Like applying rosin to prevent slippage and tightening the horsehair on your bow, keeping your violin in tune is fundamental to the quality of your performance. No matter how well you play, if your violin is out of tune, that’s all people will hear. We have recommendations for great violin tuners that will help you keep your strings on point!
Violin strings go out of tune for several reasons: new strings need frequent tuning until they’re broken in, old strings need frequent tuning and pegs may slip, forceful use of the bow and left hand can affect the string positioning, and changes in temperature and humidity can cause your strings to expand or contract. A good tuner is a necessity for any violinist.
Choosing the Right Violin Tuner
Consider these basic types of tuners for violin:
- Microphone Tuner: This tuner detects the note being played by an instrument with a microphone. This type of tuner can be difficult to use when there’s a lot of ambient noise or other instruments being played simultaneously.
- Metronome Tuner: These tuners are built into metronomes and may detect a note using a microphone or just play a note for the violinist to use as a standard for comparison when tuning.
- Clip-on Tuner: Tuners that clip onto a violin sense the frequency of the instrument’s vibration as a note is played. This type of tuner can be highly accurate.
Tuners are not always advertised specifically for the violin, so any tuner that works with a guitar can also be used with a violin—just be sure it detects all 12 pitches of the chromatic scale (i.e., it’s a chromatic tuner).
In addition to checking for the tuner’s range, consider these features:
- Display: Look for information on how easy the display is to use and adjust for viewing comfort.
- Tuning Precision: Tuning accuracy is described by units called cents. The smaller the margin of error, expressed as +/- X cents, the more accurate the tuner. For example, a tuner with a +/- 1 cent error is very accurate.
- Tuning Modes: In addition to a chromatic mode, a tuner may have a specific mode for the violin.
- Size and Weight: If you take your tuner on the road, check to make sure the size and weight will not be cumbersome.
- Battery: Make sure the battery is included, and check for information on battery-saving features.
Check out our recommendations for tuners that will keep your violin in top form!
Highly Accurate: KLIK Uber Tuner
This tuner is easy to use for beginners and robust enough for pros! KLIQ’s UberTuner has an advanced microprocessor for speed and a piezoelectric sensor for sensitivity to ensure that you will get fast and accurate results when tuning your instrument. A large full-color display allows you to see the tuner readout from any angle, and three points of adjustment mean you can position the screen any way you like. The sturdy, durable design will withstand years of playing at home or on the road.
KLIQ UberTuner - Professional Clip-On Tuner for All Instruments (multi-key modes) - with Guitar, Ukulele, Violin, Bass & Chromatic Tuning Modes (also for Mandolin and Banjo)
This tuner is easy to use for beginners and durable for professionals.
Best Metronome Tuner: Korg TM-60 Tuner
The TM-60 tuner lets you use its tuner and metronome functions simultaneously, helping you keep your violin in tune and improve intonation during practice. The tuner precisely and reliably detects C1 to C8. If the CM-200 microphone is clipped to your instrument, the tuner will sense vibrations directly for more accurate tuning. This Korg tuner is great for violins and can be used for other string, brass, and wind instruments as well.
Korg TM-60 Tuner and Metronome Combo with Clip on Microphone (Red)
This tuner lets you use its metronome functions at the same time to support your practice.
Great Value: Fangstar Tuner
This clip-on chromatic tuner turns green when your string is in tune and a tuner head that turns 360 degrees for easy reading from any angle. The one-button control is straightforward and easy to use, and the tuner turns off automatically if no signal is detected for three minutes to extend your battery life. The four-pack means you can have a tuner for multiple instruments, or if you misplace one, you’ll always have a back-up on hand!
Clip On Guitar Tuner For All Instruments, Ukulele, Guitar, Bass, Mandolin, Violin, Banjo, Large Clear LCD Display For Guitar Tuner. 4pack
This tuner comes in a four-pack, so you'll always have one on hand.
Also Great: D’Addario NS Micro Tuner
The D’Addario micro violin tuner features an easy-to-read, full-color display with a visual metronome. Its low-profile design will blend with any instrument and stay out of sight during a performance. The dual-swivel, clip-on mount allows quick application and removal on any instrument. The extendable arm provides clear, unobstructed views of the screen.
D'Addario Guitar Tuner - Micro Headstock Tuner - Tuner for Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar, Bass Guitar, Mandolin, Banjo, Ukelele, Cello, Double Bass & More - Universal Clip On - 1pk
The low-profile design of this tuner will stay out of sight during a performance.