I googled and saw videos in youtube about tuning in classical orchestra during their live performance. I was wonder if somebody tell me that using clip-on tuner for instruments (like violin) in classical orchestra in their performance on stage in front of many people is usual and good? or this isn't usual?

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    I've never seen professionals use these. I've seen a few student orchestras use them. As Carl answered, the most precise tuning would not be possible with a digital tuner since the orchestra has to be in tune with itself more than it has to be tuned to an arbitrary standard. Since clip ons are easy to use, they can streamline the process of getting in the right ballpark for younger players or those with less developed tuning ability. Jul 5, 2017 at 13:07
  • A clip-on tuner can help sometimes, but not very often. In the orchestra we need to listen to each other and intonate (tune) together. With experience this gets better, professional players have that experience. Amateurs, maybe, as it is can be a distraction. Personally, beeing an amateur, I tend to use a clip-on when playing contrabassoon. It is a weird instrument, in that it can be very difficult to actually hear the intonation when playing.
    – ghellquist
    May 27, 2018 at 6:41

1 Answer 1


No, it's useless. You need to tune to the orchestra, not to a predefined frequency.

  • It seems you don't understand my question, We all have tune in the orchestra at first of the live performance, but during live performance(in the middle) we want to tune again, If everybody has clip-on tuner, is this bad?
    – ThisIsMe
    Jul 5, 2017 at 11:45
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    The point carl is making is that the oboe (generally) that the orchestra tunes to may or may not be exactly at A=440Hz - so-called 'concert pitch - although that varies round the world. Whatever note the oboe produces is the pitch for that concert. Even if you used a really expensive tuner, unless you re-set it to accept that oboe's pitch, it wouldn't be correct. Apart - I'd think an orchestra with clip on tuners was pretty naff.
    – Tim
    Jul 5, 2017 at 12:33
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    N.B. Naff means "lacking taste or style", according to one online dictionary. I had to look it up so I figured I'd assist any other Americans here. Jul 5, 2017 at 13:10
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    @ToddWilcox Awwwww, you took all the fun of people having to go learn about someother country's slang :-) Jul 5, 2017 at 13:12
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    Unfortunately lazy people like me often try to work from context clues instead of actual learning, so I used to think naff was more like "wicked fresh" but now I see it's really closer to "bogus". Jul 5, 2017 at 13:19

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