HOW AND WHY TO TUNE A SHRUTI BOX
You’ve just got your new Shruti Box and have discovered that it doesn’t sound great with other instruments or maybe you have already checked it with a tuner and discovered that it isn’t in tune. Don’t worry. There is a solution.
This video will walk you through two solutions - you can easily tune other instruments to your Shruti Box or you can actually tune your Shruti Box.
(For the purposes of this tutorial - being “in tune” means that each note is tuned using A=440 hz as the tuning standard.)
Grab a notepad, a pencil, and your electronic tuner.
Use your electronic tuner to check the tuning of each reed.
Write down how sharp or flat each reed is.
If you are lucky, your Shruti Box is 100% in tune. But this isn’t usually the case.
If every note on the Shruti Box is out of tune by the same amount - this means the Shruti Box is in tune with itself and will sound lovely on its own. If you are only going to accompany yourself singing, then you don’t need to do anything.
But if you want to play the Shruti Box with other instruments (the majority of which are tuned to A440) then you’ll need to make an adjustment.
An easy fix is to calibrate your tuner to the Shruti Box and then tune other instruments to your Shruti Box.
You might also want to watch this video that covers calibrating your tuner in depth - How (and why) to calibrate your electronic tuner
In brief, play a note on your Shruti Box and change the calibration of your tuner until it shows the note in tune. In the video, the Shruti Box is 20 cents sharp so I calibrate the tuner up and when I get to A445, the note registers as in tune. So if I keep the tuner calibrated to A445, I can use it to tune other instruments and they will be in tune with the Shruti box.
If the notes vary in how out of tune they are or if you want to play with instruments that can’t be tuned (like a Rav Vast or a keyboard instrument) then you’ll need to tune your Shruti Box.
Remove the screws from the reed plate and flip it over.
Use a needle file or nail to scrape material off the reeds.
Scrape material off the reed near the fixed end of the reed to lower the pitch.
Scrape material off the reed near the vibrating (free) end of the reed to raise the pitch.
Reattach the reed plate and check the tuning of each note again.
Take careful notes and then repeat the process until you have all the reeds in tune.