Are you tired of struggling with an out-of-tune violin, making even the sweetest melodies sound off-key? Look no further! As a violinist, I understand the importance of having reliable violin tuners to help me achieve the perfect pitch.
There are millions of tuners out there, so I know how daunting it could be to decide which ones are of good value and which are just useless bits of plastic.
Maybe you’re a beginner looking for easy violin tuners or a seasoned professional looking for something more advanced.
Either way, I’ve got you covered.
You don’t have to worry! I’ve done the research, tested numerous products, and compiled a list of the 10 best violin tuners, both standard and clip-on, complete with a helpful tuning guide.
So let’s dive in and get your violin sounding its best!
Snapshot: Top 10 Violin Tuners In 2023
- Fishman FT-20 – Best Overall
- Snark SN5X Clip-On Tuner – Most Popular
- D’Addario Eclipse Tuner – Cheapest
- D’Addario NS Micro Violin Tuner
- ChromaCast Mutifunctional Chromatic Clip-On Go Tuner
- KLIQ MetroPitch
- Korg TM60BK Tuner Metronome
- Korg Tuner (GA50)
- WINGO Digital Metronome, Tuner and Tone Generator
- Peterson StroboPlus
The 10 Best Violin Tuners in 2023
1. Fishman FT-20 Review – Best Overall
- Bright, colorful display is easy to read
- Flip it up to turn it on, flip it down to turn it off; Automatic power save shuts it off after 5 minutes
- Fully chromatic, automatically displays the note
Why settle for a mediocre tuner when you can have the best?
The Fishman FT-20 Chromatic Digital Color Tuner (ACC-TUN-F20) is, fortunately, the ultimate tool for precise tuning on your instrument. It’s a must-have for musicians who want an accurate, reliable, easy-to-use tuner. Its bright, colorful display is aesthetically pleasing and easy to read.
To ensure your device is entirely in tune, you can depend on the meter-style “needle” display, which provides tuning information with pinpoint accuracy.
The FT-20 Chromatic Digital Color Tuner is lightweight, weighing only 21 grams. You can clip it onto your instrument without worrying about damaging the finish. You can have peace of mind as you tune in, knowing its design is safe for most finishes.
Another convenient feature of the FT-20 Chromatic Digital Color Tuner is its automatic power save function. You no longer have to stress about the battery life since the tuner will automatically shut off after 5 minutes of staying idle. Given that, enjoy playing your instrument more and less worrying about your equipment.
- An easy-to-read, bright, colorful display
- Lightweight and low-profile design
- Automatic power save function to conserve battery life
- Accurate to +/-1 cent
- The built-in clip-on sensor is safe for most finishes
- The automatic power save function may not be ideal for some users who require constant tuning.
- The FT-20 has no microphone option, so you may need to purchase an external microphone with acoustic instruments.
Final Thoughts on the Fishman FT-20 Chromatic Digital Color Tuner
The Fishman FT-20 Chromatic Digital Color Tuner is a solid, convenient choice that offers good value based on its price point. Besides its bright and easy-to-read display, the automatic power save function makes it a great choice. So go on and upgrade your tuning game with this reliable violin tuner!
A great, easy to read clip-on tuner with a power-saving mode
2. Snark SN5X Clip-On Tuner Review – Most Popular
- Full Color Display
- Features frequency range tailored to guitar and bass
- Tuner can be used on front of back of headstock,Rotates 360°
Snark is known for making some tremendous clip-on tuners, and I’ve used them forever. The SN5X can be used for a guitar, bass, or violin. So, if you happen to be learning them simultaneously, you can easily use the same tuner for all three instruments.
It features a swivel-head that can rotate up to 360 degrees (I don’t know why you’d need it to, but good to see, I guess). Do you know how I said I’d used Snark tuners forever? I’ve had to repurchase a few times because the little plastic bits that hold the swivel head on can break and fall off quite easily. I’ve always repurchased anyway because I know they’re great quality, have great accuracy, and are pretty cheap.
I’d ensure you keep your tuner in a secure place rather than chucking it into your school bag with the rest of your books and things (oops).
