Re-tuning a Richter Lucky 13 to Major/Minor

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!
Post Reply
User avatar
IaNerd
Posts: 516
Joined: Thu Aug 10, 2017 6:42 pm
Location: Iowa, USA

Re-tuning a Richter Lucky 13 to Major/Minor

Post by IaNerd » Sat Sep 18, 2021 7:31 pm

The Natural Minor variant of Richter tuning has been around a long time. Lee Oskar is credited with making this tuning widely available and popular. Of course in its 1st position it can play natural minor songs. But in its 2nd and 3rd positions this tuning is highly suitable for playing minor hexatonic blues, owing to some of that scale's flatted notes being "baked into" the tuning. Therefore, fewer notes need to be bent. This is ably demonstrated by Liam Ward here: https://youtu.be/GEZ2B11bPnk

In 2nd position, ten-hole harps with the Natural Minor tuning feature minor i and iv chords as opposed to the typical major I and IV chords of standard Richter. Sometimes this is exactly what is needed in a particular song. But sometimes it would be nice to play minor hexatonic melodies along with chugging good ol' major I and IV chords. One solution to this is to have a second harp of standard Richter tuning in hand.

The Lucky 13 gives us an alternative. As shown below (using green highlight), a standard Richter-tuned Lucky 13 can have five notes in its top ten holes re-tuned to Natural Minor for its second position, while leaving its first three holes unaltered. Voila! A Major/Minor Lucky 13!

CORRECTION: The diagram below should show Cmaj IV and Cmin iv.

download/file.php?mode=view&id=809
Attachments
2021-09-18 (2).png
2021-09-18 (2).png (24.34 KiB) Viewed 5626 times
Last edited by IaNerd on Mon Sep 27, 2021 11:08 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
IaNerd
Posts: 516
Joined: Thu Aug 10, 2017 6:42 pm
Location: Iowa, USA

Re: Re-tuning a Richter Lucky 13 to Major/Minor

Post by IaNerd » Sun Sep 26, 2021 9:41 pm

In this YouTube video https://youtu.be/3OSuXNV5_pM Paul Gillings ably demonstrates the possibilities of a Lee Oskar tuning called "Seventh Son". In that tuning, the 1 blow is lowered by two semitones while the 1 draw is raised by three semitones. These changes provide dominant sevenths for (in second position) the I chord and the IV chord.

Those specific alterations would certainly fit in the re-tuning shown above (i.e. just after the three "bonus" notes of the Lucky 13). In the key shown above, the C of 1 blow would be re-tuned to a Bb, and the D of 1 draw would be re-tuned to an F.

Post Reply