A must-have helper for any guitar musician.
When I was in high school, I was in the band. It’s one of the things I did in my life that I’m most proud of. It taught me discipline and really made me come out of my shell. To this day, the relationships I made then are still strong and I learned a lot about leadership and teamwork during that time. In addition to the valuable life skills I picked up, I also learned how to play several musical instruments as I was a part of the percussion section. One of the more challenging things I did was play the tympani. These very large drums had to be tuned for specific songs and sometimes I would have to change keys in the middle of a song.
This was a hard skill to master, but thanks to that experience, I was able to develop a ‘tuners’ ear. It’s not perfect my any means, but I can tell when something is off key. Many instruments that need tuning aren’t as easy to deal with as the pedal tympani I used back then. A guitar, for example, can be extremely difficult to get just right. Fortunately, technology has come a long way since I was in school and there are sophisticated devices like the Roadie 2 that will help you automatically tune your string instruments without stressing about it.
The Roadie 2 is designed to help beginners and experts alike tune their instruments quickly and more accurately than they typically can by hand. The Roadie 2 can be used with all stringed instruments with guitar machine heads except bass guitars. For bass guitars, musicians should use the Roadie Bass. The Roadie 2 is a fully automated instrument tuner. It works by analyzing vibrations from a plucked string to know its current pitch. The motor of the device then rotates the peg until it’s tuned. According to the specs on the product’s page, you can fully tune a guitar in about 30 seconds with Roadie 2.
The Roadie 2 has an OLED screen installed and it’s so compact you can take it with you anywhere. There are 20 presets included with the tuner and users have the option of creating their own tunings through the companion app (available on iOS or Android). Using the app musicians can also store individual profiles for each instrument they are tuning. The app will also help users to keep track of stats on each string’s quality so you know when to change them. As an added bonus, the motor on the Roadie 2 can help you restring your instrument with an automatic winding feature. Even though the Roadie 2 has a feature-packed app available, it is a stand-alone device and can work without the assistance of the app.
- 380:1 gear ratio motor
- Detection range of A1 (55Hz) – A5 (880Hz)
- Detection accuracy of less than ±1 cent
- Compatible with acoustic, classical, electric, and steel guitars, 7 and 12-string guitars, ukuleles, mandolins, and banjos
- Can tune in noisy environments
- Re-string quickly and easily with the automatic winding feature. The motor rotates at three speeds, the fastest of which is 75 RPM
- Companion app available
- Bluetooth connectivity – tune up to 150 strings on a single charge
Since I’ve only ever really ‘picked’ at a guitar, I wasn’t sure exactly how easy (or difficult) using the Roadie 2 would be. The box it comes in has a lovely photo on the front that shows the product in use on the neck of a guitar. As nice as this photo is, I would much rather see a nice product image shot so that I knew at a glance what was in the box and what I could expect from the product housed inside. The description on the box is well-written and defines the Roadie 2 well. When you open up the box, you will find the Roadie 2 device and a small branded box that contains the USB-C charging cable and product manual. The manual is quite thick but has the instructions listed in several languages. The manual is easy to follow and honestly, once you read it once, you shouldn’t need to look at it again given how easy the Roadie 2 is to operate.
As I mentioned above, you can use the Roadie 2 with or without the companion app. The real bonus about the app is being able to identify multiple instruments and save tuning profiles to it. The app will show you some stats but the real ‘work’ of the tuner is done from the device — manually. To use the Roadie 2, you simply turn it on by pressing the button on the side of the rotating tuner (there is an “R” stamped there). The button will light up with blue light to indicate it has power. From here, you will follow the prompts on the OLED display where the battery level is also shown.
If you have set up an instrument in the app and synced the tuner (via Bluetooth), then that instrument’s name will appear on the screen as an option. If not you can add a new instrument. After you select the instrument you want to tune, the string names will appear. In my case, it’s a 6-string acoustic guitar. The list of string names begins with the lowest pitched string. If you put the tuner on the wrong string, it will tell you with a bright red LED light and an alarm noise. Once the string is selected, you place the peg connector onto the correct string peg and pluck the string. The Roadie 2 will automatically begin turning the string to find the correct pitch. I recommend holding tight onto the body of the tuner as the motor will cause the entire assembly to spin and it can’t grip the string peg if the body doesn’t hold still.
I was amazed at how easy it was the operate the Roadie 2 and how quickly a complete novice could tune an acoustic guitar by just plucking a few strings and holding the tuner steady. I love the concept of this product and hope that it can be applied to other instruments as well. It’s remarkable at how well the tuner works and how versatile it is.
I believe this tuner is a ‘must have’ for any guitar player — beginner to expert. The tuning process can be very aggravating even for the most experienced players. Why not take some of that stress away by using this amazing piece of technology? The Roadie 2 is a smart investment and I can’t recommend it enough.