Shifted/Inverted Bebop tuning for non-slide AND SLIDE harps

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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Shifted/Inverted Bebop tuning for non-slide AND SLIDE harps

Post by IaNerd » Tue Aug 27, 2019 2:51 pm

Putting a 7-note scale into a blow/draw harmonica can result in alternating/inverted breath patterns. PowerChromatic (as one example) fixes this problem by repeating the D note (assuming a Cmaj harp). This allows for expressive draw-bending of the E note (the major 3rd) and the G note (the 5th), as well as the B and one of the Ds.

I wondered how something like PowerChromatic could be modified so that the C tonic (assuming a Cmaj harp) could also be draw-bent. What I came up with is basically Bebop tuning, but inverted or “spirally phase shifted” forward by one note. Compared with PowerChromatic, instead of repeating the D note of the major diatonic scale, a Bb note is added. Furthermore, PowerChromatic begins the first position diatonic scale in the blow layer, whereas this tuning begins the first position diatonic scale in the draw layer.

In the diagram below, we see that the tonic, the 3rd, the 5th and the B can all be draw-bent. Every draw note bends by one simple semitone.

Also note that each octave has a partial IV chord (F - A) and a partial V chord (G - B).

I checked Pat Missin’s catalog of tunings, and found something interesting. The pattern of Bb-D-F-A // C-E-G-B appears just once, and as only a part of a longer, more complex tuning. I am referring to holes 4-7 of “6.7 True Chromatic Tuning” by Eugene Ivanov. Essentially, the tuning that I show here is the repetition of that tuning’s holes 4-7.

https://www.brendan-power.com/forum/dow ... iew&id=589
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Re: Shifted/Inverted Bebop tuning for non-slide harp

Post by IaNerd » Tue Aug 27, 2019 4:37 pm

Further thoughts on this ....

This tuning played in 2nd position provides a G major hexatonic blues scale across the harp without requiring bends. Just as it also provides an E minor hexatonic blues scale in its 5th position without requiring bends.

The same harp would handily play melodically in Cmaj, Amin, Fmaj and Dmin -- without requiring bends.

Also:

D and G dorian
E and A phrygian
F and B lydian
G and C mixolydian
A and D aeolian
B and E locrian

A, D, E and G minor pentatonics

C, F and G major pentatonics

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Re: Shifted/Inverted Bebop tuning for non-slide harp

Post by IaNerd » Tue Aug 27, 2019 7:02 pm

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Re: Shifted/Inverted Bebop tuning for non-slide harp

Post by IaNerd » Wed Aug 28, 2019 3:57 pm

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Re: Shifted/Inverted Bebop tuning for non-slide AND SLIDE harps

Post by IaNerd » Thu Aug 29, 2019 3:33 pm

Extending this idea to 12- and 16-hole slide harps ...

Note: On a 12-hole slide chromatic harp, the final tonic C is there with the push of a button.

CORRECTION: The second retuning below results in Cmaj, not Bbmaj. I will post a corrected diagram soon.

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Re: Shifted/Inverted Bebop tuning for non-slide AND SLIDE harps

Post by Brendan » Fri Aug 30, 2019 10:47 am

Hi Patrick, finally you've come up with a tuning I like ;-) Not that I don't appreciate your many other proposals, but they are often based on chordal possibilities which I think are pretty much unusable outside the bottom octave. This Inverted Bebop ticks my boxes because it allows draw bends on all holes, plus playing in two keys (C and F, as on standard Bebop) without slider use.

It's similar to PowerChromatic, but has it's own flavour. On a diatonic harp there are two places where you can't get the full chromatic scale without overblows (the C# and G# in your scale below), as opposed to one in PowerChromatic, and none in Diminished. That's a disadvantage if you don't overblow, but it's certainly a good choice for a half-valved slide harmonica.

It has a similarity to my recently devised Inverted Solo Tuning, described in the article below. This again is best on a slide harmonica:
Inverted Solo Tuning.jpg
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Re: Shifted/Inverted Bebop tuning for non-slide AND SLIDE harps

Post by IaNerd » Fri Aug 30, 2019 11:18 am

Brendan: Better late than never! :D

I thank you very much.

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Re: Shifted/Inverted Bebop tuning for non-slide AND SLIDE harps

Post by Brendan » Sat Aug 31, 2019 6:12 am

One more observation on your Inverted Bebop tuning. Your intention was to start the C major scale on a draw note, and you get this arrangement (blow note to the left):

Bb-C. D-E. F-G. A-B. * Bb-C. D-E. F-G. A-B. * etc

Check PowerChromatic in F, starting on hole 3:

Bb-C. D-E. F-G. G-A. * Bb-C. D-E. F-G. G-A. * etc

A similar feeling, with the difference in one hole per octave. In PowerChromatic key F, playing in C can be likened to playing 2nd Position on Richter, and it's my favourite major key position in PowerChromatic. You have to draw bend to get the 7th (B natural in key C).

In Inverted Bebop, the B is included in the scale, which is where the main 'flavour' difference comes from.

Swings and roundabouts: you always gain and lose something when you alter a tuning. I think for me the main thing is miss from PowerChromatic is the doubled G note on blow and draw. It's the fifth when playing in C, and I use the blow alternative a lot because it's in the adjacent hole. A lot of phrases involve jumping quickly from the tonic to the fifth, so that's handy. In Inverted Bebop there is a hole separating them, which could make some licks harder.

But others would be easier! It's just a matter of trial and error to see which one prefers. And on a slide harmonica you can judiciously tune the slide-in notes to overcome awkward jumps in the slide-out scale. You could overcome the issue just described with this arrangement:

Slide-Out: Bb-C.. D-E.. F-G... A-B... * Bb-C.......etc
Slide-In. : B-C#. D#-F. F#G#. G-C. *. B-C#.......etc

You now have two C's and two G's, which is handy if playing in C is your main intended usage.

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Re: Shifted/Inverted Bebop tuning for non-slide AND SLIDE harps

Post by IaNerd » Sat Aug 31, 2019 7:17 am

Thanks again, Brendan.

I am working on getting a prototype into the hands of an accomplished chrom player, for a proper trial and review. Your thoughts will be a valuable part of that process.

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Re: Shifted/Inverted Bebop tuning for non-slide AND SLIDE harps

Post by IaNerd » Tue Sep 03, 2019 4:15 pm

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