Mudcat Café message #1096053 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #61235   Message #1096053
Posted By: Kaleea
19-Jan-04 - 02:36 AM
Thread Name: Tuning an autoharp
Subject: RE: Tuning an autoharp.......
    Tuning is a common problem for Autoharpers! First of all, you might want to invest in the Autoharp Quarterly Magazine. They have a website with lots of great info. Maryanne sells a terrific book which includes everything you need to know about the autoharp & how to take care of it.
There is also a cyberspace autoharp group called the "Cyberpluckers" you can be part of, which is an email group. You can ask questions & get great info!
    (Sorry, I couldn't get my 'puter to cut & paste the blue clicky)
    I don't know what kind of Autoharp you have, but if you are really wanting to keep it in tune you might consider having fine tuners installed on it if yours does not have them. I have a professional one by a very fine American Luthier rather than one of the old Oscar Schmidt ones. It came with the fine tuners. One is able to achieve precise tuning, whereas the average Autoharp is often a few cents off. This can be quite difficult to adjust to if one is accustomed to a well tuned instrument. I have several tuners, to include a Korg and at least 3 tuners with tuner mics, & have tried them all & others, too. I have better accuracy with my old Seiko chromatic tuner without the mic. I prefer to place it directly on the strings, sometimes over the sound hole, using the internal mic. This way I can see with both the needle & the dial showing the numbers + or - how many cents the string sounds above or below the correct pitch.    I have actually found this more accurate with my 'harp than clamping the tuner mic to the tuning pins. If you have the standard Autoharp, use your wrench to turn the pin & tune it every time before you play. Always tune your instrument before you play with other musicians. The more you tune it, the more you will become accustomed to being able to get as close to accurate pitch as possible.