[Harp-L] what tuning is this?

Robert Hale robert@xxxxx
Mon Oct 23 22:50:19 EDT 2017

I was probably there, too.

Lee is an intense and focused personality. I found him to be friendly in
helping and teaching. He called me up to jam with him on stage at the
Rhythm Room.

He gave me the "Blues Tuning" over the phone one day after I saw him play
it on a newsy TV interview, and called  his California location at the
time. I tuned up a couple, and enjoy playing them.

I hear it about :40 seconds into this video...He waves off the band,
switches harps, and plays thru octave-down and envelope filter.

This video, too. http://trix.ws/Ja3DV

   1. The big deal here is that instead of bending the draw 2 down a whole
   step, that note is found on Draw 1.
   2. Instead of root tone C in hole one Blow, we find Bb, the flat-7th
   tone in the blow chord.
   3. The third alteration is to lower the Draw 7 a half step.
   4. Final change is to raise Draw 5 a half step.


Lee does what some horn players do, improvising on the minor third one
time, then on the major third another.

Robert Hale
Serious Honkage in Arizona

On Mon, Oct 23, 2017 at 6:20 PM, <bad_hat at xxxxx> wrote:

> Years ago I attended a harmonica workshop led by Lee Oskar.  It was held
> at the Rhythm Room in Phoenix Arizona.  A lot of what the workshop was
> about was tuning.  Lee had us tune to an odd configuration.  I have never
> been able to figure out what the purpose of the tuning was.  I'm not even
> sure I have it right, well I have the harmonica and I can garner the tuning
> from that but did I get it right in the moment?  I suspect if it is in fact
> a useful tuning that the originator was more likely Kit Gamble not Lee
> Oskar.  Ok, typing in the tuning below.  I'd love to hear fro someone who
> knew what this was for.
> Blow  C  F# A  D F# A D F# A D
> Draw  G  A  C# E G  B C E  G B
> Retuned from a D harmonica.  If I searched hard enough I could probably
> find the handout for this.  I wasn't adept at this.  I had retuned plenty
> but I kept tuning the wrong reed, it's not changing, it's not changing.
> Maybe it's me, Lee didn't strike me as the most patient teacher.
> Interesting day.


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