[Harp-L] SOPHISTICATED LADY on a Midi Harmonica and NEW Chord harp tuning!

Michael Rubin michaelrubinharmonica@xxxxx
Mon Oct 9 21:53:23 EDT 2017

I hope you enjoy my video of me playing all three parts of Sophisticated
lady on the Lekholm DM48 Midi chromatic harmonica.

What is the most exciting part to me is I have developed a new tuning
system that enables me to play nearly any chord.

The blow notes are above the numbers and the draw notes are below.

C   E   G   B   D   F   A   C#   E   G   Bb   Eb
1   2    3    4   5   6    7    8     9    10  11   12
G   B   D   F# A   C   E   G#  W    I     L     D

Notice the draw notes in holes 8 through 12 are undefined, leaving the
option of typing in whatever chord I want.  I call it the WILD chord.

The DM48 has three buttons that alter the pitch of the note to another note.

Unlike the acoustic chromatic, the button on the right hand side of the
instrument does not have to raise the pitch one half step aka one keyboard
note.  I could raise it higher eight half steps or lower it three.

The same goes for the other two buttons.

Let's call the button on the right of the instrument button one.  Let's
call the button on the top left button two and the top right button three.

Button one has an extra special feature.  It enables you to type in the
note that the built in note gets altered to.  This means I could make hole
1 blow go up 1 half step, 2 blow up one whole step, three blow down 5 etc.
This can come in handy if there are multiple chords in the song that are
not present in the basic tuning.  As you will see, I rarely have use for
this feature as the large amount of built in chords almost always
accommodate the needs of a song.

I have chosen button one to raise the pitch one half step, button two
raises the pitch one whole step aka two keyboard notes and button three
raises the pitch two whole steps, aka four keyboard notes.

One, Two, FOUR?

Why not one, two, three?

Button one raises one note.  Button two raises two notes.  If I push both
buttons in at the SAME TIME I get the sum of the parts and it raises three
half steps.


No button raises the built in note zero half steps
Button one raises one half step
Button two raises two
Buttons one plus two raises three
Button three raises four
Buttons one plus three raises five
Buttons two plus three raises six
Buttons one plus two plus three raises seven

This can also be thought of as

No button plays the root of the built in note
Button one plays the flat second
Button two plays the second
Buttons one plus two plays the flat third
Button three plays the third
Buttons one plus three plays the fourth
Buttons two plus three plays the flat fifth
Buttons one plus two plus three plays the fifth

This can also be thought of as

No button plays the root of the built in note
Button one raises it a minor second
Button two raises it a major second
Buttons one plus two raises it a minor third
Button three raises it a major third
Buttons one plus three raises it a perfect fourth
Buttons two plus three raises it a tritone
Buttons one plus two plus three raises it a perfect fifth.

Therefore each breath direction produces 8 notes per hole.  Here is the
layout of hole one:

One blow  C
One blow button one C#/Db
One blow button two D
One blow buttons one plus two D#/Eb
One blow button three E
One blow buttons one plus three F
One blow buttons two plus three F#/Gb
One blow buttons one plus two plus three G
One draw G
One draw button one G#/Ab
One draw button two A
One draw buttons one plus two A#/Bb
One draw button three B
One draw buttons one plus three C one octave up from 1 blow no button
One draw buttons two plus three C#/Db one octave up
One draw buttons one plus two plus three D one octave up

Therefore in holes one through eight, you can easily play a fully chromatic
scale and then some.

This enables you to play the chord types in all twelve keys.

For example one, two, three blow are the notes C E G, respectively.  Those
notes are a C major chord.

Therefore holes one through three are the locations of all twelve major

Now you may say "Since one blow with buttons one, two and three pressed is
G, shouldn't one draw with no buttons be G#/Ab?  Why did you make one draw
with no button G?"

That would have been a good idea and enabled a higher Eb note.

However many people are familiar with the Circle of Fifths.  Since G is the
fifth note in the C Major scale, 1 draw is a fifth higher than 1 blow.
This is easier to remember and still provides all twelve keys of a chord.

Therefore, every draw note is a fifth higher than its respective blow note,
with the possible exception of the WILD chord.  Therefore, if you can just
memorize the blow notes and you have memorized the Circle of Fifths you
have also memorized the draw notes.

So how do you locate a chord?

Let's say you want to play a D major chord.  You know that the major chords
are in holes one through three.  You know that the root of the major chord
is in hole one.

Your first move is to determine if it is a blow chord or a draw chord.

Find the draw note in the hole.  In this case, G.  Lower that note by one
keyboard note.  G goes lower and becomes F# or Gb.

Ask yourself if the root of the chord you are searching for is between C
and F#/Gb.  If it is, the chord you are searching for is a blow chord.

If it is not, the chord you are searching for is a draw chord.

For this example, D is in between C and F#, therefore it is in the blow
chord.  How many half steps higher is D from C, or perhaps easier to think
about, how many keyboard notes lower is C from D?

D C# C
0 1     2

One blow without the button is two keyboard notes lower than the note we
are searching for.  Which button or combination of buttons will raise the
pitch 2 keyboard notes?  Button two.  Therefore play blow holes one through
three with button two pressed and get a D major chord!

You don't even have to know the name of the notes in the D major chord.
All you need to know is the root and what holes to play and what
combination of buttons to push.

Here is a list of the chords built into the layout and the holes they
appear in.  Some chords appear in more than one location but I am only
listing the lowest location.  All of these chords listed can be played in
all 12 keys.

1 2 3

Major 7th
1 2 3 4

Major 6th
2 3 4 5
The root of this chord is in hole 3.

Dominant 7th aka 7th
3 4 5 6

3 4 5 6 7

9 #11
3 4 5 6 7 8

2 3 4

Minor 7th
2 3 4 5

Minor 6th
4 5 6 7
Root is in hole 5

Minor 7th flat 5 aka half diminished
4 5 6 7

Minor Major 7th
5 6 7 8

6 7 8

Fully Diminished
8 9 10 11

Although the draw holes nine through twelve are for the WILD Chord and
therefore are not necessarily a fifth above the fully diminished chord,
diminished chord theory means all 12 fully diminished chords are present.
Let me know if you want an explanation.

7 flat 9

This chord is in two separate locations because 4 of the five notes
involved are the notes from a fully diminished chord.

A through E 7 flat 9
7 8 9 10 11 12

Eb through Bb 7 flat 9
8 9 10 11 12

Let's say the song calls for CSus7.  I type it in.  If the song calls for
more than one Wild chord, I can type it in song that button one creates
it.  If the WILD Chord is a five note chord, I can change hole eight if
unimportant to the other chords.  If it is important, I can try and create
a situation where pushing in the buttons will get the chord desired.  If I
cannot succeed there I use four of the five notes from the chord and trust
the bass player will play the root.

The main point is there are a BOATLOAD of chords available.

If you know your intervals or your scale degrees, this layout is super easy.

If you do not but know the names of the notes on the keyboard, this layout
is understandable.

Remember when you learned to play a C harp in the key of G, but then had to
learn how to find the correct harp for cross harp keys?  In the beginning,
it was hard.  You might even have used a chart.

After a while you figured out the key of E meant you needed an A harp.
Then you knew all your harps.

This layout is like that.  In the beginning it may seem challenging.  After
a while, you will see the name of a chord and know exactly which holes to
play, whether to blow or draw and which combination of buttons to push.

Michael Rubin


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