Free shear layer stability measurements with a hot wire revealed that the probe itself can trigger and sustain upstream instability modes like the slit jet-wedge edge tones. The flow fields associated with the free shear layer tones induced in axisym-metric and plane air shear layers by a hot-wire probe and by a plane wedge were then explored experimentally, and found to be different in many ways from the widely investigated jet edge tone phenomenon. As many as four frequency stages have been identified, there being a fifth stage associated with the subharmonic attributed to vortex pairing in the free shear layer. No evidence of hysteresis could be found in the shear layer tone. In the interstage jump (i.e. bimodal) regions, the tone occurred in only one mode at a time while intermittently switching from one to the other. Frequency variations in each stage are shown to collapse on a single curve when non-dimensionalized with the initial momentum thickness θe or with the lip-wedge distance h, and plotted as a function of h/θe. Phase average measurements locked onto the tone fundamental show that the phase velocity and wavelength of the tone-induced velocity fluctuation are essentially independent of the stage of tone generation; in each stage, both phase velocity and wavelength decrease with increasing frequency but undergo jumps at starts of new stages. The measured amplitude and phase profiles, as well as the variations of the shear tone wavenumber and phase velocity with the Strouhal number, show reasonable agreement with the predictions of the spatial stability theory. The wavelength λ bears a unique relation to h, this h, δ relation being different from the Brown-Curle equation for the jet edge tone. Shear layer tones would be typically induced in near-field shear layer measurements involving invasive probes, and can produce misleading results. A method for determining the true free shear layer natural instability frequency is recommended.