Which tuning should I make to my excess C harps?

Now, I have 4 C harps at home at the moment:

  • Hohner Special 20 x 1
  • Hohner Pro Harp x 1
  • Hohner Blues Band x 2

So, I would like to turn my Blues Band and Pro Harp to other tune. Which one would you suggest?

e.g. C Country-tuned, Paddy-richter, etc.

Hi SImon,

I have a couple Paddy’s but no Country tuned.

Paddy’s good for fast fiddle tunes.

Do 1 of each.

harp On!!

I’d retune the Blues Band harps since they’re a lot cheaper then the Pro Harp so if you mess them up it’d not be as big of a deal. Do one each, Paddy Richter and Country then after you see which one you like the best(or play the most) if you’re feeling frisky you could retune the Pro or Special 20 to that tuning.

I guess I would say country, but you can’t really go wrong! (Unless you accidentally invent a tuning! :wink: ;D :D)


Thank you for all your suggestions.

But, how about the tools? Which tools are required for the customization?

In regards to changing tunings on any harps, it’s imperative to know in which they are set up to begin with.

Meaning, are they Equal Temperament or Compromised/Just Intonation tunings.

I know the Spec20s are JI tuned. Lee Oskars are ET tuned.

I’m not sure about the other harps you mentioned.

If one or both are in ET, then those will be easier for you as a beginner to change to other tunings.

Pat Missin can help you here: http://www.patmissin.com/tunings/tunings.html

As far as what tools you’ll need –

Well, Lee Oskar sells a very inexpensive tool maintenance kit. While the tools are designed for LOs, they can be used on other harps.

However, Richard Sleigh sells both a very nice tool kit and book on turbo charging your harp: http://rsleigh.com/

A great free online tuner can be found here: http://www.seventhstring.com/

In the final analysis, you’ll have to decide if changing the tunings on your harps is really worth the effort versus just getting a Paddy Richter tuned harp to begin with.

Either way: Good luck!

Keep On Harpin’!

It seems I have to purchase the tool set first.

By the way, Hohner will release a new generation of repair tool set soon.

The news was from the following workshop in HK

A lot of people use a small needle file to retune reeds but I find that 400 grit sandpaper folded up small works well. That way I only take off a very small amount so I won’t do too much. Only thing else you need is a way of getting the pitch. I’ve been using a pitch pipe that I had when I played guitar to tune. It has A-G and all the sharps and flats in between notes. Granted, it’s probably not the best for the average person but I’ve got really good ears so I can hear the tone of the pitch pipe and the harmonica reed and tell if it’s in tune or not, at least close enough for government work.
You can get a digital tuner to adjust reeds too, just make sure it has a little built in speaker so it’ll hear the harmonica when you play it. They normally start at around $20 bucks and go up from there. Of course if you spend more you’ll get a bit better tuner.

I know Hohner has an old repair kit for Chromatics; runs about $80 or so US.

Wonder what this one has over the Lee Oskar and for how much. Probably needs screws too!