A while ago I bought a clip on chromatic tuner on eBay. Came from China and didn't cost much but I wasn't really happy with it. Somehow it seemed a lot less accurate than my hearing. Eventually I decided to get a better one. Snark had just brought out the SN8, which they claim to be super tight (the tuning, not the clip) and very fast. Yes it was better than the Chinese cheapo tuner, but I was not always happy with how accurate it was.

I have also used software tuners on the computer with the guitar plugged in. The one in Garage Band I find too sensitive and twitchy to read properly.

Recently I downloaded a whole lot of chromatic tuner apps to my phone, one of which was DaTuner (Lite!) for Android (lite = free). To my mind this is in a completely different league from anything I have used before. It isn't so twitchy that it never registers in tune, but it is accurate enough that it sounds right to me. Because it is on a phone the display is big, bright and clear. What's more it is free (there is a donation version if you need it).

I appreciate that it would be of no use if you are trying to tune up at a gig where you can't even hear your own playing. The Snark will still be used in the unlikely event that I do something like that, but for normal tuning and particularly for things like setting the bridge accurately this is now my first choice. Did I say that it is free.

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Thanks for the tip John! I have just bought a new phone (after 9 years!) and will give that a try, though i got an SN8 after using yours at Boxstock and it is a lot stabler, esp. in "vibration" mode!  guitars hate travelling, they always need re-tuning at a gig and i think the heat and humidity at a venue affects them greatly. (-:

Another good free tuner for android is called gstrings I use it all the time and is easy and free

I've used G-Strings too and it is a great free tuner.  Presently I'm using Ultimate Guitar's "Guitar Tools" on Android and it works great.  It has a metronome, chromatic tuner, brain tuner (audible) which includes different tunings for 6 strings, and a chord library.  I think it was $1.99.  No ads to distract or accidently click on the paid version.

The phone version seems to work better than my Samsung Tablet.  I think the mic is too sensitive on the tablet and it is very twitchy.

Yes, DaTuner Lite is great. I had a basic 1990s tuner and was about to spend cash on a better one, for home use only. Then I looked on the web and found this app. Really easy to use and free. Great stuff !

One point is that there are loads of free apps out there, and a whole lot of very cheap ones as well if you feel the need to pay. I downloaded 9 or 10 and tried each one. My choice was mainly down to how simple it was and how much I liked the display. Personal preference will play a big part. Try them all for free and dump the ones you don't like. Can't do that with a clip-on tuner.

What I don't know is how much the various microphones in different handsets play a part - I suspect quite a lot. I am using a Sony Xperia.

Steve. I know how much you love your SatNav because you wrote a song to it but I have to tell you, these phones do a great job there as well. Up to date speed camera warnings and traffic info too. My SatNav has been put away.

Eric. What the hell is a brain tuner? Conjures up visions of tuning forks stuck in the ears. Ouch.

The brain tuner uses your brain (ear).  So you set the tuning of your git to standard, open G or whatever.  Then you tap the screen for the string you want to tune and it loops the tone for that note. Go to the next string on the screen, tap and hear the tone.  You have to match the tones you hear. . .using your brain.

Not obvious, I know.  Pretty cool though.  Especially since you can set the tuning to a variety of different configurations.  I mostly use the chromatic tuner with all notes, however.

Also, I'm using an HTC Thunderbolt.

just as well i didn't get TomTom Live! - lots of problems reported...like not working for 2 weeks! (-8

will try the phone one too.

They are not all created equal **
Digital tuners use FFTs (fast-Fourier transforms) which is an extremely complex mathematical operation..

I can think of one iPhone app off the top of my head which is free and distributed by a famous American guitar company starting with G and the tuner is not even remotely accurate and neither is the metronome!
Check it against one you trust. I use clear tune on the iPhone, it's a couple bucks but well worth it to have one in your pocket for sure

i use the Gibson L&M app on my phone crackin little app

has a tuner with various modes and metronme, chords and even lessons.........

Gstrings is my favorite but I also have DaTuner and Tun-d Free

Just checked DaTuner Lite against my A 440 tuning fork and it's spot on.

Hi Digly.

I did the same with an A and a C tuning fork with the same result. Nice to know my tuning forks are still in tune, or is it the other way round.

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