The great thing about having a powerful smartphone with us at all times is how versatile they are. Sure, we use our phones for calls and texting, but we also take pictures, record video, catch up on the news, listen to music and take notes, among a variety of other uses. However, one use that you don’t hear about too often is as a tuner – that’s right, your phone can serve as a very decent tuner for your guitar or bass, and today we’ll show you how you can take advantage of this!
There is nothing too magical about a tuner, and chances are that if you play an instrument, you already have a tuner around. However, that is not always the case, and you can easily find yourself in a situation where you don’t have it on you or don’t know where it is, and thankfully, your phone can make for a great alternative. So, to use your phone as a tuner, start by downloading a tuner app. There are a bunch of them on the Play Store, but the one I personally recommend for basic usage on guitar is GuitarTuna, which you can download by clicking here.
Download and install the app. After installing, open the app and you will see the typical intro:
Slide forward to advance through it and you will see the main screen:
In here, a voice will guide you through the basic operation of the app, but it’s really self-explanatory and made simple so you can get to playing right away. Just play the string you want to tune, the microphone will pick it up, and you will see the app immediately recognize which one it is:
If that string is out of tune, you will see the little indicator steer off the center, and the app will let you know if you’re too high or too low. In this case, you want to adjust the tuning in the guitar until you get it in the center:
When you do, a checkmark and bars will appear and fill up to let you know that you’re in tune. Then, the app will advance to the other strings and repeat the process until you’ve done all of them. This is the auto mode, which is activated by default, but you can manually pick the string you’re tuning if you find the app is having difficulty picking up the right one by tapping the toggle above:
If you press the cog icon in the upper left corner, you’ll see the settings, where you can change which tuning you’re using, activate left-handed mode, change the headstock between 3+3 or 6-in-line, and much more:
This is a great app to get your guitar in tune quickly and without any fuss. You just open the app, play the string you want to tune, and don’t even have to touch the screen. It also has a bunch of extra features, like mini games to practice your skills, built-in tools like a chord book, a metronome, and even a game where you can learn a few songs:
The biggest downside is that some of the alternative tunings and extra features are locked behind in-app transactions. Still, to get your guitar back in tune if you’re using standard tuning, this app is by far the best of the bunch. Not only that, but it seems to be more accurate and reliable than traditional music tuners from my experience, and it doesn’t require you to clip anything onto your guitar or mess with any of the controls. You can just place it in a nearby desk and it will pick up your guitar and do its job so you can get back to playing in no time. Any questions or doubts? Feel free to let us know in the comment section below!