Re: [Harp-L] harp key???

I'm guessing he may have tuned it half step down to be easier for him  to 
sing better match his vocal range, but it raises all of the  
problems that you have stated,
Blues Girl Phyllis
Isn't it wonderful the  way the world holds both the deeply serious, and 
the unexpectedly  mirthful?

In a message dated 11/12/2015 3:15:22 P.M. Central Standard Time,  
turtlehill@xxxxxxxxxxxxx writes:

"Franklin Wagman" wrote:

Whether your friend knows theory or not, I'm surprised that he  hasn't 
figured out that all the chords he played in standard tuning will be a  
half-step down, too.  Isn't that why he tuned it down in the first  place?  I'm also 
surprised that he hasn't realized that when he's playing  two instruments, 
and he drops the pitch on one of them by a half-step, the  other one is not 
going to be in tune with the first unless he drops the pitch  on that too.  
A harmonica is a fixed-pitch instrument, like a piano  (bending and other 
pitch modification techniques aside); it doesn't  automatically adjust itself 
to a new pitch.

So Phyllis is right, of  course--he needs to play harps that are tuned a 
half-step down (or he needs to  learn to bend and overblow better than Howard 
Levy, wwhich will take him a  lifetime, if ever).  And he needs to tell 
anyone playing an instrument  with him that he's tuned his guitar down a half 
step too, or they'll be out of  tune when they play with him.

Finally, if he's got an "act"--meaning  that he plays out in public--he 
really should invest in a little bit of theory  training, at least enough so 
that he  knows what "half step down" means,  and which notes are a half step 
down from which other notes, and maybe even  what notes are contained in the 
chords he's playing.  I appreciate that  lots of people playing out in 
public don't know much theory, and I wouldn't  advise him to go for a degree in 
the subject unless he really wants to, but he  can't go very far, and 
certainly can't go very far playing with other  musicians, if he doesn't know a few 
of the essential concepts that musicians  use to communicate with each 
other about the music they're playing. 

In  case anyone wants to argue at this point that all the old blues guys 
didn't  know what notes they were playing, don't bother.  They didn't know 
theory  like Stravinsky did, but they certainly knew that they needed to switch 
harps  when the key of the song changed, and they certainly knew which harp 
to pick  up when it did. 

Regards, Richard  Hunter

This archive was generated by a fusion of Pipermail 0.09 (Mailman edition) and MHonArc 2.6.8.