Best Violin Tuner Review in 2018

Finding a quality violin tuner that can also be used for your cello isn't as simple as hopping down to your local music store and selecting the most affordable tuner. You need a tuner that will enable you to play more effectively and properly maintain your instrument. Getting the right tuner will do much more than help you play with better intonation, it will also ensure your strings are at the right tension. This can add years to the life of your instrument.

Value Section

Best Violin Tuner

Essentially, four types of violin tuners exist. However, the best tuner for your situation is going to depend dramatically on your level of experience, the type of violin and your goals. The most basic and traditional violin tuner is the tuning fork. From there, it begins to get more sophisticated and to the expert player, more complicated as well.

Selection

When selecting a violin tuner, you first need to 

decide your goals. Can you easily hear perfect fifths? If so, all you need is a tuning fork. Get a tuning fork that plays A440, and you can tune the third string to the tuning fork. Then, tune the highest string a fifth above to get E natural, and tune the lower two strings a fifth below to get D and G, respectively. This is by far the best way to tune your instrument, and it is the most professional option. However, most of us need some help when starting out, so there are other tuners as well. By the way, if you're tuning a cello, the top string is A, and then you tune down the rest of the strings in fifths.

Electronic tuners tell you the exact pitch of your string. These tuners are ideal for the beginning or intermediate student. Another type of tuner is the clip-on tuner. These tuners attach to the scroll of your instrument to give you an even more exact pitch. Clip-on tuners are best suited for tuning in real-time during the breaks in a performance or rehearsal. Using a clip-on tuner can help you see your pitch in real-time and learn how your instrument behaves as you play. It can also help beginners get their finger position right. Finally, there is the hybrid violin tuner. Typically, this is a tuner can metronome in one. However, it can include all sorts of gadgets, but the best ones allow you to listen to the metronome and play at the same time.

Benefits

There are benefits to all four types of tuners. The tuning fork is something that every musician should own. So, we're going to recommend the best tuning fork you can buy. If you have a tuning fork in your case, you'll never have to worry about not having a reference pitch if the batteries in your electronic metronome die. Also, no matter what type of metronome you choose, you should consistently work towards learning to identify perfect fifths by ear.

Electronic metronomes are usually the go-to metronome for beginning and intermediate players. Professional players also typically have a few electronic metronomes that they have purchased throughout the years. However, you won't be like those professionals because you're going to purchase one high-quality tuning fork and one high-quality electronic metronome that you can keep for life. Spend more money now to save money in the future.

Buying Criteria

For the beginner who wants to skip the electronic violin tuner and go straight for the tuning fork, it's recommended that a set of tuning forks is purchased. This way, you'll have a tuning fork for each string. While you may be able to hear perfect fifths, it's always best to have a reference pitch.

For those looking for an electronic violin tuner, you'll want to consider the weight, quality of the tuner, warranty and feature-set. A hybrid tuner should include at least a metronome as part of the package. A stand-alone or clip-on tuner should have the ability to instantly register pitch and let you know clearly whether you are playing flat or sharp. A rechargeable option is nice to have since it prevents the need to carry around batteries. Even better, is a tuner that can be used with a wall outlet or on batteries.

Care and Use

If you're buying a tuning fork, then you need to purchase one that comes in a protective case. Erosion of the metal, chipping and deformation of your tuning fork will affect the sound. Even though you'll be banging your tuning fork on everything in sight, it's best to try to keep in from damage while in storage.

For an electronic tuner, you'll just need a decent bag to protect the screen and a place within your case to store your tuner. This is actually an important consideration. Check the dimensions of any storage compartments inside your case or that are in a hardened and protective pouch or compartment. It's great when you find a violin tuner that you can keep in your case since it provides extra protection and convenience when moving around.

Controversy

The only real controversy surrounding a violin tuner exists between the die-hard tuning fork camp and those who insist an electronic metronome can give you a better overall playing experience. The tuning fork won't let you know if you're in tune while playing, and you'll have to rely on your ear and experience for that. An electronic metronome will let you know what note you're playing and it will register the pitch in an instant.

Prerequisites

You'll have to know how to tune your instrument before you purchase a violin tuner. If you don't know how to properly tighten and install strings, then a violin tuner is pointless. Learn from a professional music teacher the best practices for instrument care before you attempt to tune your instrument. The last thing you want to do is tune your instrument too tightly and break the bridge, or worse.

