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spookelele
03-20-2015, 10:17 AM
So.. I've always used snark's because the local music store had them on sale when I started. But I notice in alot of videos, the pro's seem to never use snark, and instead use other brands.

Has anyone done an accuracy comparison of the clip on's?

Uncle Rod Higuchi
03-20-2015, 10:49 AM
I personally go for 'cheap', also known as 'inexpensive' or 'economical' as in under $5 on eBay :)

to me, the most important thing is to make sure it is set to A=440. Then... i just trust it :)

keep uke'in',

spookelele
03-20-2015, 11:10 AM
You're probably right Rod, and I shouldn't worry about it.
Just thought I'd throw it out there, cuz I leave them on, and I'm waiting for a new uke.. and was wondering if I should be sticking with what I know, or if I should be getting something better.

I bought the mahogany rebel tenor from NAMM, and I'm probably just antsy waiting for it.

stevepetergal
03-20-2015, 11:14 AM
They are all extremely reliable and accurate. The only thing that makes some problematic is difficulty in reading them. If you can see and interpret the info your tuner gives you, you'll be in tune.

igorthebarbarian
03-20-2015, 11:18 AM
The Black Snark is better built than the Red Snark. The red one has these little tabs that snap off too easily then you're headless and it's garbage then. I've had two reds do this; no problems yet on the black one

Osprey
03-20-2015, 11:29 AM
I like the NS micro tuner from Planet Waves mainly because it is small.

kmac66
03-20-2015, 12:44 PM
These tuners from Reverb.com are on $3.99 with free shipping. They work fine!

https://reverb.com/item/204704-reverb-clip-on-tuner

Mik
03-20-2015, 12:47 PM
I'm pretty content with my snark tuners (black and red). These headstock mounted tuners are fairly accurate, and it would seem to me that they work best in situations where there might be a lot of external noise. Even my next door neighbor, who's a professional guitarist, uses it.

strumsilly
03-20-2015, 01:27 PM
tuning fork? just found one in a box. kind of like a rotary phone, but more versitile, and the battery lasts forever.

peanuts56
03-20-2015, 01:33 PM
My two ears work just fine. I keep a tuning fork handy (A440) and use my ears. If a keyboard is available I use that. I've never quite understood why anyone would need a clip on tuner.
I am also a trumpeter, (mostly jazz) and noticed years ago that most of the major jazz artists I would go to hear never seemed to tune. I was a big fan of Count Basie's Band and I saw them many times and never saw anyone tune up except for the bassist. I had a professor in college who played lead trombone with Thad Jones, Woody Herman and Clark Terry's Big Bands. The tuning slide on his bone was stuck and had not moved in years. He said he used his ears.
I realize that string players have to stop and retune from time to time. All the ear training courses I took as an under grad helped wonderfully. Sometimes I think we rely on technology too often. Give me one note and I'm good on my own. Sorry if this seems like a rant, I worked hard to develop my ears. I have many friends who use them but I don't think they are an essential tool for a four or six string string instrument. A harp or a koto maybe.

kmac66
03-20-2015, 01:49 PM
"I've never quite understood why anyone would need a clip on tuner. "

Lucky you. Not all of us were blessed with 'perfect pitch' or years of ear training.

Ukulele Eddie
03-20-2015, 02:05 PM
[QUOTE=peanuts56;1667905]Sorry if this seems like a rant, I worked hard to develop my ears. I have many friends who use them but I don't think they are an essential tool for a four or six string string instrument. /QUOTE]

I hope your friends return your ears clean. ;-)

itsme
03-20-2015, 02:13 PM
The Black Snark is better built than the Red Snark. The red one has these little tabs that snap off too easily then you're headless and it's garbage then. I've had two reds do this; no problems yet on the black one
Is there really a difference in the actual construction? I had a red one break as well.


