Best Clip On Guitar Tuner For Beginners in 2020

A clip on guitar tuner is basically the best acoustic guitar tuner. Naturally, it also happens to be the most common type of guitar tuner around.

You simply attach this bad boy to the top of your typical steel stringed acoustic guitar (The head part) and simply play along (Strum) and tune the strings as necessary.

If you’re using one of the standard guitar tuners, then after your strum  it (Playing with the strings), you should see the note appear on the LCD screen. If you’re using a digital guitar tuner, you’ll probably see some extra information like semitones, etc.

So tuning a guitar (Even a DIY Guitar) with clip on tuners is super easy. Actually you can tune any stringed instruments with these including banjos, ukuleles and more.

These days, you can also find 2 in 1 tuners or 3 in 1s that can tune all three type of stringed instruments as well (Chromatic guitar tuners).

Now let’s see which are the best clip on acoustic guitar tuners in 2018. By the way, these are a little different than tuners for drum sets.


KLIQ UberTuner Clip On Guitar Tuner

Considered the absolute pick of the litter by the majority of acoustic guitar players out there, the KLIQ UberTuner makes it a breeze for you to tune your guitar. Also known as the most trendy clip on tuner by guitar enthusiasts.

Without going into the technical details (We don’t do that on this site), if you are looking for a tuner that is portable, accurate (Even for bass guitar players) and affordable. This clip on guitar tuner does the job and than some. However, as usually with a lower price, there are some quality issues with this one.

For example, it wouldn’t hurt to make this tuner a little bit stronger.  The overall build is good but sometimes if your tuner is in your guitar case and you drop it, there is a good chance the KLIQ won’t come out alive.

It shouldn’t be this weak. Lots of people use it but this is my gripe with it.


Donner Clip On Guitar Tuner

Donner Guitar tuner is another legend in the game. If you don’t like the KLIQ, you consider this Donner model the best guitar tuner.

It’s actually quite similar to the KLIQ in some ways and that’s because it’s used by tons of acoustic guitar enthusiasts. The Donner clip on guitar tuner is affordable but unfortunately, it’s also weak in construction as well.

Not a big deal for beginner acoustic guitar players but you might want to upgrade once you start playing a few decent chords or more. In another words, great for home use but not for while you are doing gigs or on the road.

By the way, did you know Donner also makes guitar wireless systems? Yeah that’s pretty neat.


Axe Rig Clip On Guitar Tuner

Well this nifty guitar tuner by Axe Rig comes with a lifetime warranty.

This clip on guitar tuner is really easy to use so tuning guitars with this one is quite fun. In fact, it will tell you when you can stop by showing you the proper key in green (The screen will change).

Just this little simple feature makes it a gem for beginners. The downside is make sure you are in a fairly quite room or the background noise might effect your results.

Some even report that it’s not as accurate as other clip on tuners. Just make sure your guitar is humidified properly as that can change the tone of your guitar as well.

Overall though, lots of people will swear by this Axe Rig clip on tuner and unlike the KLIQ, or the Donner brand, this clip on guitar tuner is longer lasting. No wonder it comes with a lifetime warranty.


Niubier Digital Clip-on Guitar Tuner

This is the first digital clip on guitar tuner on our list and it just might be the best one.

That is if you are looking for a digital tuner.

Surprisingly light weight, this little wonder (Yeah size wise it’s actually pretty small), can help you tune your steel stringed guitar in no time.

Seems to work great on other stringed instruments as well.

Comes with batteries which is always a good thing and will help you tune for sure. However, if you like big screens so you can easily read which key your guitar string is in, this isn’t your cup of tea.


Hantwin Electronic Digital Tuner

One of the easiest digital clip on tuners around, all you have to do is look at the green light pop up and you’re good to go.

Nice and small in size which makes it quite portable.

Best part, batteries are included too (Pretty much all guitar tuners on our list include batteries by the way).

There is a downside and that is if you don’t read the instructions, you will get annoyed pretty fast. Yeah you need to set it up first.

So do yourself a favor and read the manual. Then go tune your acoustic guitar.


Tuner On Clip On Guitar Tuner

This tuner by Tuner On Guitar (In case you didn’t know what this company made) comes with a 3 year warranty.

What makes this little clip on wonder shine is it’s more than your average tuner.

You can actually use it as a chromatic tuner or the typical guitar tuner.

Which means it works on banjo, ukulele and other stringed instruments. This Tuner On clip on guitar tuner is one of the most versatile guitar tuners on our list.

Downside is some people report it can’t properly tune the lower E key though.


GuitarSense Clip On Guitar Tuner

One of the longest lasting clip on guitar tuners here (As far as the battery life goes), GuitarSense really did a great job with this one.

A nice compact guitar tuner that is accurate as well.

Although like most tuners, this one isn’t on the durable side so if you break this one earlier than expected, don’t be mad at me. You’ve been warned.

That said, if you are just a guitar enthusiasts who plays randomly, this guitar tuner is just fine. I like their display.


Fender Clip On Guitar Tuner

When you think of Fender, you think of a legendary guitar making company.

This Clip On Guitar tuner unfortunately doesn’t fit that mould.

Satisfactory to say the least.

The main issue with this clip on guitar tuner is although overall it’s a decent product and you can tune just fine. the screen is pretty darn small. This can be really annoying guys.

