Choose a Tuner Designed for Bass Guitar
When choosing the right tuner for bass guitar, you need to use one that is actually designed for tuning bass guitars. While many tuners built for other instruments (guitar) will work for your bass, if your tuner is not designed to pick up low end tones, you run the risk of not having a precisely tuned bass.
Choose one that works easily and quickly. Tuning should not take a lot of time, and shouldn’t be complicated. I’ve found that using a guitar tuner for my bass takes too much time to detect the notes on the bass – particularly for the low end notes. And even some of those designed for bass guitar come with “features” that you’ll most likely never use that seem to get in the way and make things more complicated.
So all of the tuners we’ve reviewed and listed below are, 1) designed to work with a bass to provide accurate bass guitar tuning and, 2) are easy to setup and use without complication.
With our focus on all-purpose tuners, we’ve decided to review and list 2 types of tuners – Pedal Tuners, and Clip-On Tuners. There are a lot of great handheld tuners, and tuner apps out there. However, these really are limited for use when you are practicing alone. Pedals and Clip-Ons can be used in any situation – live gigging, rehearsing with your band, and practicing by yourself.
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Description: Your bass guitar is plugged directly in to a pedal tuner, and the pedal tuner to your amp. They are part of your pedal board and operated with your foot.
- Can be used with a battery or AC adapter (plugged in)
- Some are more expensive
- Less convenient
Top 3 Bass Guitar Pedal Tuners
1. KLIQ TinyTune Tuner Pedal for Guitar and Bass
Features: A precise and accurate tuner designed to handle low end notes of the bass guitar – including low B for 5 string basses. It’s easy to use without unnecessary features. Its small size makes it convenient for setup and placement. The display is large and clear and can be seen in bright situations – sun glare when gigging outdoors is not a problem with this tuner. The tuner is durable and built to take the bumps and bruises – constructed of rugged aluminum. Uses 9v battery or AC adapter.
2. Boss TU3 Chromatic Tuner Pedal
Features: One of the all-time best selling tuners designed for guitar and bass – can provide precise and accurate tuning for low end notes on 4, 5, and 6 string basses. Features a “high-brightness mode” for a display that can cut through sunglare – good for gigging outdoors. Has a “flat” mode which allows for easy drop tuning. Stompbox-style tuner for easy switch on/off. Durable metal construction. Uses battery or AC adapter.
3. Peterson StroboStomp HD Strobe Tuner Pedal for Bass
Features: Includes a large high-definition display with variable color LED backlight – select different colors to increase viewing quality depending on the lighting of your playing environment. Designed for use with a wide range of frequencies – can accurately tune any type of bass guitar including those with more than 4 strings. New upgraded pedal tuner from Peterson – a company known for producing the most accurate, high-quality tuners.
Description: These tuners are clipped on to the head of your bass guitar – you don’t need to plug your bass in to them. They detect the vibration of the notes you play to determine and display the pitch of your tone.
- Convenient – simply clip them and they’re ready for use in any situation
- Usually less expensive
- Don’t impede the sound of your bass
- Less durable
- Can be less accurate
- Rely on batteries alone (no AC adapter)
Top 3 Bass Guitar Clip-On Tuners
1. Snark SN-1X Guitar and Bass Tuner with Metronome
Features: Based on the popular Snark SN-1 with an upgraded processing chip for the fastest tuning response. Advanced high definition screen that is easy to read in environments with low or bright lighting. Designed to quickly pickup and tune the lower frequencies emitted by your bass. Includes a tap tempo metronome. Very popular tuner with a very attractive price.
2. KLIQ UberTuner
Features: Uses a highly sensitive Piezo Sensor for fast and accurate tuning. Includes a “bass mode” that allows for precise tuning for low end bass notes. Full-color, bright, adjustable display that’s easy to read in all situations (indoor and outdoor). Long-life lithium battery, with power saver feature for extended life. Easy to use – good for beginners and pros alike.
3. Peterson StroboClip HD Clip-On Tuner
Features: Perhaps the most accurate clip-on tuner. Can be adjusted to use for almost any instrument. Includes a bass guitar mode for precise low-end bass note tuning. Large and bright, high definition display allows for tuning in various lighting conditions – even in direct sunlight. A very durable clip-on tuner.
The bottom line is that you can’t go wrong with any one of these tuners. The tuner you choose should be one that is designed to use for bass, and that can accurately tune low end bass notes. Tuners shouldn’t be too complicated. Your tuner should allow you to tune your bass fast without any problems. All of these tuners provide what you need in a bass guitar tuner. Happy tuning!
Thanks for checking out our “Recommended Tuners for Bass Guitar”. Check out some of our other recommendations for the best bass guitar gear on our Gear & Equipment Main Page:
BTW - If you are interested in taking online bass lessons we also highly recommend JamPlay Bass Lessons. Bass Player Center provided a review of their site and services - click here to check it out! Or to visit the JamPlay Bass Lessons main page click here.
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