Polyphonic Tuners - What's all the hubbub about?

Posted by The Fretwire on

When I was a kid, we tuned our strings one at a time. And we liked it. One kid had a tuner, the rest of us just did relative tuning based on the low E string. This ensured we were always in tune with ourselves, never in tune with anyone else. All the sudden about a year ago, everyone starts talking about polyphonic tuners.  "Tune all your strings at once!" they say.  "Stop writing like an old man!" another shouts. I didn't get it at first.  I have to tune each string, so why do I want to see them all at once? Then a few months ago I saw a DigiTech Hardwire Series HT-6 Polyphonic Pedal Tuner pedal in person. I plugged it in, I strummed.  The giant display on the pedal lit up like a very tiny twinkly christmas tree.  Everything was in order, I see all the lights line up... wait a minute, what is this?  D String!  Get in line with everyone else.
A quick turn and now I was REALLY in tune.  I strummed, I turned a peg, I strummed again, and I was done.  I didn't have to go through the strings that were off.  I got it. As a time saver at home or in practice, meh. But on stage!  Oh, on stage you can reduce the time you keep your adoring fans waiting by like a gazillion percent. So, I hate to be the one to tell you, but your current tuner sucks.  Sorry. You are going to need one of these. Check out the details here.