These tuners from Reverb.com are on $3.99 with free shipping. They work fine!

https://reverb.com/item/204704-reverb-clip-on-tuner
I was thinking about posting that, too! They seem to be as accurate as my red Snark. BTW, they used to be $3 shipped, but they're still a bargain. :)

deschutestrout
03-20-2015, 02:21 PM
I have many Snarks ... never an issue. I prefer the standard over the "totally tight" or whatever the heck they call it. I find the one with the narrow tune indicator more accurate. But, I've used others too and like 'em. As long as you're close to being in tune, it's all good ;)

PhilUSAFRet
03-20-2015, 02:28 PM
I have one of these. A friend of mine that teaches bought nine. They are made as well and work as well as the more expensive ones. $2.99 buy it now with free shipping and mine came with a battery. A few of the cheap ones don't. http://www.ebay.com/itm/Clip-On-Chromatic-Guitar-Bass-AT-200D-Ukulele-Tuner-Headstock-Tuner-A-R-O-M-A-/220974287897?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3373180c19

It's about 1/3 the price of a Snark, and so far, the only clip on I've had break was a Snark.

UkuDee
03-20-2015, 03:31 PM
I've used others in the past, but have been using just Snarks for about three years on my guitars and ukes. They seem to work as well as the other clip-ons that I've tried.

cpmusic
03-20-2015, 03:43 PM
I've used the Intelli IMT500 for several years. I've tried others, and their displays don't seem to be quite as precise or steady. The Snark, in particular, seems rather jumpy. The Intelli's display is LCD, but it's a needle-style meter with very precise marks, and its needle is steadier than the blocks or arrows of the others I've tried.

http://www.amazon.com/Intelli-IMT500-Chromatic-Digital-Strings/dp/B002Q0WSO8

I still have a Korg AT-2 that I bought for my hammered dulcimer about 23 years ago. It's relatively large and blocky, but it still works.

Ukuleleblues
03-20-2015, 03:58 PM
I had two red snarks lose their heads relatively quickly. Have an older blue one that is fine. I like the LCD tuners better because you can see them in the sun (I play outside a lot). My favorite is the imt500.

peanuts56
03-20-2015, 04:10 PM
KMAC , I don't have perfect pitch. Ear training is not a blessing but an essential tool for any serious musician. You might want to give it a try. A little practice goes a long way.

itsme
03-20-2015, 04:51 PM
I have one of these. A friend of mine that teaches bought nine. They are made as well and work as well as the more expensive ones. $2.99 buy it now with free shipping and mine came with a battery. A few of the cheap ones don't. http://www.ebay.com/itm/Clip-On-Chromatic-Guitar-Bass-AT-200D-Ukulele-Tuner-Headstock-Tuner-A-R-O-M-A-/220974287897?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3373180c19
Okay, you got me. I ordered one. Another tuner never hurt anyone. :)

Ukejenny
03-20-2015, 05:17 PM
My two ears work just fine. I keep a tuning fork handy (A440) and use my ears. If a keyboard is available I use that. I've never quite understood why anyone would need a clip on tuner.
I am also a trumpeter, (mostly jazz) and noticed years ago that most of the major jazz artists I would go to hear never seemed to tune. I was a big fan of Count Basie's Band and I saw them many times and never saw anyone tune up except for the bassist. I had a professor in college who played lead trombone with Thad Jones, Woody Herman and Clark Terry's Big Bands. The tuning slide on his bone was stuck and had not moved in years. He said he used his ears.
I realize that string players have to stop and retune from time to time. All the ear training courses I took as an under grad helped wonderfully. Sometimes I think we rely on technology too often. Give me one note and I'm good on my own. Sorry if this seems like a rant, I worked hard to develop my ears. I have many friends who use them but I don't think they are an essential tool for a four or six string string instrument. A harp or a koto maybe.

Since a trombone is basically one big tuning slide, your professor probably would compensate with trombone positions, which all trombonists do, whether their tuning slide is stuck or not.

bnolsen
03-20-2015, 05:32 PM
i've had 4 reverbs and they've all been fine. this last one looks slightly different than the previous ones but still seems okay. I probably should test that one more heavily to see if its still as sensitive as the other one i still have. When i gift or loan ukuleles i also include a reverb tuner.

i have a cherub somewhere...not very precise. some chinese one i got from dx.com, also not very precise. And also a blue and a red snark, which are too easy to break and they aren't as precise as the reverb tuner.

kohanmike
03-20-2015, 08:07 PM
I install a preamp with tuner in most of my ukes. For the other ones, I prefer the Planet Waves (now owned by D'addario) mini tuner, though I have a half dozen of various configurations. I played guitar for 50 years, now uke and recently bass, I could never tune by ear. I can tell when it's not in tune, but can't get it to tune.

hollisdwyer
03-20-2015, 09:15 PM
I use a mixture of snark and planet waves micros but then check by ear by fretting the lower pitch string on the appropriate fret and comparing to the next higher string.

