A gadget that plays guitar?

By Casey Frye, CCNN Writer

guitar playing
The tune from those strings! I’m in love.

It’s been three tough years since I’ve started playing the guitar. Let me tell you, it’s not the fingerpicking or the hand-cramping chord progressions that get me frustrated, it’s tuning the darn thing! I get so busy with school sometimes, that my instrument is neglected for weeks and the strings loosen up. When I finally pick it up for a jam session, it sounds less like a guitar and more like a whining dog. I’m still a beginner (yes, even after three years), so it can take a while to tune it back up. Well, thanks to a tuner from Gibson, my guitar can be pitch-perfect in seconds!

In most guitars, the strings go through a tiny opening inside the pegs, almost like a thread inside a needle. The more you wind the peg up, the more tense the string gets, and the higher the pitch becomes. You can try it out yourself with a rubber band. If you pluck the band as you stretch it, the sound gets higher. As you can imagine, sometimes the strings can loosen over time and they don’t sound like they are supposed to. Gibson’s automatic guitar tuner, TronicalTune, replaces the pegs on the guitar and tunes the strings for you!

While other automatic tuners already exist, they are expensive and it’s easy to get confused with all the bells and whistles that need to be in specific places. The TronicalTune is just about as easy to install as Rubbee is for bikes. You just take out the pegs on your guitar and screw the tuner on the back of the headstock, you know, the part of the guitar where the pegs are. The tuner comes with six mini-motors – one for each string – and sensors that detect vibrations. When you strum the strings, the motors and pegs get a-turnin’ until each string is in perfect pitch!

With a $299 price tag, I know a few months’ worth of allowance is all I need to buy it. However, I think I’ll wait until I can tune the guitar myself. Now, if they came up with a machine that could change the strings, I’ll be the first one in line outside the store to buy it!

Images courtesy of Gibson.