If you don't yet know how to tune a violin, you should review this informative video to learn how. 

Five Best Violin Tuner

Wittner Tuning Fork with Wood Resonator Box

Best Violin Tuner

There are many cheap tuning forks available on the market, but these tuning forks aren't usually tuned to the standard orchestral concert pitch agreed upon by conductors around the world. Instead, many of the available tuning forks use scientific tuning, which tends to be off by a few cents from musical tunings. This tuning fork using a proper tuning of A440. However, the musician will still need to account for the tuning of the orchestra since some orchestras may choose to tune slightly sharp.

A tuning fork will always produce the same reliable pitch, but there is also an art to striking the tuning fork. The student must learn how to use a tuning fork for it to be the most effective. Additionally, the student will need to be able to hear open fifths to ensure that the instrument is properly tuned. This is a good training tool that can be used in addition to a regular digital or electronic tuner.

This tuning fork is made of reliable materials, so you can trust that it will last you for a long time. You’ll be able to use this tuning fork for years without any trouble, and it even comes with a resonator box to make the tuner more useful. Without a resonator box, the tone of the tuning fork might be lacking. The resonator box helps you get a good tuning each time without risking damage to the fork itself.

Pros

  • Musicianship: Enables the development of real musicianship skills by forcing the ear to tune the instrument.
  • Reliable: Doesn't require batteries, and it will always produce the same exact pitch.
  • Sturdy: The fork uses chrome plating, which is good for reducing rust and allowing exceptional vibration throughout.

Cons

  • Difficult: The student will have to develop the ability to match pitch and listen for out of tune strings.
  • Tension: If the student makes a mistake with the tuning and tightens the pegs too much, it could break the neck or bridge of the instrument.
  • Notes: The tuning fork only produces one pitch at A440, which is too high for the cello to tune in the same octave.

AxeRig Clip-On Chromatic Tuner

Best Violin Tuner

This tuner offers everything you need in a tuner. It's a versatile and easy to use tuner that can be clipped directly to the string you want to tune or the scroll to get a more general tuning of any pitch you play. This tuner also comes with a lifetime warranty, which should give musicians peace of mind when performing.

The tuner has a nice, large display that makes it easy to see what note is currently being played. It's small enough to be unobtrusive, and it won't get in the way of your playing. The tuner is perfect for its accuracy, and it registers pitches extremely quickly. It uses batteries, which means you need to watch the battery level to make sure you don't run out of battery right before an important performance.

One nice feature about this tuner is that you don't need to be able to see the screen to know you're playing the current note in tune. The note lights up with a green glow to let you know the current note you're playing is in tune. This tuner also works on virtually any instrument. While it's really designed for string instruments, you can use this effectively with vocal, brass, woodwinds and percussion instruments as well.

Pros

  • Display: Easily read display is perfect for on-stage use.
  • Accurate: The tuner is perfectly accurate, and it won't jump around trying to find your pitch.
  • Rotation: It's possible to rotate the tuner 360 degrees for the best viewing angle possible.

Cons

  • Simple: The tuner works so well, the musician may become dependent on it for tuning.
  • Compatible: Not specifically made for the violin or cello.
  • Features: While the tuner is full-featured, it doesn't contain any added extras like a metronome.

So There Rechargeable Clip-on

Best Violin Tuner

While this isn't a brand-name tuner, it still works remarkably well. The tuner works on any instrument, but you have to be careful to make certain you're using the right setting. If you don't use the setting that serves as the best match for your instrument, it may not register the notes correctly. The tuner does go through battery power pretty quickly, but the rechargeable nature of the device makes this a minor issue.

The tuner is small, which makes it an ideal tuner to fit in a compact instrument case. With a bright display, you'll be able to see what note you're playing in most conditions. While it works well for the cello and violin, lower-pitched instruments may not register so well. Additionally, the clip uses a finish that is designed to prevent damage to your instrument.

You'll also enjoy the extended frequency range to ensure you can tune every note of the violin and cello. The tuner seems to work in a full 360 degrees. This means there are no dead spots, but it can also cause some problems if other players are close by since it will pick up on the other frequencies around you. For a private practice session, this tuner is ideal. It’s affordable, robust and it will help you learn to play in tune.

