[Harp-L] Re: Starting new players on an alternate tuning

Winslow Yerxa (for whom I have the greatest admiration!) opined in a recent email regarding alternate tunings as an aid to beginners:

Excerpt (hopefully within context):

"Solo tuned diatonics are available - which is closer to something that makes sense than a spiral tuning where C is a blow note in the f1rst octave, a draw note in the second octave, and so on."

"Yet almost nobody ever buys a solo tuned diatonic."
I cannot speak to the issue of solo tuned diatonics, because I've never played one. However, I can address the spiral tuning (called Circular Tuning by Seydel).

To me, it makes more sense having all the diatonic notes for a particular major scale  available naturally (without bending) than worrying about the breath reversal from one octave to the next. It is no more of a problem than on the "standard" German Tuning where the direction of breath changes abruptly at hole 7 in order to keep the major I chord going unbroken all the way up the harp. I certainly wish I had started on Circular Tuned harps; I (believe that I) would be much farther along than I am. It took me about two months of haphazard practice to switch totally to Circular Tuning. The reversal of breath direction from octave to octave is no more difficult to adjust to than any other leap across holes; you simply have to build the muscle memory. I can play just as fast (or faster) than I can on German Tuned harps, without missing the target hole and breath direction. I AM N-O-T AN EXCEPTIONAL PLAYER!

Excerpt (hopefully within context):

"By the way, many beginning players have trouble with Draw 2 on nearly every type of harmonica, no matter how it's tuned, and that includes chromatics. Spiral tuning wouldn't solve that problem." 

On the contrary, draw 2 is the tonic of the first register in Circular Tuning and it is NO PROBLEM to get a good sound from it, even as a beginner. I don't know why that should be, but it is true (in my experience).

With all due regard to the Wizard Winslow!
Crazy Bob
Hotmail is redefining busy with tools for the New Busy. Get more from your inbox.

This archive was generated by a fusion of Pipermail 0.09 (Mailman edition) and MHonArc 2.6.8.