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Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups

Continuing the clip on tuner discussion....

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by Colo Springs E, Aug 25, 2017.

  1. Toto'sDad

    Toto'sDad Telefied Ad Free Member

    Jun 21, 2011
    Back before electronic tuners were everywhere you looked, usually one guy (who always thought he was right) would sneak off into a dark corner and tune up using a tuning fork, then come back, plug in, and loudly proclaim, "tune to me." The fact that his mother who had acquired a taste for metal when she was carrying him and delivered the tuner along with him at birth had some influence on tuning.

    If you listen to old recordings, especially old blue grass recordings, you'll wonder just what the hell they were tuned to. Earl Scruggs commonly tuned to "about" G sharp for years. Some say it was to accommodate Lest Flatt's voice, it was probably just how he heard how he was supposed to tune. Many old recordings are impossible to play with if you are tuned to an electronic tuner of any kind. You just have to "tune to them." I keep an acoustic guitar tuned down a half step sitting on a stand just so that I can play along with some of the folks who thought that was how you were supposed to tune a guitar, and there are quite a few.


  2. ricknbaker

    ricknbaker Tele-Holic

    Nov 12, 2014
    Watford, UK
    Big Snark fan. I've got two or three of them. I keep one clipped to my amp and just pop it on the headstock and roll down the guitar volume to tune between numbers if I hear things starting to sound out.

    I did have trouble using one in bright sunshine the other day. Had to use my backup tuner, the big floppy things on the sides of my head. Luckily, bright sunshine is very rare here.

  3. boredguy6060

    boredguy6060 Friend of Leo's

    Mar 28, 2012
    Sou Cal
    I've never used one, never bought one, never even tried one.
    I'm slow to keep up with guitar gadgets.
    I have tuning apps on my iPad and a Seiko tuner which is about 30 years old.

  4. william tele

    william tele Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Nov 7, 2009
    Kansas City, MO
    If you try one of the TC clip ons I think you'll find a big difference. The little Snarks are great but fussy. The TC just homes right in and nails it...AND is pretty bright. I believe they have strobe feature as well.
    El Tele Lobo likes this.

  5. Ripradiant

    Ripradiant Tele-Holic

    Jul 31, 2014
    Alberta Canada
    I use a pedal tuner when playing live because I can mute when changing guitars. I have clips on too - which I occasionally use at home.

  6. uriah1

    uriah1 Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Feb 12, 2011
    Clips ons are nice in the privacy of your own home only or if your stomp tuner is messing up.
    (sometimes outside is permittable) but, remember to take it off before seen in public with that massive wart on the end of your beautiful guitar.

  7. BobbyZ

    BobbyZ Doctor of Teleocity

    Jan 12, 2011
    Snellman MN
    Went to a jam session last night just to check it out. First thing I heard was the guitar and bass player tuning to one another.
    On stage at full volume!
    A Snark is 20 bucks for crying out loud!

    Anyways I just drank a few beers and flirted with the bar tender. I'll definitely go back because I like the bar tender. But I'll be bringing ear plugs because those idiots were way too loud for a small joint.
    And I was playing a Deluxe Reverb in my living room, too loud, before I went!
    Toto'sDad likes this.

  8. Junkyard Dog

    Junkyard Dog Tele-Holic

    Mar 7, 2016
    Also please consider that it may be acceptable to own (and use at gigs) more than one type of tuner. I personally have a clip on, stage tuner, one of my amps has a tuner, etc. Last week I had to take the subway downtown for a gig. I hand carried my Telecaster case and filled a backpack with accessories...the clip job tuner was the perfect thing that day!

  9. BobbyZ

    BobbyZ Doctor of Teleocity

    Jan 12, 2011
    Snellman MN
    As far as the looks of a tuner on a headstock it doesn't bother me. I couldn't care less if a guy has a Snark and a capo on his headstock. (I often do)
    Either he/she can play or they can't, that's what's important to me.
    Wallo Tweed likes this.

  10. tery

    tery Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

    Sep 21, 2012
    Right On ... well said TD !
    Toto'sDad likes this.

  11. Otis Fine

    Otis Fine Tele-Meister

    Jun 3, 2016
    Chicago, Illinois
    If a clip on tuner offends your sensibilities because it blocks a part of the headstock from view, just think of the large areas of the body and neck being blocked by your hands and forearms. ✌
    BobbyZ likes this.

