Not all music apps have to be all-singing, all-dancing, feature-filled smorgasbords. Sometimes, they can just do one job in a no nonsense fashion. GuitarTuna is a case in pint, although the ‘no nonsense’ comment perhaps only applies to the practical side of the app – it helps you tune a guitar – but not so obviously to the folks at Ovelin who clearly like a little bit of nonsense given the apps graphic styling and wonderfully corny name :-)
The iTunes App Store has a good number of both dedicated guitar tuner apps and other apps that include a guitar tuner within their feature set (the excellent Guitar Toolkit for example). However, there is no excuse for not having a look at GuitarTune because, at present at least, it is free. And, as it works happily with the iPad’s or iPhone’s built-in microphone (including a little bit of noise cancelation within the software), there is now absolutely no excuse for iDevice owning guitar players to play with an instrument that it out of tune (well, unless the instrument is so bad it is untunable).
There is very little to say about using GuitarTuna – you pluck a string and the app’s rather nice ‘seismic’ needle display gives you a very accurate indication of how close it is to the correct pitch. By default, the app uses an ‘auto’ mode to detect which string you are trying to tune but there is also a manual mode if you need it. Equally, you can switch to a lefty guitar display if your musical orientation swings in that direction. In use, despite to somewhat cartoony nature of the graphics, I found GuitarTune to be pretty accurate and very easy to get things to their correct pitch.
Perhaps the only downside of the app is that, in the current release at least, it only caters for six string guitars in standard tuning. Here’s hoping that Ovelin at the option for some alternate tuning or even a ‘free’ mode. All that said, GuitarTuna – and other similar apps – must be busting a pretty big hole in the market for dedicated hand-held tuners.
Whatever your take on the rather quirky looks, GuitarTuna does a good job and it’s free so, if you are looking for a tool for basic standard tuning, you have nothing to loose by giving it a try.