Re: beginning blues chrom questions

for other position ideas on the chromatic, check out
Paul deLay. He's a wonderfully innovative player. What
book are you using. You are welcome to respond
off-line. Grant
- --- Jason Paul Stolaruk <stolaruk@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
> Hi everyone,
> It's been years since I posted to Harp-L (although I
> haven't necessarily been
> lurking the whole time).  Anyway your past advice
> and hints and tips have
> really helped me to improve and advance my playing
> in the past (thanks!)
> I've been playing blues on the diatonic in 2nd
> position for about 8 years now.
> I recently bought a CX-12 chrom with the intention
> of playing blues, but I'm a
> little bit baffled as to how to approach this beast.
>  I have a few questions
> (and I apologize for the fact that most of them are
> rather basic):
> First, I happened to read in a book that it is
> essential to cover 4 holes with
> your mouth and tongue block the left 3 holes.  This
> is REALLY awkward for me.
> I can never seem to tell if I'm covering all 3 holes
> with my tongue.  However,
> I've gotten quite good at using a tongue block on
> the diatonic for the purpose
> playing octaves (your mouth covers 4 holes and your
> tongue blocks the middle
> 2).  Perhaps for this reason, it feels quite natural
> for me to play the chrom
> as follows: cover only 3 holes with my mouth and
> block the left 2 with my
> tongue.  I can feel my way around the chrom quite
> easily this way, but since
> the book I read was adamant about tongue blocking 3
> holes, I wonder if my
> technique will somehow create problems for me down
> the line.  What do you
> think?
> My other questions relate to how a C chrom is
> typically played in blues.  Based
> on the music that has reached my ears, it seems to
> me that a lot of blues
> players only pick up the chrom to play in D and
> focus on the draw notes (which
> together sound like a D pentatonic scale to my ears
> but I don't know).  Or
> maybe it's not the key of D but Dmin (could someone
> please clarify this?)  I
> don't have enough knowledge of theory to break this
> down myself.  (You can also
> hear Rod Piazza playing chrom on Diamonds At Her
> Feet from the "Live at BB
> King's" album, but he's playing it in Eb and I
> assume he's just holding the
> button in the whole time.)  Next question: what
> position is this called
> (meaning key of D [or Dmin??] on a C chrom)?  And
> why not just pick up a C
> diatonic and play it in virtually the same way?  Is
> it because the tuning of
> the diatonic in the lower register is a little
> different than the chrom?
> Are there any other positions that blues players use
> when they play chrom?
> Sorry about asking so many questions in one email. 
> Any hints or tips will
> likely go a long way to help me get started.  Thanks
> a lot!
> -jason
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