How to Find the Best Violin Tuner: My Best Expert Advice for Beginners

Latest posts by Alizabeth Swain (see all)

Bottom line up front: Tuning a violin can be difficult, which is why I highly recommend the Snark ST-2 Tuner. But, if you don’t have any money for a tuner right now, I would recommend you use the Pano tuning app.

How are you supposed to tell if a violin is out of tune?

When the bow is moving, of course!

All jokes aside, finding a violin tuner is essential since tuning your violin will be part of your daily routine. And since you’re going to be tuning your violin every day, you need to be sure you’ve got a violin tuner in your hands that’s reliable and trustworthy. 

But, choosing a violin tuner is stressful. There are so many different violin tuners on the market, with so many different brands for you to choose from. You’ve almost got to approach shopping around for a violin tuner the same way you would go about shopping for a car. 

That’s why I’m here to help you! In this guide, I will show you how you can find the best violin tuner for yourself AND my top violin tuner recommendations. 

tuner for violin

What Is a Violin Tuner? 

So while you call a tuner you’re using for the violin a violin tuner, not all tuners are specific for violins. There are string instruments tuners, like tuners for ukuleles and guitars, that you can use with violas and violins. These types of tuners are electrical and use the sound that your interim produces to detect its pitch. Once the pitch is detected, it’ll suggest how you need to tune your violin, whether you’re too flat or too sharp.

There are two main types of tuners that you can use to tune a violin. While both of these are electrical tuners, the way that they operate this different.

The first type of electric tuner you can use will have you play a specific note. The tuner will show you whether you are flat or sharp, and you will need to adjust the tuning of your strings individually.

As with the other type of tuner, the electric tuner normally shows you how close the pitch your string is to the note that the open string should play. Personally, I believe that this type of tuner is best for beginners because it gives a great representation of how close your instrument is to being in tune or out of tune.

How Do You Tune a Violin? 

The process that everybody has for tuning their violin is different depending on each person. However, there are some general tips that you can follow to tune a violin easily.

My first tip is that you should always tune a violin and start up the lowest note and work your way up. This is so that you won’t break the strings of your instrument. You want to make sure that you avoid breaking the strings of your instrument at all costs.

When you’re tuning your violin, you should use the bow to play the string that you’re trying to tune continuously. You’ll want to keep playing the stream with your bow until the string reaches the pitch you wanted to. 

What Is the Standard Violin Tuning? 

That’s right. There is more than one type of tuning that your violin can have!

The first and most common type of tuning is the standard violin tuning. Go play this if you are an orchestral violinist. If you’re an orchestral violinist, you will start off by tuning A string, next to being the D string, then the G string, and lastly, the high E string. 

When you’re following a standard tuning, you’ll want to get each string tuned Within a semi note of the note required for standard tuning. You can do this by following along with the notes on a piano or using a tuner. And once you’ve gotten the tuning close enough, you’ll want to switch from using your violin pegs to using the fine tuners that are located at the base of your fingerboard.

 Doing this will help you to get your violin strings to be pitch-perfect. Plus, it’ll put a lot less stress on the violin end the fingerboard, which means that the overall tone of your violin will be improved. 

How Do You Tune a Violin with a Tuner? 

The process of tuning a violin with a tuner sounds really complicated, but I promise you, it isn’t. There’s a lot of conventional tuning methods that you can follow to make tuning with a violin a lot easier. 

Let’s start off by tuning your A string. You’ll use the tuner to see what note registers on the tuner you’re using. Depending on what note comes up on the tuner, you’ll want to adjust your pitch to be higher or lower. You’ll do this until you’ve reached the note that you desire. So, if you’re tuning your A string, you’re going to aim for A4.

After you get the correct note on your tuner, you’ll want to use the fine tuners on your violin to continue to adjust the note. You’ll do this until the tuner is no longer showing up b or # (flat or sharp). And once you’ve achieved this, you’ll want to do this with your other strings! 

Best Violin Tuners

Now, time for the good part! Here’s a list of violin tuners I would highly recommend. I chose all of these tuners (and the tuning apps) based on availability, affordability, ease of use, and accuracy. Let’s go!

