Tuning Card


Two cards are included in the price.

I've created The Tuning Card to help you tune a harmonica freestyle - without necessarily using temperament. Learn more about temperament here. The Tuning Card helps you tune what you need.

Lay the plate (or the assembled harmonica) on the Tuning card. Use the colors to help you map out which reed you need to adjust.

Anyone who knows me will tell you that I do not advocate tuning "by the numbers." You won't end up with chords or octaves in tune if you simply play each note into a tuner and adjust the pitch. The pitch of a single reed played on a harmonica is not stable - it's influenced by our embouchure, our breath force and a few other factors.

Pick the method that meets your requirements:

Simple: If you never play chords or octaves, accuracy is not required. Use Equal Temperament. It's the easiest configuration. Simply use a tuner to tune all the notes to an offset of zero on your tuner. This is how most budget/inexpensive harmonicas are tuned. You can expect the accuracy of each note to be about + or - 6 cents.

Intermediate: If you like chords and octaves but are not skilled at tuning, tune only the elements you need. Tune the chords on the low end of the harmonica. Tune the rest for either smooth octaves or Equal Temperament. Chords and octaves can sound fine when tuned with an accuracy of + or - 2 cents.

Advanced: Perfect harmony gives your chords more power. Build a chord using dynamic breath for extra precision. Double check each note with the fifths and thirds. Use the octaves to tune the other chords and use their thirds and fifths to "square" - double or even triple check each reed for maximum precision. This process takes more time, skill and attention to detail. It requires accuracy and notes should be accurate to within a fraction of a cent.

Most people - even those with perfect pitch - can't pick up on 13 cents difference in absolute pitch. But relative pitch - when two notes are played together - is much more obvious to everybody, even those not gifted with perfect pitch.

The Tuning Card helps you through the process of tuning using relative values instead of absolute ones.

You can use the French Tuner™ along with the Tuning Card.

The underling principle is to play the notes you are working on together and use your ears to help you decide whether to raise or lower the pitch.

Two cards are included in the price.

SKU: TuningCard
Price: CAD$2.50