Common Questions About Musical Instrument Tuners
Whether you're playing a gig at the local venue or you're simply practicing an instrument at home, it's essential to have a tool that can make your instrument's tones as accurate as possible. There is a wide range of these tools available, and each model can have different displays or specifics for unique instruments. You'll be sure to find the right device for your instrument on eBay.What instruments can tuners be used with?
Musical instrument tension and frequency adjustment tools can be used with any acoustic instrument that outputs audio frequencies. However, there are some common instruments that regularly need tuning. These include:
- Guitars - Both electric and acoustic guitars need constant attention to attain the proper pitch for each string. The neck of a guitar is made out of wood, causing it to flex and thereby also changing the tension of each string. By using a tuner, you can quickly bring the guitar back to its normal intonation.
- Flutes - Though flutes are engineered to produce specific pitches, there are a surprising number of movable parts that can affect the tone of the instrument. Temperature can also change the frequencies played, so a tuning device is essential for flutists aiming to get perfect notes.
- Violins - Violins are constructed similarly to guitars in that they have a neck with strings attached that may shift in tension. Therefore, they need the tool to properly tune their strings to the right tension.
There are two main ways that these devices pick up a signal from your instrument. While most models include a built-in microphone, more advanced models may have more options than just those listed here. Depending on the instrument you play you may want to look for choices on eBay that provide more unique uses, like a special tuning. With that in mind, the two common ways that instrument tuners work are described here:
- Direct line in - Because many instruments include an electrical signal output where a wire is plugged into the instrument and into another device to transmit that signal, these tools will usually have an input for that wire. This allows the electrical signal to go directly from the instrument (usually a guitar or a violin) into the device, giving accurate pitch detection without relying on frequency transmission through the air.
- Mic pickup - Though guitars and violins may include electrical outputs, most acoustic instruments do not. This means that the tools must pick up the signal via a built-in microphone, which they then convert to frequency and output the result on a screen. This screen lets you know how close your instrument's tone is to the true center of that pitch.
Using a tuning tool is relatively easy. Once you've properly installed batteries in the tool or plugged it into a power source, simply turn it on. Once it's turned on, you can either plug your wire in or play notes right away. The tool will recognize your method of input and will instantly return the pitch you're playing. If you have a more complicated tuner, you may also be able to set up special chord recognition or unique scales that more traditional versions may not be able to correctly identify.