[Harp-L] Scottish/Irish tunes

Hi Brian and the Harp L community!
I have retuned my CX 12 chrome in D to C sharp D. This allows me to keep
closer to the tradition, allows me to follow fiddle rolls and triplets and
other ornamentations too. Instead of going up a semi tone when the button
is pressed it goes down a semi tone. This is in keeping with the tradition.
I find it I can't go to a session without it really. Normal tuned chrome
just don't cut it like a customized chrome in C sharp to D. Also with the
 CX 12 you cannot simply turn the slide up side down, so you have to
re-tune it altogether. Also unlike other chromes the CX 12 sharp reed criss
cross from top plate to bottom plate. Others simply have all the sharps on
one plate and so on…
For me this is the ultimate in playing Irish music.
 If you learn it well a C sharp - D can cover all keys needed for a normal
regular Irish session, as most tunes are in the keys of D and G and their
associated keys, including on some tunes F sharp minor, which the odd tune
can go into for a second part for maybe a few bars. So on a D you can play
tunes in D, A, Bm, F shape minor, tunes in Em and some tunes in G that are
modal. Also in G, D, Am, Em and so on or just transpose from the above…

If anyone play chromatic in D and G it is a good idea to change the tuning
of the sharpened set of reeds from, on a D Chrome from D Sharp down to C
sharp to D. A famous/well known chromatic player called Eddie Clarke used
to play in this style. He has passed now, sadly but here is Facebook page
set up by his family and friend. His music can be purchased. He played with
the button pressed in and releasing it for triplets and ornamentation etc.
And/Or he switched the slide up side down. He is considered the best. Eddie
has played with famous Irish bands such as Altan and has a few great
recordings available. Check him out. Here he is playing with Joe Ryan, as
you can hear from the recording the two play as one, very close to each
other that they sound as one. This can only be achieved with the tuning or
harmonica set up as I have described above and below:

Steve you said: 'But replacement reedplates are either impossible to get or
else they cost anything from the price of a whole harp up to more than
twice as much (even then the prospects of getting what you want are very
limited)." If you are really stuck you can send your XB 40 to me for
repair. I have a stock of Hohner reeds I got of Hohner for this reason.
They endorsed me as Harmonica Repair Tech for All Ireland and I've been
trained to a high standard by Brendan Power. I repair harmonica now for
years… I am sure it will be cheaper than reed plate replacements and the
price of a new one. Especially if you have more than one. So keep that in
mind, there is a good answer to your problem.

Please click on the Facebook link below and join Harmonicas Ireland. This
is a site for harmonicas in general and Irish harmonica playing.
Thank you Harp L

Kind regards to all
Cathal Johnson

Date: Tue, 26 Nov 2013 12:40:53 -0000
From: "brian.irving" <brian.irving@xxxxxxxxx>
Subject: [Harp-L] Scottish/Irish tunes
To: <harp-l@xxxxxxxxxx>
Message-ID: <45A96132BC1C4AD597AFB363C9729E6A@nc4200>
Content-Type: text/plain;       charset="us-ascii"

A question for all you trad Celtic musicians!  Which are the commonest keys
for Scottish/Irish traditional tunes?  So far, from my limited collection of
recorded tunes I've identified D and A with some in C.  So harps in A, C and
D would cover them.  Any other harps essential for a gig bag for celtic
jams/open mics?

Cathal Johnson


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