Choosing the best electronic guitar tuner

Guitar Noises #9: June 25, 2021

Hello! Thanks for reading! I’m Paul and this is my newsletter about learning guitar online. Check out the newsletter archives to see all the topics I’ve written about so far.

We’re now officially in summer. It’s been a scorching June already and as hay fever season subsides I’m starting to think about bringing my guitar outside.

But wait!

I never take my guitars outside. I don’t bring them camping or to the beach. I don’t even like to play them in the backyard. If I’m driving somewhere I get nervous leaving a guitar in the car when I’m buying gas. That photo up there - the guy holding the guitar with four fingers in a field - makes me uncomfortable.

One of my goals for this summer is to get less anxious about bringing guitars outdoors. Which leads me to this question.

Have you ever owned a carbon fibre guitar? I’ve seen them online but my local music superstore doesn’t stock any. So I’m curious. What brands would you recommend? Leave a comment below or reply to this email.

Leave a comment

Anyway, this is what I think playing guitar outside in summer should look like.

Group Lessons for July / August 2021

Let me quickly slide an announcement in here. David Hodge has a new slate of Zoom classes starting up right after the 4th of July. It doesn’t matter where you live in the world or what time zone you’re in. If you have a decent Internet connection you can join one David’s lectures or group lessons.

All the details are right here on David’s personal website.

Choosing the best electronic guitar tuner

As a guitar player you probably need all kinds of equipment. But how many guitar tuners do you need? For me, it turns out that I need at least two.

I’ve been using a Roadie 3 every day for the past six months. I liked it so much I reviewed it on Guitar Noise.

What exactly is the Roadie 3? 

Roadie 3 is a fully automated tuner compatible with most string instruments like electric, acoustic and classical guitars, ukuleles, banjos and mandolins. It's quick, easy to use, versatile and accurate.

Where the Roadie 3 shines is how quickly it can tune. Not only is it faster than tuning by ear or using another tuner, it also has 150 alternate tunings to pick from. If you can’t find your favorite you can store your own custom tunings. How many other tuners can do that?

Even though I use it everyday, it isn’t the only tuner I need. I like to tune up with the Roadie 3 every time I play. There are no problems with its performance or accuracy. It does exactly what it’s meant to do. For mini retunings or quick in-between song changes, I rely on a trusty D’Adarrio clip-on tuner.

Some of you may have heard of the Roadie before. We first reviewed the Roadie 2 a few years ago and I know from the feedback we received more than a few of you ordered one. The Roadie 3 is a major upgrade that costs the same as the older model.

In May of 2020, Roadie 3 came to life thanks to a successful Kickstarter campaign that raised over $400,000 in just ten minutes. It’s so cool to have my hands on one these elegant tuners. 

It can tune with a capo on. It includes a tune-up setting where it only tightens strings to correct tuning to make sure they stay in tune longer. I’ve never known an electronic tuner to do that before. It also functions as a string winder, which makes changing strings even easier.

Sure, when it comes to tuning any old tuner will do. But if you play guitar regularly you’ll almost certainly need more than one tuner. This should be one of them.

Read my full review of the Roadie 3 on Guitar Noise.

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