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Chromatic Tuner

Q.What is a chromatic tuner, and how is it different from a guitar/bass tuner?

A.In broad terms, electronic tuners can be classified into two categories: "guitar/bass tuners" and "chromatic tuners."

Guitar/bass tuners only recognize the open strings of a guitar or bass. Therefore, they cannot be used to tune other instruments. If you only need to tune guitars and basses, a guitar/bass tuner is very easy and convenient to use. You can easily tune by string number, even if you don't know the pitch (note name) of each string.

A chromatic tuner recognizes each of the twelve chromatic (semitone) steps of the equal-tempered scale (C, C#, D, D#, E, F, F#, G, G#, A, A#, B). As such, it can be used to tune any instrument. If you use a chromatic tuner to tune your guitar or bass, however, you'll need to know the pitch (note name) of each string. (The BOSS TU-12 and TU-2 chromatic tuners provide a mode in which you can tune by string number if you don't know the note name for each string.)


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