The two most basic types of harp tuners are those that produce a tone for the player to tune their instrument to and those that listen to the instrument’s tone. Tuners that produce a tone can be set to the desired note and pitch, and the harpist can then tune the instrument to match the tone. The other type of tuner listens to the harp’s note and then shows a representation of how close it is to the pitch of the next closest note. Because they can tune an instrument to any note in the chromatic scale, these tuners are commonly referred to as chromatic tuners. On the internet, you can also find simple harp tuners.
The most widely available and easiest to use harp tuners are chromatic harp tuners. They are usually electronic devices that provide the player with an external microphone for picking up the harp’s notes. The harpist plucks the desired string while keeping the tuner’s microphone as close as possible. This type of harp tuner detects the closest note to the pitch produced and displays a graphic indicating how close the produced note was to the correct note. A needle pointing to a specific point on a scale and red or green lights are commonly used to demonstrate this.
Tone-producing harp tuners are less common, and they can even be found in combination with a regular electronic chromatic tuner. These generate a pitch that the user selects, after which the user adjusts the tuning of a specific harp string to match the pitch generated the tuner. A piano or another instrument capable of producing all possible notes, such as a guitar, can achieve the same basic effect. This method, however, is less reliable because the tone produced an instrument does not last as long as the tone produced a tuner.
The tone producing tuners are generally the same as the online harp tuners. Online tuners have the advantage of being generally available for free and informing the user of which tones are used a harp. They’re also a lot easier to use than tone-generator tuners because they don’t require any knowledge of the hertz (Hz) value of notes at concert pitch. The harpist must listen to the note produced and use a tuning key to change the tunings of the individual harp strings.