RE: [Harp-L] Scottish/Irish tunes
Harmonica player extraordinaire Tom Bryne from Donegal however has a different slant on things coming from the BC background he plays a C chrome. Here is a quote from Tom on the subject of what harmonica and what key to play in for Irish traditional dance music here:
"Playing a C chromatic a lot at present and in my opinion with a fair bit of practice it is a great instrument for trad music. Playing loads of tunes on it in d, e, Bb, a. Keys of g, c, f and related minors and corresponding flat and sharp keys are all handy. Going to record a video for u tube in new year."
This one crops up every now and again: "Why don't you just play everything on a C chrom?" Well, of course you can play all the notes of any tune on a C chrom. The problem for players of Irish tunes who want to play in the traditional keys of D, G and A, and related modes, is that using a C chrom would involve a fair bit of button-pushing to get the notes, which often means that the button can't then be used for ornamentation. One good reason for using a chrom instead of a 10-hole diatonic is precisely that there is more scope for ornamentation - so using a chrom in C slightly negates that advantage. As I say, fine if you're not bothered about playing in the traditional key for each tune - but, if you don't, you won't fit very well into a typical session! I think that an aspiring session player would be best off with chroms in D and G, or with flipped-slide chroms in G/F# and D/C#. But we all have our own favourite strategies!
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