[Harp-L] Tony Eyers Major Cross harmonica
Tue Feb 7 17:51:53 EST 2017
Hello freereed brothers and sisters,
I'd like to congratulate Tony on this significant honor - and to thank him
for all of his work spreading the gospel over the twenty + years I've known
We met by chance one night in New York City around 1998 at the Greenwich
Village weekly bluegrass session and became fast friends. It was then that
he introduced me to his ingenious tuning and I still have two of his harps
that he gave me back then - a testament to what a mensch he is - who gives
away custom harps?!?! Tony played circles around me then as he does now. ;-(
Back to Major Cross. There's another reason one might want to play a Fiddle
Tune in 2nd and Tony alluded to it when he said "we choose a tuning which
best suits individual needs".
D tunes can be problematic in a session because a standard Richter harp
sits an octave higher than where a fiddler typically plays a tune. One
could use a Low D harp but in my experience they go out of tune too fast
and don't cut in a hot bluegrass session so I find that using a G harp is
an alternative that gets you back into the fiddle's octave and also gives
you the expression that comes with cross harp.
I'm a pretty lazy harmonica player and never learned how to play in Major
Cross and in 1998 I was also starting to play Filisko Harps and was pleased
with their responsiveness (understatement!) so for better or worse I stuck
Here's a great example of why using Major Cross is such a clever tool to
have in your toolbox. What follows is a simple SLOW waltz played in D on a
G Harp where the E note is sustained in the melody and I pretty
consistently play that note out of tune in the first register because its a
2nd degree bend on the 3 hole - granted this is just a scratch recording I
made the other night and I can do better, but again, I'm lazy and it was
not meant to be shared. With one of Tony's harps I could sustain that E
without causing folks to flinch when they hear that pitchy note in this
rendition of the Swannanoa Waltz.
Three cheers for Tony!!!
From: Tony Eyers <tony at xxxxx>
Subject: Re: [Harp-L] Seydel releases Tony Eyers Major Cross harmonica
At the end of the day, we choose a tuning which best suits individual
needs. For most, this is the standard Richter tuning. I use Richter a
lot, and love it, but for tunes I generally use Major Cross. Rather than
discussing details, it's perhaps best to just hear how a particular
tuning sounds, and go from there.
To that end, try http://tonyeyers.com/hear-music/ or the video clips at
These mostly feature Major Cross harmonicas.
More information about the Harp-L