Best Banjo Tuning App for IOS

Today I want to talk about what I feel like is the best banjo tuning app I’ve tried so far.  I’ve tried many tuning apps and this is my favorite so far.  I am using IOS; I believe it’s available for Android as well.

Where have so many other tuning apps went wrong?  The main thing I saw were tuners that weren’t accurate.  Some to a degree it was unbelievable. I would tune with the tuner, then I’d go to play with the band and I’d be flat….yes, another tuning app in the trash can with the rest!

Favorite Banjo Tuning App – Pitched Tuner

The Pitched Tuner meets my needs in jams, in the recording studio, and elsewhere.  The developers of this app are Stonekick.  Here is a link to their website if you want to learn more about them:

  StoneKick


How do you find this on the App Store?

You can find this tuning app by simply searching Pitched Tuner, you’ll see an orange icon like this: tuning app called pitched tuner

Over one thousand reviews and almost five stars in the app store

Why Do I prefer this tuner to others?

  • Noise Cancellation
  • The right amount of Sensitivity
  • Accuracy of pitch
  • Cost!

Noise Cancellation

One of my favorites things about this tuner is you can switch it to INSTRUMENT MODE (banjo in this case).  Now the tuner will only pick up the pitches of the banjo.  I’ve actually used this in rooms with people jamming and playing other instruments.  This tuner didn’t even pick the background noise up-it only picked up my banjo.  Fantastic! The only time you have to worry about it picking up other instruments is if they are playing notes you are tuning to.  For example, the fourth string of a guitar would be picked up by the tuner as a D.  However, it’s easy to fix this problem, just select the note you are tuning and it will only pick up that note.

Sensitivity

There is nothing worse than a tuner that’s overly sensitive.  It picks up everything and the handle will not stay in the center no matter what you do.  You DO NOT want that.  This tuning app has just the right amount of sensitivity and the Volume Sensitivity is adjustable.

Click on the upper left hand corner, then PREFERENCES, and then VOLUME SENSITIVITY. You can now adjust Volume Sensitivity from Low, Medium, to High.

Here is a shot of the home tuning screen.  The needle lines up in the center when it is in tune.  A simple, but effective layout.  Many tuners try to do too many things at once, and end up doing nothing well.

Pitch Accuracy

If a tuning app doesn’t have pitch accuracy, then nothing else matters.  I’ve played in live environments after using this app, I’ve used it in the recording studio and I’ve tested it against strobe tuners.  It is an accurate tuner.  Inaccurate pitch remains my primary reason for ditching so many apps.  I’ve had a few whose pitch were completely off from A440HZ.  Nothing like tuning with a tuner and the band hits the first chord and you are left wondering, “What is wrong!”

Cost

I use the FREE version.  it’s hard to beat FREE when it comes to an app.  Of course, free also means you will see ads.  I’m not sure why some reviewers acted surprised they were seeing ads. Hello Mcfly!!  The pro or paid version enables you to disable these ads.  At the same time, this isn’t one of those apps where the ads are super intrusive anyways.  With the paid version, you can create your own tuning presets.


Features

Instrument Modes

As stated earlier it comes with Chromatic and Instrument modes.  Instrument modes include, but are not limited to:

  • Banjo
  • Guitar
  • 7-string Guitar
  • Viola
  • Cello
  • Upright Bass
  • 5-string Bass
  • Some woodwinds….

Pitch Pipe Mode

app screen of a pitch pipe

This tuner has a pitch pipe mode. You can play pitches from C1 up to B6. I noticed in the reviews section that many people are using this to practice their singing with. I used to do this, using the pitch pipe as a drone to improve intonation and accuracy. It’s also a good way to practice training your ear to tune without the aid of a tuner. You can use the pitch pipe, see if you can match it by ear, then switch to the tuner and see how close you got.

Pitch Standard Adjustment

You can adjust the pitch standard from 440Hz to something else if you’d like.

Note Names

It has a unique feature I haven’t seen before. The ability to change what the notes are named to. I noticed it has the Sa Re Ga system that’s used in Indian Music, as well as the standard Solfege syllables. This sort of thing is probably not useful to banjo players, but cool nevertheless.

Color Scheme

It has a Dark, Black, or Light color scheme you can choose. I personally use the Dark scheme as the light white screen tends to hurt my old eyes after awhile.

Final Summary

I’ve used this tuner for almost two years now and I see no reason to switch.  I think if you are looking for something to use on your phone, this is a great choice.  It has some features without going overboard.  It can’t double as a clip-on tuner but it can do a great job at everything else.  Give it a try and let me know what you think.

Once your banjo is tune, do you want to know more about how to keep it in tune.  Visit my blog post on Keeping a banjo in tune.

 

mans hand on banjo with the words banjo journey newsletter
Jody Written by:

Professional Musician of 27 years. I've performed on the stages of Carnegie Hall, The Grand Ole Opry, and The Ryman Auditorium. I've also played in 6 different countries. All things Banjo and Acoustic Guitar.

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