ukestuff

Ukulele in secondary music education

Roadie 2 Follow-Up (The First Day)

I brought the Roadie 2 to school with me today, and tuned instruments at school and during my first hour prep period.  I tuned my usual 60 instruments in about the same amount of time as it normally takes me to tune those instruments, but the process is much less labor intensive.  Instead of having to move a tuner (or a iPad stand with a tuning app open across the room) from instrument to instrument and manually tuning each string, I have to click the button on the Roadie 2 one time to select the ukulele tuning, and then just move from string to string.

I had about 6 misreads, all on the G string (4th string).  When I took the Roadie 2 off the peg, clicked on the screen to acknowledge the problem, and tried again, it worked each time.

I think I tuned 140 ukuleles today…all on one charge with plenty of charge to spare.

Students were overall impressed with the tuner (this doesn’t always happen with technology), but there was some negative reaction to the price point.  Good and useful does not always mean cheap, my dear students.

I think I messed something up in my (unnecessary) custom tuning today…at the end of the day, the Roadie 2 stopped recognizing the G string all together.  So I deleted that tuning on the device and selected “ukulele,” and everything was fine again.  I’ll keep an eye on it.

I did hear back from the company today about my questions.  There is a way to edit tunings in the app (it’s a little hidden), priority order of tuning on the device is coming, and the device is not made to work with friction tuners.

I was able to tune as many ukuleles as I did today partially because of the speed of the tuner, but partially because it simplifies my role in the process.  And ultimately, it is nice to not have to be the one deciding what “in tune” means.  Too often, when tuning our key set of sixty ukuleles, close enough is good enough.  The Roadie 2 guarantees that tuned is tuned.

We’ll also see how long the motor lasts on the device as I tune this many devices.  I should hit 500 tunings this week for sure.

So…the benefits?

  • Accurate tuning
  • Battery lasts all day when used heavily
  • User does not have to be intensely involved with the tuning process as when using a clip-on tuner or phone-based tuner
  • It works

The negatives?

  • Occasional misreadings (always on the G string—the first string tuned in the process)
  • Cost
  • Desire for custom order on the display (coming soon)

I’ll be buying one of these for myself.  You may not think it is worth it—but I have a few ukuleles around the house.  You could also tune other ukuleles for friends at ukulele jams.  The possibilities are endless!

Are you interested in a Roadie 2 for your program?  You can order it for $129, and the use of my referral link from Amazon would certainly be appreciated.


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