Re: Key sign language (minimal harp)
- Subject: Re: Key sign language (minimal harp)
- From: "Dennis Cooper" <harmaniac@xxxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Fri, 25 Jul 2003 08:37:20 -0600
I regularly play a live version of "Summertime" with Billy Zera's band on a
diatonic that migrates through three keys in 1st, 2nd and 3rd position. One
standard-tuning diatonic harmonica, three keys and true to the melody. Three
singers in different ranges. A wonderful tune...
Audences seem to like my diatonic version of "Ain't Misbehaving" better than
my chromatic rendition. (Which may be a telling statement about my chromatic
abilities, or lack thereof.)
"Ghost Riders in the Sky" is awesome in 3rd position and I just have to
throw in a plug for "The Devil Went down to Georgia" in third, as well. I
spent many long hours working that one up after hearing Popper do a live
version. (He was a bit sloppy, but impressive none-the-less.) Hi version of
it inspired me to learn the tune, both Johnny's and the Devil's parts.
(Flanger pedal engaged for the devil's part)
I also regularly use "country tuned" harmonicas on major key second-position
tunes that don't lend themselves to the 4,5, and 6 OB.
My point is that playing melodies on the diatonic harmonica is a very
acheiveble goal. It takes a bit of practice, but I enjoy it much more than
16-bar solos to that same old blues shuffle, night after night.
I hope to progress enough on the chromatic to someday wonder whay I ever
played melodies on a diatonic harmonica, but I'm not sure that day will ever
arrive. My ten-hole harps seem to have more soul...
All my best,
The Harmaniac? Dennis M. Cooper
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