Tuner question, (overkill?)

I just got my first Ukulele, I am using an app on the phone to tune. It seems ok to me but I can see the need for a clip on if you ever end up anyplace with back ground noise. I have been researching them and am impressed with the Peterson Stroboclip. I have seen an online review that dinged it for being complicated, I can see where you can get off in the weeds if you want but just using it straight seems the same as any of the chromatic ones. Is it worth the money or is it not really important? I am sure there are good arguments on both sides. I am just curious what the group thinks.

People obsess about loads of things and almost invariably it’s pretty much pointless. Buy a simple clip on tuner that works, use it and then get on with playing. If your ears are happy, and likewise those of the other people listening, then all’s well.
 
@Graham Greenbag is spot on. The real sweet spot is to be able to just tune your uke to itself with your ears. Why? Because a uke that has slightly off intonation will sound much better tuned to itself than it ever would tuned to some arbitrary point. The idea of perfect intonation on a short-scale fretted instrument honestly a little ridiculous - eventually, you will be looking at microtonal guitars.

microtonal guitar.png

Microtonal guitars do have certain types of music that they're worthwhile for, but not for this application. Why? Because every time you fret a string, you wear it down slightly where it touches the fret. This changes its intonation the next time you fret it. This is the reason you can never truly have perfect intonation. And that's also assuming that you don't change a string's pitch by bending it slightly as you fret.

Does it matter? No, not at all. Being able to measure a difference in pitch is just going to make you chase something you can never really have! Far better to have a set of ears you've trained and trust to get a decent pitch.

Jim D'Ville has a great site about this called Play Ukulele By Ear. I wish I had known about it when I started. It would have saved me years. Here's instruction on how to tune a uke with a tuning fork.



There's a guy at my open mic who is obsessed with the idea of A432 as being the "correct" tuning for various reasons I don't understand. He holds everyone up tuning his instrument before every song because of the rabbit hole he's fallen into and none of the people who turn up and listen to him notice or care about the difference. Don't be that guy.
 
@Graham Greenbag is spot on. The real sweet spot is to be able to just tune your uke to itself with your ears. Why? Because a uke that has slightly off intonation will sound much better tuned to itself than it ever would tuned to some arbitrary point. The idea of perfect intonation on a short-scale fretted instrument honestly a little ridiculous - eventually, you will be looking at microtonal guitars.

View attachment 162439

Microtonal guitars do have certain types of music that they're worthwhile for, but not for this application. Why? Because every time you fret a string, you wear it down slightly where it touches the fret. This changes its intonation the next time you fret it. This is the reason you can never truly have perfect intonation. And that's also assuming that you don't change a string's pitch by bending it slightly as you fret.

Does it matter? No, not at all. Being able to measure a difference in pitch is just going to make you chase something you can never really have! Far better to have a set of ears you've trained and trust to get a decent pitch.

Jim D'Ville has a great site about this called Play Ukulele By Ear. I wish I had known about it when I started. It would have saved me years. Here's instruction on how to tune a uke with a tuning fork.



There's a guy at my open mic who is obsessed with the idea of A432 as being the "correct" tuning for various reasons I don't understand. He holds everyone up tuning his instrument before every song because of the rabbit hole he's fallen into and none of the people who turn up and listen to him notice or care about the difference. Don't be that guy.

Uber-obsessive tuner is the guy whose uke should be tossed, well, somewhere. Not into a campfire.:)
 
Microtonal guitars do have certain types of music that they're worthwhile for, but not for this application. Why? Because every time you fret a string, you wear it down slightly where it touches the fret. This changes its intonation the next time you fret it. This is the reason you can never truly have perfect intonation.
There is such a thing as using frets that are harder than the strings, like a ukulele. Or on a steel string guitar, stainless steel frets.
 
Buy the one that makes you happiest. The Peterson looks to be a great one. If you don't mind the price and want it, then get it. If one of the other appeals, get it.

One of the alternatives, is to get multiple ones and leave them around. If serious, you will soon have multiple ukuleles to match.
 
There is such a thing as using frets that are harder than the strings, like a ukulele. Or on a steel string guitar, stainless steel frets.
Brings to mind three questions:

1. How does that make a difference to string wear? As strings become a different diameter through their length, their intonation will go out.

2. Are the strings going to be perfectly uniform in diameter even when new?

3. Can anyone tell from the sound and most importantly does anyone who listens to the music really care?
 
Jim D'Ville has a great site about this called Play Ukulele By Ear
It's an excellent site, although I don't recommend searching for it by its initials…
 
There is such a thing as using frets that are harder than the strings, like a ukulele. Or on a steel string guitar, stainless steel frets.
The fretboard in the picture shown looks like it is moulded or even 3D printed plastic. How someone would make such a complex fretboard with solid steel frets isn’t obvious, I’ve an idea but there will be reasons why that idea wasn’t used.
 
Brings to mind three questions:

1. How does that make a difference to string wear? As strings become a different diameter through their length, their intonation will go out.

2. Are the strings going to be perfectly uniform in diameter even when new?

3. Can anyone tell from the sound and most importantly does anyone who listens to the music really care?
This is obviously only a problem with “beater” ukes such as Yowling Tom but I have the opposite issue, which is the visible and increasing wearing away of the molded plastic frets.

Should I be concerned enough to swap out the lousy neck and kit fretboard for a far better one with actual metal frets which I acquired quite unexpectedly from a fellow UU member, or would that amount to going far overboard with lipstick on a pig?
 
I am pretty new so feel free to take everything I say with a pinch of salt. I don’t know anything about the Peterson tuner, but I noticed that my Snark tuner didn’t seem accurate enough when I got a new nice ukulele with really great intonation. I could suddenly clearly hear when my uke was slightly out of tune, but my Shark indicated that it was in tune. I bought the Boss TU-10 Clip-on chromatic tuner below based on recommendations from the UU forum and I really like it. It is much more accurate than the snark and it was only $25.

