PowerChromatic realization

A space for players interested in my specialist harmonicas, alternate tunings, instructional material, recordings etc to ask questions and share information, experiences, videos etc.
harpdog123
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PowerChromatic realization

Post by harpdog123 » Tue Jun 18, 2019 3:30 am

Hi Brendan, I missed a very obvious perk of your PowerChromatic tuning. As a richter addict I didn't like the fact that the G was a blow note. I rebuilt some Seydel plates in your PowerChromatic configuration and realized that the G is also a draw note slide-in! My 2nd realization is that the C can also be played as a draw note. I'm loving this tuning and wondering what other keys I should get to maximize the sweet spots in 12 keys. I'm thinking one 1/2 step up and one either 1 step down or 2 steps down.

David Pearce

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Brendan
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Re: PowerChromatic realization

Post by Brendan » Tue Jun 18, 2019 9:39 am

Glad you like PowerChromatic David. I guess that is one in G?

You can also get enharmonics for many other notes as slide-in draw bends. All the draw slide-out notes can be duplicated this way:

A. B. D. F#

And all the slide-in blow notes:

A#. C#. F. G#.

harpdog123
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Re: PowerChromatic realization

Post by harpdog123 » Tue Jun 18, 2019 3:30 pm

Is this G? (A/B C/D E/F# G/A A/B) That's how is labeled on Seydel's website. What other keys do you use or do you play everything on one harmonica?

Sachlaw
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Re: PowerChromatic realization

Post by Sachlaw » Tue Jun 18, 2019 9:22 pm

harpdog123 wrote:
Tue Jun 18, 2019 3:30 am
Hi Brendan, I missed a very obvious perk of your PowerChromatic tuning. As a richter addict I didn't like the fact that the G was a blow note. I rebuilt some Seydel plates in your PowerChromatic configuration and realized that the G is also a draw note slide-in! My 2nd realization is that the C can also be played as a draw note. I'm loving this tuning and wondering what other keys I should get to maximize the sweet spots in 12 keys. I'm thinking one 1/2 step up and one either 1 step down or 2 steps down.

David Pearce
@David. It is always nice to see a new PC adopter. It is a big part of my focus now. I came to the same realization when I returned a chromatic to PC.
I eventually grabbed a few PC Lucky 13s. With the valves and the diatonic comb, the blow notes can give you some juicy vibrato and bend it down a half step, so I don't feel I am missing out. I retuned a G PC lucky 13 to a C with the first note being an F (ie FACD/GBDE). This opens up even more for me IMO, and you get some great big fat octaves on the low end you can play 2nd postion in. As to which keys, I am still figuring that out myself. I perfer the key it is tuned in the start at least on the third hole, so can keep those options.

EdvinW
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Re: PowerChromatic realization

Post by EdvinW » Tue Jun 18, 2019 9:42 pm

harpdog123 wrote:
Tue Jun 18, 2019 3:30 pm
Is this G? (A/B C/D E/F# G/A A/B) That's how is labeled on Seydel's website. What other keys do you use or do you play everything on one harmonica?
While waiting for a response from Brendan, here are my 2 cents on the topic.

What I like to do when faced with these kinds of questions is to:
1. Grade the different keys on a harp that I know
2. Draw a part of the circle of fifths and mark the keys
3. Copy the pattern of my grades, shift it around and see how different sets of harps cover the keys I want

I've never played PowerChromatic on a real harmonica, and since bending isn't the same on a DM48 the first part of my procedure is just my best guess based my experience with similar tunings in diatonics. To illustrate what I mean, say we come up with some grading. Assuming the slide raises notes one half step, with the notes you describe the major keys of Eb, C, G and D look really nice, and the key of A looks fairly good too. Their minor parallels seem about as good.

We then get a pattern like this

Code: Select all

     G  
Eb   ++ 
Bb      
F     	
C    ++ 
G    ++ 
D    ++ 
A    +
where ++ means very good and + means OK. There are 12 keys, and to make sure that each key plays very well on at least some harmonica, it turns out that we need four of them. If you already have one in G, the additional keys of E, Bb and Db would cover all the keys:

Code: Select all

     G    E    Bb   Db       Total        
Db                  ++	     ++
Ab    		    ++	     ++
Eb   ++        ++    +	     ++++++
Bb             ++	     ++
F     	       ++	     ++
C    ++   ++   +	     +++++
G    ++        	             ++	  
D    ++     		     ++	  
A    + 	  ++	    ++	     +++++
E     	  ++		     ++	  
B     	  ++		     ++	  
F#	  +    ++   ++       +++++
In each column, I've shifted the pattern of grades to correspond to the key at its head. The keys of C, A, F# and Eb stand out, as they work very well on two harmonicas and OK on yet another. If you don't care so much about playing in the keys of F#, Db or Ab, you could throw out the one in Db and make do with three harps. The instruments are after all chromatic, and the keys will be playable still.
*
Another option with three harps would be to "spread them evenly" over the circle of fifths, i.e. to have one every 4th key. This would look like this:

Code: Select all

     G    B    Eb    Total        
Db        +          +
Ab    	       ++    ++
Eb   ++        ++    ++++
Bb             ++    ++
F     	       +     +
C    ++        	     ++
G    ++   ++   	     ++++
D    ++        	     ++
A    + 	       	     +
E     	  ++   	     ++
B     	  ++   ++    ++++
F#	  ++         ++
Still fairly good coverage!