- 360० swivel head (for all your swiveling needs)
- Can be used on a guitar or bass as well
- The display is easy to read
- Very affordable
- Picks up vibrations rather than sound
- Can break quite easily
- It has to be clipped-on in order for it to work
- No money-back guarantee
Final Thoughts on the Snark SN5X Clip-On Tuner
Snark is usually my go-to for violin tuners because their tuners are always really accurate (and I’m a creature of habit). The Snark SN5X would be an excellent model for a beginner, as it’s pretty cheap and does the job. However, I know from experience that it can break quickly, so it may not be one for the kids.
A really cheap clip-on violin tuner that does the job perfectly
3. D’Addario Eclipse Tuner Review – Cheapest
- QUICK TUNING: Tune your guitar or bass with ease with the Eclipse Guitar Tuner. Featuring quick and accurate tuning, large screen, and strong clamp that is adjustable for a variety of viewing angles.
- EXTREME ACCURACY - Great accuracy with a wide calibration range (435-450Hz) guarantees precise performance. Calibration is also adjustable.
- EASY TO READ & ADJUSTABLE SCREEN: Screen is a vertical, full color display with limitless viewing angles. The dual swivels makes mounting perfect for left handed or right handed players anywhere on...
“D’Addario Eclipse Tuner has a perfectly sized screen for me to see in any situation. It works flawlessly,” Lucinda Williams.
Grammy Award-winning artist Lucinda Williams uses the D’Addario Eclipse Tuner, so why are you still hesitant?
Although this is a high-quality tuner, it won’t break the bank. You can ensure your instrument is always in tune with its adjustable screen, accuracy, simplicity, and wide calibration range. The Eclipse tuner has a full-color vertical display and a strong clamp that you can mount in front of or behind the headstock for several viewing angles without fearing it would slip. So, believe me when I say good quality!
The tuner’s power-off function adds to its convenience, making it perfect for use on and off stage. With a discreet, compact design, the D’Addario Accessories Eclipse Tuner is available in six stylish colors, representing an ideal combination of performance, style, and affordability!
- Affordable price
- Quick and easy tuning
- Easy-to-read, vertical, full-color display
- Strong clamp that doesn’t slip
- Limitless viewing angles
- Accurate with a wide calibration range (435-450Hz)
- Available in six different colors to suit your personal style
- Some users reported that the screen may be difficult to read in bright sunlight
- The vertical screen display may not be ideal for all users
- Some reported difficulty in reading lower-pitched strings
Final Thoughts on the D’Addario Eclipse Tuner
The D’Addario Eclipse Tuner is a cheap and cheerful tuner that does the job well. I’m impressed by the pitch calibration it offers, along with its compact design and the strong clamp that provides limitless viewing angles.
Again, remember that this tuner is trusted by professional musicians like Lucinda Williams! So why not upgrade your tuning game with the D’Addario Eclipse Tuner and join the ranks of top musicians who trust it to keep their instruments in perfect tune?
A compact, versatile, and affordable tuner that delivers fast and accurate tuning
4. D’Addario NS Micro Violin Tuner Review
- VIOLIN TUNER CLIP ON - Features a non-marring, lever-lock clamp that holds the tuner securely to the instrument while allowing easy application and removal.
- TUNES FROM VIBRATION - Built-in piezo transducer picks up instrument's vibration rather than sound
- LCD SCREEN - Tri-color reversible backlit LCD screen makes it easy to tune in dark environments
The D’Addario NS Micro Violin Tuner is explicitly made for violins and violas, which I love. Having a tuner that can work for more than one instrument is excellent, but if you only play the violin, this D’Addario tuner is a great choice.
It’s tiny, and instead of clipping onto your scroll, it clamps onto the upper bout of the violin so you can use it without anyone knowing (wink, wink). The display is also pretty easy to read. If bars show before the note in the middle, then it’s flat; if they appear after, then it’s sharp, and if the whole display is green, you’re in tune!
If you’re a beginner struggling with intonation and like to use a tuner as you practice, this is the one for you. It picks up vibrations, so even if you’re playing in a group, you can be assured it’s only listening to you.
The D’Addario NS Micro Violin Tuner also works as a silent metronome so again, it’s just amazing for practicing.
