When selecting a tuner for your guitar—whether for playing at home, in a studio setting, or on the road during a tour—the whole process of finding the right brand for reliability, with an inoffensive appearance, can be somewhat of a challenge with the onslaught of tuners available these days. 



Some choices clip on or stick on, some can hide behind the headstock, some are contained within the pickup system on the guitar and there are even a variety available with apps on practically every so-called phone out there.

As my preference for accessories always comes from a player’s and teacher’s standpoint, I will continue to maintain that it is crucial to keep your ear trained while supporting the idea of using tuners as a checking, teaching, and confirmation device.  Every player should be able to tune by ear, just in case you are in a jam up on stage without a tuner.

Granted, there are times when a tuner is invaluable, especially during a performance when you can’t hear the intervals accurately when checking the strings due to extraneous noises in the room.  There are also moments when a rapid adjustment is needed and without the speed of a tuner you might run the risk of losing your momentum. Imagine the pain of an audience as they wait for you to tune your 12-string by ear. Then again, part of the audience might actually get a kick out of watching you try.

Although many of the tuners available on the market do seem to have a reasonable precision of accuracy, I recently discovered one invaluable trait of a newer tuner that I have not seen with my older Intellitouch models.  

OnBoard Research Corporation’s “Intellitouch Rechargeable Model PT-40” with a Lithium Ion Rechargeable Battery recently saved my musical tail during two separate tours of New Zealand, Australia and Tasmania, as well as a European tour when I was in seemingly, the middle of nowhere.  Although I was not able to get Internet service (wherever I was), I found that the USB charging cable took care of business when plugged into my laptop.  When I awoke the following day I was fully charged up and ready to go.

It was a relief and a hassle free situation.  Who wants to run around in the middle of the night in a foreign country looking for an iced coffee, chicken chips, or a specific type of battery that will probably be expensive?  The bottom line is that even though a minimal effort can often be made to resolve the battery issue (like the simple solution of keeping an extra one in your case), the sign of the times seem to support the fact that, like it or not, we can tend to be lazy and it’s easier to say things like, “Oh, I’ve got to go get a replacement battery” than actually doing it.

One tuner – one cable – any computer or laptop – done.  It’s that simple. The device caters to the, hard to admit, sloth side of our human nature, and aside from all that – the tuner really looks cool!

Originally posted 2011-11-07 14:51:37.