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Blues tuning **with 7ths** for 10-hole harp

Posted: Thu Sep 07, 2017 4:35 pm
by IaNerd
NAME: Not yet sure. Maybe "7th Heaven Blues"?

BASIC CONCEPT: For blues in G, it sure would be nice to have the full I, IV and V chords, as well as their dom7 variants as well as at least one full and proper G minor hexatonic "blues" scale. The "standard" Richter diatonic harp lacks many of these properties. The harp below has all of them.

WHEN/HOW: September of 2017. I have not yet had one made.

LAYOUT/DETAILS:

Notes of the Blues Scale in G: G — A#/Bb — C — C#/Db — D — F — G

I Gmaj yes, with 7th
ii Amin no
iii Bmin no
IV Cmaj yes, x2, one with 7th
V Dmaj yes, with 7th
vi Emin no
vii F#dim no


NOTE: THE FOLLOWING DIAGRAM CORRECTS MY EARLIER ERROR WITH CHANNEL 8.

Image

Re: Blues tuning **with 7ths** for 10-hole harp

Posted: Thu Sep 07, 2017 11:19 pm
by IaNerd
I just noticed this ...

If channel 6 repeats channel 2 (an octave higher), and channels 7-10 are eliminated, then this might be an interesting Big Six.

Re: Blues tuning **with 7ths** for 10-hole harp

Posted: Thu Sep 07, 2017 11:38 pm
by IaNerd
Come to think of it, channels 5-10 "as is" might make a nice "blues solo" Big Six.

Re: Blues tuning **with 7ths** for 10-hole harp

Posted: Fri Sep 08, 2017 2:47 am
by IaNerd
Oops! The 8 draw bend doesn't make sense. I'll try to fix that asap. Suggestions?

Re: Blues tuning **with 7ths** for 10-hole harp

Posted: Fri Sep 08, 2017 7:52 am
by Brendan
Are the reed pitches going up for a 3 octave range, as on a normal harp? If so, this one shouldn't be too hard to make.

I suggest you do that and treat us to the sounds it produces :-)

Re: Blues tuning **with 7ths** for 10-hole harp

Posted: Fri Sep 08, 2017 4:53 pm
by IaNerd
Re: “Are the reed pitches going up for a 3 octave range, as on a normal harp? If so, this one shouldn't be too hard to make.” (BP)

I was hoping someone would ask that question! The short answer is … maybe.

When I explore tunings, I usually start with something resembling second position G. Most of my posts are like this; it facilitates comparisons among tunings. Second position G, a.k.a. first position C, typically starts with the piano note C4 on the 1 blow reed. So a 10-hole “standard” Richter diatonic harp sports three octaves starting at C4 and ending with C7. That’s three complete octaves in C, but only two complete octaves in second position G, e.g. from G4 to G5, and then from G5 to G6 (plus a few more notes).

While I love the sound of the G5-G6 octave when played well, I personally don’t play well in that register. I could blame it on poor gapping, etc. but it’s really just poor technique on my part. “My bad” … literally.

So when I conceive tunings, I am sometimes biased to starting the 1 blow at C3, i.e. “LC”. You will see this in some of my postings. If I were to build the tuning of this post into, say, a Seydel Classic or Noble, I would probably have 1 blow be C3, 3 blow be G3, 6 blow be G4, and 10 draw be G5. I would also be specifying the Low versions of those models. So to answer Brendan’s question from this standpoint, the answer would be “yes”.

HOWEVER, I’ll bet that lots of folks noticed that, in my diagram above, I started the 1 blow at C4, and the 3 blow is at G4. Then there is a slightly mysterious gray band bisecting the left and right halves of the harp. And THEN the six blow is G4 AGAIN. This is reentrant tuning. So without actually saying so, the tuning in this diagram is actually intended for a harp body LIKE the Schaman Medical Harmonica.

It comes down to preferences. If you play well above G5 and want that sound, then it would be WAY cheaper and easier to have the pitches steadily ascending along all ten holes. But if you want the right-hand “solo/melodic” octave to be from G4-G5, then you have two options: (1) start the harp at “low” C3; or (2) base the harp on a comb and reedplates that permit reentrant tuning.

Re: Blues tuning **with 7ths** for 10-hole harp

Posted: Fri Sep 08, 2017 5:47 pm
by IaNerd
Another related thought ...

Who foresaw, five or ten years ago, that people (e.g. our forum host) would be 3D-printing harmonica combs in a variety of models and colors?

I submit that a similar revolution in the fabrication of made-to-order reed plates is not far off! Will it be a corporation like Seydel, Hohner or Suzuki? Or a guy like Brendan or Tom? Or a monomaniacal high school kid?

Re: Blues tuning **with 7ths** for 10-hole harp

Posted: Thu Sep 14, 2017 4:09 pm
by IaNerd
Four posts above this one, I said that I would fix the blow/draw/bend relationship of channel 8. In doing so, I inadvertently wrecked the associated chord in the blow layer. I intend to fix the situation as soon as I can. I am also open to suggestions.

Re: Blues tuning **with 7ths** for 10-hole harp

Posted: Sat Sep 16, 2017 3:57 pm
by IaNerd
I think I got this working now. I'm not entirely happy with the right half of the harp, because it does not have any tasty draw bends. What makes this harp cool though is that there is a 7th for each of the I, IV and V chords.

Newer, better diagram below:

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