I still remember my first tuner. The Seiko Tolv ST-369 – a gigantic brick of a device which probably has the equivalent mass of about 10 iPhones stacked together.

Aside from using it to generate an A to tune my violin to, and for the occasional round of the scintillating “Name That A” game (i.e. is that a 440? a 442? a 441?), I have to admit that I didn’t use it for much else.

My laziness aside, intonation is the bane of many a musician’s existence, and I think most agree on its importance – even if we do sometimes get a bit too obsessed with pitch and neglect to develop other important aspects of musicianship.

I don’t know if there is a clear consensus on how best to develop a keen and discerning ear (check out this interesting and lively discussion), but like our trusty metronome, tuners can be an invaluable tool when used appropriately. Besides, now that we can use a tuner app, instead of having to carry around a separate device, there aren’t many good reasons not to have one at our disposal.

But with so many to choose from, which ones are actually worth paying for?

The plan – and a contest!

I have 5 copies of the newly released Practice+ app to give away!

So, here’s the plan

  1. Nominate your favorite tuner app in the comments below and tell us what makes it stand apart from the rest. This will count as your entry in the contest to win a copy of Practice+.
  2. On Wednesday, I’ll tally up the nominations, report back with your top five recommendations, and give you a chance to vote on the overall winner.
  3. On Sunday, I’ll announce the top tuner app, and do a random drawing to determine the 5 readers who will receive a free copy of the new all-in-one practice app.

(Full disclosure: I received a complimentary evaluation copy from the developers, but am not being compensated in any way for mentioning the app. Just thought it was a pretty handy all-in-one app – especially the ability to quickly record and share audio.)

So…what’s the best tuner app?

There are a couple dozen or so tuner apps currently available to smartphone users. But some are easier to use, more aesthetically pleasing, and unless I’m imagining things, seemingly more accurate and precise as well.

So, which tuner app (either iOS or Android) is your favorite?

Let me know which one you think is the best in the comments below (deadline to submit an entry is Tuesday at 6pm EST — and don’t forget to tell us what makes it stand out from the alternatives!

Update: The contest and voting is now closed! Check out the top five tuner apps and winners here: Five Best Tuner Apps.

photo credit: Autumn Welles via photopin cc

About Noa Kageyama, Ph.D.

Performance psychologist and Juilliard alumnus & faculty member Noa Kageyama teaches musicians how to beat performance anxiety and play their best under pressure through live classes, coachings, and an online home-study course. Based in NYC, he is married to a terrific pianist, has two hilarious kids, and is a wee bit obsessed with technology and all things Apple.

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