Re: XB-40 Retunings?

jazmaan wrote:
>I'm still thinking about retuning possibilities for the XB-40. I'm thinking that the
>beast might be more controllable if some of the whole note bends were replaced
>by half-note bends. And I'm also thinking that a country-tuned major seventh might be
>preferable to the dominant 7th. I'm sure Pat Missin is well ahead of me in such
>musings. And I know that with any harmonica tuning, chromatic, diatonic or XB-40,
>there's always a trade-off, you lose something to get something.

I'm not sure I'm that far ahead of you on this topic, but I have
pondered the issue of alternate note layouts. One of my XBs is
currently in Paddy Richter and I have though about how nice the Melody
Maker(tm) tuning would be on an XB-40. That said, I'm still having too
much fun with them in the standard tuning...

As for altering the degree of bendability, I've pondered that a little
too. A few years back I put together something that worked along the
same lines as the XB-40 and I found that I was torn on the issue of
how to set the auxiliary reeds. Setting them so that the "extra bends"
(ie those not obtainable on a standard harp) were just a semitone made
for considerably easier chromatic playing. However, the ability to
bend each note at least a couple of semitones was just too tempting
and offered so many extra possibilities for phrasing and expression
that I never could mae a firm decision one way or the other. Perhaps
two full sets of XB-40s is the way to go??

Anyway, speaking of the XB-40, I'm currently putting together a series
of workshop columns for Harmonica World magazine, which may also be
published on the NHL website:

If anyone has any points they think such a series should cover, please
drop me a note offlist.

 -- Pat.

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