Best Ukulele Tuner Review – Top Rated Models in 2020 with Buying Guide
If you are short on time, this review will help you to find the best ukulele tuners. Our team has carefully examined the qualities that the most sought-after models come with and they have reached the conclusion that the Snark SN6 is the tuner that you should take into consideration. It is a clip-on model that will prove useful in any situation. Besides tuning the instrument, it will also help you with its incorporated metronome. The display offers an easy to read scale that is visible in any light. If you are unable to find the Snark SN6, our next recommendation is the Fender FT-004 tuner.
Our Top Choice
The Snark tuner is easy to use since it comes with a full-color display that rotates 360 degrees. This way, you can tune your instrument from all kinds of positions. It is equipped with a high-sensitivity vibration sensor, and it can be used both in front and back of the headstock of the ukulele.
The most prominent flaw the product has is its big footprint, which made some buyers complain about lacking pockets to store it.
You get a quality unit as well as an instruction manual to make things easier. Moreover, it is highly portable and lightweight despite its size, and it features a powerful battery that can last entire weeks of intensive use.
Your instrument will never sound bad if you use this model to tune it. It is a small and compact unit that can be attached to the ukulele with the swivel clamp it rocks on the back. It also includes a plethora of modes like guitar, bass, and even violin, so you can use the same tuner if you own more than one instrument.
When it comes to flaws, one buyer mentioned that she wished the display was color and not just simple and monochromatic.
The unit has an impressive tuning range that will satisfy your musical needs. It is battery-operated, and it features a simple screen that displays all the information you need for excellent tuning.
This is a powerful beast ideal for expert musicians. It features a low-profile design that won't get in your way, and a clear and a bright display that will make your life easier on the road. At a stealthy 1.25 inches, the unit can be clipped onto any instrument, and it has improved note recognition and many helpful features.
Some said that if you perform with it attached to the ukulele, it buzzes quite audibly when you hit certain notes or chords.
Its wide calibration range guarantees precise performance and the visual metronome adds practicality to the tool. Also, the Tri-Color backlit screen shows the note in red when it is out of tune.
6 Best Ukulele Tuners (Reviews) in 2020
After researching the market and going through sales figures, consumer, and professional ukulele tuner reviews, we have made a top of six tuner models. Finding the best tuner for ukulele can be a hard task, but this list is here to help with that.
- 1. Snark Ukulele Clip On Tuner
- 2. Fender FT-0004 Clip-On Chromatic Tuner
- 3. Planet Waves PW-CT-12 NS Micro Headstock Tuner
- 4. Snark SN6X Clip-On Tuner for Ukulele
- 5. KLIQ UberTuner Clip-On Tuner for All Instruments
- 6. KLIQ MetroPitch Metronome Tuner for All Instruments
- Yearly Guide & Report
- Frequently asked questions about ukulele tuners
1. Snark Ukulele Clip On Tuner
This tuner features a colorful display that rotates 360 degrees to let you find the easiest viewing position possible. You can clip it on your ukulele and start tuning. The tuner works by using a high sensitivity vibration sensor. It also incorporates a metronome system that helps you keep the beat during exercising sessions.
The battery lasts for a good while and after ten seconds of inactivity, it puts the tuner on a battery saving mode. If you don’t use it for two minutes it turns off automatically. Your instrument will be protected by the rubber pads that cover the tuner and it will suffer no scratches.
Thanks to the adjustable head, this device won’t interfere with the tuning knobs when used. The display ensures enough brightness so it can be read in any light. An advantage for any user is the fact that the color dial is easy to read, making tuning a quick task.
One of the great things about this tuner is the possibility to rotate its colorful display up to 360 degrees in order to give you the best visibility.
To start tuning, all you have to do is to clip this product to your ukulele.
This tuner comes with a metronome system incorporated to help you during the practice sessions with keeping the beat.
It is very economical as the battery goes on save mode after 10 seconds of inactivity to preserve it for a long time.
When not used, after two minutes, it turns off automatically so you don’t have to worry about consuming the battery.
For more durability, the tuner is covered in rubber pads to avoid scratches.
The footprint is quite large and it may be inconvenient if you don’t have pockets that are big enough.
If there is someone else around you who is doing a soundcheck, the tuner may catch their notes too.Buy from Amazon.com for ($14.88)
2. Fender FT-0004 Clip-On Chromatic Tuner
If you are passionate about ukulele but you also enjoy playing some other string instruments, this tuner is for you. It can provide a tuning aid for ukulele, mandolin, bass, acoustic guitar, violin and banjo players. It’s a clip-on model, light and easy to transport.
