As seen on Guitar Girl Magazine Issue 5
As a guitar teacher mainly for students starting from scratch, obviously the first thing I teach all my students is how to tune their guitar. Some manage sufficiently. Others, especially the younger students, struggle a little at first. I usually tune it for them the first few times. I also teach lessons remotely. Needless to say, I was excited to test out the Roadie Tuner 2 as both a tool for my new students and for myself so that I could play around with some different tunings hopefully with ease. I play guitars in standard tuning, and I have two different baritone guitars. I spend a lot of time before shows trying to get them all in tune as fast as I can as sometimes you have a quick turnaround between sets or not much time for soundcheck, so anything that could possibly make this a little easier for me gets a vote in my book.
There are many different tuners out there that vary in size and price, some clip to the instrument’s headstock and use a microphone or vibrations to help you tune each string, some are pedals or gadgets you plug directly in to, and you can even use your smartphone as a tuner with many different tuning apps to choose from.
They all pretty much follow the same format which is as you pluck each string, the display will tell you if you’re higher or lower than the desired note. You then tighten or loosen the string, pluck it again, check the tuner’s display, and repeat until each string is in tune. With the Roadie 2, you select what instrument you are tuning and what your desired tuning would be, pop the tuner on the instrument’s tuning peg, pluck the string, and it automatically tunes the string to the desired note.
The Roadie 2 has a high-tech look to it, yet its high-quality plastic makes it extremely lightweight. It has a center grip, a power button and selection wheel on the left, a display on the top, and on the right is where you connect your guitar peg. The peg connector is designed to fit over most instrument pegs. The power button on the opposite side has an LED that lights up in blue when on. When tuning, it will either light up green for “in tune” or red for “out of tune.” It can even determine if you’re trying to tune the wrong string.
On the display, there is a built-in menu which you control using the selection wheel. You first choose what kind of instrument you are playing; either electric, acoustic or classical guitar, ukulele, mandolin, or banjo. If you use the Roadie app, you are also able to download other instruments, as well as the brand of instrument. It is charged via USB, and the charge seems to last for quite a while.
I tried this for myself both at home and before a show in a noisy club. I also let one of my beginner students give it a try to see how easy it was for him to use it. At home, it worked great on both acoustic and electric with different tunings. I loved watching the pegs automatically tune the guitar, and it was relatively fast and easy to use. I didn’t manage to test it out to restring a guitar, I would be interested to see how fast and easy that would be. It definitely made me want to test out different tunings and was fun to use.
When I tried it before a show, however, it was a little more difficult with the dark backstage lighting and extremely loud music from the bands playing before me as I play in some pretty loud music venues in Atlanta. This was the only downside for me.
It was fun to use, made tuning my guitars during practice and recording, and I would recommend giving it a try.