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Lever/Tuning Question

  • Pat
    Pat Eisenberger

    Just want to be certain I'm remembering correctly. In tuning a lever harp to E flat, I engage the lever (say the E lever) and then tune the string (to E)? Or do I leave the lever unengaged and tune it to the flat?

    I used to use the first method before I traded in my Prelude for a Style 85.

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    replies to "Lever/Tuning Question"
    • Andy
      Andy B

      Hi, Pat:

      You should always tune with the levers disengaged and tune to flat for the Eb, Ab, and Bb. Or, if you don't play much in the key of Eb or Bb, you could just tune the B's to flat  and the E's and A's to natural and you won't have to flip as many levers.

      Hope this helps,


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    • Tonya
      Tonya A

      Congratulations on your new arrival - how exciting!  You've gotten me to pondering a McFall of my own....when I have extra $$ (is there such a thing?!).

      Regarding tuning - always tune your lever harp with all of the levers down/not engaged - then engage the levers as needed to move thru the various key signatures.  So, to tune in Eb, you'll tune thusly:  C  D  Eb  F  G Ab  Bb......

      Hope this helps - have fun with your new harp!

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    • Pat
      Pat Eisenberger

      Figures that I had it wrong all these years! My teacher had a "thing" about lever harps and strongly encouraged me into the pedal harp as soon as I could afford one.

      Thanks for the info!

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    • Briggsie B.
      Briggsie B. Peawiggle, Esq.

      Pat, you're tuning them flat so that when you engage the levers they are going up 1/2 step to naturals. This gives you a lot more options for keys. If you want to play in the key of F, you will engage the Eb and Ab, but flip the Bbs down, because when you disengage that lever, the B goes to Bb. :) 




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    • Pat
      Pat Eisenberger

      Hi Briggsie -

      Yes, I understood that part. (I had a Prelude for three years before getting my pedal harp.) I just didn't know if I should have the levers engaged while tuning. My teacher never told me one way or the other. I understand the idea of tuning with levers disengaged, but to me it seems that since most of my music is in C, D or G it might be best to tune with the E, A & B levers engaged, as they will be staying that way. However, I'll go with the general concesus rather than my intuition, because I'm certain this issue has been already thoughly tested.

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    • Karen
      Karen Johns

      Hi Pat,

      Another concern with tuning the harp with the levers engaged is the strain it will put on the strings, especially if your levers "pinch" the string rather than raise it. I know Loveland levers do this, not sure about Camacs.


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    • Barbara
      Barbara Brundage

      to me it seems that since most of my music is in C, D or G it might be best to tune with the E, A & B levers engaged, as they will be staying that way

      This shouldn't be necessary at all if your levers are properly regulated. If a couple got out of regulation during shipping, well the best thing about camac levers is how easy it is to regulate them yourself.

      Karen is right--it will not do your strings any good to tune them with the lever engaged.

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