As I said though, my experience with chromatic harps in this tuning is non-existent. I encourage you to grade the keys on your one harp first, to see which ones are your favourites, and then make a similar table, if you haven't already done so.

If you think some of the keys would make the harp too high or too low, this could be remedied by shifting the whole pattern to start on some other note in the scale. For some discussion on shifting, see my final post of the following thread: https://www.brendan-power.com/forum/vie ... =317#p1947

Edit: Added the part after the *
Last edited by EdvinW on Sun Jun 30, 2019 7:29 am, edited 2 times in total.
Edvin Wedin

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Brendan
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Re: PowerChromatic realization

Post by Brendan » Thu Jun 20, 2019 1:43 am

David: yes, I was talking about a PowerChromatic in G, starting on A blow:

AB. CD. EF#. GA. etc

That's an interesting grading system Edvin. What are your criteria for 'good' and 'very good'?

I'm assuming you mean something like 'ease of playing' or 'flow'. Here's a video of a PowerChromatic in G going through all 12 keys:

https://youtu.be/XDsP4k8-N8g

How do the keys as played here match up with your grading system?

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triona
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Re: PowerChromatic realization

Post by triona » Thu Jun 20, 2019 8:37 am

Brendan wrote:
Thu Jun 20, 2019 1:43 am
Here's a video of a PowerChromatic in G going through all 12 keys:

https://youtu.be/XDsP4k8-N8g

Seems to have come new comments / questions on this vid recently you might not have seen yet:
Javier Vitali wrote: 1 month ago
With this technique aren't you driving the reeds to detune permanently?
Eggy Noggy wrote: Eggy Noggy
3 weeks ago
yes. And thats the very problem with this technique. If your going to bend all day long, just use a standard inexpensive blues harmonica. If not, Use the lever as Stevie Wonder and Toots Thielsmann did and your harmonica will stay in tune much much longer. Trust me, I learned this the hard way.
At least you did not answer these last ones yet. I do not know the correct answer either. Is there any truth about Eggy Noggy's statement? Or is this depending on the player's respective playing technics and skills?


dear greetings
triona
Aw, Thou beloved, do hearken to the Banshee's lonely croon!
sinn féin - ça ira !
Cad é sin do'n té sin nach mbaineann sin dó


https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC1yI3H ... 9ktgzTR2qg

harpdog123
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Re: PowerChromatic realization

Post by harpdog123 » Sat Jun 22, 2019 3:53 am

Triona, I've been playing half-valved chromatics with interactive note bending for years and have not had issues with detuning. I use Seydel's stainless steel reed plates and have played them literally all day for weeks on end and with no detuning. I'm in the bad habit of playing too hard and do have to replace reeds from time to time. The good thing about Seydel's stainless reeds is that when they die, they die quickly, so you don't waste time retuning a reed only to have it drop in pitch a few days later. I use my own crosstuned comb and teflon slide assembly for my half-valved tunings.

In blind tests I've found that crosstuned chromatics were superior in enhancing reed resonance and note bending.

Lizzy
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Re: PowerChromatic realization

Post by Lizzy » Sat Jun 22, 2019 10:14 am

I use Powerchromatic on Seydels Deluxe steel. And i use the chromatic mostly as a reserve because i like the response from diatonics more. But despite that i have played with it over 50 hours and bend a lot but have not noticed any particular out of tune reeds.

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triona
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Re: PowerChromatic realization

Post by triona » Sat Jun 22, 2019 11:56 am

Thank you. That is exactly what I had expected too. I never had any issues about bending, overblowing and extraordinary detuning or even reed cracking, neither with steel nor with brass reeds, no matter what kind of harmonica. And I play all of them rather the hard way. Deviant statements seem to be some of the usual internet rubbish. Or they proof that there could be a lack of skill to play, or at least a lack of technical knowledge of the author.


dear greetings
triona
Aw, Thou beloved, do hearken to the Banshee's lonely croon!
sinn féin - ça ira !
Cad é sin do'n té sin nach mbaineann sin dó


https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC1yI3H ... 9ktgzTR2qg

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