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Tuner Tone

September 14th, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

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Tuner Tone

You're about to learn about the different types of online guitar tuner, how to find the best free online guitar tuner and how to make the best use of it once you've got it. I'm also going to uncover some of the myths and misconceptions people have about the online guitar tuner.

There are two types of tuners in this world: Passive and Active

I haven't yet found an Active Online Guitar Tuner, that is, one that takes the sound from your guitar and tells you whether you need to tune up or tune down. Now this doesn't mean they don't exist, the technology is certainly available, but of all the links I went through researching this article I didn't find one. So, as far as an online guitar tuner goes, we'll have to settle for a passive one.

The Passive Online Guitar Tuner can be found all over the place, they're the type that play a sound or tone and you have to tune your guitar to it. You'll essentially be pressing a button and your computer will make a noise (at a certain frequency), you then tune your guitar to that frequency.

As general rule there are two kinds of passive tuners: Flash and Sound File Based. The Sound File Based tuners play an ordinary sound file (like an mp3) for each tone, and the Flash based tuners (while still playing a sound file for the tone) generally include a much nicer user interface. I'm going to cover the nuances between the different types of Flash tuners below.

The Flash Online Guitar Tuner and its Features

Ok, so at the very least you need the online guitar tuner to be able to play a sound file for each string on your guitar. Unless of course you're doing relative tuning which I'll cover below. What else is available?

Strum function: This emulates someone picking each string of the guitar so you can quickly see if you are in tune. This is a really handy feature and super handy if you're just logging in to check on your tuning, it's obviously much faster than going through and clicking on each string individually.

Sample and Tone: Some online guitar tuners allow you to play the sounds as either a monotonous tone, or a sound file- as if an actual guitar was playing the note. I've never really like tuning my guitar to standard tones, so I always look for tuners that actually sound like a guitar.

Keyboard short cuts: If you use your keyboard all day (like me) then you'll appreciate an online guitar tuner that includes keyboard short cuts. The bare necessities are often enough, with mapping keys 1-6 to the corresponding strings on the guitar.

How to Use the Online Guitar Tuner

Once you've found an online guitar tuner with the feature-set that suits your needs, it's pretty simple to start using: Just click on the string you want to tune and start playing the string on your guitar and make small adjustments until the frequency of your guitar matches the frequency of the tuner.

What you need to know before using an online guitar tuner

You need to know the basics of how to tune your guitar and the difference between relative and absolute tuning (which I'll explain next). It's recommended that you really only use the online guitar tuners if you're just playing by yourself or need a quick tune-up before you start practicing. In a band situation you need to not only be in tune musically but you also need to be in tune with the other musicians, in that case an online guitar tuner would not really work.

Relative vs. Absolute

Tuning to absolute pitches like when using an electronic or online guitar tuner will give you an absolute tuning, meaning it's based on specific frequencies for each string. However I've found with all the guitars I own that I can tune each string to an absolute pitch but then when I check the pitch relative to other strings it sounds off.

Relative tuning is where you tune one string first (Try the A) and then tune all the other strings to it. This can be achieved by fretting the A string at the 5th fret (making a D) and comparing it to the open D string below. Then just repeat for the next string down: Fret the D string at the 5th fret and compare it to the open G string below. This is an easy way to keep your guitar sounding in tune with itself.

The Youtube Guitar tuner - D and C tuning

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