- The small model would go virtually unnoticed by an audience (it’s not cheating, I swear)
- Specifically made for violins and violas
- Clamps onto the upper bout, rather than the scroll so it’s easier for use while practicing
- Also functions as a metronome
- May interfere with the way your violin sounds as it’s clipped on to the body
- Only works whiles clipped on
- It’s very small so might not be as durable as other clip-on models
Final Thoughts on the D’Addario NS Micro Violin Tuner
I wish this violin tuner had been around when I learned to play. I love how discreet it is. Playing with a tuner on your violin (especially if you’re in an orchestra) can be a little embarrassing for kids or teenagers. There’s nothing wrong with needing a little help, though! Plus, it will make you a better player in the long run, and that’s what matters, right?
Get pitch perfect with this discreet violin tuner – ideal for beginners!
5. ChromaCast Multifunctional Chromatic Clip-On Go Tuner Review
- Multi-function chromatic tuning allows you to tune to different pitches
This ChromaCast tuner stands out because of its multifunctional chromatic tuning. ChromaCast is your best choice if you play different instruments; it can tune guitars, violins, and bases!
It also supports different pitches and displays very fast and pitch-on accurate tuning readings. This allows you to quickly determine when the violin is out of tune.
You don’t have to freak out whether your violin is in tune or not because the visual display in ChtomaCast is excellent. It visualizes the tuning and gives you clear and easy-to-read indicators in a very user-friendly way.
If you’re waiting for the best part that guaranteed this tuner to be on my top list, it’s obvious! Just look at its stylish design (shown in the picture) and its fair price!
- Can tune multiple instruments
- The clip-on makes attaching the tuner to the instruments more convenient
- Provides precise and fast tuning
- Has a modern and stylish design
- It relies on a battery for power and requires regular replacements
- The A4 calibration range of 436Hz-445Hz may not cover all the possible tuning standards
- The LED screen does not have a backlight
Final Thoughts on the ChromaCast Tuner
If you play many different stringed instruments, you’ll love this tuner. It’s versatile and reliable with a sleek, modern design and an easy-to-read display. With the chromacast violin tuner, your tuning will be safe and your pocket too!
A stylish, user-friendly, affordable violin tuner.
6. KLIQ MetroPitch Review
- 3-in-1 Device: The MetroPitch combines a Tuner, a Metronome, and a Tone Generator, all housed in a pocket-sized device. The included carrying pouch makes for easy transport to your next gig or...
Here’s another gem of a violin tuner from KLIQ. This time it’s a standard electric tuner rather than a clip-on one though! As I mentioned earlier, some people prefer a stand-alone tuner to clip-on ones because they’re easier to use whiles your playing.
This KLIQ MetroPitch tuner can basically be used for all instruments, but it comes with Guitar, Bass, Violin, Ukulele, and Chromatic Tuning Modes. I love how sleek and professional this tuner looks due to its metallic finish as well. Another thing I love is its tone generating function. It’s perfect for training your ear to recognize the right tone.
I think sometimes it’s easy to become dependent on your tuner, so a function like this is great for learning to tune by ear. It also works as a metronome. I mean, what can’t this tuner do?
- Works for almost any instrument
- Sleek, durable design
- Tone generation function
- Metronome function
- Comes with a protective sleeve
- Could pick up ambient noise
Final Thoughts on the KLIQ MetroPitch
I much prefer standard electronic tuners to clip-on ones but, then again, I’m usually at home or in a quiet place when I’m tuning my instruments. I love how sleek and professional this tuner looks and I also love how durable it is. Yes, it’s a little more expensive but you’ll definitely get less wear and tear with this tuner.
A lovely, sleek and sturdy professional violin tuner that will last a lifetime
7. Korg TM60BK Tuner Metronome Review
- High precision, simultaneous use tuner and metronome with instant pitch detection response with Korg technology.
- 2-in-1 Tuner & Metronome; the TM60’s wide tuner detection range of C1-C8 supports a broad range of instruments, and the metronome boasts 15 rhythm variations and 3 types of tempo settings.
- Convenient & easy to read with a large, backlit LCD display, adjustable calibration, and marked third intervals to make the TM60 easy to use on the fly
I can guarantee almost all violinists will own a Korg tuner at some point in their life. It may not be as pretty as other tuners, but Korg is known for creating reliable and precise tuners.
The great thing about this tuner is that its metronome function can be used simultaneously with its tuning function. So you are purchasing a tuner and a metronome in one device! You can now improve your pitch accuracy and your rhythm as well.
I am impressed by the memory backup function that saves your settings even after the device turns off. So, you don’t have to set them up all again whenever you use it. Here’s to more time playing and less fixing some device essentials!
