Best Tuner For Trumpet-Clip On Vs App? A Buyers Guide

A good clip on tuner can be a valuable tool when we want to learn how to really lock in the pitch

Best Clip On Tuners For Trumpet

A good trumpet tuner can be a valuable tool for every musician that is not blessed with having absolute pitch. This is especially true for brass players since our choice of musical instrument happen to be physically demanding, making  us have a lot of things going on at the same time, that we have to worry about, while we’re playing.

Best Tuners For Trumpet

AxeRig Clip-On For String Instruments, Woodwind Instruments and Brass
Click the image to read other real user reviews on Amazon
  • Approximate Cost: $19-25
  • My Rating: 7,5 / 10

SPECS

  • Batteries included
  • Weight 0,32 ounces
  • Batteries: 2 Lithium Metal batteries

PROS

  • It is priced well and does it’s job.
  • Easy to read the display (it is big and clear)
  • Easy to use (only one button)
  • Robust and does not break easily
  • Lifetime warranty, no questions asked

CONS

  • Not specifically made for trumpet and using the mic option will make other noises around you disturb the device a bit
  • Reaction time could perhaps be a bit faster

About the device

I must admit I’m a bit surprised to see how the manufacturers promise a lifetime warranty but, yeah, I guess I lift my hat. Gotta respect that. The device can be turned, 360 degree rotation. It is easy to clip on and the display will show a pleasant green color when the note is perfectly in pitch.

Summary

It is very affordable and you  for a relatively small amount of money you get a good tuner for trumpet

…well it’s not especially designed for the trumpet but it still works well. If money is tight this is definitely an option as it is very affordable. I will rate it  7,5 out of 10 as my final rating


Korg AW-LT100 Clip-On Tuner For Trumpet or Cornet 

Click the image to check current pricing on Amazon, because it always fluctuates a bit

  • Approximate Cost: $35-55
  • My Rating: 9 / 10

FEATURES

  • Batteries: one single AAA battery that last over 100 hours (included)
  • Especially designed for the trumpet, cornet or trombone
  • Tunes by picking up vibrations the trumpet bell (this means other sounds around you won’t disturb the device)
  • Weight 1,44 ounces
  • Calibration and memory function

PROS

  • Designed for trumpet, cornet or trombone
  • One aaa battery lasts over 100 hours
  • Very easy to use
  • Easy to read the display
  • It feels the vibrations of the trumpet bell so other noises around you will not affect or disturb the trumpet tuner at all
  • Extremely accurate yet does not “jump around” like many other do

CONS

  • The pricing could perhaps be a bit lower
  • Can’t think of anything else really

About this trumpet tuner

Specially designed for the trumpet, cornet or trombone and that is sweet. This mean you can use it wherever you want and noises around you won’t be a problem. It is very easy to use, ultra light and super accurate.

It has two types of meter speed: Fast and Slow

As well as the standard “slow” setting, this device enables the trumpeter to turn the meter speed to “fast,” for rapid response even when transitioning between notes.

“Slow” feature

The trumpeter can choose the setting that’s best for his or her situation. For example by using “slow” for typical tuning, sustained notes, or when playing a  piece of music in a slow tempo, that has got mostly long notes. It is extremely accurate.

“Fast” feature

Then we can select “fast” for example when we want to check our tuning in real rapid time, for example when performing a faster piece with your band or when you are practicing scales or anything where you change from pitch to pitch. This is extremely useful on orchestra rehearsals and will guarantee that you know where every note should be in pitch.

Summary

We have a winner!

I consider this to be the best trumpet tuner out there, at this point in time and if you have the money, definitely go for this one. You can find it on Amazon by clicking here.

Imagine whether you’re performing with a band, or playing a solo in church, you’ll be able to zero-in on perfect pitch, if you so desire, with no more worries if you are just a bit too flat on that fourth space “E”…

…I love that!

Out of these two devices this is by far the winner. I seriously think this is the best one on the market at this moment. This is the best tuner for trumpet because, well it is designed for the trumpet and you can tell, when using it.

With the two “speed options” along with reading the vibrations of the bell, so no other noises will interfere, this device is by far my favorite.

I think this one is a clear winner and I give it a strong 9 out of 10. It would get a full 10 if the pricing were just a bit lower.
(You can click here to check the current pricing on Amazon)


Clip-On Vs Regular Vs App

I highly recommend using clip-on instead of regular or even free apps. In fact nowadays I only use the clip on because it is designed to only show the tuning of MY horn, even if I’m playing on a gig and have lots of other musicians making noise around me…

…or should I perhaps say “making music” around me.

