Properly tuning your guitar is a MUST.
Here’s the deal:
There is nothing worse than getting together with a band, only to realize that you are out of tune.
Don’t be that guy!
Because of this, guitar tuners are a piece of gear that most smart guitar players have in their gig bags.
There are several types of guitar tuners out there, but the clip-on kind is by far the most practical of them all. They’re cheap enough to have a few lying around.
These are great because all you have to do is clip them onto your headstock, and you are in business.
If you are on a stage, in between songs, this ability to quickly check your tuning is priceless.
I’m going to highlight the top 5 clip-on guitar tuners on the market, and talk about what each has to offer.
Snark ST-2 Multi-Instrument Chromatic Tuner
Let’s kick things off with a great model from Snark.
Their ST-2 is what you would consider a slightly advanced clip-on tuner, which can be used on a variety of instruments.
It is easy to clip onto a headstock and features a rotating display, so you can always see what you are doing no matter how or where you clipped it on.
What makes this tuner a great choice is the level of detail it displays, as well as how accurate it is. We are talking about a very precise instrument.
This precision is achieved by using a high sensitivity vibration sensor in combination with an internal microphone. In other words, you don’t have to worry if the ambient noise levels are too high, you will still be able to tune your guitar with great accuracy.
This makes the Snark ST-2 a perfect solution for on-stage use.
On top of that, it comes with a tap-tempo metronome.
D'Addario NS Micro Clip-On Tuner
D’Addario’s NS Micro clip-on tuner is a low profile unit that offers a basic, but accurate core performance.
In all honesty, its compact size is its best feature by far.
You can easily mount this thing anywhere on the headstock and just leave it there. You won’t even notice it when you play since it is so light and tiny.
The NS Micro works well with a variety of instruments and is rather accurate in its readings. Speaking of which, the display comes in form of the most basic solution you could imagine.
Some might be turned off by this, however, keep in mind that simple yet very readable displays are essentially what you want to have. You can distinguish the readings from this tuner in just about any environment, regardless of light pollution or lack thereof.
The tuner works by utilizing a vibration sensor, meaning that you can tune your instruments despite whatever surrounding noise there is.
Fender Clip-On Tuner FT-004
Fender is one of those brands that has crept into just about every crevice of guitar and guitar related industries.
Among the wide range of accessories they produce, you will also find a decent selection of tuners. Their FT-004 is a perfect example of a quality, low profile tuner that comes at a great price.
This thing is fairly simple but offers a great tuning range.
Most of its front size is covered by a rather large display which features green text over a dark green background.
Compared to some other designs, this display is anything but cluttered. They kept it pretty simple, which is always a plus.
Just like most other models I have mentioned here, the FT-004 uses a high sensitivity vibration sensor, meaning that you can easily tune your guitar in environments polluted with noise.
Mugig Clip-On Tuner
If you are looking for the best bang for the buck solution, Mugig’s clip-on tuner is something that might interest you.
One glance at this thing will tell you that Mugig went for functionality over anything else. There are no fancy features nor a colourful display, just a solid core performance.
The tuner itself can be considered compact. They have dedicated most of its front side to a large LCD display. The information found on the display is extremely easy to read.
Aside from a large letter indicating the key your string is in, there is also an arching dial at the top which is pretty accurate.
The best thing about Mugig’s clip-on tuner is how responsive it is for the price you are paying. Readings are almost instantaneous.
Again, this tuner uses a vibration sensor, so it can come in handy on a busy stage.
The last model I want to mention comes from xGuitarx.
While it’s not all that compact, it is accurate and comes with a decent colour display.
Even though having a colour display on your tuner is more of a gimmick than a necessity, xGuitarx has made this one very easy to read. The colours actually help when adjusting your tuning.
What matters the most is that you are getting a near perfect type of accuracy at a price where you can have one of these in your gig bag, your studio or wherever you use your guitar.
The display is capable of rotating, meaning that you can clip the tuner just about anywhere on your guitar.
If you are looking for the cheapest possible solution that works, this is it.
Clip-On Tuners are Easy and Pretty Cheap
Fortunately for us, guitar tuners have become pretty accurate and reliable even in the cheaper segment of the market.
No longer do you have to spend a lot of money if you want to keep your guitar squared away.
The ones I have shown you today are by far some of the best clip-on guitar tuners you can get at the moment.
I chose this type of tuner due to its practical value and ease of use.
That’s what matters the most on and off the stage.