The display offered is large and it simply shows a centered green needle when in tune and a white one when out of tune. To make it work, the user needs a 3V 2032 battery that will ensure the device will last for a long time. High brightness allows for use in darker conditions and the quality sensor makes it possible to tune your ukulele in noisy environments.
Weighing just 30 grams, this device can be carried at all times. It’s very reliable and easy to use – you just clip it on the ukulele, select the tuning range and then tune your strings.
This product is a versatile one as it works with the same accuracy for ukulele as well as for acoustic guitar, bass, violin, or mandolin.
It has a lightweight structure that is very easy to transport in your ukulele’s carrying bag.
The device is user-friendly as the display shows a centered green needle when your ukulele is tuned and a white needle when it is not.
This tuner works with a 3 V 2032 battery that will withstand hours of rehearsals.
You can tune your ukulele even in noisy environments thanks to the high-quality sensor.
Great visibility is given by the display that has high brightness to help you see the details on it even in darker conditions.
The display is pretty simple and monochromatic so if you prefer a colorful display, this may not be the right choice for you.
The construction may seem a bit flimsy so be sure to use it and transport it with care.Buy from Amazon.com for ($8.69)
3. Planet Waves PW-CT-12 NS Micro Headstock Tuner
With an easy to read, multi-colored display, this device comes in handy, allowing a smooth and accurate tuning process. The capabilities are offered by a highly sensitive piezo transducer incorporated in it. Compared to previous models, this device offers a faster response, improved accuracy, a larger tuning range, an improved design and it features a metronome, as well.
The backlit display and the precise transducer let you tune your instrument in noisy environments, and in lit or dim conditions. The screen has a feature that allows it to reverse the writing on it, in case you want to use it upside-down and the flexible neck offers the possibility to adjust the tuner 360 degrees.
You can leave it clamped on your instrument when stored, that’s how small it is. Because the clip is adjustable and the tuner is so flexible, you can use it for nearly all instruments of all sizes, no matter if they’re for right or left-handed players.
Coming with a multi-colored display, this device offers you a quality tuning process that is also very easy to handle.
The accurate tuning process is given by the incorporated piezo transducer that is highly sensitive.
This tuner comes with a metronome and it has a large tuning range, offering a fast response.
Its backlit display offers you great visibility in dim or lit conditions for better comfort.
The tuner comes with a precision transducer which makes the tuning process easier in noisy circumstances.
For improved visibility, the display can be adjusted in a range of 360 degrees due to the flexible neck.
The structure of the tuner is very small and compact so you don’t have to take it off the ukulele when transporting it.
The tuner doesn’t come with any instructions about changing the battery.
When hitting certain notes, the tuner buzzes in an annoying way.Buy from Amazon.com for ($11.95)
4. Snark SN6X Clip-On Tuner for Ukulele
What’s different about this model is that besides the vibration sensor that allows other tuners to show the musical notes when clipped to an instrument, this one also has a microphone. This means that you can use it without attaching it to the ukulele. You can change the tuning mode between the sensor and the microphone using a switch on the side.
A great feature is that this tuner registers all the notes, not only the ones required to tune the ukulele in a classic way. That’s why you can use it to tune other instruments, too. The clip is padded so it protects the ukulele when attached and the long and flexible neck offers the possibility to adjust the tuner in any desired position so that you can see what’s on it.
The screen is big, clear and offers a colorful and helpful display. The large-scale present on it allows for fine tuning.
This tuner manages to differentiate from other models not only by coming with a microphone but with a vibration sensor too.
Having these two modes that can be switched when convenient, you can tune your instrument without necessarily attaching the tuner to your ukulele.
The tuner records not only the notes that are needed to tune your instrument but all the notes.
You can adjust the angle of the display according to your preferences thanks to the flexible neck.
To protect your ukulele and avoid scratches when attaching the tuner to it, the clip is padded.
The screen is very large and colorful for increased visibility in different conditions.
The reset time between 2 different tuning processes for different strings is quite long and you have to wait before starting to tune another string.
The instructions are not very clear regarding activating the metronome feature of this tuner.Buy from Amazon.com for ($9.99)
5. KLIQ UberTuner Clip-On Tuner for All Instruments
There are lots of tuners that can be clipped on the ukulele, but most of them don’t offer the same speed in tuning as this one. A quality tuner should provide the user with the possibility to be read from any angle, and this model does just that. The large and colorful display, paired with the precise indicators, make it super easy for the info to be read in any light condition.
