Do I really need a tuner pedal?

papa32203

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Not saying that being tuned to ideal note is undesirable. Just that given the imperfections of one guitar, compounded by that of another, and a bass, sometimes one must deviate from the ideal note to get the imperfect instruments maximally in tune. E.g., if the fretted G string is a bit sharp on the 3rd fret for two of the guitars, then cheating the open G string a biiiit flat might be in order, making the ideal G note a reference point but not exactly our setting.

The intention is not to be out of tune for a singer, or generally, but to adjust for imperfections nimbly enough to minimize being out of tune. Let's say the song is in C, but the singer sings it best just a little sharp of C. So tuning to accommodate that (when we're not using keyboards or something else making us stick to ideal pitch) is what we'd do. Again making the ideal note just a reference point.

I don't like to hear endless tuning fiddling, either. I grumble, "I can do that myself." But if a well-synched band can tune quickly and has to tune variously, I was asking what advantages the tuning pedal offered.



Remind me not to spend my time or cash coming out to hear you guys tune as in the scenario described above.
 

MrGibbly

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Not necessary but certainly convenient. I keep a Polytune on my board. Very bright and easy to read. The mute function serves as a nice "kill switch" to help manage any number of minor mishaps and spare the audience the sound of your tuning. I usually have a Snark-like device nearby and tend to use them to check things before I practice. I can tune by ear when there's no other noise and no people watching me...otherwise, I like the certainty of a tuner.
 

Charlie Bernstein

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No.

I broke mine, then realized that I like headstock tuners better. They cost less, work fine, and take up less space. It helped me get my board down to three (count 'em, three!) pedals.
 

toomuch

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For one of my bands the TU-3 is essential. I do a fair amount of back-n-forth between guitar & keys during some songs and the mute feature makes it a breeze without fear of accidental guitar noises or amp humming. It's probably my most frequently stomped on pedal, actually...
 

RoscoeElegante

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Remind me not to spend my time or cash coming out to hear you guys tune as in the scenario described above.

Not even when we do our Yoko Ono medley? Through our bank of variously set Electro-Harmonix Pitch Forks? (The Pentagon is scouting us as a new missile-scramble system.)

Actually, it just takes us moments. And since our groupies can't clatter their walkers anymore, we can hear ourselves do it.

But I can see the merits of on an onboard tuning pedal in a loud venue. And I like the idea of what the Polytune does.

Thanks for everyone's replies here. Snarky as a few of 'em got. Please note that I wasn't putting any tuner users on trial here. Was just askin'....
 

24 track

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I love those little headstock tuners, great invention, I used to have a minimoog model D and it had an A-440 oscilator that was really stable, I can still hear that tone in my head ,
In a band situation we had 3 guitar and bass and every one used their own Battery operated tuners, I got frustrated with the drift from dieing batteries so I bought a rack mount tuner and we all tuned to the same tuner , this worked very well. Ive never used a pedal tuner.
 

uriah1

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Always a pedal tuner. Step on for mute and quick tuning during set. Diff settings for inside and outside.
Invaluable. imho
 
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Jupiter

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Almost every working musician's pedal board I've seen seems to have a tuner pedal on it, but I have a TINY pedal board--only 5 stomps for on it--and those little Snarks work great for me. Plenty bright.
 

scottser

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so, is your piano tuned to standard concert pitch at 440 or was it tuned by someone from the schiller institute or one of those mad philharmonics like new york?

without being too much of douche, i'd say no, you don't need a tuner pedal but it sure is handy when someone wants you to tune to a random, non standardised pitch.
 

bettyseldest

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I have a handful of the planet waves micro tuners. One fitted to the headstock of each of my guitars, they work well and are unobtrusive. I use them before going on stage, generally I cannot hear anything and have to put my trust in the tuner. Once onstage I quickly play each string to make sure I am happy with it. I have a Korg Pitchblack on my board. It allows me to mute the guitar when I change instruments, and silently check the tuning if I suspect something may be out. Recently I bought a 2015 Les Paul Junior, which I'm really enjoying, but we won't go there.
 

Minimalist518

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Tuning in the practice room or in a studio is an entirely different environment than tuning at a gig. Sure you can tune quickly by ear to a reference note in a controlled, relatively quiet situation, but what about in a noisy club with chattering patrons and a jukebox, or recorded music being piped through the sound system between bands? What about mid-set when your singer is chatting up the audience and your drummer and bass player are asking for monitor adjustments while thumping aimlessly at their respective instruments in order to listen to the adjustments?
I agree with the comments questioning the etiquette of tuning breaks potentially lengthened by factors like this without electronic assistance. Nobody came to hear you tune; but it’s inevitable, so take whatever electronic assistance you can to speed up the process. Sure there was a time people didn’t use ‘em; but there is a reason they were invented.
There was also a time when you couldn’t have discussions about tuners, or any other gear for that matter, on an internet forum, but isn’t your musical life better for the electronic assistance? I guess I don’t understand the resistance to something that makes life easier. Do you haul your gear to the gig by mule? [emoji1]
 
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basher

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Yeah, the technology exists to let you tune quickly, accurately, and quietly, and there's no downside to using it. In this day and age it's just basic professionalism.
 

tele_pathic

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I would say "YES!!!" A tuner with a mute. Just this weekend, I was at an outdoor gig. A guitar player in another band had to tune up: he grabbed a clip and proceeded to tune...with his volume up!!! Dang, it was annoying. On this forum, I can't use the words that I would normally
 

Flaneur

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I get good value out of cheap headstock tuners, at acoustic gigs and sessions. The vibe is relaxed, the environment isn't too raucous, time between songs is ......elastic.;)

For band gigs I always use a floor tuner. Way too much extraneous noise and distraction, fluorescent lights and signs, six musicians on sometimes tiny stages. The last time I tried a headstock tuner at one of those venues, the display went haywire. I don't want to have to take my guitar outdoors to get it playable- ever again.:D

I use multiple tunings and sometimes a capo, so I need to change and check I'm in tune quite often. More so, on cold days, in warm rooms, with my fussy Gibson slide guitar.;)

I wouldn't presume to tell others what they should do- but if the OP was sitting in with my band, I'd strongly recommend a floor tuner.:)
 




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