[Harp-L] Magic Dick Tunings
I vaguely remember the talk about this patent when it came out in Nov 1992
and that it was somehow useful in playing big band tunes.
I remember thinking at the time that the tuning sounded interesting and
waited and waited for it come on the market. And it never did.
Has anyone other than Magic Dick found any use for this collection of
I also remember that many of the "tunings" were simply chord progressions --
something that a first year piano jazz student would have considered beyond
The Hohner Chordomonica I and II comes to mind -- which provided chromatic
harmonicas with more than one major chord -- like CEG on the C model and added
the FAC and GBD for a full I, IV and V progression, plus some other variations.
The Magic Harmonicas sounded like the next best thing, right along with
(before/after? I can't recall the time frame) the XB40 -- which I thought was
But while I bought one in just about every flavor, most people didn't and
found fault with it because it doesn't behave like the simple unvalved 10-hole
I read somewhere that during the height of his career that Gretsch was
selling 17,000 Chet Atkin model guitars a year. I don't think harmonica players are
like that. I think they keep on buying what they're already playing. If it's
Lee Oskars. If Special 20s. If it's Marine Bands, that's it -- no Marine Band
Deluxe for them!
And stainless steel reeds! They don't need any stinkin stainless steel reeds.
I always thought that one of the neat things about the harmonica was that
they were so cheap, relatively speaking, that you could afford to buy all
different kinds just to try out without going bankrupt.
In a message dated 6/8/07 1:14:35 PM, customharmonicas@xxxxxxxxxxx writes:
> Hi Ryan,
> These patented tunings from Magic Dick and Pierre G.T Beaureguard IV
> can be built in several ways, and typical "position play" is different than
> standard Richter tuning. Due to limitations having to do with slot sizes and
> reeds, there can be several approaches to each model and key.
> These are labeled according to where the tonic note of the home key
> sits in relation to the home chord. Therefore, there are 1,2,3, and 4 Draw
> configurations for many models, and some have to be one or the other- some
> can be built in more than one configuration.
> Many of these tunings are useful in more than one key, but a more accurate
> way to look at these is modal, because the tonic note might sit
> in various places.
> I recall that Dick may use more than one tuning on the cut in question,
> but I think that he uses a Big Band in F, possibly in 2-draw configuration.
> I hope this helps,
> James Gordon
> Gordon Harmonicas
> Ryan asks:
> >I pulled out "Bluestime" for the first time in a while and tonight on a
> >whim I decided to try making one of Magic dick's tunings, the Big Band in
> The archives were pretty scant on the subject when the two Bluestime records
> came out in 94ish and 96. So...
> What tunes does Dick use his special tunings?
> What keys?
> And what positions are they usually played in?
> The notes to both CDs give a little info but no definitive answers.
> I made a Big Band with a C harp even though I didn't think it is used on any
> of the Bluestime CDs. I just had it laying around so that's the one I
> picked. And I thought second position would be the most common for these
> altered tunings but with the Big Band at least it's played in third, I
> think? So is a Big Band in C played in 3rd position (D) what Dick uses on
> "Full Court Press"?
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