Tried my hand at tuning last night

Posted In: Amateur Harpists

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    Asha the Nagini on #159134

    I bought an electronic chromatic tuner and a pick-up clip, and I gave it my best shot.

    barbara-brundage on #159135

    >I also think I’m a little confused because the harp is in E flat, so it seems like the As, Bs, and Es should be something different when the levers are down, but I’m not sure.

    That’s why you’re having to tune so far and not having things stay. Tuning in E-flat means tuning A-flat, B-flat, and E-flat in the open string (with the lever disengaged).

    Asha the Nagini on #159136

    Good thing my lesson’s tonight, then!

    barbara-brundage on #159137

    Don’t stress about it. It’s one of those things that goes by epiphanies–at first it makes no sense at all, and then suddenly one day you wonder why it seemed so hard. You’ll get there.

    kreig-kitts on #159138

    Practice helps with making small adjustments. When I first started, it was so easy to turn too far, especially in the top 4 or 5 notes. Now I can make tiny corrections with no problem. After a while your hands develop a better touch with the tuning key.

    Gary C on #159139

    It’s the same with all pegged instruments like Violin or Ukulele.

    I have a few Ukes with tuning pegs, and they were a nightmare for me compared with the geared tuners on my guitars and a couple of other Ukes. I didn’t have a harp then, but when I got my first harp, I guess my experience with pegged tuners helped a lot because I never had any problems making small adjustments to my harp tuning, and I can guage adjustmets of 25 to 50 cents (I call a cent 1/100th of a tone) almost perfectly. That’s with my 22 string lap harp. Remains to be seen how I get on with the Ravenna when it arrives 🙂 More strings, higher tension, etc.

    Audrey Nickel on #159140

    The Ravenna has a special kind of tuning peg.

    Asha the Nagini on #159141

    Thank you, all!

    carl-swanson on #159142

    Barbara- Maybe I’m misunderstanding your post. But I thought that tuning in E flat meant that with none of the levers engaged the harp was in E flat. Stated another way, with none of the levers engaged, C, D, F, and G are tuned to the natural pitch, and E, B, and A are tuned to the flat pitch. Am I wrong about this?

    barbara-brundage on #159143

    Isn’t that what I said?

    Tacye on #159144

    For one thing, I was tuning the As, Bs, and Es with the lever down.
    Do your levers engage downwards or upwards?

    barbara-brundage on #159145

    I presume she meant she was tuning in natural with levers disengaged, which would explain why she had to tune so far.


    jessica-wolff on #159146

    You could use enharmonics in tuning; for example, D# for Eb. That means engaging the D’s lever. For all I know, that may be harmful too.

    Audrey Nickel on #159147

    It shouldn’t go out of tune that easily, Asha, unless the strings are new, or unless it’s not in a case when you transport it (or in some instances, if you really knock it against something).

    Asha the Nagini on #159148

    Yes, this.

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