It provides three different adjustment points and this means that you can position this tuner on any stringed instrument you might have. For improved versatility, the device has five different tuning modes that include ukulele, guitar, bass, violin and chromatic tuning.
The ukulele tuner is powered by a battery that allows it to work for up to 16 hours. It has an automatic shut-off system that will turn it off after three minutes of not being used.
If you are looking for a tuner that has a fast response as the main feature, this product may catch your attention.
This tuner allows you to read the information displayed in any light condition and from any angle due to a flexible neck.
It is a versatile product as it comes with three adjustment points that allow you to attach it on any stringed instrument.
Speaking of versatility, the tuner also comes with 5 tuning modes that are compatible not only with a ukulele but with violin, guitar, and bass as well.
The device works with an economical battery that provides you with 16 hours of use.
To preserve the battery, the device has an automatic system that turns off the tuner after 3 minutes of inactivity.
The buttons of this tuner are a bit hard to access which may slow you down when time is precious.
This tuner occupies a lot of space in your ukulele case so it is not ideal for traveling or touring.Buy from Amazon.com for ($23.97)
6. KLIQ MetroPitch Metronome Tuner for All Instruments
Based on the sales figures, this is a very popular model. That’s because it is highly versatile and it can be used to tune the sounds of ukulele, bass guitars or to adjust the pitch of acoustic guitar strings. It is not a clip-on model so you can also use it for other instruments. The various tune modes help with that, and the large range of notes that it can detect shows how capable this tuner is.
A great advantage that this device possesses is that it’s not only a tuner but a metronome and a tone generator at the same time. All of this is packed in a pocket-sized gadget. The metronome included will improve your timing when playing in a lot of styles, because it provides lots of rhythms and beats patterns.
You can use the built-in microphone to tune your instruments, or, if you have an electric ukulele, plug it in the device and start tuning.
If you are looking for a versatile product that helps you tune different instruments like ukulele, guitar, or bass guitars this is a very interesting choice for you.
The special thing about this product is that it is not a clip-on type and that makes it perfect to use it for any instrument.
This tuner is capable of detecting a wide range of notes which makes it a professional item.
Besides the tuning feature, this product also comes with a metronome incorporated and a tone generator.
Even though it is a multi-functioning device, it comes in a pocket-size that is very convenient to carry.
It allows you to play in different styles as it provides plenty of beats patterns and rhythms.
The tempo count produces a click sound that you may find disturbing at some point.
The battery drains pretty quickly so make sure to always have some extra batteries with you.Buy from Amazon.com for ($26.97)
Yearly Guide & Report
Tuners represent a necessity for ukulele players. They are easy to use and provide an accurate feedback on the sound of the ukuleles for beginners and advanced players alike. Sometimes, when searching through the reviews of ukulele tuners, the buyer doesn’t know what to look for, so we created a guide to help with that.
Types of tuners
There are three different kinds of tuners that you can use for your ukulele. The first of them is also the most popular one – the clip-on headstock model. These tuners attach to the instrument’s headstock and they detect the sounds through vibrations in the ukulele. Some of these tuners also feature an incorporated acoustic microphone that allows the user to tune other instruments too.
To make it easier for the player to see what’s displayed on them, these devices swivel 360 degrees so you can read them from any angle. Most of the clip-on models are multi-purpose and they work with all stringed instruments.
For live performances, it’s better to use a pedal tuner. They are built within a case that is placed at the player’s feet and they’re excellent when you are playing live because they are hidden and they don’t make you look like a total novice when tuning your ukulele. However, for such a device, you will need an instrument that can be plugged into it.
The displays that these models feature are large and colored and will help you in darker settings. Similar tuning functions can be found in processors or effect-pedals.
Tabletop tuners are the third type. They range from sophisticated models that can be used in studios to simple and efficient devices that let you tune your ukulele fast. Typically, these tuners have an incorporated microphone and they can tune a broad range of instruments. They can offer more functions, such as a metronome or a tone generator.
Features and functions
Of course, the ability to accurately show if a string is tuned or not is what a tuner should be about, but some models go beyond that and provide additional features. The most common of these is the metronome. Tuners that incorporate this function are excellent for beginners.
Some devices can tune your ukulele through the use of a microphone. They can detect the instrument’s sounds acoustically and they’re very helpful if you own a range of instruments as you can use the microphone for a lot of them. Usually, tuners that have incorporated mics also provide a speaker function. The notes that come out of the speakers are useful if you want to develop your ear for intonation.
A tuner should be easy to read under any condition. To make things easy on the eye, most devices show a meter that uses a needle. When adjusting the string tension, the needle moves and tells you how close you are to the desired note.
