There are many ukulele tuners on the market, but what will work best for your ukulele needs? Well, there are several factors to consider when selecting a ukulele tuner, but there are a few that are consistently well-liked and receive the best ratings from customers.
The best ukulele tuner is the Snark tuner. D’Addario tuners also work quite well. Clip-on tuners work better than tuning apps, though both work. These tuners cost between $10 and $20 and can be found online and at most stores where ukuleles are sold.
There are many tuners on the market, and many teachers and players align on the ones they recommend. Some of the best ukulele tuners are listed below with descriptions of their best and worst qualities to help you make an informed decision on which tuner will be best for you.
The Best Clip-On Tuners for Ukuleles
It’s recommended to tune your ukulele frequently because the strings are plastic and stretch out a lot over time. You will need to tune your ukulele a lot in the beginning, but as the strings become more stable with time, you won’t need to rely on a tuner as often.
However, it is always a good idea to tune your ukulele right before playing it to make sure your notes and chords will sound proper. It may involve a simple tune check, or you may actually need to fully tune it. This is why it is so important to have a quality ukulele tuner that you can use every time you play.
While there are many different shapes and sizes available for ukulele and guitar tuners, there are some options that are of higher quality than others. One helpful feature of ukulele tuners is a clip-on attachment. This allows you to clip the tuner onto your ukulele, freeing up your hands to play the notes and adjust the strings as needed.
There are many clip-on tuners made for ukuleles, and they can often range in price and functionality. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of recommended options so that you don’t overspend while still getting a quality tuner.
The Snark Tuner is widely considered to be the best tuner for ukuleles. It is a classic clip-on tuner that is very easy to use. One of its best features is that it is rechargeable. Other tuners are often powered by batteries, which means that you will need to replace your tuner’s batteries often. If the batteries in your tuner are dying, your tuner might not work properly as well. Snark tuners are incredibly convenient, as they allow you to simply plug them in when not in use, saving you from having to make a trip to the store just so you can play an in-tune ukulele.
Snark products and tuners are very highly recommended by ukulele players and music teachers. You can buy one on Amazon conveniently at $19, and they are sold in most music stores.
This is a great price for an item that will last and will serve you well for years. It is compact, can easily be stored, and is convenient to use.
This type of tuner is known as a chromatic tuner, which is a simple clip-on tuner that uses a microphone to listen and tell you when to tighten or loosen strings based on your desired key.
People also love the GuitarX tuner because it works well and is similar to other clip-on tuners. It costs about $18, making it similarly affordable to the Snark Tuner.
The colors indicate whether the instrument you are tuning is properly tuned or not, on the left it is yellow, the middle is green, and on the right is red. This lets you know that the strings on your ukulele are either too tight, too loose, or just right for the note you’re tuning to. It is simple to use and is highly accurate.
This ukulele tuner is also a very well-known and well-liked option on the market. The D’Addario brand is well trusted and is known for making high-quality tuners.
Some customer reviews even show a preference for D’Addario tuners over Snark tuners! However, which one you will prefer will vary depending on your preferences and experience with the tuner you purchase.
This D’Addario tuner costs about $30. While this may seem expensive for a tuner, it is a fantastic tuner that will last for years. It is also regularly on sale, although exactly when it is on sale and how much it costs while on sale varies depending on the retailer.
The Best Tuning Phone Apps for Ukuleles
Tuning apps are great for traveling musicians and musicians that are on tight budgets. If you need to have a backup tuner or you travel a lot and your phone works best, there are many tuning apps you can get. These apps are also highly useful when you want a backup tuner. Keep in mind that most generic tuning apps will allow you to tune your ukulele, as they can tune multiple instruments.
When using an app to tune your ukulele, make sure that your phone’s speakers and microphone are not covered by dust or larger items, as this will make it so the tuning app can’t work properly.
If you search your phone’s app store for a ukulele tuning app, an endless amount of apps will appear. This can be overwhelming, and you may wonder if the apps that are available will even work properly. To help you decide which one you should download, we have listed some of the best tuning apps below.
