Guitarists who show up to play live or record a track without a guitar tuner are unprepared, unprofessional, and are limiting their ability to play. It might seem cool to play out-of-tune or to ‘tune by ear’ but this isn’t as precise or as aesthetically amazing as one may think. In the digital age and living in a world filled with more talented musicians than perhaps ever, having your instrument in-tune is an absolute must.
Using a guitar tuner live
When you play live, people have come to both see your show and hear it. If you’re playing with other instruments, such as a bass guitar, it’s important you are both in sync and in-tune. Now adding to this a digital keyword or piano which you know is fully tuned up, any guitarist will sound terrible not having pre-tuned their guitar. This could also mess up your singer’s performance. Afterwards, you may find yourself without a lot of praise from band members or the audience having played a show without proper tuning.
Now if you bring with you a recharging clip-on guitar tuner, you have a tuner right there. If you suspect you’re playing out of tune, you can check your guitar between songs. You can also tune your strings up before the show, ensuring you kick it off with a proper bang. If you are using more than one tuning in your show, a guitar tuner can also ensure any guitarist is locked in with the correct tuning. Especially for playing live, needless to say, always – ALWAYS! – bring a guitar tuner.
Using a guitar tuner while recording
Although a clip-on guitar tuner is used best when playing live, a guitar in-tune while recording’s equally important. So much recording is digital now, meaning in-tune digital instruments are added on top of real instruments, remixes are made, and the effects added on top of vocals rely on things being in-tune. If you play even your greatest performance with a guitar improperly tuned, you’re going to ruin the entire track. There’s nothing you’ll be able to add on top and editing will become more or less impossible.
When you record your next track, even if all it’s supposed to be is a guitar and vocals, your performance relies on being in tune. You’ll save yourself time, money, and effort with precision tuning. Don’t do it by ear. This isn’t the 1950s. Affordable guitar tuners are readily available. Purchasing a clip-on model, all you have to do is clip it on to your guitar neck’s end and it’ll pick up on the notes. Adjust the tension on the strings as needed. You’ll be thankful you have it!