Some tuners use a colorful LED display with a green and red code – green meaning the string is tuned and gives the desired note and red that it’s not. Larger and brighter displays are needed when performing live, on a stage.
The finest ukulele tuners automatically detect the played tone and more performant models allow you to set the tuning pitch for each string before starting the process. Digital tuners let you use specific tuning modes for separate instruments and some models allow you to tune in a dropped key, which is popular in rock songs. Good ukulele tuners are compatible with many scales or alternative tuning modes.
Most beginners find it hard to differentiate between a regular tuner and a chromatic one. They look and function similarly but the chromatic models offer more possibilities. In regular tuners, you can choose to tune your instrument in a certain key, but if your strings’ notes are really far off the desired key, the tuner will not show any reading at all. And that can be frustrating.
That’s because these devices only register the notes in the key that you are trying to tune. But when you use a chromatic tuner, you have the ability to make the strings sound any way you want. This kind of device is smarter and it tries to figure out what sound it is hearing. It will show you the actual note that the string makes, no matter how far it is from the note you want to reach.
Many clip-on models or tuners that rely on microphones have this capability. They are very versatile and in addition to allowing you to tune your ukulele in any key, they are also useful if you have other instruments that you want to tune.
Frequently asked questions about ukulele tuners
Q: How to tune a ukulele with a tuner?
If you use a clip-on tuner, attach it to your headstock and switch it on. If a microphone tuner is used, keep it close to the instrument and make sure the room is silenced. When different tuning modes are available, choose the C mode.
Start with the G string and then continue downwards from it. If the tuner uses an arrow display, you must adjust the ukulele strings until the arrow points straight up, to the note written on the display. If a green-red style display is used, you need to adjust the strings until the note is in the green area.
Q: How to tune a ukulele without a tuner?
If you have a good ear, you can tune your ukulele with the use of another instrument or with apps. You have to tune the first string to G(4). Then you need to find the seventh fret of the second string down. Hold your finger there and pluck the string until it sounds the same as the G(4) string.
Going on to tuning the third string, keep your finger on the fourth fret of the second string and make sure they both sound the same. For the last string, hold your finger on the second fret of the G(4) string and adjust the last string until they sound the same.
Q: Can I use a guitar tuner for a ukulele?
Certain guitar tuners are a viable option for ukulele players, as well. These are the chromatic tuners. They use sensors to read vibrations and they report onto it. The important aspect is that they need to work without a guitar jack.
Some clip-on models are actually made to accommodate different instruments and that includes both guitars and ukuleles. You will need to make sure that the guitar tuner you choose can accommodate guitar notes and ukulele notes, as well. Certain guitar tuners also allow you to select the tuning mode to ukulele tuning.
Q: How much is a ukulele tuner?
Tuners vary in price, depending on what they can do. Cheap ukulele tuners, like a basic clip-on model, cost around $10. The more advanced ones, that use a chromatic tuning system, can be found for sale at around $15. The same price can be attributed to the models that offer additional features such as metronomes for beginners.
If you are looking to get a universal tuner that will let you tune all of your instruments, you can pay around $25-$30 for it. These tuners are usually the ones that offer a lot of options and they come with more functions such as speakers capable of producing tones.
Q: How do you know if your ukulele is tuned?
There are several ways to tell if your uke is tuned. Most of the time, they imply comparing the sound of the instrument with something else. If you have a good ear you will know that your uke is tuned, at least tuned to itself, meaning that each string is tuned accordingly to the other strings.
An easier way to find out if your uke is in tune is to get a tuner and use it. This will tell you precisely the notes that your instrument produces. You can use another instrument as a reference. A piano works great for this purpose.
Q: What are the strings on a ukulele?
As there are four types of ukuleles, there can also be different types of strings or tunings for them. Most often, however, there is a certain musical note for each string. The bottom string is called A because it is tuned on that note. The second upwards from it is the E string. The third string up should be tuned to a C, while the top one is tuned to a G.
One interesting thing is that the top string, the G, is tuned higher compared to the two middle strings. This is called a reentrant tuning and it’s the standard for ukuleles.
Q: How do you read a ukulele chord diagram?
Reading a chord diagram is not that hard once you understand how to do that. Each diagram shows you the precise position that each of your fingers has to take when playing a certain chord. The diagram shows the top five frets of the instrument as they would look when you hold the ukulele up and you look straight at it.
Thus, the vertical lines are the strings, with the G string on the left and the A on the far right. The horizontal lines represent the frets, and the dots show you where the fingers should be placed.