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Tuned Wind Chimes: Everything to Know

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Looking for tuned wind chimes? If you like your neighbors, then you’d probably like to have wind chimes that don’t annoy them. That’s where tuned windchimes come in.

Tuned wind chimes have musically-tuned tubes that play relaxing, melodic notes. They are a popular and easily recognizable type of wind chime, often sold at home decor or lawn and garden stores as well as online. Some people make their own tuned wind chimes as well.

wind chimes surrounded by trees and flowers

Read on to find out everything you ever wanted to know about tuned wind chimes.

What are Tuned Wind Chimes?

There are lots of different kinds of wind chimes–from those made of bamboo or shells, to those made by your kids in elementary art class. Not all of them are designed to be musical. Some simply make a tinkling, clanking, or ringing sound whenever the wind blows. Some are quiet, while others are extremely loud and ear piercing.

Tuned wind chimes stand out from the rest because of their musical qualities. 

Tuned wind chimes are usually composed of three or more tubes or rods which have been cut to specific lengths and tuned to specific frequencies. The tubes are most commonly made of metal or bamboo. A stone or ceramic striker, which hangs down in between the tubes, will hit the tubes anytime the wind blows, creating an array of musical notes.

Like all wind chimes, tuned wind chimes come in a wide variety of styles and sounds. Some are very large and complex, with possibly 15 or 20 or more tubes, each one tuned to a different note and octave. Some have a much simpler appearance and play gentle, straightforward notes. Some are colorful, while others have a more natural finish.

Regardless of style, though, tuned wind chimes all share that musical, perfectly tuned quality that makes them so pleasing to hear. There maybe more facts and history about wind chimes that surprise you.

Tuned Wind Chimes vs. Other Types of Wind Chimes

Some wind chimes may have that classical wind chime design, but the tubes are out of tune or discordant with each other. These may even be marketed as tuned wind chimes, but they are not considered true tuned chimes unless they are in tune with each other.

Other wind chimes are made more for their appearance than for the sounds they produce. Examples include colorful bead chimes, glass chimes, or shell chimes. They may have some sense of musicality about them, but they can’t be tuned, so the music they produce is more sporadic and random.

Remember, tuned wind chimes have components that are tuned to specific notes. This is what gives them their melodic qualities and sets them apart from all other types of wind chimes.

Where to Buy Tuned Wind Chimes

Wind chimes, including tuned wind chimes, aren’t too difficult to find. Let’s take a look at just a few of the places you could go shopping to find your new tuned wind chimes.

  • Online. Of course, the internet is an almost limitless resource for finding almost anything you can imagine. Do a quick search for “tuned wind chimes” and you’ll probably discover a more diverse variety and wider selection than you would find at any store.

Shopping for wind chimes online is great because you can easily compare prices and products from a number of different suppliers all at once. You can read customer reviews to see what other purchasers have to say about the chimes you’re considering.

The major drawback of buying chimes online is that, in most cases, you can’t hear what they sound like before buying. It will be difficult to tell if the chimes you decide on are truly tuned, much less if you like how they sound.

  • Lawn, Garden, and Home Decor Stores. You may also find a pretty wide selection of wind chimes at any store that specializes in home decor or lawn and garden. These stores often have some of the most beautiful and melodic tuned wind chimes, but chances are they come at a rather steep price tag.

Though you may not find as big of a selection as you would online, you will still have quite a few wind chimes to choose from when shopping at a lawn and garden or home decor store. And the best part is, you try them out before buying them, comparing the different sounds against each other before making your final selection.

  • Hardware Store. Many hardware stores such as Lowe’s and Menard’s have extensive home and garden sections as well. These stores may have a smaller selection of wind chimes, but they may also be priced lower.

Shopping at a hardware store will allow you to choose from among cheaper and simpler tuned wind chimes, which is great if you don’t want to pay a lot of money for a quality sounding chime. Again, when shopping in person, you can compare the different sounds of each wind chime and decide which one you like best.

  • Department Store. Most general department stores also have home and garden sections. If you’re searching for a beautiful tuned wind chime, why not try Walmart or Sears

The wind chimes at these stores may be rather generic and simple, but you should have a decent variety to choose from. You may also be able to find a tuned wind chime that will fit your needs without breaking the bank.

Can You Make Your Own Tuned Wind Chimes?

colorful wind chimes featuring different shapes including stars, circles and half moons.

If you’re crafty or a bit of a do-it-yourselfer, then buying a tuned wind chime isn’t your only option. You can also make your own!

How?

There are actually a couple of methods you can use.

Method 1: Buy a Wind Chime Kit

This is probably the easiest way to make your own wind chimes. There are lots of wind chime kits online, such as this one and this one; you may also be able to find them at crafting stores such as JOANN.

If you’re looking to make tuned wind chimes, make sure you purchase a kit specifically marked as tuned wind chimes.

Once you have your kit picked out, simply follow the package instructions to put it together, or be creative and assemble it according to your personal preferences.

Method 2: Gather Your Own Materials

If you’re seriously crafty and have an ear for music notes, you could make your own tuned wind chimes completely from scratch. Here are the basic components you’ll need to buy or make for a tuned wind chime:

  • The chimes
  • Chime cord or some kind of string
  • Eyelets or hooks
  • Chime base
  • Chime striker
  • Wind catcher

You may want to buy the chimes at a craft store, or you could make your own as shown in this video.

If you choose to make your own, you may want to have some tuning forks on hand to help you get the right sound out of each tube.

You may be able to make the base and striker yourself out of wood, sculpting wire, or even clay. The wind catcher is generally a wide, flat, lightweight object, such as a piece of glass or a flat slice of wood. Be creative and see what you can find to use as a wind catcher!

The great thing about making your own wind chime is you can do it any way you like. But if you’ve never made one before or you’re not sure how to start, check out this basic step-by-step guide.

Final Thoughts

Tuned wind chimes create beautiful melodic tones whenever the wind blows. You can find them online or at a number of different stores, or you can easily make one yourself. With so many ways to create music in your backyard, why wouldn’t you want a tuned wind chime of your own? For more information about making your own wind chimes, be sure to check out this article about how you can make your very own copper wind chime.

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Jena Slocum Co-Founder

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