Tuners?lee Oskar

The reason I keep stressing a self locating tuner stems from an 
embarassing moment I had at a Lee Oskar workshop.  I didn't own a tuner 
at that point in time and was borrowing a Korg from the gentleman next to 
me at the workshop.  He was a harmonica teacher and right handed to 
boot.  He was sure he knew the exact right way to tell me how to tune 
harmonicas and kept teling me I was angling the chisel the wrong way.  
I'm lefthanded.  Anyway I was fairly vexed at this point in time and 
consequently wasn't doing too well at the tuning.  Lee Oskar came over to 
help me with my problem.  Mr. Oskar's a nice guy and all but not the most 
patient human being that ever roamed the planet.  I told him I was tuning 
and tuning and nothing was changing what was I doing wrong?  He asked me 
the note I was trying to tune.  A D I said.  Oops that wasn't the right 
reed.  I'd been tuning the wrong reed and dropped it's pitch almost 2 
whole semitones before Lee caught me out.  Needless to say I felt like a 
total dummy for the rest of the class and Mr. Oskar was less than patient 
with me for the rest of the afternoon.  If I'd been using a tuner that 
told me the name of the note I would have caught the mistake sooner and 
saved myself a lot of time and frustration.  The upside is I never made 
the same mistake again, but it's very easy to get confused when you 
learn to tune and all the help you can get is a good thing.

The one thing that truly changed my ability to tune harmonicas was a 2 
day adventure in retuning 2 abandoned Lee Oskar plates from different 
harmonicas to a Spanish Tuning.  The reasons being that virtually every 
reed had to be retuned so I got lots of practice.  The tuning isn't 
commercially available so I was motivated.  The reed plates were used and 
mismatches so I had nothing to lose but time.  I did lose a bunch of that 
but the experience changed tuning from a trial to an everyday occurrence 
that I do whenever I buy new reedplates because the factory tunings 
aren't to my preference.  My advice is to start with old plates and 
change a C diatonic to a country tuning by sharping the F's.  Easy to do 
and you get something you can actually use.  FJM

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