Violin Equipment Review – Korg Chromatic Tuner (CA-30)

In reviewing the Korg Chromatic Tuner (CA-30), I feel it is important to note that, as a practice aid for violin, most digital tuners do not respond accurately or quickly enough for students to feel comfortable using them. In fact, frustration with them seems to be the most common reaction when employed for checking pitch while practicing. However, as far as tuners on the lower end of the price range go, the Korg Chromatic Tuner (CA-30) is, reliably speaking, a strong performer with a clear and readable interface (as compared with models by Intellii or Sabine, that are large equivalent in other respects but more difficult to use).

Of course, this Korg does not include a metronome, which is something of a disadvantage given that combining a tuner and metronome is often a very good value. Is an electronic tuner really that much of a step-up in usefulness compared to a pitch-fork? If the tuner is being used to work on passes incredibly slowly or to separately tune all four strings on the violin, then the answer is clearly yes. But for a beginner, (especially a young one) trying to learn how to play in tune using any electronic chromatic tuner will likely result in frustration.

My suggestion? If you are searching for a way to reproduce A440, consider buying a metronome that can reproduce pitches. Or, resort to an old fashion pitch pipe or pitch fork, both of which may be had for under $ 10. In the end, developing the ear is the best way to improve intonation on the violin, and excessive reliance on a digital tuner can actually interfere with this objective.

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