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Acoustic Guitar Tuner

Updated on August 15, 2009

If you're learning to play guitar, or even if you're a seasoned musician, you'll need something to help tune your instrument. An electronic tuner for acoustic guitar can be useful, not only can you tune with it, your bandmates can tune too. There are virtual acoustic guitar tuners out there on the internet, but the problem is, you can't take them with you. What happens if your guitar gets bumped in the middle of a performance and you need to retune? All the tuners here use a needle type display, the needle is actually a virtual needle on an LCD screen. When your note is flat, the needle is to the left, when it's sharp it swings to the right. When your guitar is in perfect tune, the needle points straight up. Most of the tuners here also have an LED that blinks green when the needle is straight up. All these tuners for acoustic guitar can be used for electric guitars too. They've been included here because they have a built in microphone that "listens" to the note you play. All except the Intelli tuner which uses an acoustic guitar clip to read the guitar vibrations. It's supposed to work on electric guitars too.

Korg GA-30 Ultra Compact Guitar and Bass Tuner

The GA-30 is a tuner for acoustic guitar, not a chromatic tuner with guitar functions. As an added benefit it can also tune a bass. It has an LCD needle, the needle points straight up when your guitar is in tune. It also has LED's that indicate sharp or flat. You can select between guitar and bass mode, each with automatically detected pitch. It supports 7 string guitars in guitar mode and 6 string bass in bass mode. It has the ability to tune your guitar down 5 steps (Korg calls it quinta-flat tuning), for playing some of the alternate tunings used in metal It provides a high sensitivity mic that is built in for tuning acoustic guitars and basses, or if you prefer you can plug your electric or electro-acoustic guitar into the quarter inch input jack. If you prefer to tune by pitch rather than by sight there is a built in speaker. Along with the CA-40 probably the best acoustic guitar tuner, at least the most highly rated by users.

Korg CA-30 Solo Chromatic Tuner

The CA-30 Is a chromatic tuner similar to the GA-30 but it is not specific to guitar, it can be used for any instrument.  Instead of using the notes of just the guitar, it uses all 12 notes in a scale.  That doesn't mean it can't be used for acoustic guitar, it still can.  The added benefit is that you can use it for orchestral instruments or anything you want. Also features built in microphone, needle LED display with LED indication, and quinta-flat tuning.

Korg TM-40 Large Display Digital Tuner and Metronome

The Korg TM-40 is more than a standard acoustic guitar tuner, it's a large display chromatic tuner for virtually any instrument, and like the other Korg models uses an LED needle display with LED indicators. Along with the built in microphone for acoustic guitar tuning, and a speaker for tuning by pitch, the TM-40 also has a metronome built in with 7 different beat functions and subdivisions. Pretty much everything that could be said for the CA-30 could be said for the TM-40 as far as basic functions go, but the TM-40 has a lot of extended functions like tuning perfect major or minor thirds relative to a selected pitch.  This isn't as useful for guitar but it's used a lot in wind band and orchestra playing.

Intelli IMT500 Backlit Clip Style Tuner

If you've ever tried to tune an acoustic instrument in a noisy environment, you know how hard it is to get the tuner to hear your instrument over the background noise.  The clip on Intelli overcomes that problem with not using a microphone. Instead it feels the vibrations in your instrument via the clip.  You can clip it onto your headstock and it will pick up the sound and give you a reading.  It doesn't have the LED indicators of the Korg models, but it does have the LED needle tuning, that you're probably familiar with.  One feature that the Intelli has that the Korg acoustic guitar tuner doesn't is a back lit display for viewing in dark rooms and smoky bars.

Korg GA-40 Large Display Guitar and Bass Tuner

An acoustic guitar auto tuner, the GA-40 has an automatic detection feature that sets it apart from the GA-30. Play any note and it will tell you what it's playing.   It also has a larger display. Otherwise it's got similar as the GA-30 having a microphone, speaker and input jack and quinta-flat tuning.  It does have an auto off function which can save your batteries, which are included.

How to Use the Korg GA-30 Guitar Tuner


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    • Used Acoustic Gui profile image

      Used Acoustic Gui 

      7 years ago from New Zealand

      Got to have a tuner especially when you are starting out or on stage!

    • whcobb profile image

      William Cobb 

      8 years ago from Clarksville, TN

      I can attest to the CA30... It's a good tuner and works great... Really good for the price... Good hub.

      William H. Cobb

    • profile image

      guitar tuner 

      8 years ago

      Great hub!

      Thanks for the info, IMT500 has a really nice design :)

    • David Verde profile imageAUTHOR

      David Verde 

      9 years ago

      Glad you liked it, I think the Korg tuners/metronomes are the best bang for the buck. They seem to put them all into the same case, helps keep price down I reckon.

    • Tom Cornett profile image

      Tom Cornett 

      9 years ago from Ohio

      Cool Hub....Korg is good stuff...thanks! :)


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