Ukulele Tuner

If you're a member of a ukulele group or ever play in noisy environments, a ukulele tuner is an essential bit of kit. It'll enable you to tune even if you can't hear your ukulele. It's also useful for newbies who want to check that they are in tune - although it's well worth learning to tune by ear as well. The main things to be looking for are:

Dedicated Ukulele Tuners: These tuners are designed specifically for ukuleles. For each string, they will show you whether you are high, low or dead on. Most do this by a series of lights.

They are limited to ukuleles; they only show the standard ukulele tuning. Most will work for either C or D tuning but nothing else.

Chromatic Tuners: These tuners allow you to tune to any note at all. They can be used to tune any stringed instrument and can be used for any tuning. If you play guitar and ukulele, a chromatic tuner will suit both.

Chromatic tuners are usually much more fancy than dedicated ukulele tuners with flashing dials and numbers. That does make them a little more complicated to use and you do have to know which note you are aiming for (G4,C4,E4,A4 for standard C-tuning). But it won't take you too long figure that stuff out.

Clip On Tuners: These tuners don't use a microphone. You clip them to the head of your uke and they pick up on the vibrations of the ukulele. This is very handy if you're tuning up in a noisy environment such as at a gig or in a uke group. This is the sort I use. My favourite is the Snark tuner.

Just remember to take them off before you start playing.

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12 Comments

  1. Eron April 11th, 2011 8:20 pm

    Since getting my first uke, I’ve used chromatic clip-on tuners. Having owned several (Oahu, Intelli,Korg) I’ve settled on the Intelli IMT500 Clip-on Chromatic Digital Tuner. It works well and doesn’t devour batteries.

    I have had some issues with getting to work with the low strings on basses when friends borrow it in noisy rooms. But it’s always worked perfectly for my ukes.

  2. bigtune May 13th, 2011 3:38 am

    I like the Intelli, but there’s a new , clip on GoGo tuner that’s amazing Check them out on youtube doing shootouts with other clip on’s, nice product.

  3. JohnUke May 23rd, 2011 6:56 am

    I own 3 Ukes, 10 electrics and 2 Taylor Acoustics…I love playing music. I own the Intelli MT-500, GoGo TT-1 Clip-On tuner and the Snark. My preference in order is the following

    #1 GoGo TT-1 Clip-On Tuner
    #2 Intelli MT500 Tuner
    #3 Snark

    And I always have my old Boss TU-12 as a go to

  4. MickyUkester August 5th, 2011 9:28 am

    I was Kayes Music in Reseda and he did a demo of the GoGo Tiki Uke Tuner….there’s no comparison . The screen resolution is leaps and bounds above the Kala…I also like the uke friendly look of the tuner. Perfect for any headstock

    The Tiki Uke Tuner is my new favorite

  5. I loveMyUke August 27th, 2011 8:18 am

    I picked up my GoGo Tiki Tuner at Sam Ash Music.
    They were very cool and let me demo several brands …so I could test for myself. I know it’s a small item for such a big store but they treated me great.
    I tried out 4 tuners for my new UKE and decided on the GoGo Tiki Uke Tuner. Amazing Screen, extremely responsive and looks great on my UKE

    2 Thumbs up for both Sam Ash Music and GoGo Tuners

  6. Steve January 9th, 2012 5:50 am

    I’ve been using an Intelli IMT-900 clip-on tuner with my uke. Works perfectly every time. Probably more flexible than a dedicated uke clip-on tuner – I use it for my banjo too – and therefore IMHO better value for money. Tip: the battery cover can come off and get lost – I recommend a small piece of black tape to keep it in place. My IMT has been going for 4 years on the same battery so you probably won’t be removing the tape very often.

    My problem is that whichever instrument I pick up, the tuner is always but always on the other one and that’s usually in a different room! So I’m going to get a Kala dedicated uke tuner just out of curiosity…

  7. Steve January 9th, 2012 5:21 pm

    …and so I did, today. The Kala KC02 tuner is smaller than the IMT-900 and doesn’t dwarf my uke. It will probably just be left clipped in place on the instrument most of the time.

    The body of the tuner has a slightly rubberised matt finish and the clip by which it attaches to the head is reasonably strong. The clip jaws are fitted with rubber pads so the tuner won’t slip and won’t damege the finish of the uke. The body is mounted on a hinger swivel so you can adjust it for easy viewing.

    There are three settings – chromatic, D tuning and C tuning which you select simply by cycling through the single button. The unit defaults to the last used setting when switched back on. The single button is also the on/off switch – just press and hold for two seconds.

    Tuning my uke was really easy. To be honest, it would be hard to go wrong with the KC02. With C tuning or D tuning selected, the display shows both the string number and the note being played. The display is very clear and the back light changes from blue to green when the string you’re working on is tuned correctly.

    All in all a cute little thing and I’m very pleased with it. It may not be the cheapest uke tuner out there (I paid £16) but it has a certain quality look/feel which I like.

  8. Alejandro June 4th, 2012 3:48 pm

    Hi everybody,

    i’m learning to play ukulele and i’m thinking about buying a clip cromatic tuner.

    What do you think about the Kork PC1?

  9. Witold March 3rd, 2013 10:26 am

    I bought Korg GB-1 tuner for electric guitars.
    I have tried it on GUITAR setting and C was impossible to tune on electric UKULELE.
    When I have set it on BASS …….all works perfectly on electric UKULELE.
    I hope it will be useful in a sense….I wanted to send the tool back and…..IT WAS NOT NECESSARY = it does the job for UKULELE.
    All the best Witold.

  10. Alan April 8th, 2013 10:20 am

    Snark takes some beating..

  11. Felicia July 5th, 2013 7:44 am

    I use a Snark on my uke. Tunes up wonderfully quickly. I tried a Korg but found it a hassle, really did not feel suitable for uke. Snark all the way!

  12. Witold July 15th, 2013 11:22 am

    Hi,So far I was using DEDICATED to ukulele Korg tuner.
    When it came to putting low G string I started tearing the strings due to volatility of the tuner.
    Some help came when I have switched to Baritone 4 string setting BUT still no good.I have bought Intelli 500 NON DEDICAATED tuner and tuning is done without problem of ripping the string.
    All the best witold.
    PS.There is another Witold here …..let me call THIS witold with low register = witold.

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