Chicago-Style Tuning

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This topic contains 3 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by Henk Henk 5 months, 3 weeks ago.

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  • #12434

    Hello, everybody!
    And greetings, Mitch. I have heard about this thing called “Chicago-style tuning”
    and was wondering wether it means re-tuning a harmonica, and if so:
    which key it is in and how you tune it like that?

    I want to practice tuning(or re-tuning) the harmonica and wanted to do this with a C harmonica
    that I don’t use, due to it being out of tune and flat since it’s an off-brand cheapo,
    but none the less dear to my heart piece of equipment I want to re-tune.

    If, of course, re-tuning a C harmonica is even possible. I don’t know. this is my 3d month playing.
    Have a good one!

    PS. Are there any other re-tunings for a C harmonica out there to be had that you recommend
    for a first time-customization?

    Mitch Grainger
    Mitch Grainger

    Hi Alex,

    I’ve never heard of the Chicago style tuning. I think that is just referring to what we are all using when taking a standard diatonic harmonica. Richter tuning.

    If you are going to get into tuning, first it’s great to fix a harp that is slightly out of tune. Like i show in the videos in the tool shed.

    Once you have done that successfully a couple of times, you may want to try and make a difference of a semi tone to a reed, which is the most I’d recommend. In that case, and if you like country music, a fun one to ‘try’ would be country tuning. To do that the 5-draw reed is tuned 1/2 a step higher (to F# on a C harp) giving you a complete major diatonic scale in second position.

    Hope that helps, and let us know how you go!



    Thank you for illuminating me on this. I will give country tuning a try.


    Hi Mitch,

    did you think abouth the toolshed on GAPPING yet 😉



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