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When i bought my Fender bass guitar i persuaded the shop to include a tuner as my old tuner had seen better days and fallen to pieces on stage. I noticed that the tuner that i borrowed that fatefull day was a Snark clip on tuner. The shop had sold out of Fender tuners so i decided on a Snark tuner. Well i received and am impressed with my Snark tuner as it looks really cool and does a fantastic job is easy to use and has a very clear display. My old tuner has a backlight which doesnt work due to the battery being low so i got a shock when i first used my Snark. So i tuned in my Bass guitar for the first time with my Snark and played along to a song and was shocked as it was totally out of tune. So i retuned with my old tuner and realised that reading the instructions is always a good idea and found out that you have two settings Mic and Piezo and mine was set to Mic. I have changed it to Piezo and realised that this tuner is far more sensitive than my previous two tuners. My other tuner is a Korg which i bought after reading reviews on the internet and also due to the price. So what can i say apart from well done Snark as i have a stylish tuner that not only looks good but is is fully adgustable and can be used to tune a large range of instruments such as Guitars, Cellos, Violins etc. Operation is so easy with the clear 'speedo' style display.
An inconceivable creature
Any stringed instrument is tuned to set pitches at each string. There are a whole host of different tunings, but the most common on a lead guitar is "E standard", or simply "standard tuning". For lead guitars, this tuning represents the majority of everything you've ever heard played since the electric guitar was first invented.
Does this mean all six strings are tuned to the pitch of E? It does not. Starting from the highest string, they are tuned E - A - D - G - B - E. Hold on a moment, you may say. Two E's? Typo! It is not. There is a low E at the top, and a high E at the bottom. A good way to differentiate is to use E for the low E and e for the high. Hence: E - A - D - G - B - e.
Another common tuning is drop D. This is where the low E is tuned down to a D, which gives a much fatter, bassy sound for that string (D - A - D - G - B - e). Think Gold on the Ceiling by The Black Keys, Fat Bottomed Girls by Queen, The End by The Doors. Even Dear Prudence by the Beatles.
The more an instrument is played, or just with the passage of time or even humidity, strings will start to lose tuning. Some guitar setups are naturally more prone to the loss of tuning than others. This all leads to the need to turn the tuning pegs at the head of the guitar in order to get back to where you need to be.
It sounds simple, but you need a very good ear to do this manually. And a whole lot of experience. It is far simpler, quicker and easier to use a tuner for this purpose. There are many types of tuners on the market, and they operate in a range of ways. Many guitar amps will have a built in tuner, but in my limited experience, they do not tend to be very good. Rocksmith allows you to connect to a console or PC and has a reasonably good tuner, but for the guitarist on the go, this is not practical.
Such a carriage, such ease and such grace!
It is precisely because of this that I bought myself a highly regarded electronic tuner. The Snark of the title. It is made of sturdy black plastic, though available in several different colours. One immediate impression is how small it is. It operates a rubberised clip mechanism that sits on the headstock of your instrument. The face can be freely swivelled or angled so that you have a choice as to where you put it, and can still clearly see the readout.
There is a flat circular battery that is inserted into the device with the plus sign facing upward. The device will power on automatically. It can be turned off and on with a little grey button, and as buttons go, that's all there is. Despite the small size of the device, the display can be clearly seen from a distance so there's no need to squint to see what's happening.
If we have a half-way decent picture to go with the review, you'll be able to see just how good the display is. It consists of a number of gradients set in 5 ohm increments. The aim is to get the needle pointing straight up when you pluck the string open (i.e. no fretting). The device is extremely accurate and apparently will work even if you use a capo on the first four frets. (A capo is that little device sitting across the fingerboard that a lot of electro-acoustic players like Ed Sheeran use)
For the Snark was a Boojum, you see
The snark comes with a little faux-canvas bag to provide a little protection when sitting in the pocket of your gig bag. It truly is an invaluable device and a real time saver. It will help you get the maximum lifespan out of a set of strings, meaning the longer you use it, the more value you will derive from it. Reports I have seen indicate the battery life is very good. When almost drained, it will lose accuracy, which would represent a good point to buy a new battery!
Amazon currently sell it for under a tenner, a saving of about a third. With another Amazon voucher from Dooyoo, this cost me precisely nothing. This Snark is definitely a Snark. You will need no Bellman, no Baker, no Barrister and no Banker in order to make its acquaintance.