Shifted Paddy Richter D/G

Anything apart from the two mainstream default harmonicas (Solo-tuned fully-valved chromatic, and un-valved Richter 10-hole diatonic). Alternate tunings, different construction, new functionality, interesting old designs, wishful-thinking... whatever!
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donoghue
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Shifted Paddy Richter D/G

Post by donoghue » Sat Jul 15, 2017 3:31 am

This forum has been quiet recently, so let me post this discussion of an unusual tuning.

In 2000, Brendan made the following tuning for me on one of his CX-10’s. It remains my primary harp for Irish sessions.

Code: Select all

Blow Slide out 	F#	B	D	F#	A	D	F#	A	D	F#
Draw Slide out	A	C#	E	G	B	C#	E	G	B	C#
Hole  		1	2	3	4	5	6	7	8	9	10
Blow Slide in	G	C	E	G	B	D	G	B	D	G
Draw Slide in	B	D	F#	A	C	E	F#	A	C	E
This has a Paddy Richter in low D when the slide is out, starting on 3 blow. When the slide is in, it is Paddy Richter in G, starting on 4 blow. It is half valved. So at the minimum, this works much like Brendan’s Irish session harp, playing in the keys that most Irish tunes are played in. It covers the full range of a fiddle as used in Irish tunes.

However, by shifting the tonic note by one hole, it opens up some interesting possibilities. Most of the time, using the slide gives you an adjacent note to the one that you are playing, so that this can be used as ornaments like with Brendan’s slide diatonic. And these also can be used as alternate possibilities for playing a passage.

But in practice, the feature that I find most useful is to play tunes in cross positions. For example, with the slide out (D tuning or two sharps), starting on draw notes one gets Em and G. The C natural that is needed for these keys is gotten by pushing the slide in on the 5 draw note, which is in a very convenient location. So just using this one button push, one gets the option of playing a lot of tunes in cross positions. I often like how they sound in these positions better than playing them straight in the G tuning – button in – option.

So the benefits are: Two keys, ornamentation notes, alternate possibilities and cross position playing.

Jack

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Brendan
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Re: Shifted Paddy Richter D/G

Post by Brendan » Sat Jul 15, 2017 9:00 am

Good to hear that quirky CX-10 is still going and giving you pleasure Jack :-) If you have any videos or recordings playing it, I'd love to hear examples of what you describe.

donoghue
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Re: Shifted Paddy Richter D/G

Post by donoghue » Sat Jul 29, 2017 8:11 pm

I am sorry but I don't have any recordings. But I do have a general question for all the re-tuning advocates on this board.

This question came up when I had to replace a reed on this harmonica. I was trying to figure out what the base tuning was so that I could order a replacement reed, and I could not figure it out at all. (There is a lot of solder on this guy and so the original key of the reed plate is not clear.) (In the end I just used a nippers to cut down a larger reed to fit into the slot, which worked fine after slight tuning. )

But the general question is - what is the re-tuning concept to convert a solo tuned reed-plate into something like Richter or Paddy Richter? Because of the doubled notes on a solo-tuned plate, the different tunings diverge rather quickly as you go higher or lower.

Since it seems easier to tune significantly downward rather than far upward, do you pick a high note as the base note and adjust the others? As an example, for one in G, there are two high Gs at the 8th and 9th holes. The best that I can see is to keep the 9th as a G and adjust everything from there. But even this gets into some heavy retuning. Or do you use a different key harmonica as the starting point?

Jack

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Brendan
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Re: Shifted Paddy Richter D/G

Post by Brendan » Mon Jul 31, 2017 5:41 am

Since CX-12s come in different keys but similar reed lengths, you could ideally make a Paddy Richter CX-12 slide harp by swapping reeds from lower and higher keys to get the reeds you need with little tuning required.

For G you could source reeds for the low octave from lower keys down to Tenor C, and for the high octave get reeds from higher keys up to C.

But that means a lot of reedplates to make one harp! However if you want to go that way, Hohner is now selling reeds and reedplates for the CX-12 here:

http://www.hohner-cshop.de/en/Harmonica ... -12-black/

The full plates with reeds on cost less than the reeds by themselves!

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