A family of new modded-Richter tunings

Anything apart from the two mainstream default harmonicas (Solo-tuned fully-valved chromatic, and un-valved Richter 10-hole diatonic). Alternate tunings, different construction, new functionality, interesting old designs, wishful-thinking... whatever!
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IaNerd
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Re: A family of new modded-Richter tunings

Post by IaNerd » Wed Sep 12, 2018 4:21 pm

Having the I, IV and V chords within a tuning is a real advantage when playing popular western music of the 20th and 21st centuries. After that, probably the next most important chord in common progressions would be the vi chord. Therefore ....

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Re: A family of new modded-Richter tunings

Post by IaNerd » Wed Sep 12, 2018 5:14 pm

This extends the concept just above to a 13-hole format. Note that once again, the job of re-tuning the top chambers actually gets easier.

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Re: A family of new modded-Richter tunings

Post by IaNerd » Thu Sep 13, 2018 7:22 pm

Sometimes evolution involves simplification rather than elaboration (think: lizards --> snakes). In that fashion, we take the 6-chord tuning from above and reduce it to the most essential four chords: I -- IV -- V -- vi. Getting there by re-tuning a Richter Lucky 13 entails re-tuning two additional reeds: the 1 and 2 blow.

Note how there are now more octave splits!

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Re: A family of new modded-Richter tunings

Post by IaNerd » Fri Sep 14, 2018 3:17 pm

The re-tuning recipe for a 10-hole harmonica that is shown in the September 12 post above requires some fairly drastic changes to some of the reeds. The following three recipes are more practical.

http://brendan-power.com/forum/download ... iew&id=317
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Re: A family of new modded-Richter tunings

Post by IaNerd » Sun Sep 16, 2018 2:04 pm

Regarding this family of tunings, I recently received some feedback and questions from a noted harp customizer. This was my response:
This family of harp tunings is not geared to play major diatonic scales. Rather, it is intended for playing minor hexatonic blues scales. Following the meandering blue "string" in the diagram demonstrates just one of many pathways up and down the blues scale (in this case, in G). The red brackets show the tastiest possible bends, from one blues scale note to another blues scale note.

The chordal areas are intentionally wide so as to be very forgiving. But a lot of the traditional dyads and warbles are still there.

A beginner to harmonica or to this particular tuning can start out by simply chugging along through a song's chord progression. As their skill progresses, they can start rhythmically banging on the roots of those chords. Eventually the player adds some traditional riffs and also some new riffs, and becomes adept at developing producing melodic lines within the blues scale.

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Re: A family of new modded-Richter tunings

Post by IaNerd » Sun Sep 16, 2018 3:04 pm

UPDATE / TEASER:

At this time, one world-class customizer and one world-class performer (that I know about) are now experimenting with this line of tunings. Videos are in the works.

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Re: A family of new modded-Richter tunings

Post by IaNerd » Mon Sep 17, 2018 9:39 pm

IN-DEPTH ANALYSIS:

In the diagrams above, the blue squiggly line shows just one of many routes up and down the minor hexatonic blues scale (in these cases, in the "band key" of G).

But wait a second! A song with a I -- IV -- V progression may contain melodic lines that follow three blues scales, i.e. one blues scale based on the root of the I chord, and another based on the root of the IV chord, and yet another based on the root of the V chord.

When vocalists, guitarists and keyboard players work their way through melodic lines, they often modulate to blues scales that fit each chord of the song's chord progression. Only the most skillful players of Richter diatonic harmonica can do this, because many of the notes in question can only be achieved with difficult draw bends and the even more difficult overblows, overdraws and blow bends.

A fair question: Can the family of tunings shown above play all of the notes of all three of those blues scales--all the way up and down the harp? At this point I believe that the answer is: almost. The diagram below uses a meandering blue line to show one route up and down the blues scale of the I chord. An orange line shows one route up and down the blues scale of the IV chord. So far so good; every note needed is right there. But in the case of the V chord, there is one note missing along the whole harp. Somewhere around channels 5 and 6 one would like to be able to access an A, but it is not present.

I doubt however that this "imperfection" would be a deal-breaker for very many players.

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Re: A family of new modded-Richter tunings

Post by IaNerd » Wed Sep 19, 2018 2:10 pm

I'm thrilled to announce that harp customizer Sugar Cain Hamilton has been collaborating the with me in realizing the potential of this family of tunings. You can see Cain discussing it here:

https://youtu.be/Cr-TxZvZPc8

I thank Cain, and also Brendan for hosting this forum, and for his expert advice and encouragement.

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Re: A family of new modded-Richter tunings

Post by IaNerd » Fri Sep 21, 2018 2:34 pm

Name:

I have decided, for now, that the "August 28" tuning (above) and its 10- and 13-hole variants will go by the name "Chug-Harp".

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Re: A family of new modded-Richter tunings

Post by IaNerd » Sun Sep 23, 2018 5:54 pm

When "Sugar Cain" Hamilton posted this tuning on YouTube: viewtopic.php?f=9&t=212&start=20#p1471
I started getting inquiries from people about what key this tuning "comes in". At this time, none of the tunings in this Topic are available as stock harps from any manufacturer. However, the Seydel harmonica company in Germany has a unique customization division that can make any of these 10-hole tunings, and in any key.

For those folks who wish to order the "September 28th" tuning--now known as Chug-Harp, through Seydel's Configurator--I suggest that the following keys would fit the most common song keys.

For anyone who tries any of these tunings, I invite you to share your experiences on this Forum or with me or Cain directly. At this time, "Sugar Cain" Hamilton is the only customizer who has experience studying, playing and customizing this family of tunings.

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