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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Post by drkcostas » Sun Apr 25, 2021 11:12 am

In this post we describe some (15 types ) of easy playing and good sounding 3-4 chods harmonicas. Of course we should remember that if we want all 7 chords of the diatonic scale in the harmonica we must utilize the cyclic tuning. The value of lesser number of chords in the harmonics is simply to focus on specific styles harmony simpe improvisations

The rule for 2 or 3 or 4 chords-based tunings is that

1) horizontally either in the blow row or in the draw row are not allowed intervals other than 3rds, 4ths, 5ths for reasonsof harmony.
2) But any inversion of the chord is allowed

3) And of course you try to put as many notes of the diatonic scale as possible and with the right pitch order, so that in cyclic sequence they are in the smalest possible intervals

The way to play such harmonicas is better not uniform distribution of time among the notes but to spend more time in the 3 zones (either blow or draw) of 3 consecutive notes that define the pattern of the 3 or 4 chords this 3+3 +3 holes.

The role of such 3 or 4 chords tuning of harmonicas is not to play all possible songs and melodies (this is best done by the cyclic tuning) but to improvise on melodies that are accompanied only with these 3 or 4 chords AND to play easily only these 3 or 4 chords as it is
simple to know where to find them. This combination of solo playing and chord playing when estricted to 3 or 4 chords only is best done with such tunings and not with the universal cyclic tuning than can play of course the same thing but in a quite more difficult way requiring significant skill. If the improvisation melody in such 3-4 chords harmonicas requires passing notes that exactly missing notes from the sequence ofthe diatonic scale, then bending of notes might apply. On the other hand the missing notes define subscales of the diatonic scale that are beautiful and fitting best with the chords

In the next link, I describe 15 types of such harmonicas that I have in my posession after ordering them in Seydel compnay, but they can also be tuned in the digital DM48 Lokholm harmonica. When I will find time I will also upload sound files with how they sound.

We remind the reader what the letters in the next mean

https://simplerguitarlearning.blogspot. ... nicas.html

Two of the most simple and easy toplay are the next with their tunings tables in the attached images

The most obvious layout of the 1M 4M 5M major chords ofthe diatonic scale that has 3 times the 1M
2 times the 5M and one time the 4M is the next for the Fmajor scale

The chord positions are as in the next table as in the attached image file
3-chords_harmonica_1.jpg (15.57 KiB) Viewed 5371 times
1M_4M_5M_2ndversion_Fmajor.gif (17.75 KiB) Viewed 5371 times
This pattern of 3 basic chords,of the Ionian mode (major),can apply also to all 7 modes, as each mode
harmonically can be characterized by its 3 main chords A1 (root) A4 (on 4tth step) A5 (on the 5th step.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
blow A1 A4 A1
draw A5 A1 A5

So all the modes are the next triads of chords


E.g. the FRYGIAN mode would be

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
blow 3m 6m 3m
draw 7d 3m 7d

A1=3m A4=6m A5= 7d

If we want to set the 3 basic major chords of a diatonic scale 1M, 4M, 5M at the blow row ,together with their closest from below diminished chords (that resolve to them) that is 7dim, 3dim, 4#dim , then this is possible with a bonus of two additional chords apearing in the draw row the 3m and 6m.
Here is how this can be done for the G major diatonic scale in the next table. The 3 basic major chords are Gmajor, Cmajor Dmajor in the blow row, and the 3 diminished chords that the resolve to them at the draw row are the F#dim, Bdim, C#dim. The bonus chordss are the Bm and Em. The total 3 octaves scale has interval structure 2-2-1-2-4-1-4-1-2-2-1-4-4-1-2-2-1-2-2

The chord positions are as in the next table

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
blow 1M 4M 5M
draw 7d 3d 4#d

and the tuningis the next attachment image and table
1m_4M_5M_with_3diminshed_resolving_to_them_Gmajor.gif (30.06 KiB) Viewed 5371 times

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