Newbie tuning question

Posted In: Amateur Harpists

  • Participant
    Kelly Noonan on #157975

    If I want to tune my Ravenna 26 harp to C, do I just follow the tuner exactly by matching the note of the string to the note displayed on the tuner until the light on the tuner shows green, meaning I’ve matched it correctly?

    It used to be tuned to E flat (I think) but a few of the new songs I’d like to work on suggest having the harp tuned to C. The harp is horribly out of tune to begin with since I haven’t played in nearly two months.

    elinor-niemisto on #157976

    Be sure you are fairly close to the pitch you want…the tuner looks for the nearest note.

    kreig-kitts on #157977

    A lot of people tune harps to 3-flat so they can use the levers to play in the most common keys. If you have lever on the As, Es, and Bs, you can dune to E flat by raising all the A, E, and B levers and the harp will play in C. If your harp doesn’t have levers on those notes, however, it would probably be best to tune the harp to C if you play a lot of music in that key.

    Kelly Noonan on #157978

    I have levers so I’ll probably take this advice.

    Unfortunately I don’t have a piano or access to one. If my harp is badly out of tune and I’m still kind of an amateur, what’s the best way to doublecheck that my harp is tuned correctly? Is there a way to compare my harp against correctly tuned notes online?

    deb-l on #157979

    here ya go..

    barbara-brundage on #157980

    Your tuner should also have the option to generate an audible tone.

    tony-morosco on #157981

    As Barbara said, most tuners can emit an audible tone.

    Also, most give you the option to select a specific note rather than just guess at what note you are trying to tune by giving the closet to what it picks up.

    So you can select a note like middle middle C and then tune approximately by ear and then use the tuner to fine tune it.

    However don’t be a slave to the tuner for life. The tuner may help you get theoretically perfect or close to it, but perfect isn’t always best sounding. For instance many harpists tune the upper octaves slightly sharp intentionally because it sounds better.

    Tuners are great when you are starting out, and are a fantastic tool even for the experienced harpist as they save a lot of time getting in the ballpark, but as you get more experienced your ear will develop and you will start to be able to trust them more. At that point trust your ears even if they don’t match the tuner exactly.

    shelby-m on #157982

    Yes, Kreig is right.

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