[Harp-L] Steve Baker Special tuning harps
- To: harp-l@xxxxxxxxxx
- Subject: [Harp-L] Steve Baker Special tuning harps
- From: philharpn@xxxxxxx
- Date: Thu, 25 Jun 2015 20:27:41 -0400
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I've owned a full set of Steve Baker Special tuned harps since I
purchased them in Detroit from F & R Farrell back in the day. I always
thought the idea of a double Richter tuning (first six holes tuned like
1 2 3 on 10 hole harps, twice, with the first three holes being in the
low octave on most SBS models. I played them once or twice but never
saw much use for them -- other than a curiosity.
At the time I purchased them I'm pretty sure I was not into tongue
blocking, so I was not interested in them for vamping purposes. I also
was not much into Sunny Boy II (Rice Miller or whatever his real name
was). But I always buy interesting harps. However, it was not until
recently I saw the merits of that tuning.
My discovery (it was new to me) that the double Richter on a 12 hole
Seydel harp allowed a real tongue blocking of chords for what would
have been the standard holes 1 2 3 on the 10 hole harp. (You can't
can't tongue block/vamp on hole No. 1 on a 10-hole harp unless you like
the sound of wood.) The SBS solves this problem. The main difference is
the Hohner SBS is built on a large Marine Band while the Seydel is
built on a harp closer in height and depth to the standard 10-hole.
I never seen much discussion about the Steve Baker Special tuning: its
use and purpose.
SBS has been around for quite a while, maybe 20 years or so? But what
was its original intent?
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