A ukulele tuner is nothing short of essential when you buy your ukulele. It is how you keep your ukulele in tune and playable. In this article, we’re looking at the best ukulele tuner options. You can find the ideal option at a budget to suit you.
In a Hurry? Here Are the Best Ukulele Tuners
Types of Tuner
Most people are looking for a digital ukulele tuner. You can buy a model that is not digital, a pitch pipe tuner. These are unreliable and mean you have to change the tune based on your hearing. You blow into a pipe and alter the sound to match the pitch. They’re not very scientific.
It is worth buying a digital tuner. There are lots of different models of digital tuner with different designs.
- Clip-on tuners sit on the end of your instrument and make it easy to see the tune while playing.
- Pedal tuners rely on a digital signal. They sit in your pedalboard and let you tune up while checking the pitch.
- Tabletop tuners tend to be reserved for studio use. They aren’t as portable.
You can also buy specific ukulele tuners or some tuners that are made for multiple instruments and have a ukulele setting.
How Do I Tune My Ukulele With a Tuner?
Normally, ukulele tuners work by showing a dial. This detects which string you are playing. The tuner dial has a spot in the middle when it reaches this indicator, it is tuned perfectly. You need to continue playing your string (one at a time) until you reach the perfect pitch for that string, then move on to the next.
It can be hard to understand how to use a tuner without seeing it in action. This video helps you to see an example of a tuner in action.
What Should I Tune My Ukulele To?
What is the tuning for a ukulele? The standard tuning is g4-c4-e4-a4 (or just G-C-E-A). It is an unusual tuning because it doesn’t ascend in tune. The C is lower than the G. Most instruments get lower or higher as you go up or down the strings.
Concert, soprano and tenor ukuleles are tuned to this. Some baritone models may be tuned to E-A-D-G like the first four strings of a guitar. As you get better at ukulele you will understand more about the tuning and how it works, there are different tunings available.
How Much is a Ukulele Tuner?
How much should you spend on a decent ukulele tuner? The prices can vary quite a bit depending on the features you need. For a good digital tuner, even the best on the market, you shouldn’t spend more than around $30.
You can find tuners for around $10. Some of these don’t have the best microphones to pick up the tone. This can make it hard to tune accurately.
If you are a multi-instrumentalist, it is worth buying a tuner that can cope with multiple instruments. This can save money in the long run. Some tuners have a setting for ukuleles and a setting for guitars, as well as some other instruments.
Generally, a tuner is a cheap investment. A digital tuner can be a good choice to provide reliable tuning for years to come.
How Often to Tune
This varies depending on the model of ukulele you have. While the strings are adjusting and settling, you probably will need to tune more often. This means at the start of the lifespan of a set of strings, tuning will definitely need to be done before each session of playing or practice.
After this, you should become pretty accustomed to what sounds right and wrong. Tuning should take place as soon as you suspect a string out of tune.
A lot of players ritualistically tune before playing their ukulele. Eventually, you may even be good enough to tune ukulele by ear, but it always helps to use a tuner to be sure.
Clip-On Tuner or Not?
A clip-on tuner does what you would suspect. It clips onto your ukulele. Usually on the headstock of the instrument. This can help it to pick up vibrations, and it is also a convenient way to use your tuner. Some people might even keep their tuner attached most of the time.
Think about when you will be tuning. If you play on stage or at practice a clip-on tuner can be the most convenient option.
5 of the Best Ukulele Tuners
1. Snark SN6X Clip-On Tuner for Ukulele – Best Ukulele Tuner
Snark manufactures a lot of tuners for a variety of instruments. They also have multi-tuners. The SN6X is a ukulele specific model. It has a lot of features and reliability. This tuner is clip-on and can site reliably on your instrument.
- Easy to attach, you can put it on the front or rear of the headstock.
- Rotates 360 degrees so you can simply and easily see what is displayed.
- Color display also makes it easier to see.
- Has an inbuilt metronome.
- Not as accurate for professional musicians as some other options.
