It's simple: to play in tune you MUST buy a ukulele tuner!
Ukuleles are notorious for being hard to tune and hard to keep in tune.
But in this wonderful age we live in, there are cheap, decent, accurate electronic ukulele tuners that make it dead simple to keep your uke in tune.
My very strong recommendation is to buy a ukulele tuner that CLIPS onto the uke itself.
This style of tuner picks up the vibration of the plucked string, and can thus be used to tune in a noisy room. The other type of uke tuner “listens” for the string (as opposed to “feeling” the vibration), and you need to be in a quiet spot to avoid confusing the poor little guy.
Take my simple advice–when I have to buy a ukulele tuner (and I buy a lot of 'em for classes), I always USED go with these:
I've used these for years, and found them absolutely reliable and a great bargain–usually less than $10.00
My new favorite ukulele tuner:
After using and loving the Snark tuners, I've completely switched over to this D'addario tuner.
The tuning capabilities seem equal to the Snark, but look at that low, low profile. The Snark feels big and conspicuous compared to this tiny thing.
With the D'addario, I clip it on and leave it on. No extra weight to speak of, and nothing poking up and looking ungainly.
You can do what I do and clip it on the BACK of the headstock so it really is practically invisible. And the tuner even has a setting to reverse the screen read-out. So when the tuner is upside-down (on the back of the uke), the screen can still read right-side-up — love it![highlight color='#429db0′ fontcolor='#f9f8f4′ bordercolor='yellow' style='font-size:20px;padding:30px;']
How to use a clip-on electronic ukulele tuner
Jump over to this post for a quick video on how to actually use the D'addario tuner. At the risk of sounding like a used car salesman, this tuner is so easy, it's almost like magic![/highlight]
PS: A common question is:
Can you tune a ukulele with a guitar tuner?
The answer is: YES. Most clip-on tuner don't care what instrument they're clipped on to, so you can use a guitar tuner on a ukulele (or a trumpet or a bass or … whatever 🙂 )