Saturday, January 16, 2010

Getting in tune

For beginning guitarists a few decades ago, tuning a guitar was a slow and frustrating chore. Untrained ears struggled to tease out fine distinctions of flat and sharp. And after several minutes, you might just give up and say, "I know that's not quite right, but it's close enough."

But digital tuners changed the whole game. A tuner's lights tell you whether a string is sharp or flat, and by precisely how much. And when you get a string's tuning right, the tuner will give you a decisive thumbs-up. Tuning a guitar might still be a chore, but with a tuner, it's a quick chore, and the results are always good.

What chore in your life could benefit from the equivalent of a guitar tuner? Where would you like to replace fuzzy, unreliable results with precision and certainty?