Power Chromatic

A space for players interested in my specialist harmonicas, alternate tunings, instructional material, recordings etc to ask questions and share information, experiences, videos etc.
Sachlaw
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Re: Power Chromatic

Post by Sachlaw » Fri May 05, 2017 7:25 pm

I have a 12 holer East top Dreamer coming in soon that I plan to make PC.
All this talk got me interested.

Update: the East top Dreamer just came in. I see a few resources on this tuning¡ however, does anyone have anything definitive on how to do the Half valve portion of the setup.


FYI the dreamer is pretty nice straight ootb. Trying to upload a pic now.

Sachlaw
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Joined: Fri Mar 24, 2017 11:30 pm

Re: Power Chromatic

Post by Sachlaw » Mon May 08, 2017 6:13 pm

I am glad I came across this thread, to begin with. I took a crack at tuning to the PC myself this weekend. I am not completely finished, but to did get the first two octaves finished (slide out).

This is a great tuning. The pulls/slaps/etc sound great. I keep a ukulele tuned (LowG)CEA also, so this is fairly intuitive. I am just working on playing it and not thinking too much on it and it is giving me a much more playable feel for anything that comes to mind. As for how I will use it and styles, that will remain to be seen, but I think I can get all the styles I would be interested in at the moment.

I plan on only going with bebop at the third octave for this one (when I say this one I mean the Easttop Dreamer). Right now it is setup up CEGC/DFAB on that top octave, and it is fun to play the PC side then do fills from the top octave. I'm thinking if I went Bebop (I think, and you will have to excuse me if I am getting the nomenclature wrong), then I would still be able to retain the skill set for my modal playing "while" I use this tuning with the only variation from standard tuning being that I now need to go slide in/draw on the 12 hole for that "final" C.

@Brendan, I notice you have a great article out there on the breath patterns/maps for Dimi tuning. Did you happen to do something like that for this tuning? I saw earlier in the thread that you opt for multiple harps/or plates instead of playing. What positions do you gravitate to on any one PC tuned chromatic?

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Brendan
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Re: Power Chromatic

Post by Brendan » Thu May 25, 2017 6:39 am

Glad you're liking Power Chromatic tuning. I'm not quite clear why or how you're mixing it with BeBop though? I'd suggest keeping the two tunings on different harmonicas.

Half-valving PowerChromatic is simple: pull all the valves off the outside and leave all valves on the inside. Reducing the blow reed gaps to their minimum will ensure good response on the draw reeds - and embossing is of course always recommended, if you have the time and skills.

As for positions I use: first, PC retunes a chrom so that its home scale is in a key different to the original one in Solo Tuning. Where that key note starts can vary according to how you decide to do the retune. But let's assumed you had a C Solo chrom and retuned the F notes to F# and the left-hand C blows to A.

The home scale is now G, starting on 3 and 7 blow. That's 1st position, which is really easy to use. 2nd Position is D, starting on 1/5/9 draw, and is my favourite for improvisation. 3rd Position is Am and 4th is Em, both excellent minor positions. However the minor key I like the best is Bm, 5th Position and the relative minor of 2nd. It starts on holes 4 and 8 draw. Like 2nd, all the main scale tones are soulful draw notes you can bend, which gives it extra expression.

12th Position, key of C, starting on hole 1/5/9 blow, is a very useful home key if you're playing jazz tunes that modulate a lot. Try Sweet Georgia Brown based on 12th to see what I mean. 11th, starting on Bb is nice, as is 3rd Position major (key of A).

All these scales can be played with draw bends alone. And this is just with the slide out. Press in the slide and you have all these easy positions duplicated a semitone up, doubling their number.

Hopefully that gives you some ideas to explore :-)

Thanks for the suggestion re. Phrase Diagrams for PowerChromatic. Once I get my new Pocket Factory set up here (see the zzzzz thread) I'll have more time for instruction books and videos, and will put it on the list.

Paris
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Re: Power Chromatic

Post by Paris » Sat Jun 10, 2017 6:08 pm

Brendan, Just for my clarification...

In your excellent report on half-valving here,

http://www.slidemeister.com/forums/inde ... pic=1357.0

You say that removing the 2 4 6 8 10 12 valves does not offer more bends due to the semitone relationship in those holes.
If I do the retuning like the PC diagram shows in the "geekzone", then it would be beneficial to remove ALL outside valves because it is now a whole tone relationship in every hole.

Am I understanding correctly?

Thanks Nick

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Tyler
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Location: Manitoba, Canada

Re: Power Chromatic

Post by Tyler » Sun Jun 11, 2017 8:59 pm

Paris wrote:
Sat Jun 10, 2017 6:08 pm
Brendan, Just for my clarification...

In your excellent report on half-valving here,

http://www.slidemeister.com/forums/inde ... pic=1357.0

You say that removing the 2 4 6 8 10 12 valves does not offer more bends due to the semitone relationship in those holes.
If I do the retuning like the PC diagram shows in the "geekzone", then it would be beneficial to remove ALL outside valves because it is now a whole tone relationship in every hole.

Am I understanding correctly?

Thanks Nick
I'm not Brendan, but you are correct.

Any hole where the draw note is a tone higher than the blow note can be bent if the outside valve is removed. On a solo tuned harp, holes 2,4,6,8,10,12 are a semitone apart. (e.g. on a C harp, hole 2,6,10 is E/F)

On power chromatic, every hole draw note is a full time higher than the blow note and can be bent if the valve is removed.

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Brendan
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Re: Power Chromatic

Post by Brendan » Mon Jun 12, 2017 7:37 am

Tyler is right. The double benefit of PowerChromatic is that there are no outside valves to stick, and all draw notes bend a semitone.

Paris
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Re: Power Chromatic

Post by Paris » Tue Jun 13, 2017 1:19 am

Okay great, thank you both!
I've finished turning my stock C 270 into a 3D printed, half-valved, PC!

Brendan, could you recommend any tunes, for attempting to mimic, off your two PC albums - back to back or swingfellas - where you use a C harp? This is the only key I've got and I'm eager delve into the various positions this tuning boasts.

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Brendan
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Re: Power Chromatic

Post by Brendan » Tue Jun 13, 2017 3:46 pm

It WAS a C harp, but what now? There are various ways to easily make a PowerChromatic out of a Solo tuned chrom, and they all change the home key:

1. Retune holes 2/6/10 draw notes up a semitone, and detune holes 4/8/12 blow down three semitones. The slide-out scale starting from hole 1, blow note to the left is: CD EF# GA AB CD EF# GA AB CD etc. In that case your chrom's home scale is now in G.

2. Another way is to detune holes 2/6/10 blow down a semitone, detune holes 4/8/12 blow down 2 semitones, retune holes 4/8/12 draw up a semitone. The slide-out scale starting from hole 1, blow note to the left is: CD EbF GA BbC CD EbF GA BbC etc. In that case your home scale is now Bb.

Those are the simplest - which one did you choose?

Paris
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Re: Power Chromatic

Post by Paris » Wed Jun 14, 2017 12:17 am

Yes, absolutely, should of clarified. :D
I used the first method you describe (tuning diagram from the geek zone) so it is now a G chromatic as you point out.

Alan
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Re: Power Chromatic

Post by Alan » Sat Jul 01, 2017 9:56 pm

I'm considering trying out an Eastop harmonica and also interested in trying power chromatic, so might just go for both at the same time.

Which model of eastop chromatic would you recommend getting to retune to power chromatic? Any near term power chromatics coming from Brendan's bag of tricks?

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