Rllink
03-21-2015, 02:33 AM
An Eno ET-33 came with my uke. I don't know whether it is any good or not, because I've never had anything else. But, I think that it is more accurate than I am, so there you go.

mikelz777
03-21-2015, 04:18 AM
KMAC , I don't have perfect pitch. Ear training is not a blessing but an essential tool for any serious musician. You might want to give it a try. A little practice goes a long way.

I don't know if it's your intention or not but this and your prior post come off as kinda snotty and arrogant in a passive aggressive sort of way. ("I've never quite understood why anyone would need a clip on tuner." etc.) I'm pretty sure it's safe to say that the majority of people that populate this forum are not professional musicians nor do they aspire to be. I'm also guessing that the vast majority of the people here do not possess your hard earned skill. I'm certain that's it's wonderful to be able to do what you do. I wish I had the skill but for my fun and recreational purposes, I don't think the time and effort of trying to learn such a skill would be worth it. Instead, I can use a clip-on tuner and be good to go in less than a minute without the question of whether my ear was on or not. For those of us who are less trained and in this for the fun and enjoyment, a clip-on tuner is not a crutch, it is a necessity. It's not something we should be looked down upon for using.

P.S. In response to the thread topic, I use a blue Snark and a $3.99 Reverb and both get the job done. I don't keep either clipped to the uke. I tune the uke and then the tuner is put back in the case.

spookelele
03-21-2015, 04:41 AM
I don't know if it's your intention or not but this and your prior post come off as kinda snotty and arrogant in a passive aggressive sort of way. ("I've never quite understood why anyone would need a clip on tuner." etc.)

In trying to give benefit of the doubt.. Maybe he's saying he's tuning relative pitch?
It's a legit strategy.

If you're playing alone, as long as your strings are tuned to themselves its sounds fine. If you play in a group, then you can tune to the group, like when an orchestra starts, they tune to a note like an oboe, or sometimes something else.

Obviously I use a clip on, because I started this thread. But if I don't have one, like at a music store trying ukes and find one that is not in tune, I'll tune it relative so that I can play it.

To be fair... A isn't always 440, and hasn't been historically, but you gotta pick something right?

0-------------
------3------0
-------------4
2-----0-------

If that works, then you're in tune with yourself right?

mikelz777
03-21-2015, 04:51 AM
In trying to give benefit of the doubt.. Maybe he's saying he's tuning relative pitch?
It's a legit strategy...

That wasn't my read but perhaps. In a pinch without a tuner, I would do the same thing. Just to show how necessary a tuner is for me, I have no idea what you mean by "A isn't always 440". It sounds like more than I want or need to know! :cool:

spookelele
03-21-2015, 04:55 AM
I have no idea what you mean by "A isn't always 440".

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Concert_pitch
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A440_(pitch_standard)

KellyK
03-21-2015, 04:58 AM
In trying to give benefit of the doubt.. Maybe he's saying he's tuning relative pitch?
It's a legit strategy.

If you're playing alone, as long as your strings are tuned to themselves its sounds fine. If you play in a group, then you can tune to the group, like when an orchestra starts, they tune to a note like an oboe, or sometimes something else.

Obviously I use a clip on, because I started this thread. But if I don't have one, like at a music store trying ukes and find one that is not in tune, I'll tune it relative so that I can play it.

To be fair... A isn't always 440, and hasn't been historically, but you gotta pick something right?

0-------------
------3------0
-------------4
2-----0-------

If that works, then you're in tune with yourself right?

You are in tune with yourself if you are only playing that note. Once you move off that note and play a different note (depending on the key you are using) or even a chord then you are not likely' in tune'. See earlier discussions in this thread about just or Pythagorean tuning.