I wish they improve it in the future. Besides that little complaint,  long live Fender!


Planet Waves D’Addario NS Micro Universal Guitar Tuner

Finally, someone actually used their minds a little bit more than usual and created this awesome guitar tuner.

This clip on guitar tuner by Planet Waves is the only one that allows you to see what key your guitar is in from various angles. Which makes the tuning part quite flexible for the beginner user.

This simple feature helps the average user out a lot. Especially when you are learning how to hold a guitar properly in the first place.

By the way, to all the Paul Reed Smith guitar fans, rejoice as this clip  on guitar tuner will fit your guitar properly as well.

It does have a few downsides though . . . For example, if you play guitar in open wedding parties (Wherever there is sun), it will be really hard to read your tuner. If you’re a beginner, this should do the job just fine.


Roadie Automatic Guitar Tuner

One thing I like to do every once in a while is feature a product that is a game changer, well as far as clip on guitar tuner go, this is definitely an exception. Introducing the the Roadie Automatic Tuner.

All you need to do is set up it’s app on your smart phone. put it on the pegs (One peg at a time) while you play (Strum the strings) and it automatically tunes it properly.

The trick is in the ‘drill machine’ like rotator that attaches to the peg.

Best part, it takes seconds to tune your guitar. If you’re on the road or play regularly, now you can spend way less time tuning your guitar.


Anatomy of A Tuner

When it comes to how a guitar tuner works, you only need to know two specific things. The needle and the key.

Anatomy of a Clip On Guitar Tuner

Needle:

The needle is usually in the middle. When you are strumming or tuning your guitar, if the needle stops in the middle, your guitar is tuned for that key. In most digital clip on guitar tuners, the needle is usually green.

Key:

This displays the key or note your guitar string is in. When your string is in the right key, it usually turns a color. In most cases, it’s green.


How To Clip On Tuners

Putting on or ‘clipping on’ a guitar tuner is quite simple. You take it and clip it on the top of the guitar’s head. Also known as the headstock. Then you simply pull on the strings (Also known as strumming). That’s it. This is how you use a clip on tuner.

How Do Clip On Tuners Work

A clip on guitar tuner works in a very straight forward way. You play a note and it’s built in hearing mechanism will tell you if you are in tune or not. If your strumming (Playing with the strings) matches it, then you are good to go. by it’s visual display (Depending on which brand you are using).

Step 1: Put the guitar on a flat surface.
Step 2: Clip on the guitar on the top of the guitar with the screen of the guitar tuner facing you.
Step 3: Play with the strings until they are tuned to the formation of the following keys: E, A, D, G, B, E starting from the left.

That’s it. Or if you use a chromatic clip on tuner, you can tune your guitar to those settings.

In fact, here is an awesome video on it. This is exactly how you tune a guitar with a clip on tuner (Acoustic, Electric, etc).


What Is The Best Clip On Guitar Tuner?

It all depends on you. Any single guitar tuner here will do a great job. Especially if you are a beginner. However, the game changes on how you use your guitar. If you use it a lot, you would need something durable and longer lasting. If you are going on gigs, then you need something even more stronger and a fast electric tuner (Digital tuner) so you optimize your time as you travel, etc. So it all depends on your needs.


Are Clip On Tuners Accurate?

Clip on tuners are as accurate as they need to be. What I mean by that is if you are not in front of a crowd, clip ons are perfect. If you get in front of a crowd, it wouldn’t hurt to use a pedal tuner so you can give the most accurate tones possible to your audience. You can still get by but I would personally use a pedal tuner if I’m rocking out at a gig or something.


Do Clip On Tuners Work For Electric Guitars?

Yes but I don’t recommend them. The best way to tune electric guitars is by using a pedal tuner. Pedal tuner allows the electric guitar to plug itself into it and therefore, give the most accurate results possible. With a clip on, the guitar is not really turned on so the reading would be inaccurate to say the least.


How To Use A Clip On Chromatic Tuner?

For this example, let’s imagine you got the Fender or Korg chromatic clip tuner. When you use a clip on chromatic tuner, you are basically tuning a stringed instrument to the chromatic scale. Hence the name.

Most clip on chromatic tuner give you the option of tuning your guitar the standard way (E, A, D, G, B, E) or chromatic. Remember chromatic scale is used on anything but a guitar. That’s how you use a fender or any chromatic Tuner.


How To Tune A Violin, Ukulele, With A Clip On Tuner?

To tune any other stringed instrument that is not a guitar, you need a chromatic clip tuner. The main difference between a chromatic and a standard clip on tuner is one is meant for the ‘chromatic’ scale (Used by violins, ukuleles, etc) and the standard scale (E, ) is for guitars. That’s it. So where you should you place the clip on tuner on a ukulele or violin?


Are All Clip-On Guitar Tuners The Same?

Generally speaking, yes. You take a tuner, place it on the headstock (Top of the guitar) and off you go. As far as features and accuracy goes, that really just depends on the brand.

Sources:

Peter Thomas
Peter is a well-known guitar teacher in Ealing. He’s taught hundreds of guitarists of all levels, covering everything from rock and pop to jazz and classical.Have a question, need some help, or want to give your opinion? Drop us a comment below!

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