How to Tighten a Harp With Tuning Pins

Properly tightening the pins on a harp improves the sound.

Harps contain several strings that tighten around tuning pins to create the desired pitches. Tuning before each concert, rehearsal and practice session is a common procedure for a harpist. Learning to tighten the tuning pins to the appropriate degree enables you to have a harp that is in tune. If the strings are not properly tuned, the harp does not sound correct.

Hold the tuner with your left hand while plucking the lowest string. Use the tuner to determine if the string is in tune. The tuner tells you whether the pitch is too high or too low. The lowest string on a concert harp is C. If you have a folk harp or a Celtic harp, the lowest string varies depending on the manufacturer.

Place the tuning key around the tuning peg located at the top of the instrument. If the pitch is sharp, tighten the tuning pin by turning the peg to the right. If the pitch is flat, loosen the tuning pin by turning it to the left. Tune each string from C up to the highest pitch.


  • Tightening the pins by turning the tuning key to the right increases the pitch.
  • Loosening the pins by tuning the tuning keys to the left decreases the pitch.


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