Pros

  • Cost: Affordable tuner that will serve the immediate need of tuning strings.
  • Compact: Small design makes it easy to take with you anywhere.
  • Chromatic: The tuner is fully chromatic and works with all instruments.

Cons

  • Inexpensive: Made from lesser quality components, but should still work for most situations.
  • Response: The tuner doesn't have immediate response, and it may require you to hold the note for an accurate pitch.
  • Modes: Some of the modes are hard to access. The Ukulele mode won't register the notes D or B, which is intentional for a ukulele.

Flexzion Tuner Clip-On

Best Violin Tuner

This tuner feels a little cheaper than some of the other tuners. However, it's compact, accurate and does the job. The clip uses a rubber mat to prevent damage to your instrument. You'll also love the multi-angle view that makes it possible to adjust and see the display under a variety of conditions. The tuner works well and is designed for all string instruments, and it's even possible to tune a 12-string guitar.

The tuner is exceptionally lightweight, and you won't see it registering any difference in weight whether you pack it along in your pocket or in your instrument case. While it's excellent for traveling, it doesn't come with a case. This makes it more difficult to take along without worrying about damaging the display. However, the small form factor of this tuner makes it possible to easily add to most instrument cases.

A clear and bright display is crucial, and this tuner is designed to be very clear. However, it doesn't have any features that let you know when you're playing in tune. This can make it harder to use it in real-time. Players also need to guard against relying more on the tuner than their own ear. If an ensemble is playing out of tune, the instrumentalist needs to adjust to the group.

Pros

  • Compact: Small design works well for the violin and the cello.
  • Clear: A bright, high-resolution display is easy to read during rehearsals or private practice.
  • Angles: Use a multi-angle design that makes it easy to read from any viewpoint.

Cons

  • Features: Lacks any additional features such as a metronome.
  • Display: Doesn't beep or light up when you play the right note, which makes it harder to use during real-time playing.
  • Warranty: Doesn't include a warranty and may break down. However, the price is affordable and its easily replaced.

Artisan Metronome Tuner Clip-On

Best Violin Tuner

This is a handy little tuner that is affordable and comes with a metronome. The only real issue with the metronome is that it starts out at the loudest setting with no perceivable way to change the default setting. This can be bothersome when trying to warm-up for an audition since it will draw attention to the performer. The metronome also comes with eight rhythms to enable the performer to warm-up more effectively.

The display is a bit small, which can be an issue for those who have trouble reading the screen. It clips easily to the violin or cello, and it produces accurate results for any instrument. It's specifically designed for a string instrument, but it works well for any instrument in the orchestra. This is crucial since you never know when you'll need to help an ensemble member tune.

The tuner is fully chromatic, and it has a full 88-note range. This is the same range that the piano plays in, which makes it suitable for all string instruments. The LCD display can be rotated 360 degrees, which makes it possible to view the display from most angles. You'll love how accurate and sensitive it is, and it should provide users with years of reliable use at an extremely affordable price.

Pros

  • Accurate: This tuner is highly accurate and sensitive. It registers pitch quickly.
  • Support: Provides support for a range of instruments, but it is ideal for strings.
  • Clip: The clip makes it possible to connect it directly to the scroll.

Cons

  • Design: Some users may feel the tuner is too small, but the small factor makes it easier to use on string instruments.
  • Defaults: The metronome is set by default to the loudest setting.
  • Display: The display is small but detailed. However, the small design can make it difficult to see what note is played.

Conclusion

So, what's our verdict for the absolute best violin tuner? We're going to recommend two products. You'll need a good tuning fork and a good clip-on tuner. Practice using the tuning fork to tune your violin or cello, then verify the tuning using the AxeRig clip-on chromatic tuner. If you don't trust your ear, then use the tuning fork to sing a fifth above and below the tone. Check to make sure you're singing an E above or a D below. Once you can accurately sing these notes without the mechanical tuner, it's time to try tuning your strings without any external help.

We chose the tuning fork for its high level of accuracy and the fact it comes in a safe and sturdy case. The AxeRig tuner does exactly what you need with nothing else added. It also has a lifetime warranty, and it's going to help you learn to play in tune. With the ability to constantly monitor the notes you're playing, you'll be improving your pitch in no time "flat."

Stephanie Su
 

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