Tuner Ninja is a website that you can load on a smartphone or a computer. When the webpage is open, you simply need to click start and begin tuning your ukulele. It is super easy to use, and it doesn’t cost money. However, if you are not sure you will have access to the internet when you need to tune your ukulele, it is best to download an app rather than use a tuning website.
This app is super easy to use, works extremely well, and is free. GuitarTuna is great for tuning your ukulele without much effort. You will simply open the app, click on the Tune tab at the bottom, select which instrument you are tuning at the top of the new page, and then simply tap on the strings you are tuning.
You can start with any string, following the Ukulele standard string names of G, C, E, and A. The app makes a noise when the ukulele string is perfectly tuned. From there, it will move onto the next string for you to tune.Yousician, a popular brand for educational music services, is the creator of the app.
The Pano Tuner app works extremely well, and it is very simple and easy to understand and use. It looks like a vintage-style tuner and has a needle move to show you whether or not you are almost done tuning your ukulele. It is a very simple app, and it is free to use, so you won’t have to worry about paying for a tuner.
Yousician: Learn Guitar
This app is free, but there are features in the app that you can buy. You can learn to tune your ukulele for free with Yousician: Learn Guitar, if you want to play along to songs on this app, you will have to pay.
Luckily, the tuner on this app is completely free to use. According to users of the app, the tuner works extremely well, so you will be able to properly tune your ukulele at any time. You’ll just need to make sure that you’re focusing on the correct notes for ukulele, instead of the standard way that guitar strings are tuned (EADGBE)
DaTuner: Tuner & Metronome
The DaTuner: Tuner & Metronome app works quite well. This app is free, but it has ads. If you don’t want to close or scroll through ads until you get to the part of the app you want to use, you shouldn’t use this app to tune your ukulele. Based on reviews, people like the app but do not like the number of ads that are on it.
Ukulele Tuner Pocket
Ukulele Tuner Pocket is one of the best ukulele tuning apps on the market, especially when you consider how easy to use it is. It is rated 4.5 stars by users. However, while there is a paid ad-free version of the app, the free version has ads. Users of this app have complained about how it is nearly impossible to use the tuning feature of the app because there is almost at least one ad covering the screen.
All in all, if you do not want to spend money in order to buy a tuner, download a tuning app. They will do the job and are free most of the time. But, if you have anywhere from $10-$20 to spend on something nice, then you should get a clip-on tuner, and perhaps still download an app for those instances when you don’t have a tuner on you.
How to Tune a Ukulele
Before you tune your ukulele, think about how often you play it and determine if it is worth it for you to buy a tuner. If you play for fun at home and are simply enjoying developing a new skill, you might just want to download a tuning app. If you play constantly and take lessons, you may want to use a clip-on tuner.
To tune a ukulele with a clip-on tuner, make sure that you are in a quiet room, as background noise can make it so your tuner doesn’t work properly. Then set up the tuner by clipping it onto your ukulele. Make sure that it is near the pegs and not on top of or touching the strings.
Then turn the tuner on. As you pluck a single string at a time, use your other hand to tighten or loosen the string. The tuner will indicate if you need to tighten, loosen, or do nothing to the string. Do that to each string until they are all properly tuned to your intended keys. Once you finish tuning your ukulele, you can play it to your heart’s content!
However, when tuning your ukulele, make sure you only pluck one string at a time. If you pluck multiple strings at the same time without realizing it, it will be extremely hard for you to tune your ukulele.
If you are using a tuning app, open the app and hold your ukulele as normal, with one hand on the pegs instead of the fret board and the other hand strumming open notes. Make sure you put your phone next to your ukulele with the screen facing up. Adjust one string at a time, typically in the order of G, C, E, and A.
For a more visual explanation, check out this helpful guide by Andy Guitar:
Overall, while there are many ukulele tuners available, Snark or D’Addario make the best ones. Tuners made by these companies are relatively affordable and easy to use. No matter what your budget is, you will be able to find a ukulele tuner that fits your needs. However, if you don’t want to purchase a tuner, you can always use a tuning app