Unless you have perfect tone, a good violin tuner can make a huge difference in the quality of your practice and performance. Note that these tuners are not only compatible with violins, but also with guitars, ukeleles and some other stringed instruments. You just want to make sure the tuner detects all 12 pitches of the chromatic scale.
Violin Tuner Buying Guide
Why buy a violin tuner?
Violin strings go out of tune for several reasons. Strings require routine tuning and require frequent tweaking until you have them broken in. Adjustment pegs can slip. Forceful use of the bow and left hand can affect string positioning, and changes in temperature and humidity can cause your strings to expand or contract. Much like applying rosin to prevent horsehair from slipping and binding on your bow, keeping your violin in tune is fundamental to the quality of your performance.
What should you look for in a violin tuner?
- Design: Four of the five tuners we review here are clip-on tuners. Quality clip-on tuners are lightweight, compact, and attach securely to the headstock of your violin. Look for clips that you can rotate to get the right angle and adjust the LCD digital screen. Another design to consider is the standalone tuner. A quality kickstand needs to be in the back to see it while you tune. If not, look for another product. A stand-alone tuner lets you tune without worrying about the angle of a clip.
- Function: Yes, a tuner does what its name suggests. But some models do more than indicate whether the tone is off or on. Additional features include built-in metronomes, built-in microphones, high vibration sensors, and more. You may or may not want the whole kit and caboodle. Some violinists don’t want to use the microphone function because they think it can be less accurate. However, there are three-in-one tuners to consider if you’re interested.
- Display: Most, perhaps all, tuners with digital LCD screens are advertised as easy to read, but there’s no way to tell how easy you’ll find it to read a tuner’s screen up. for you to try it. We recommend that you take a close look at the product images to determine which might be your favorite. Some tuners feature black LCD displays with colored LED indicators, while others have colored LCD displays with white LED indicators. You can try looking at other devices you have at home, like digital alarm clocks, digital home security displays, etc.
How much should you expect to spend on a violin tuner?
You’re lucky; most tuners are quite affordable, at least compared to other electronic equipment. The KLIQ MetroPitch costs around $24, the most expensive tuner we’re reviewing here. And the cheapest is only about $7. With a quick search, we couldn’t find any violin tuners with a price above $50.
Our picks for the best violin tuners
Advantages: Fender has been heralded as a leading brand in guitars, amps and audio. The FCT-2 clip-on tuner works on both violins and guitars as it is designed to read pitch on the chromatic scale. This tuner has a large, colorful LCD display, making it easy to read the tuning needle. It shows you how close each note is. Turn the peg for each string and the needle will move to the center if it approaches the correct pitch. There’s also a built-in vibration sensor for gaming in noisy environments. Thanks to the double-hinged design, you can mount the FCT-2 on either side of your violin headstock.
The inconvenients: You may have to deal with glare if playing outdoors or under bright lights, which makes it difficult to read the LCD screen.
Conclusion: This basic yet reliable violin tuner gets the job done, takes up little space, and includes the CR2032 rechargeable battery it needs to operate.
best metronome tuner
Advantages: Use the MetroPitch to tune your violin, keep time and train your ear. It’s a powerful three-in-one device that measures just 4.3 x 0.6 x 2.4 inches and has a built-in folding kickstand. It has a tuning range of A0-C8, a calibration range of 410-450 Hertz, and preset tuning modes for the violin. The metronome offers a range of 30 to 250 beats per minute to help you with the tempo. There are a variety of rhythm patterns to choose from to improve your timing in different musical styles. The large needle-like digital LCD display turns red to indicate your violin is out of tune and green if you’re ready to go.
The inconvenients: The high-sensitivity built-in mic can be a quick way to tune in, but it can pick up ambient noise.
Conclusion: Along with all the quality fundamentals of a decent tuner, the MetroPitch comes with two AAA batteries and a nifty carrying pouch. Choose from colorful metallic finishes like red, gold, and blue, as well as black and pewter gray.
Excellent refillable choice
An energy-saving rechargeable tuner with piezo pickup precision.
Advantages: This clip-on tuner has a rechargeable lithium battery and great overall economic value. This tuner includes a microprocessor and a piezo tuner. What is a piezo tuner? Good question. We know that this is electrical polarization, created by the application of mechanical stresses. Also called a piezo pickup tuner, this instrument looks for the exact frequency of vibration, not just the sound of a note, to test its pitch. The tuner has a large, bright display and can be adjusted to three angles. You get a USB cord with the tuner to charge the battery from any device.
The inconvenients: Some users say the tuner is big and clunky.
Conclusion: The price is right and the rechargeable battery lasts up to six hours when fully charged. Its sensor makes it unique and effective.
Most adorable option
Advantages: Well, this chromatic tuner is so cute it would be hard to pass up. It’s an owl! Clip it onto your violin like you would any other clip-on tuner. It has a clear LCD display, an adjustment range of A0-C8 and a calibration frequency of 440 Hertz. It covers the basics. Use it on a guitar, bass, or ukulele. It would dress up any stringed instrument.
The inconvenients: It does not have the highest quality material and durability.
Conclusion: This owl shaped tuner will make violin practice more fun for kids and adults. The owl is available in black, white, brown, blue and pink. And there is also a green alien design option.
The best value for money
Advantages: Rotate the tuner clip 360 degrees and adjust it up to 90 degrees forward and backward to get the best view of its LCD digital display. A needle on the screen indicates low, high and precise tone states. The tuner’s range is OA-8C (27.5-4186.01 Hertz) and can be used for almost any standard 6C pitch string instrument. When tuning your violin for practice or performance, relax knowing that the tuner’s high-vibration sensor responds so quickly it masks background noise. The FCC and CE certified JOYO tuner features environmentally friendly ABS plastic and weighs only 0.81 ounces.
The inconvenients: The tuner does not come with the required CR2032 battery.
Conclusion: This lightweight and compact clip-on device makes adjustment easy. Just press the button to turn it on. If you forget to turn it off, the tuner turns off after five minutes of non-use. It’s a nifty way to save battery juice!
We hope we have set you up to find the best violin tuner for you. It should be easy to use and improve your sound, making you a better performer.