The accuracy is more than good enough for hobbyists and beginners. If you are using it in a recording studio, the 100% accuracy might not quite be there. As an affordable choice from a brand with a big reputation for making convenient tuners, this is a fantastic model. It has a lot of flexibility and easily attaches to your instrument.
2. KLIQ UberTuner - Professional Clip-On Tuner – Best For All Instruments
This is the sort of tuner that you will find in recording studios or used by engineers. It’s very reliable and accurate and can be used for lots of different instruments. If you play guitar, too, or plan to learn another instrument that needs tuning, the Kliq could be for you.
- The tuner works very quickly, but the Piezo Sensor is extremely accurate.
- It has a bright display that shows whether you are in tune or not even in dark spaces.
- Automatically detects the pitch from vibration so it doesn’t matter if there is ambient noise.
- Durable design, and comes with a 3-year warranty from the manufacturers.
- Much more expensive than some of the other ukulele tuners on the market.
It does cost a bit more, but for those who need to tune multiple instruments, this is ideal. It can detect pitch and tune very accurately in very little time. It has a professional feel to it, and bright display so you can always see what you’re doing when tuning. If you don’t mind spending a little more, the KLIQ UberTuner could be a good option.
3. D'Addario NS Micro Sound Hole Tuner – Best Sound Hole Tuner for Ukulele
While most tuners are pretty similar, this ukulele tuner is a bit different. Some people prefer sound hole tuners. They sit in the sound hole, and detect the tune from the resonant chamber. This type of tuner can be more accurate.
If you are tuning in an area where there is a lot of different ambient noise, a sound hole tuner can help to stop these sounds getting in the way and tainting your tuning.
- Can fit inside the ukulele, but also other acoustic instruments.
- Stays concealed and is only visible by the person playing the instrument.
- High quality piezo transducer to give you an accurate reading.
- Bright and multi-colored display allows you to read wherever you are.
- A bit of a fragile design. It may not last as long, and can break if you are often clipping and unclipping on different instruments.
It’s best if you can leave this tuner attached to one instrument rather than keep swapping it around. If you feel like a small and concealed model of tuner might be best, the D’Addario NS Micro Sound Hole Tuner is an option to consider.
4. Ranch Clip-On Tuner Specialized for Ukulele and Guitar – Budget Option
If you are looking for the cheapest option that provides you a passable option for ukulele and guitar then this might be the choice for you. It is not elite quality, but if you are a beginner looking for a model that can tell you when your instrument is in tune, this could be the best uke tuner to get you started.
- Swivel clamp lets you see the tuner at different angles.
- Clips on to your instrument with ease.
- Automatically detects the pitch of the string you are trying to tune.
- Not as accurate as some of the other options on the market.
- Bigger than some of the other tuners, so not as discreet.
This isn’t the most amazing tuner you will ever use, but to get you started it can be an affordable option. There’s no need to spend more than you have to.
5. Rinastore Clip-On Tuner For Guitar, Bass, Violin, Ukulele & Chromatic Tuning Modes – Best Value Multi Instrument Tuner
The Rinastore is a great option for people who are looking for a multi-instrument tuner but don’t want to spend a lot of money. This can be used on bass, violin, and guitar as well as ukulele.
- In spite of the low price, this has a quality Piezo sensor.
- Cones with a one year warranty.
- Clips onto your instrument and has a 360-degree swivel clamp.
- Made with soft silicone so it doesn’t scratch your instrument.
- Very compact at just 1.2 inches wide.
- Not quite as accurate as some other options on the market.
A multi-instrument tuner doesn’t have to cost the earth. This is good quality, and great for putting in your gig bag and taking to performance and practice sessions.
The Snark SN6X Clip-On Tuner for Ukulele has been named the best ukulele tuner on our list of the top options. It has the facility to clip on to your ukulele, and it is also great for those who need a metronome, too. It’s easy to see even in dark venues.
If you are looking for a tuner specifically for ukulele, this could be the option for you. There are other options on our list which are multi-instrument tuners, so if you play another instrument they might be worth considering. The KLIQ UberTuner is a good option for people who tune guitars, too.