[Harp-L] How much is enough?

Aongus Mac Cana amaccana@xxxxx
Fri Aug 9 14:55:38 EDT 2019

Thanks for this Joe.
Rick Epping, at Willie Clancy week, once gave us the tip to plug one ear if you want to hear yourself playing in a noisy environment.
It works alright, but I am always slightly afraid that my next door musician may take it as a reflection on his playing and hit me a clatter.
I am easy to please and quite gratified to occasionally hear that I am playing the same tune as everyone else and in the same key.
Guess I should be happy not to be "cursed with Perfect Pitch"
Aongus Mac Cana 

-----Original Message-----
From: JOSEPH LEONE [mailto:3n037 at xxxxx] 
Sent: 09 August 2019 13:56
To: Aongus Mac Cana; Harp-L List
Subject: Re: [Harp-L] How much is enough?

Ok, it doesn't take a rocket-palientologist to notice when watching an Eagles concert to notice that all the pickers have about half a dozen guit-fiddles racked up in front of them. So why IS this. 
It's because the hatchets will go dull from chopping that much wood. IOW, the boxes are going out of pitch on the very same tune that they are playing. Then there is the fiddling with the machine heads. Does one really think that turniing the keys back and forth will result in reTURNING to the desired pitch? 

In my 70 or so years of playing different instruments, with the exception of harp, I don't believe I have ever heard a mention of pitch..unless the words were something like 'Man that sucks'. With a trumpet you have a tuning slide. You don't use it except for effects. Clarinet? they are already at the limit and to go any higher in pitch you need an adjustable head joint. 

Harps are swell. You can do a lot with your mouth. But I can't see how anything less than 6 2/3rds cents is going to raise eyebrows. So, I found that if I am with a guitar centric band, I am usually a bit flat. Mainly because they persist in tuning high and forcing the volume. 

With a keyboard centric band, the usual tuning is 440. And anyone who uses a dufferent figure than that is asking for a train wreck. It also goes without saying..but I'm saying it, that IF you are a soloist pitch isn't as critical. But if you are a side man, and do fills, small solo piccolinos, and esPECIALLY if you are playing note for note along WITH another instrument, you should be ON pitch. I tune to 'Olds-442' and have had no problem. 

I buy harps. I test them against my ears. Then I may check ONE reed to see if I am in the general ball park (withing a few cents). Over time, I will tune here and there. After a few tunings, I toss the harp. I play mostly chromatic..but also diatonic. 

Anyone is invited to view one of my you tubes. Then tell me how bad I suck. lolol. Oh, and by the way, I generally trash 2 posts for every one I submit. I don't want to come off as some smart ass who has the definitive answer to everything. 

smokey joe

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