  12. waparker4

    waparker4 Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Nov 9, 2011
    Philadelphia, PA
    I think they do suffer from the ambient noise issue - I have a Snark and a D'Addario NS. But I try to set up my guitars so that they don't need constant tuning. I can get away with tuning once an hour on stage, give or take (the beauty of the Tele)... keep the clip on on top of the amp and clamp it on when you need to tune, adds 2 seconds total.

    The NS is visually unobtrusive but in my experience is harder to read.

    I basically only use the clip on when I can't fit my TU-3 on my board.
    MilwMark and tery like this.

  13. tery

    tery Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

    Sep 21, 2012
    Yesterday I took an unused guitar to GC to sell . I polished it up and tuned it with my Snark . The salesman (a good guy) proceeded to Re-Tune it by ear without plugging it in to an amp . . . . . I thought to myself "Gee I wish that I could do that" .
    Toto'sDad likes this.

  14. soulgeezer

    soulgeezer Poster Extraordinaire

    Nov 5, 2006
    Sinatra's World
    My issue with clip-on tuners has always been that they pick up vibrations coming through the guitar (especially acoustic) from ambient noise in the room. So, unless the room is dead quiet or I go outside, I have always found the things to be absolutely useless.

    Obvious, others' experiences have been different. But, having used a number of different ones and found the problem with all of them, I now swear by pedal tuners (or other external tuner, if my pedalboard isn't there).

    The singular exception is when playing with a keyboard that is out of tune. In that case, we tune to the keys. I mean, what's the option, really?
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2017

  15. Stubee

    Stubee Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

    Jan 22, 2007
    I use the Snarks and find one model is better than another, but couldn't tell you which. I liked my old pedal tuner but it gave up the ghost and with the Snarks I can have one with about any guitar. I still have a couple earlier clip ons that seem to tune a bit more precisely, but are slower to read the pitch.

    They work OK on stage, not great but well enough. And 'OK' is a Godsend if you occasionally play with guys that are a little bit tone deaf, like I do.

  16. raito

    raito Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

    Nov 22, 2010
    Madison, WI
    Back in the before-tme, I didn't have a tuner (and only *1* guitar). I tuned by listening to beats between the strings and one of my synths.

    Now, I have 3 tuners. One Snark, which generally stays on the TV guitar, though I use it for my daughter's violin, too. One of those PLant Waves, pick-shaped, LED strobe tuners. And the rather expensive one (forget the brand right now) I got in a gig bag at the pawn shop when I bought the $60 Affinity Strat. Worth more than the guitar. That's the one I use for setups.

  17. rich815

    rich815 Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

    Aug 22, 2016
    San Francisco Bay Area
    95%+ of the people watching you can't even remember the color of your guitar let alone the type of guitar you used five minutes after you finish playing and they're certainly not noticing the tuner clip on your head stock. And even if they did I'd rather play in tune than worry about looking stupid with a tiny black clip on my guitar.

  18. studio1087

    studio1087 Telefied Ad Free Member

    May 10, 2003
    Near Milwaukee
    I complained about the accuracy of clip on Snarks but I used to have a floor Snark and the floor Snark was outstanding. Those snarky little tuners.


  19. studio1087

    studio1087 Telefied Ad Free Member

    May 10, 2003
    Near Milwaukee
    True but at risky of sounding like a total worry-wart (which I generally am); I do not like clipping tuners over the gold foil logos on my best Martins. I just don't care to clamp something onto some of my headstocks. If the guitar is plugged in then there are better tuning methods (my opinion).

    I admit that my worry may be a bit neurotic. I try to take good care of my guitars.

  20. jhundt

    jhundt Poster Extraordinaire

    Mar 23, 2003
    The Polytone clip-on is really good. It works perfect even when clipped on the the plastic-clad side-walls of my MSA Sidekick PSG.

    Does anyone remember the film of the Rolling Stones concert in Hyde Park, around 1968 or so? It was just a week or two after Brian Jones died. There is a great scene of them trying to tune their guitars in a backstage trailer, wirth no kind of tuner because tuners didn't exist. They spend a long time trying to tune, then they walk on stage and they are very blatantly out-of-tune. It's a Spinal Tap moment.
    william tele and tery like this.

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