The other item to think about to play in tune (with a fretted instrument) is finger pressure vertically and more importantly horizontally. It's pretty easy with these soft, soft strings to bend a note sharp at any time.

hoosierhiver
03-21-2015, 05:02 AM
I've found the biggest problem with clip-on tuners, no matter what brand is that if the battery starts to get low they don't work as well, especially on the clip/vibrate setting.

mikelz777
03-21-2015, 05:18 AM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Concert_pitch
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A440_(pitch_standard)

So that's what they were doing at my daughters band concerts before playing!

spookelele
03-21-2015, 05:35 AM
You are in tune with yourself if you are only playing that note.

That is true, but like I said, you have to pick something.

peanuts56
03-21-2015, 05:47 AM
It was not my intention to come off as arrogant, elitist, snotty or passive aggressive. We are dealing with 4 strings in most cases and my feeling is that the money spent on a tuner could be put to better use.

Rllink
03-21-2015, 06:57 AM
It was not my intention to come off as arrogant, elitist, snotty or passive aggressive. We are dealing with 4 strings in most cases and my feeling is that the money spent on a tuner could be put to better use.I have enough money to spring for a six dollar tuner without having to give up something else, so I'll just use a tuner. I like them fine, and I don't need to get real elaborate with my ukulele playing. In fact, I have a tuner app on my phone that I use sometimes in stores to tune them up. I don't have any problem tuning to a tuning fork, or a pitch pipe, or a piano key, or tuning one string against another, but tuners work well, and they a quick, and that is what I like about them. It is cool with me if you can't understand why anyone would want to use a tuner, but I wonder why anyone wouldn't.

Rllink
03-21-2015, 07:00 AM
In response to the original post, I am not a pro ukulele player, so I don't know about pro ukulele players. But I used to be a competitive shooter, and I used the stuff that my sponsors paid me to use

Patrick Madsen
03-21-2015, 07:21 AM
A number of us were given free GOGO Tiki Tuners a couple years back. It's my favorite still. I use the NS Micros on a few I don't mind the little clip showing. On my vintage and MB, I'll use the GOGO and take it off.

jer
03-21-2015, 07:35 AM
I like the NS micro tuner from Planet Waves mainly because it is small.
Ditto. I have that one too. Mine seems just a bit touchy sometimes in regards to locking onto a note, but it seems to be accurate.

I also have a bigger one that just has an internal mic that does a fine job. It's a Korg CA something...can't remember the exact name. I've been using it more than my clip on tuner lately.

stevepetergal
03-21-2015, 09:25 AM
I am also a trumpeter, (mostly jazz) and noticed years ago that most of the major jazz artists I would go to hear never seemed to tune. I was a big fan of Count Basie's Band and I saw them many times and never saw anyone tune up except for the bassist. I had a professor in college who played lead trombone with Thad Jones, Woody Herman and Clark Terry's Big Bands. The tuning slide on his bone was stuck and had not moved in years. He said he used his ears.[QUOTE]

Hey, I tuned for Basie a couple of times!


[QUOTE=peanuts56;1667905]
I realize that string players have to stop and retune from time to time. All the ear training courses I took as an under grad helped wonderfully. Sometimes I think we rely on technology too often. Give me one note and I'm good on my own. Sorry if this seems like a rant, I worked hard to develop my ears. I have many friends who use them but I don't think they are an essential tool for a four or six string string instrument. A harp or a koto maybe.

I studied tuning and tuned pianos for a living for about twenty five years, (a much more complex endeavor than an ukulele) and would never use electronics. But for ukulele, it makes no sense to me not to use an electronic tuner. Vive la differance!

bnolsen
03-21-2015, 09:44 AM
So that's what they were doing at my daughters band concerts before playing!

a440 has been replaced by a443 in europe and a442 in the US for orchestral tuning since back in the 1990s or so. At least that's what my daughter's piano teachers tuner (ugh) was telling me. He tunes her pianos to a442. They say it gives a "brighter" feel. Of course everything is geared towards a440 so if the change for some reason would go official....

peanuts56
03-21-2015, 12:02 PM
Stevepetergal, What an incredible band Basie led. I met him once, very nice man. Did you get a chance to meet and speak with him?
The Count was always the coolest guy in the room!

jer
03-21-2015, 01:46 PM
I'm really glad I don't have perfect pitch. If I did, I probably wouldn't be able to tolerate any fretted instrument since the intonation is never perfect. I think it'd be more of a curse than a blessing.

mikelz777
03-21-2015, 02:51 PM
I'm really glad I don't have perfect pitch. If I did, I probably wouldn't be able to tolerate any fretted instrument since the intonation is never perfect. I think it'd be more of a curse than a blessing.

