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