I can’t clip a free app or a regular tuner on my trumpet bell and use it in on band practice. First because it’s not physically possible and second, it won’t work with the other musicians playing at the same time. The device does not know from what instrument to show the pitch…

…so needles to say, the trumpet clip-on wins over both the regular and the mobie apps because you can use it as a regular tuner as well as a clip-on.

By the way, many of the free apps seem to be working fine but be warned, many of them are very inaccurate and you could set yourself up for “fake tuning news”, if you’re using them.

Some General Tips Using Trumpet Tuners

  • Don’t practice with the device all of the time

Even though the it is a very valuable tool,and I think most trumpet player should own one, we should not make it a habit out of haing it attached to out trumpet bell 100% of the time.

Why?

Well, because of the same reason I don’t think we should use a calculator every time we have to add some numbers. You have 50 dollars in your wallet and you buy 3 items in the store. You want to make sure you don’t exceed your “budget”…

…personally I try to make a habit of NOT using the calculator for this, or situations similar to it. If we newer expose the brain to do the work itself, we will slowly become worse at the task. The same goes with our ears and playing music….

…and the trumpet and using the clip-on tool. By all means, use it every day if you want but don’t look at it on every single note you play.

Personally I use the trumpet a lot when I play the piccolo trumpet because the piccolo is a beast when it comes to tuning. I check and adjust the slides and continue to practice, all while checking the notes here and there during my practice session.

Tune before your band practice and then sporadically check during your playing and during the rehearsal

Using a good trumpet tuner will make you a better trumpet player if you use it in a smart way. Of course always tune your trumpet before a gig or before the rehearsal. In addition to this here is how you could be using the clip-on

  • To check “problem notes” that is difficult to play in tune
  • If a bar in the music has a more unusual chord nd you are unsure where the pitch should be
  • If for some reason something sound out of tune when playing with others, check to find out if it’s you or them
  • In your practice room play a scale that is in the same key as the piece you are about to practice, and get that scale 100% perfect, usig the device. Then start practicing the piece, using only your ears.

How to use the trumpet device before a solo gig

Most of the time we don’t want to be using a clip-on on the bell when we play a trumpet solo in front of an audience. At least I do not want to do that but of course I tune my trumpet before the gig…

…and here is how I do it.

Let’s say for example that I’m about to play the Hallelujah Chorus from Messias (Händel), using my piccolo trumpet I will be playing in the key of “F-major”

  • I carefully tune the keynote “F”
  • I Play an arpeggio
    I play an F arpeggio,  F-A-C-F and back down F-C-A-F  and listen to it, first without the device. Then I play the same arpeggio again and this time I my dear tuning tool. I might have to pull the second valve slide out a bit to make the “A” come down just a tiny bit, for example. I play the arpeggio once more without using only my ears, really getting 200% comfortable with the main key notes.
  • Check the “problem notes”
    Of course I have been practicing the piece at home and played it before so I know the where the “problem notes” are and I check them a couple of time with the device before the gig starts.

Because I have locked in the tuning of the main key (the “F”-key), just a minute ago, I know that if the “problem notes” needs to be adjusted in some way WITHOUT changing the main tuning slide, or any of the other valve slides that would affect the F-A-C-F arpeggio.

Many option to get the notes in tune

Perhaps I can adjust the third valve slide on some of the notes where I use the third valve or perhaps I can use some alternate fingerings. If not then I write an arrow above the note either pointing up, if the note tends to be a bit flat or an arrow pointing down, if the note tends to be too sharp. It’s up to me to adjust and put them in pitch by bending them to where they belong.

Now, this was just an example of coure but you can also implement t on thhe ide to your B-flat trumpet, cornet, or any other trumpet for that matter.

Don’t get self-conscious when using tools

Don’t be afraid to use the device, having it on your bell, while you are on band practice, for example. Using tools to help us improve is nothing to be ashamed of at all. In fact we should be proud and own the situation. What’s note to love about wanting to improve? Using a good trumpet tuner is just showing that we want to improve and do a good job.

On the other hand don’t get too get too caught up looking at the device. Our main focus should always be the Music, breathing and listening…

…and then every now and then you throw an eye on the device on your bell to check, learn and adjust.

This is how we grow and get better.

Thank you for reading the article and, as always…

…keep practicing and remember to have fun while doing it!

-Robert Slotte-

P.S. Do you own any kind of tuning device?  and, if so, how often do you use it? Please feel free to comment something in the comment section below on when and HOW you are using yours. I would love to see what your approach is and how it’s working for you…

…do you only use it at home when you are practicing or do you only use it before a gig or before orchestra rehearsals ? or do you perhaps feel that you are using it too much? Consider leaving a few words and let me know…

…also it would be fun if you also wrote a bit where you are from and what kind of trumpet playing you mostly do. Brass quintet, Freelance, brass band, big band, marching band, studio, church, symphony orchestra?…etc.