[Harp-L] 12 keys with one harp

Sébastien Frémal sebastien.fremal@xxxxx
Thu Nov 8 07:07:45 EST 2018

"  the diatonic harmonica instrument by definition [...], is not a
chromatic instrument like a piano or a chromatic harmonica."

I began playing the harmonica 5 years ago. I quickly found Jason Ricci
recordings. After 1 year of practice, I started to learn overblow. After 2
years of practice I started to learn overdraw. Maybe the instrument *was*
build to be a diatonic instrument, nowadays, it *is *a chromatic
instrument. When I learned playing clarinet, I learned that clarinet may
plays really high notes. To play these notes, you must use the same
fingering you use for some lower notes and you have to change how you blow
in the instrument. These are notes you can't play when you begin playing
clarinets, you learn to play these through time. It's the same thing with
harmonica. There are notes you can reach easily and there are notes which
asks more practice to be played. But I would'nt say that the instrument is
diatonic anymore. A diationic accordeon is diatonic. A diatonic xylophone
is diationic. You will never reach a chromatism on these instruments.
Harmonica just requires practice to reach the chromatism. That's why I
prefer to call the diatonic harmonica the buttonless harmonica and the
chromatic harmonica the button harmonica because you lose the audience
(musiciancs included) when you say that the diatonic harmonica is chromatic
(they usually raise eyebrows in a "what the fuck" way ^^).

But yeah, everybody learn and practice what they want and I won't say that
everybody *have to* learn to reach overnotes.


*S. Frémal*


*www.sebastienfremal.com <http://www.sebastienfremal.com>0495/14.85.07*

Le mar. 6 nov. 2018 à 19:33, Ross Macdonald <pdxharpdog at xxxxx> a
écrit :

> If you are referring to diatonic harmonica players in your comment "The
> mentality of harmonica players is very disturbing and close-minded" seems
> off base because the diatonic harmonica instrument by definition: (of a
> scale, interval, etc, involving only notes proper to the prevailing key
> without chromatic alteration.), is not a chromatic instrument like a piano
> or a chromatic harmonica.
> Even though one CAN work diligently to play the diatonic instrument with
> overblows and overbends not intended in the original design, to allow the
> diatonic harmonica to play chromatically, that doesn't mean diatonic
> players are close-minded if they don't choose or aspire to do that.
> That said, I have seen Howard Levy live and am blown away by his chromatic
> on diatonic abilities as a product of his genius, dedication, and effort.
> I also applaud folds like Brendan Power for his constant innovations on the
> instrument that aid in expanding the capabilities of the diatonic
> harmonica.
> Ross Macdonald
> > On November 6, 2018 at 8:37 AM dh at xxxxx wrote:
> >
> >
> > Seriously not to show off LOOOL ... I never heard a piano player saying
> hey look I can play in Ab because you can't.
> > The mentality of harmonica players is very disturbing and close minded
> >
> > Why should you play in all 12 keys ? because music exist in all 12 keys
> that's the answer
> > A better question would be why so many harmonica players do not even try
> to play in all 12 keys ?
> >
> > Just trying will instantly propel your playing in the next dimension.
> >
> > When you don’t play in all 12 keys you just use 10% of your instrument
> so do you wanna spend the rest of your life playing an instrument at 10% or
> 100% ?
> >
> > David Herzhaft
> >
> > www.davidherzhaft.com
> > www.harmo.com
> >
> >
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: Harp-L <harp-l-bounces at xxxxx> On Behalf Of The Iceman via
> Harp-L
> > Sent: Tuesday, November 6, 2018 5:30 AM
> > To: harp-l at xxxxx
> > Subject: Re: [Harp-L] 12 keys with one harp
> >
> > Seems that most have overlooked that fact that playing 12 positions on
> diatonic, "just because you can", is a fantastic way to improve your bends
> to correct pitch and deal with OB.
> >
> >
> > As a teacher for advanced students, I recommend venturing into this
> territory - not to show off or actually only carry one harmonica for all
> situations, but as more of an advanced exercise towards improvement. When
> you come out the other end, I guarantee that one's 2nd, 1st, 3rd position
> playing will certainly be more impressive in one's ability to create any
> note needed through bending technique!
> >
> >
> >
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: Robert Hale <robert at xxxxx>
> > To: Sébastien Frémal <sebastien.fremal at xxxxx>
> > Cc: harp-l <harp-l at xxxxx>
> > Sent: Mon, Nov 5, 2018 10:52 pm
> > Subject: Re: [Harp-L] 12 keys with one harp
> >
> > 1. Playing jazz is probably the best criteria for deciding to play 12
> >    positions on diatonic. "Just because you can."
> >    2. The other criteria would be your brand of harp. Lee Oskar's are my
> >    choice, and I have read that they are not effective for setting up
> >    overblows.
> >
> > When my music growth seems to approach the need, I may join the "12
> positions, one harp, overblow" tribe. It certainly would be nice to pack
> one harp instead of 12 keys and several tunings. Meantime, by needs are
> wonderfully met by re-tuning Lee Oskar harps into Spiral, which combines
> the power of his Melody Maker and Natural Minor. And Spiral offers two-note
> harmonies throughout the scale that are just delightful, in 3 Major and 3
> Minor keys per harp! (Oops, I'm talking positions again!)
> >
> > There are a ton of great tools and techniques to learn from each
> contributor, but don't worry about overblows. I admire those who have
> accomplished it. I don't admire any less those who play well and don't use
> overblows. For me, it's the joy of music that counts. Playing or hearing.
> >
> > Robert Hale
> > Serious Honkage in Arizona
> > youtube.com/DUKEofWAIL
> > DUKEofWAIL.com
> >

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