I searched the Android Market for "tuner", and a massive amount of hits were returned. Can anyone recommend a tuner to use as aid for tuning a brass instrument? Most of the apps were specific for guitar, bass guitar or violin, but some were more generic.
I play Tuba. Are there special things I should look out for regarding technical issues?

My initial preferences for how it should be like:

  • Fairly reliable
  • Good and simple user interface
  • Easy setup (calibration etc)
  • Clear visual feedback

I would like advice on what else I should look for in the woods of tuners on the market.

  • Is accuracy/reliability your main concern?
    – user28
    Nov 18, 2011 at 19:59
  • It shouldn't be very unreliable, but I'm more interrested in user friendly. See my edit.
    – awe
    Nov 21, 2011 at 8:55
  • I have not made a thorough comparison (hence a comment rather than an answer) but gStrings is a chromatic tuner that works fine for me. Despite the name, it should be fine for a brass instrument.
    – slim
    Nov 21, 2011 at 14:01
  • @slim: You say "it should be fine for a brass instrument". Have you actually tried it with a brass instrument?
    – awe
    Nov 22, 2011 at 9:03
  • No, but I perceive no difference in sound waves coming from brass and sound waves coming from strings which would affect the functionality of a tuner.
    – slim
    Nov 23, 2011 at 7:34

3 Answers 3


I would test the response of your phone microphone with a free app, and against a stand-alone tuner. I play trombone, and I notice when I tune in the lower range, especially at louder volumes, the phone tuning apps tend to jump around a bit. They're not necessarily off… at least by much, but it's tough to read what they're trying to tell you. It depends on what you need it for. At the very least, I suspect you'll need to place the phone a ways away to avoid that result. I only use my tuning app on my phone for guitar and other higher pitched instruments. Trombone is my primary, so I bought a nice standalone to keep in the case. I realize this isn't the answer you're looking for, but I highly suggest running some tests before spending money on an app.

  • Thanks for you feedback. It is good to know what to think about regarding the technical limitations.
    – awe
    Nov 22, 2011 at 9:00
  • 1
    Remember you can get a full refund on any Android Market app within 24 hours of purchase.
    – slim
    Nov 23, 2011 at 8:22

(I know this post is 2 years old but I'm a Tuba player who has had this problem before so...)

I use "Soundcorset Metronome & Tuner" for my phone, but I always find that, no matter what app I use, digital tuners for low instruments like Tubas are too jumpy for me. Even some stand alone tuners do it as well.

What I found that works really well is to get a tuner that has an analog dial. Those are really smooth and work really well in the low register.

tl;dr: Get an analog tuner.

I have an expensive one from Boss, but I've seen cheaper.


I have used a app called Pano Tuner to tune my tuba.

It's relatively easy to set up (install the app and launch), however there is one setting I change, which is "Note Order." I change this from the default "Sharp to flat" to "Flat to sharp." To me, it simply makes more sense.

(Just an FWI, the settings menu is accessed by a small button on the bottom-right corner of the screen.)

  • To add a bit more information: It looks like Pano Tuner has had specific work done to it for bass instruments, through v1.24-5
    – Chris
    Dec 17, 2014 at 19:46

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