Another feature that this tuner offers adjustable calibration and a wide tuner detection range of C1-C8, thereby supporting a broad range of instruments. You don’t have to worry about the input as this tuner supports multiple types, including a 1/4″ instrument cable input, a 1/4″ contact mic input, or the built-in microphone.
- 2-in-1 functionality: A tuner and a metronome in one device
- Supports a broad range of instruments
- Large, user-friendly, backlit LCD display
- Multiple input types
- Memory backup function
- Small buttons that might be difficult for some to navigate
- No mute button
- It might not work well with specific instruments like double basses or baritone ukuleles
Final Thoughts on The Korg TM60BK Tuner Metronome
This is an ideal, portable tuner for beginners. Being able to use both the tuning and the metronome function at the same time makes it perfect for practicing. Hats off to Korg for enhancing the battery life and providing us with a large backlit LCD that is easy to read.
An affordable electronic tuner that’s perfect for practicing and tuning!
8. Korg Tuner (GA50) Review
- An even more readable display, with a larger note name indication
Although the Korg GA50 is a guitar/bass tuner, we can use it to tune a violin as it has a built-in microphone to detect the pitches. The microphone is highly sensitive; you can use it without a cable or directly plug it into the tuner.
The tuner also offers a sound-out mode, which is helpful when replacing the strings, and an output jack, which allows tuning during a performance. It is versatile, supporting more musical instruments, such as 7-string guitars and 5-string basses.
I’m impressed with the smart features added to these small tuners nowadays, like the power-saving mode and the memory backup function, which saves your settings even when the battery is replaced. This Korg tuner also offers a prolonged battery life, allowing about 135 hours of use!
- Large, easy-to-read LCD screen
- Two distinct modes for guitar and bass
- High-sensitivity built-in microphone for tuning without a cable
- Long battery life of up to 135 hours
- No metronome function included
- The LCD display doesn’t have a backlight
- It doesn’t include a clip for attaching to the violin
Final Thoughts on the Korg GA50 Tuner
The Korg GA50 tuner might not work with instruments that require a clip-on tuner. However, it is a reliable tuner with a clear display that improves visibility without draining your battery fast!
A standard, reliable violin tuner with a built-in microphone
9. WINGO Digital Metronome, Tuner and Tone Generator Review
- ✔ 3 IN 1 Device--- Metronome, Digital Tuner and Tone Generator, 3 function in 1 device for acoustic and electric guitar, chromatic, bass, ukulele,violin--battery included.
This tuner is very similar to the NEUMA Metronome tuner, but it’s a little cheaper (yay). It has a wire to use a vibration detector, but it’s also got a tone-generating function and a metronome – everything you need!
I think it’s perfect if you sometimes have to tune up in a noisier environment and don’t want to worry about ambient noise. The whole screen goes blue if you’re flat or sharp, so it’s really easy to read as well. The Wingo digital tuner also has a nice, sturdy metal stand.
- Tuner, metronome and tone generator
- Works on most stringed instruments
- Color-coded, easy to read screen
- Sturdy stand
- Flimsy wire for vibration detection
Final Thoughts on the WINGO Digital Metronome, Tuner and Tone Generator
This is another great option for students and professionals alike, it’s got all the functions you need. Plus, it’s pretty cheap!
A great tuner for students and professionals alike with all the functions you need
10. Peterson StroboPlus Review
- TRUE STROBE 0.1 CENT ACCURACY - Accurate to 1/1000th of a Semitone or 1/1000th of a Fret
- HIGH-DEFINITION BACKLIT DISPLAY - Can Display the Smallest Pitch Deviations
- CHROMATIC PERFORMANCE - Automatically Displays Note and Deviation from Center Pitch
Professionals, listen up! I’d like to introduce you to your new best friend. I love the Peterson StroboPlus because it’s incredibly accurate. Plus, it’s small, so it doesn’t take up much space in my violin case. It has the full 12-octave reference tones and functions as a metronome.
You can use it for basically any instrument, which is also fantastic. It’s also the only tuner I’ve ever owned with a rechargeable battery. Can I get a hallelujah? I know it’s pretty pricey, but it’s worth it.
