ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

So You Want To Be a Performing Singer-Songwriter: Part 2

Updated on September 12, 2011

Tuners

Okay, on to accessories. Please keep in mind this is simply from my experience throughout my career as a performing songwriter, my personal tastes.

For me, a reliable tuner is incredibly important when on stage since I don't have perfect pitch and in loud rooms it's often hard to hear anyway. If you're just doing one or two songs at an open mic, I'd recommend simply checking your tuning <b>before</b> you step up to the mic, make sure it's in tune and <b>leave it at that</b> for your one or two songs. Don't adjust it once you're up at the mic because more often than not, you make it worse if you're not a skilled, experienced guitar player who has a gift for pitch. Plus, it drives the audience nuts and takes up your very limited time with tuning rather than wowing them with your gifted songwriting and performance skills.

If you have graduated to a full-length gig (say half an hour or more for the purposes of this article), that's enough time for the wood and strings of your guitar to do a little breathing and adjusting when you're playing. I'd recommend you have a tuner in place during your performance.

There are a wide variety of tuners out there now. When I first began playing, the only tuners available were on the larger side--chunky boxy chromatic tuners that you had to set on your knee to use (whether you didn't plug into it, with a no-pickup acoustic for example, or you did plug-in via 1/4" cable). Not only that, but you needed enough light to be able to see a very tiny thin pointer that responded to the signal, and it had to line up in the middle, at 440, while more often than not, wiggling back in forth in response to the wavering sound signal from your strings. The first ones didn't even have a backlit face, though that changed quickly.

At that time, if you used a tuner you were looked down on and judged as not being a "real" musician, by other musicians. However, years later, after said musicians have lost half of their hearing to too many ear-shattering concerts, I surmise that they, too, use tuners today. But then, maybe not....

Anyway, today tuners are smaller and smarter than ever. My TOP tuner at the moment for performance is the Intellitouch PT10 Mini Clip-On. You clip it on, turn it on, pluck your string and watch for the entire little screen to light up green instead of red. That's it. Unlike other tuners, you don't have to move between arrows on either side or go from red to yellow to green, and you can easily see the two colors light up in dim or dark environments.

However, when I am on stage I ALSO plug into a pedal tuner. I have both a Fender and a Boss. I prefer the Boss simply because it's so reliable and easy to see. But there are other brands, as well, that you might prefer.

The reason I hook up two options (other than the fact that, although I'm better than I used to be, I don't have perfect pitch) is that in loud environments (clubs, parties, or when playing with a full band), the clip-on tuners often pick up too much of the sound around them, not just your guitar. The newer ones are better, but the pedal tuners have another bonus, as well. If you are hooked up to a pedal tuner, when you press the pedal to click into tuner mode, your signal going out to the amp or PA is cut off. That means that the audience doesn't have to listen to you pluck, pluck, pluck the same note over and over as you tune. How thoughtful of you! And the direct connection to the tuner through your guitar helps with reliability, especially with electric guitars. (May seem obvious to some, but 1/4 inch cable from your guitar, into the tuner, then into any other effects pedals you're using, then into the amp or PA.) Clip-ons are wonderful for acoustic listening rooms, house concerts, and other quieter venues.

I'm not promoting this site, but they carry a long list of tuners - it's basically Guitar Center online. But shop locally and support your struggling independent music stores if possible! To peruse options: <a href="http://www.musiciansfriend.com/tuners?source=3WWRWXGG#fT=&gP=1&pS=60&v=g&sB=bS&lP=c&catId=site1LOEE">click here</a>

All for now. Next up: Capos.


Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)