Everyone knows that an out-of-tune instrument is one of the most ear-grating things on the planet. That is why good musicians will always make sure that their instruments stay in tune. Thankfully, tuning your instrument has never been easier — all you need is to download a good tuner app on your phone.
However, there are so many options to choose from that it can be a bit overwhelming. So, to help you out, this article has selected five of the best free guitar tuner apps for Android and iOS.
How Do Tuners Work?
In order for a guitar to be in tune, when you pluck a string, it needs to oscillate at a very specific frequency. Tuners analyze the pitch of your instrument by sampling the sound that it makes. That sampling process allows tuners to determine at which frequency the string oscillates. They then display the closest note and how far you are away from it.
App vs. Hardware
Phone microphones have improved over the years, so much so that apps can compete with regular guitar tuners.
However, keep in mind that app-based tuners are not good in a noisy environment. These tuners sample sound with the phone’s built-in microphone, which means they will pick up ambient noise that can cause inaccurate results.
If you want to tune your guitar at a noisy gig, outside, or in your practice studio, picking up a regular guitar tuner might be a better option. On the other hand, free guitar tuner apps are a perfect solution for your average bedroom guitarist.
List of Best Free Guitar Tuner Apps
Before we get into the nitty-gritty of which app is the best, you should probably know that all of them will help you tune your guitar just fine. The differences between these top apps are minimal when it comes to actual frequency analysis.
Where apps differ most is in their extra features (number of instruments, scales, etc.) and their visual design.
Therefore, your choice should be based on personal preferences in features, aesthetics, and your level of proficiency.
To that end, we’ve hand-picked these five free guitar tuner apps that will be useful to both beginners and veterans.
1. Airyware Tuner
If you’re a serious multi-instrumentalist, Airyware Tuner is probably one of the best free guitar tuner apps available.
Why? Because it’s not just a guitar tuner, it can tune over 400 other instruments as well. This includes all of the most common ones, like piano, violin, saxophone, cello, etc., but that’s not all — it also works for more niche instruments like bagpipes!
Airyware also offers numerous advanced features like oscilloscopes, noise-cancellation technology, and tone generators.
Airyware has a perpetual free trial, and there are no limitations on using any of the features. However, you can buy it to support the development team.
2. Pano Tuner
Simple, beautifully designed, and easy to use — what more could you want from an app? While it doesn’t support as many instruments as Airyware, Pano tops it with its incredibly intuitive design.
Pano Tuner is a standard chromatic tuner, and it’s very accurate when it comes to analysis. The interface is clean and designed to evoke an old-school feeling. The simplicity of the design also makes it beginner-friendly.
Unfortunately, Pano Tuner’s free version has somewhat intrusive advertisements. However, purchasing the app will remove them and unlock a decent amount of non-standard tunings.
GuitarTuna is perhaps one of the most famous brands in the tuner business. It boasts over a hundred different tunings, including seven, eight, and twelve-string guitars. In addition, it supports a wide range of folk instruments, anything from the banjo to the mandolin and even the balalaika. On top of that, GuitarTuna has the best noise cancellation tech in the game.
If you like collecting odd and interesting instruments, GuitarTuna has in-app purchases to unlock some very rare ones. Another great feature of the app is its selection of games for learning and practicing.
4. Fender Tune
Fender Tune, developed by the legendary guitar manufacturers, is an app densely packed with various features. It has four tuning modes (auto, manual, chromatic, and pro), a wide range of tuning presets and instruments, and a clean design.
The free version of this app is amazing as it has no ads.
Furthermore, for a small monthly fee, you can purchase their premium subscription called Tune Plus, which has a vast number of chords, scales, and lessons, as well as a metronome and even built-in customizable drum patterns. In addition, there is a free trial for Tune Plus, which doesn’t even ask for your credit card details beforehand.
So, for free (for a limited time) and with no ads, you can use all of Fender Tune’s amazing features, and if you like them, you can sign up for Tune Plus. It’s hard to find a better deal than that!
5. Guitar Tuner – Chromatic
If you simply want to tune your guitar without any complicated features getting in the way, you should definitely try Guitar Tuner – Chromatic. This tuner is famous for its accuracy, and it is perfectly simple, or simply perfect? Guitar Tuner Chromatic’s sleek and simple design makes it very easy to just open the app and tune your guitar, without hassle or confusion.
The free version has some advertisements. However, you can pay for the app to remove the ads. There is only one problem with Guitar Tuner Chromatic — unfortunately, it is exclusive to the App Store. So, if you are an Android user, you should probably check out one of the other four apps that we have suggested.