Re: [Harp-L] smaller kit

I usually take a full set of Spiral (Circular) harps to a gig, with backups for the music 
keys of C, G, D, and A. If I'm really concerned that I'll need something for a more 
traditional blues sound, I'll take a complete set of Lee Oskar Major harps. I usually
don't bother, because I can play the blues using the Circular harps. The blue notes
(b3, b5, b7) are available as bent notes on the Circular. Full chords are available on
every scale degree. So, you can play any style of blues using Circular harps. 

Before I get slammed for heresy, I will concede that there is one specific thing that 
CANNOT be done of Circular harps: you CANNOT play octaves.The breath pattern 
changes every octave, on the octave note.  By its DESIGN, each note that is one 
octave apart  has a different breath direction. It is simply a regular pattern, that 
becomes an integral part of playing without conscious thought after you play Circular 
for a while. I regularly switch between octaves without thinking about it while playing. 
Maybe if you're a musical genius like Howard Levy, you can figure out a way to breathe 
out  and in at the same time, negating that limitation, but I'm not going to spend time 
trying to achieve it.

I also use the Circulars for playing any modal tune, including natural minor (Aeolian), 
Mixolydian and Dorian fiddle tunes. All of the notes for all 7 modes are built-in to 
the Circular harps, so there is no need for using them as special "one tune only" 

I do know that the great Richard Hunter uses a wide range of tunings for achieving 
his musical goals when he is recording. He is a fantastic player! However, I don't 
know if he takes a full complement of his harps to a particular gig; I suspect that 
he does not.

I wish Circular tuned harps had been commercially available when I started 10 years
ago AND that I had been aware of them. It is a much better design for the genres and
style of music that I play. YMMV.

Crazy Bob

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