Boss TU-10 Clip-On Chromatic Tuner - Black https://a.co/d/4oOHZ6T

When I want something really small and care less about accuracy I used the D’addario micro tuner.
 
Should I be concerned enough to swap out the lousy neck and kit fretboard for a far better one with actual metal frets which I acquired quite unexpectedly from a fellow UU member, or would that amount to going far overboard with lipstick on a pig?
Interesting question. My favourite uke is the one that is next to my bed. It is a BS Masters, 1950s. Plastic fretboard with plenty of wear. I play it for about 2-3 hours a day.

I've been doing this for the best part of ten years. Several sets of strings but no new fretboard yet!

If it sounded wrong I'd replace the fretboard but it doesn't yet.

I've seen your videos. I don't see why you would replace the fretboard on your uke. Sounds ok to me!
 
Interesting question. My favourite uke is the one that is next to my bed. It is a BS Masters, 1950s. Plastic fretboard with plenty of wear. I play it for about 2-3 hours a day.

I've been doing this for the best part of ten years. Several sets of strings but no new fretboard yet!

If it sounded wrong I'd replace the fretboard but it doesn't yet.

I've seen your videos. I don't see why you would replace the fretboard on your uke. Sounds ok to me!
Do you notice an abrasive, scratchy sound when choking/ bending strings, or should that be my audible cue for using far too much finger pressure?
 
Is the Peterson overkill? Certainly. But that's the fun of having a hobby like this. I've been meaning to get a Peterson as soon as my snark dies. I bought it in 2017, I have had to replace the battery two or three times in that time, and it is still working. I wish I knew what you folks are doing to your snarks to make them break so easily, so that I could upgrade to the Peterson.
 
Petersen is overkill. If you insist on strobe get the tc elec for 1/4 price. Best to just get any clip on for 10 bucks. IMO Snark is a simply a popular marketing company. Their product is fragile, eats batteries, has plastic that goes gooey and sticky, and is 5x overpriced. Had 2. Both broke.

Not sure what country you are in, but here in the USA, Sweetwater is selling a 2-pack of TC UniTune strobe tuner for $52 (for 2 tuners). A single Peterson is $60. In my experience accuracy is similar for both (and both are noticeably more accurate than the basic Snark and d'Addario tuners). Some people complain that the TC design is more clunky than Peterson, but it doesn't bother me.

If you're looking for a cheaper, less accurate tuner, my advise it to get on that is USB rechargeable. One charge will last for months and the battery level is shown on the display so you are never surprised by the battery dying. No battery door to break off or get lost. Amazon sells generic rechargeable tuners for $12-$20. Name-brands are $20-$30.
 
Is the Peterson overkill? Certainly. But that's the fun of having a hobby like this. I've been meaning to get a Peterson as soon as my snark dies. I bought it in 2017, I have had to replace the battery two or three times in that time, and it is still working. I wish I knew what you folks are doing to your snarks to make them break so easily, so that I could upgrade to the Peterson.
Consider yourself very lucky. Nobody is abusing their snarks, its just a bad design...that necessitated a "fix". Don't know how those newer, improved ones have held up.
 
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I use a clip on D'Addario (but can't say so because I don't know how to pronounce D'Addario) or if I want to get really accurate a Korg SH-Pro. In a pinch I use a fork and tune to harmonics listening for the difference frequency to go away. However a wooden stringed instrument will never be perfectly intoned and if your ear is sensitive to pitch you will find slight changes need to be made for different keys which works for first position chords. I intone my guitars with an analogue BOSS TU-12H. Crystals don't lie.
 
I just got my first Ukulele, I am using an app on the phone to tune. It seems ok to me but I can see the need for a clip on if you ever end up anyplace with back ground noise. I have been researching them and am impressed with the Peterson Stroboclip. I have seen an online review that dinged it for being complicated, I can see where you can get off in the weeds if you want but just using it straight seems the same as any of the chromatic ones. Is it worth the money or is it not really important? I am sure there are good arguments on both sides. I am just curious what the group thinks.
Snark
 
Is the Peterson overkill? Certainly. But that's the fun of having a hobby like this. I've been meaning to get a Peterson as soon as my snark dies. I bought it in 2017, I have had to replace the battery two or three times in that time, and it is still working. I wish I knew what you folks are doing to your snarks to make them break so easily, so that I could upgrade to the Peterson.
The cheap plastic receiver part on the body for the cheap plastic ball mount breaks very easily if you pack the tuner and uke up to take out. The awkward design takes up tons of room. I guess its okay if it sits inside the house and never gets packed up in the uke case
 
Buy the one that makes you happiest. The Peterson looks to be a great one. If you don't mind the price and want it, then get it. If one of the other appeals, get it.

One of the alternatives, is to get multiple ones and leave them around. If serious, you will soon have multiple ukuleles to match.
Yea my wife knew I was researching, my plan was to get a uke with a solid top in the $150 range. Some day if I played ok I was going to get one of the "K" Hawaiian Made one. Well she got me a KoAloha KCM-00. I have logged over 2 hours on Yousician and can't play at all. Turns out is harder than flying a plane. ugg. I am sure I will end up with a collection if I can play.
 
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Is the Peterson overkill? Certainly. But that's the fun of having a hobby like this. I've been meaning to get a Peterson as soon as my snark dies. I bought it in 2017, I have had to replace the battery two or three times in that time, and it is still working. I wish I knew what you folks are doing to your snarks to make them break so easily, so that I could upgrade to the Peterson.
In my house my son and cats abuse everything I accidentally leave out. I can send them to your place if you want your snark to have an “accident” ;)
 
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