Re: [Harp-L] Scottish/Irish tunes - C#/D

You could create a C#/D chromatic in three different ways:

1) Take a D chromatic and re-tune some reeds.

2) Take a D chromatic and replace some reeds

3) Take a D chromatic and a C chromatic and swap reedplates (works only on straight-tuned harps)

Before going further, I should point out that the D chromatics made by Hohner and Suzuki are LOW D harmonicas, while the standard Seydel D chromatic is pitched like a standard D diatonic: the lowest note is above Middle C.

To retune, you'd leave the key of D reeds alone, but re-tune all the key of D# reeds down 2 semitones to a C# scale. You can do this by adding weight to the free tips of the reed, or by removing metal from the base of the reed. I've had success with both, and have never experienced reed fatigue or breakage from removing metal near the base. Adding weight can be done with solder or with something both sticky and with sufficient heft, such as the Blu-Tak that Brendan Power likes to use.

Replacing reeds requires that you find reeds of the correct pitch that will fit the slots, and that you have the skill to remove the key of D# reeds and install the key of C# reeds.

Perhaps the easiest - but also most expensive is to mix and match reedplates from two chromatics. This only works with straight-tuned chromatics such as the Hohner 270 or Seydel Deluxe, because this only works if each key resides exclusively on one of the reedplates. So this will work with the Hohner 270 and Seydel Deluxe, but will not work with the Hohner CX-12 or Seydel SCX-48. The way it works is that you get two chromatics, one in C (or C tenor in the case of the Hohner and Suzuki models) and one on D.  You leave the D reedplate on the D chromatic, then remove the D# reedplate and swap in the C# reedplate from the C chromatic. Now you have the key of D with the slide out and the key of C# with the slide in (you can flip the slide if you prefer on the 270).

Winslow Yerxa
Author, Harmonica For Dummies, ISBN 978-0-470-33729-5
            Harmonica Basics For Dummies, ASIN B005KIYPFS
            Blues Harmonica For Dummies, ISBN 978-1-1182-5269-7
Resident Harmonica Expert,
Instructor, Jazzschool for Music Study and Performance

 From: Blunt White <playharp@xxxxxxxxxxx>
To: Cathal Johnson <cathaljohnson@xxxxxxxxx>; Winslow Yerxa <winslowyerxa@xxxxxxxxx> 
Cc: Harp L <harp-l@xxxxxxxxxx> 
Sent: Wednesday, December 4, 2013 8:42 PM
Subject: RE: [Harp-L] Scottish/Irish tunes - C#/D

Hello- Would like to convert a standard tuned chromatic to C#/D tuning.   Could someone share the exact tuning scheme or a recommendation on how to purchase one.
Thank you,
Blunt White

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