Augmented Tuning

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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Brendan
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Augmented Tuning

Post by Brendan » Fri Nov 29, 2019 10:55 am

This morning I was listening to Marcin Dyak playing in Augmented Tuning. He does it well:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qOKuwijLheY

Marcin is a fine player, but his description of himself as the "Worldwide Pioneer of the Augmented Harmonica" is not correct. AFAIK that was France's Eric Chafer, a brilliant all-round musician who happened to play harmonica as well. Check him out here:

http://www.planetharmonica.com/EricChafer.htm

Sadly I heard Eric gave up harmonica after a few years... I'm glad I heard him live, he was amazing.

Augmented is a good logical tuning with a repeating scale every 3 holes, but requires accurate bending as each draw reed will bend two semitones - and you have to choose the right one!

EdvinW
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Re: Augmented Tuning

Post by EdvinW » Fri Nov 29, 2019 7:13 pm

WOW!

I played the sound clips on the Eric Chafer page you linked, and ... just wow.

I never thought of augmented as a tuning for high speed playing, but clearly it's possible.

Do you have any idea why such a skilled player would quit? It makes you wonder how good he is with those other instruments ...
Edvin Wedin

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Brendan
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Re: Augmented Tuning

Post by Brendan » Sat Nov 30, 2019 8:11 am

Yes, Eric Chafer is so talented! Great bass player (as I heard live), and trombone too, apparently! Quite a quirky character, I will try to find out what he's up to these days.

Good to see Marcin carrying the torch for Augmented Tuning in fine style. He has several videos using it on YouTube - here are two more:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zBqr5mK6whk
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ak7Y_pT8zoA

He's very good with overblow Richter as well, one of the few overblow players who's consistently in tune:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YaKctuwXtg4

Another player who I'm pretty sure uses Augmented Tuning is Brazil's Thiago Cerveira, who often plays guitar and harp in a rack:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ft-MKCO9-_s

It's either that, or the first three holes of a Richter harp repeated up the harp. Similar in that it needs good bending control to pick out intervening pitches in wide bends.

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