- 12-octaves of reference tones
- Metronome function
- Highly durable
- Rechargeable battery
- Sturdy metal stand
- Headphone jack
- Made for professionals
- A little bit pricey
- Difficult to read for beginners
Final Thoughts on the Peterson StroboPlus
As a professional violinist, you don’t want to buy a new tuner every few months! The Peterson StroboPlus is an excellent high-end tuner. It’s worth the money if, like me, you spend more time playing music than anything else.
An incredibly accurate, professional violin tuner
How to Tune Your Violin
Violinists always have their preferences when it comes to tuning their instruments.
Some musicians highly endorse the traditional method of tuning by ear as the most effective approach, while others opt for the convenience and precision of electric tuners.
Personally, I believe electric tuners are the best way to go. Not only are they more accurate, but they’re also faster and simpler to use. Let’s face it – tuning isn’t the most exciting part of playing the violin, so why waste more time than necessary? I don’t know about you, but I’d prefer to finish tuning ASAP as it isn’t my favorite pastime. That way, I can get to playing sooner.
However, we all have our preferences, so I’ll give you a quick “how-to” for both methods.
Tuning by Ear
The standard tuning for a violin is to perfect fifths, G3, D4, A4, and E3. Now, tuning a violin by ear takes some practice, so it’s probably not the best method for beginners.
If you’re naturally gifted with perfect pitch (I’m jealous), the easiest way to tune your violin by ear is to remember what the ideal 5ths sound like. Try singing the notes first, then copy them onto your violin. Easy, right? Well, not really.
Most of us have a relative pitch which is when you know the pitches of different notes in relation to each other. So, the easiest way to tune a violin by ear for most of us is first to use an external pitching aid, like a tuning fork, tube, or piano.
Then, once you’ve got the first string down, you can tune the rest in relation to that one. So far, so good?
How to Use Electric Violin Tuners
As I said, only a few of us have the natural talent for perfect pitch, so using an electric tuner is the easiest way to tune your violin. There are different kinds of electric tuners. Some measure the strings’ vibrations, and others listen to the pitch to guide you (I’ll get to that in a minute).
Generally, the screen will have a gauge that either falls to the left if your string is flat, to the right if it’s a bit sharp, or to the middle of the dial if it’s perfectly in tune. Electric tuners are easy enough for even young kids to use, so you’ll have no trouble once you get to grips with your model!
Different Types of Electric Violin Tuners
Now we’ve got the old-fashioned fork and piano out of the way; let’s talk about electric violin tuners. I mean, you all know it’s the easiest way to tune your violin, but you might not know the differences between the types of violin tuners out there. The tuner that suits you best depends on what type of player you are and what you need your tuner for.
Clip-on Electric Tuners
Generally, most electric violin tuners will show you a dial with the note you’re attempting to play in the middle. The closer your little line gets to the dial’s center, the more in tune your string is. Simple, huh?
Clip-on electric tuners use the vibrations created by plucking your violin strings rather than the actual sound to determine whether it’s in tune. So, who would benefit from a clip-on tuner? If you’re an orchestral player or you usually have to tune your violin in quite a loud place, the clip-on tuner will be your new best friend.
It doesn’t have to hear the sound of the string, so it doesn’t matter how loud your environment is; no external sounds will interfere with your tuning! Perfect.
Standard Electric Tuners
Standard electric tuners don’t have the clip-on function, which some people prefer (it’s just down to personal preference). Often, they have more roles, like the ability to sound out the perfect pitch. Then, you can hear whether your violin is in tune or not.
This can be helpful for beginners training their ears to hear the perfect pitch. On top of that, they can help learn finger placement. You can keep it on as you play to see if your intonation is on point. They also have fewer parts, which makes them more durable, depending on the make and model.
The downside, however, is that they need to be able to hear your violin to decipher the pitch. So, if you play in a noisy practice room or are often backstage, a clip-on violin tuner is a better option.
There are Violin Tuners for Everyone
I think it’s safe to say that there’s a violin tuner for everyone.
Whether you’re a beginner with a tight budget or a professional looking for a tuner to last a lifetime, I hope you’ve found what you’re looking for!
It all comes down to personal preference when buying violin tuners, so maybe try a clip-on and a standard one if you’re not sure what you’re looking for.
At the end of the day, as long as you’re playing with perfect pitch, it doesn’t really matter how you got there!
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Fiona is a musician and writer. When she’s not working, she’s either playing the ukulele or finding another instrument to add to her collection.