I'd agree that perfect pitch is probably more of a curse than a blessing. The same goes for those out there who are audiophiles. I sometimes frequent a jazz related forum and there are a lot of guys there who will always moan and complain about all these recordings that have such crappy remastering, or the sound is too compressed, or the tape speed is speeding up or slowing down, etc., etc. When I listen to the exact same recordings they are complaining about, they sound just fine to me. It's kind of like the concept where you can be going along just fine and then someone points out an annoying sound. You didn't even hear it at first but now that they brought your attention to it, then that's all you can hear to the point that it becomes distracting. I would hate it if I had such a refined ear that every perceived flaw in the sound stuck out to the point of distraction. It would strip me of the ability to enjoy such a wide variety of music if all these perceived flaws were always jumping out at me and I was left feeling that I had to always "settle" for whatever I heard but feeling that whatever I was listening to was lacking.

Mik
03-21-2015, 03:15 PM
I'd agree that perfect pitch is probably more of a curse than a blessing. The same goes for those out there who are audiophiles. I sometimes frequent a jazz related forum and there are a lot of guys there who will always moan and complain about all these recordings that have such crappy remastering, or the sound is too compressed, or the tape speed is speeding up or slowing down, etc., etc. When I listen to the exact same recordings they are complaining about, they sound just fine to me. It's kind of like the concept where you can be going along just fine and then someone points out an annoying sound. You didn't even hear it at first but now that they brought your attention to it, then that's all you can hear to the point that it becomes distracting. I would hate it if I had such a refined ear that every perceived flaw in the sound stuck out to the point of distraction. It would strip me of the ability to enjoy such a wide variety of music if all these perceived flaws were always jumping out at me and I was left feeling that I had to always "settle" for whatever I heard but feeling that whatever I was listening to was lacking.

I couldn't agree more!

Diamond Dave
03-21-2015, 04:53 PM
The Black Snark is better built than the Red Snark. The red one has these little tabs that snap off too easily then you're headless and it's garbage then. I've had two reds do this; no problems yet on the black one

Oh, the black ones snap, too. Just wait.

jer
03-21-2015, 06:19 PM
I'd agree that perfect pitch is probably more of a curse than a blessing. The same goes for those out there who are audiophiles. I sometimes frequent a jazz related forum and there are a lot of guys there who will always moan and complain about all these recordings that have such crappy remastering, or the sound is too compressed, or the tape speed is speeding up or slowing down, etc., etc. When I listen to the exact same recordings they are complaining about, they sound just fine to me. It's kind of like the concept where you can be going along just fine and then someone points out an annoying sound. You didn't even hear it at first but now that they brought your attention to it, then that's all you can hear to the point that it becomes distracting. I would hate it if I had such a refined ear that every perceived flaw in the sound stuck out to the point of distraction. It would strip me of the ability to enjoy such a wide variety of music if all these perceived flaws were always jumping out at me and I was left feeling that I had to always "settle" for whatever I heard but feeling that whatever I was listening to was lacking.
Exactly! Well said.

ksiegel
03-21-2015, 07:01 PM
Way back when, I used a tuning fork on my guitar to get the A string in tune, then used relative tuning from there. it was basically what we did in the 70s and early 80s.

Now, I go to folk festivals, and notice that the majority of performers use a Snark for a quick and dirty tuning: they tune to the Snark, all 4 strings, THEN go relative tuning from there. That is what I've been doing all along, because it works for me.

As for tuners, I've got snarks in red and blue, a generic tuner labeled "Kala" that MGM sent me with my Kala, several D'Addario/ Planet Waves NS tuners, an old Korg somewhere, and ... a tuning fork.