Clip-on Snark ST-2 Chromatic Tuner

Snark ST-2 Multi-Instrument Chromatic Tuner

The Clip-on Snark ST-2 Chromatic Tuner is one of the best chromatic tuners on the market (in my opinion). There’s an amazing range that this tuner covers, which means it’s great for all sorts of instruments, not just the violin. If you’re looking for a tuner that’ll be useful for several of the instruments you play, this is an option for you to look at.

But that’s not all that this tuner has to offer. You even get a metronome installed with this tuner too! 

This tuner works with an internal mic, so you can depend on the tuning accuracy of the Snark ST-2. Plus, the full-color LCD display is just another added bonus. I love how easy, fast, and reliable this tuner is. 

One of my biggest concerns with clip-on tuners is them being too heavy or too large for you to comfortably use on your instrument (or on a music stand). However, this tuner is a perfect size and weight for you to comfortably use. I also love the size of the screen too! 

Not to mention, there’s a feature on this tuner that transposes. This tuner covers from 415 to 466Hz, so you can truly trust this chromatic tuner. 

Pros

  • High-quality tuner
  • Very accurate because of the internal mic
  • Full-color LCD display
  • Soft and delicate clip on
  • Transposes

Cons

  • Battery life doesn’t last very long

NS Micro D’ Addario Violin Tuner

D'Addario NS Micro Violin Tuner

The NS Micro D’ Addario violin tuner offers something different that you won’t find on the other tuners in this list. This tuner uses a non-marring clamp that has a level lock on it. Basically, this locks the tuner onto your violin, so you don’t have to worry about it falling off or moving around.

On this tuner, you’ll find that there’s a simple (but reliable) LCD display. While it doesn’t have full color, it does come with a backlight that shows three colors. But, this is great news for people who want to tune in areas that have low or poor quality lighting!

Inside of this tuner, you’ll find a piezo transducer, which is responsible for picking up the vibrations from your instrument. So, if you’re trying to tune in a noisy room, you can use this tuner! It doesn’t need to hear the sound of the note you’re playing but rather relies on the vibrations from your instrument.

In addition, you’ll find a metronome with this tuner. And with the smaller design of this tuner, you won’t have to worry about trying to move it out of your way while using it on your viola or violin!

Pros

  • Relies on the vibration your instrument displays, not on the sound your violin produces
  • Locks onto your violin

Cons

  • Doesn’t have a full-color LCD display

Viola Eno Professional Violin Tuner

eno Professional Violin Viola Tuner

This professional-grade tuner has a super colorful (and fun) LCD display. On the screen, you’ll find the string numbers for your violin, accompanied by a note. You’ll find that the shape of this device is a simple square, so it won’t be too distracting (or noticeable) on your instrument. 

When you’re playing flat, the screen will turn yellow. And while you’re playing sharp, the screen will turn red. Even better – you can use this violin tuner on your bass, cello, violin, and viola. A lot of us musicians don’t just stick to playing one instrument (even if the other ones we play are just for fun) – this tuner can accompany you on all of your instrument projects! 

Pros

  • Professional grade
  • Color-coordinated for tuning (yellow for flat, red for sharp)

Cons

  • Doesn’t stay super secure on the instrument 

Matrix Chromatic 3D Clip-on Tuner

Matrix 3D Clip-on Chromatic, Bass, Violin, and Ukulele Guitar Tuner

The sleek and unique design of this 3D Clip-on Tuner is amazing to look at but also super versatile. You can use this tuner to tune your bass, cello, guitar, ukulele, viola, and violin. You’ll find the tuning range on this tuner to be extensive, from B0 all the way to B7. 

Plus, you can rotate this tuner at any angle you choose. This is a battery-powered tuner, so be aware of the life of your batteries before you go to a concert. 

Pros

  • Versatile can be used for many instruments 
  • Has a large tuning range 

Cons

  • Battery-powered; in colder weather, the battery doesn’t last as long

Best Violin Tuning Apps 

Are you not ready to commit to buying a tuner? Don’t worry! There are tuning apps that you can download on your phone. Here are some of my favorites: 

Pano Tuner

pano tuner

Pano tuner is my all-time favorite tuning app. That you can use this application for any instrument. I’ve personally used this to tune my wind insurance and my string instruments. When I would play performances in high school, I would just keep this application up on my phone to make sure that my instrument was staying in tune while I was playing. 

