Tuners & stuff

In my opinion, it's definitely worth getting into this. If you're only
involved with diatonics, the new Lee Oskar tuning kit is the best bet
- the Hohner one includes a lot of stuff for chromatics - windsavers &
stuff that you won't need, and it's overpriced, anyway. I think the Lee
Oskar kit is about $25. It's got some good instructional stuff as well.

I think you'll find that Steve Baker says that the variations he
illustrates in the Harp Handbook are a compromise tuning for fat chords
*and* in-tune solos that he finds suits him - you may hate it. The
variations he suggests will apply in the same holes on all harps. If I
know Hohner, they won't tell you anything about their tunings - they
want you to buy another harp - they make more money that way.

The tuner I use is a Boss TU100 from Roland. I've had it a while & it
was quite expensive, so they may not make it any more. Important things
to have are : 1. A CHROMATIC tuner - not one that is only any good for
	2. It's a good idea to be able to adjust the pitch the tuner is
"listening" for. I always tune to A = 442/443, though "standard" pitch
seems to be creeping ever higher, and is, I believe slightly higher in
the States than the UK.
	3. Make sure the tuner has a built-in microphone (see 2)
	4. It's also good if it can play a note back to you for
comparison purposes - sometimes the human ear is better than the
electronic one.

Being able to tune your own harps also enables you to play around with
some of the "trick" tunings that are about - maybe even invent your
own.  You'll save a fortune in harps if you're blowing them out in two
months - in fact, I'd guess that you're maybe overdoing something if
they're only lasting that long. I make a large proportion of my living
out of the harp and have instruments that I've owned for four years
that have never needed tuning in all that time. I have a friend who is
a professional classical harp player - his chromatic has needed no
attention, bar cleaning, in 25 years!

Enjoy it! - Steve Jennings

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