Funny that the tuning fork is labeled "A=440" but ALL of the tuners say it is sharp by one or two cents...

I remember hearing an anecdote about one of the 1960s rock stars using an electronic tuner, and saying "You know, if we had had these things back then, the 60s would have gone a LOT faster!"



-Kurt

katysax
03-22-2015, 06:19 AM
I know a lot of professional wind players. Some of them use tuners a lot and during practice leave them clipped to their horns. Even if you have a great ear, lots of things can throw it off and it is very helpful to have an objective reference.

stevepetergal
03-22-2015, 08:31 AM
Stevepetergal, What an incredible band Basie led. I met him once, very nice man. Did you get a chance to meet and speak with him?
The Count was always the coolest guy in the room!

I met him twice. The first time, I met him very briefly when he (and his band) played at a place called The Sabre Room (near Chicago), where I and my partner did all the piano tuning and service work (at the time). The second time, they played an outdoor venue where we supplied a rental piano. I got to talk with him for a while. We talked about jazz, pianos, Oscar Peterson... A few other band members came and went, including the great Freddie Green! It was amazing.

Steveperrywriter
03-22-2015, 09:47 AM
I think that if you have expertise in an area, you will tend to view (or hear) it in ways different than folks with less knowledge. Nature of the beast that if you do something well, you’ll spot or hear things they won’t.

A lot of these discussions seem to come down to somebody with that expertise trying to tell somebody who doesn’t have it how it works, or how they think it should work. Sometimes comments come from folks who simply have better equipment than the rest of us. The Bruce Lee Effect: He could move well, but he didn't produce a lot of students who were as good as, or better than he was. That's because to do what he did, you needed to be who he was ...

Perfectly valid to offer this; however, when somebody who has a great ear tells folks whose ears are somewhat-less-developed that they ought to, you know, just practice and learn? That sometimes comes across as condescending, even when it isn’t meant to be.

And, of course, sometimes it is meant to be an exercise in superiority. Well, if you were a real whatever-it-is-we-are-talking-about-here, then you'd learn this.

My father was a big band fan, played trumpet, could sight-read, and as far as he was concerned Glenn Miller was a real musician, but those mop-topped hoodlums from Liverpool, not one of whom could read music? They weren't real musicians, and that yeah-yeah-yeah crap was nothing but noise.

On this we differed ...

There are things that are easy to say, but not so easy to do, and some of them require more than the old Nike phrase.

You see how that dude did the triple flyaway dismount and stuck the landing? Do it like that …

So if somebody allows as how you can do a thing and offers a how-to method, that can be both useful and helpful. But we are not all born with the same powers and abilities, and when the advice requires that you have something you don’t have, and which, by your experience, isn’t easy to get? You will tend to — pardon the phrase — turn a deaf ear to it, and rightfully so.

Speaking of deaf: Years ago, I got my first hearing aid, an inside the ear model that would sometimes feedback and produce a high-pitched whine. I couldn't hear it, those frequencies are long-gone. Somebody would point it out, I'd pull the sucker and toggle it off and on. They'd say, "You can't hear that?"

"No, man, if I could hear it, I wouldn't need it ..."

stevepetergal
03-23-2015, 03:28 AM
I think that if you have expertise in an area, you will tend to view (or hear) it in ways different than folks with less knowledge. Nature of the beast that if you do something well, you’ll spot or hear things they won’t.

A lot of these discussions seem to come down to somebody with that expertise trying to tell somebody who doesn’t have it how it works, or how they think it should work. Sometimes comments come from folks who simply have better equipment than the rest of us.

You're absolutely right, Steve.

On this specific subject (tuning), I have many years of experience. But, as complex as tuning is, I always recommend tuning ukuleles in the way that is easiest for the player. If I tune mine without the electronic tuner, I can do it in seconds or I can be fussy and take what feels like forever. But, if I use my Snark (not an endorsement) it's always fast, and the tuning is fine. C'mon everybody, it's only four strings. Enjoy!

flailingfingers
03-23-2015, 03:47 AM
Like the Steves said. Perfect.