Hey Edvin, I think I understand your thoughts but not sure. Here are mine. I like to use the full harmonica from hole 1 - hole 10. A G-Key harp is the lowest I can go and still control the low end bends of the harmonica, and A-harp would be the highest I'd like to go without getting too screechy at the top. At most I can get up to a C key, I think, but then the high-end gets too sharp for my taste, and difficult to control those bends. I guess I like the lower-keyed harmonicas. G, Ab, and A are my favorite ranges. Db, for example, is too high for me. I wanted to get all keys with my favorite keyed harps, and the overlapping of the G and A works to my advantage because it gives me different ways to play some popular keys. (not all keys are used equally!)EdvinW wrote: ↑Wed Jan 02, 2019 3:10 pmThere is one thing that puzzles me though: Why don't you set them up to play diatonically in ALL keys? The G-harp and the A-harp overlap, in that both are capable of playing in keys G and D, while none of the three are capable of playing in keys B or Bb. If you would instead use, for instance, ED-tuned harps in G, Db and B, you would be able to play not only pentatonic scales in all keys, but full major and minor scales, and even some more exotic scales in some keys.
Diatonic Scales: With the G Harp, I can technically play full diatonic scales: G, D, A and C. But in reality I only really use diatonic scales C and G and don't practice the others. With the A harp: A, E, B and D. With an Ab: Ab, Eb, Bb and Db.
Pentatonic Scales: These are the scales I mainly practice and use for jamming: G Harp gives me: G, D, A, C, and F(and the relative minors). A-Harp gives me: A, E, B, D and G (and the relative minors). Ab gives me: Ab, Eb, Bb, Db, and Gb (and the relative minors). So basically with the G, Ab and A harps, I get all 12 keys (or technically 24 if you count minor keys) with the 3 harps.
I actually don't understand positions too well and think in terms of Keys. I also designed something called the SLOT SYSTEM which is way more intuitive for me than using the POSITION system everyone uses - but that would require a whole post in itself and I don't think others would be that interested in it. Briefly, on a C harp, SLOT 1 is Cmaj/Amin, SLOT 2 is DMaj/Bmin, SLOT 3 is AMaj/F#Min, SLOT 12 is FMaj,Dmin, SLOT 11 is BbMaj, GMin, etc. The idea is that when I say SLOT 2 on a C harp, I mean the pattern for GMaj/EMin because they both share the same pattern but with different root notes. It just is much easier to think like this for me rather than positions.
Yes, I can play 10 different positions (5 Maj, 5 Min) on each harp by using 5 patterns. 2 of the 5 patterns require no bends, 2 of the 5 pattern require 1 bend per octave, the final pattern requires 2 bends per octave. (Add one more bend per octave for blues scale for SLOT 2, 3 and 11). I am sorry if this sounds really confusing!! But one thing I'd like to say is that I love bends. I don't want too many, but a few bends in my jams gives the harmonic a bit of a saxophone sound that I like. Playing with no bends sounds a little to clinical for my taste.EdvinW wrote: ↑Wed Jan 02, 2019 3:10 pmAnother thing that crosses my mind is that most of the points you make in favour for the ED hold for other tunings as well. To keep ALL the advantages you want, without a doubt the ED is a good choice, but as I'm myself not that a skilled bender I can't help but think how I would solve the problem of playing in all keys with at most three harps. The following is thus not to be taken as criticism to your approach, but rather as an account of some personal thoughts that your post gave rise to.
This is where our preference is different. I can get all 12 keys with 3 harmonicas with other tunings, like powerbender. But I do like having 3 Octaves available, and having a few bends don't bother me. I could get all 12 keys with one 10-hole harp, and keep 3 octaves if I used augmented - but that gets to be too much bending to get commonly used notes and doesn't have some of the other nice things that I like with ED. For me, ED is the right balance of things that I want in a tuning. It's not for everyone though. I love it that different people are using different tunings. It make for even more uniqueness between different Harmonica players!EdvinW wrote: ↑Wed Jan 02, 2019 3:10 pmI have recently started to experiment with repeating variations of the following pattern, found for instance in the PowerChromatic:The above tuning can be played in C, G, D and A (and their respective parallel minor keys) using 1, 0, 1 and 2 bends, respectively. This covers a third of the circle of fifths, so if we accompany the above tuning with harps that use
Code: Select all
c e g a d f# a band
Code: Select all
e g# b c# f# a# c# d#We can now play in any key with at most 2 bends per octave:
Code: Select all
db f ab bb eb g bb c
Keys A, Db and F require 2 bends.
Keys C, D, E, F#, Ab and Bb require.
Keys G, B and Eb get by without any bends at all!
(of course we could choose another partition of the circle of fifths if we are not happy with which keys are the most comfortable.)
Also, none of the keys would have their root note as a bent note, which I with my limited bending skills would be troubled by.
One drawback with doing it this way would be that the range on any one harp would go down from over three octaves to two octaves and a fourth. This could be important for some people, but I'm personally not that bothered by it.