[Harp-L] Re. Diminished Chromatic
- To: <harp-l@xxxxxxxxxx>
- Subject: [Harp-L] Re. Diminished Chromatic
- From: "Brendan Power" <bren@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Fri, 30 Oct 2015 10:32:19 -0000
- Thread-index: AdES/HuXzv1WjhXdTGGsW6WT10H7JQ==
Hi Richard, good to hear from you as always. To answer your queries on
1. I presume that this approach can be applied to standard-tuned
chromatics as well?
Yes, but in a more limited way. As you know, for bending to be useful the
blow and draw reeds must be at least a tone apart. In Diminished tuning all
draws are a tone above all blows, which means all outer valves can be
removed to allow interactive reed bending. For standard Solo tuned chroms
only half the draw reeds are bendable in this way. They are the draws in the
odd-numbered holes 1,3,5,7,9,11. So only remove the outer valves from those
holes, on both upper and lower reedplates. Of course if you want more bends
but don't like Diminshed tuning there are plenty of other good scales the
chrom can be tuned to. My personal one is PowerChromatic, which is listed
2. Regarding the importance of an airtight mouthpiece: is the Hohner
CX-12 a superior choice in this regard?
Yes, but the slider is rather loose and sloppy in the slot. A quick fix is
to dab on a thin layer of Vaseline to both sides. That will make it more
airtight and quieter. If you want to go further, flat-sand the front of the
comb and apply some of the opaque Magic Tape to one side of the slider. Then
cut out the slider holes with a craft knife. Add a smidgen of slide oil and
the slider will be very airtight. The tape wears off after a few months, so
re-apply at intervals.
3. Finally, regarding embossing the reed slots: is that something to be done
for every slot, or only for the slots exposed when valves are removed.
I'd recommend it on every slot, but especially the outer ones if you want to
4. Finally finally, are there any other things that a (very) occasional harp
tech should be aware of in order to avoid wrecking a pretty expensive
Gap the blow reeds as close as you can while still allowing them to play
with a strong breath. That will reduce the air loss from the un-valved draw
reeds and even up the tone overall.
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