choose the tuner convention.
Additionally, users have the ability to improve accuracy by choosing the Pro accuracy option or by calibrating the tuner based on your required frequency as seen below.
GuitarTuna also comes bundled with a built-in chord library, metronome and song teaching functionalities. However, in order to access alternative tunings, you will have to purchase some upgrades within the app. It is, however, overall an impressive app.
These apps offer users several possibilities and are all quite effective. You will simply need to select one or even more than one based on your desired feature set.