This application works by analyzing the page that you’re playing, and it immediately shows you the pitch on the app. You can also use his application to adjust the concert tuning of your violin, which may be very useful if you’re looking at tuning the harmony of your violin with other instruments. 

Pros

  • Easy to use 
  • Chromatic tuning

Cons

  • The constant moving of pitch may be distracting 

Pitch Perfect

pitch perfect

This is another free application for you to use, and it’s great for string instruments. It’ll basically just give you an idea of whether you’re tuning is Sharp, flat, or if you’re spot-on with your pitch. There’s a lot of customizable options with this app, but if you don’t feel like messing around with the interface of this application, you can just use the automatic settings that came with it. 

Pros

  • Free
  • Customizable

Cons 

  • Customizable options may be overwhelming to some users

Tuner Light

tuner light

This tuning app is a chromatic tuner, and it comes with a pitch pipe. You can download this app for free. With this app, you’re just a basic needs that you have as a violinist without having to put out any money to invest in a tuner if you aren’t sure if you need one. Personally, I loved how easy the interface of this application was to read, especially for beginning musicians. There wasn’t anything on the streaming application that was too difficult to understand or read laws tuning my instrument. My favorite part about this tuning application was that it came with a reference note calibration that was automatically used. 

Pros

  • Chromatic tuner
  • Comes with a pitch pipe

Cons

  • To fully unlock the entire capability of this app, you have to pay for an upgrade

FAQs

Question: Is it difficult to learn how to play the violin? 

Answer: The violin is commonly known to be one of the most difficult Insurance you can learn how to play. However, the basics of learning the violin or what are the trickiest part of playing his instrument. Once you get the basics down, You can’t have too much of a problem being able to master the instrument. However, it may take you years to fully masterpiece forward to sound amazing. You need to consistently practice and be patient with yourself while you’re learning how to play. 

Question: Can I tune a violin with a guitar tuner? 

Answer: Yes, there are some tuners that work with but the guitar and a violin. However, for a tuner to meet this requirement, it needs to be a chromatic tuner.
A chromatic tuner is a type of tuna that will give you the full scope of notes instead of the notes that are available on just one instrument. For example, a guitar tuner has E, A, D, G, B, E. But, with a violin, you get A, D, G, E, and they’re all in a different octave.
A guitar tuner won’t necessarily be able to pick up all of the higher pitches that a violin produces. However, if you get a chromatic tuner, you can use this on both a guitar and a violin. 

Question: Why do violins always go out of tune? 

Answer: When you’re first playing the violin, you made it was so you’re always having to tune your instrument. No matter how much you pay for a violin or how high quality it’s supposed to be, you’re going to have to consistently tune your instrument. This is very common for a new violin And a violin that hasn’t seen action in a while. Sometimes, this can be because the pegs in the violin have become too loose.
With new violins, it may take just a couple of days for the instrument to stay in tune. Other violins may need a few hours of playing to get into tune. You may find that you have to retune your violin that every so often, or maybe even after every 10 minutes. And this can be incredibly frustrating, especially if you don’t feel confident in your tuning abilities.
Also, if you just put new strings on your violin, it can take some time for the strings to get used to being on your instrument. You’ll need to go through the process of breaking in your strings by playing them repeatedly over a period of several days or several weeks for them to get completely broken in.
But, if none of this applies to you, and you find your violin is still constantly falling out of tune, take it to a repair shop. There may be a chance that the pegs on your violin aren’t properly fitted, or they need more pressure applied to them. 

Finding the Best Violin Tuner

There you have it! Finding the right violin tuner can be tricky, but with the information in this guide, he’ll help point you in the right direction. Out of all of the violin tuners that I recommended in this guide, I would highly recommend you make sure that you’ve got a good violin tuner set up first. 

Personally, I would recommend the Snark ST-2 tuner. This tuner has an amazing rating among all of the people who use it. Not only is this tuner easy to use, but It’s very affordable. Plus, it’s great for people of all different levels to use.

As for training apps, I would highly recommend the Pano tuner. I personally found this was the most accurate tuning application to use, and with a chromatic setup, it’s perfect for violin. 

If you don’t have a good violin tuner set up, it’ll make it difficult for you to have a consistent tuning out of your tuner. And once you find the right tuner for your instrument and one that you enjoy using, make sure that you stick with using that tuner. You shouldn’t bounce around to other types of tuners. 

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