Here is the tuning: 12 hole Low D Harmonica — usually played in the 2nd position in the key of A and occasionally in 3rd position in the key of E [Mixolydian mode , and in the 5th position in the key of F minor [Aeolian Mode]. For referencethe same tuning on a C harmonica — playing in the 2nd position in the key of G and occasionally in 3rd position in the key of D [Mixolydian mode , and in the 5th position in the key of E minor [Aeolian Mode].
I also sometimes play the low D Hohner Big River harmonicas with the low D Cross Harp reed plates with just hole 10 low tuned down one half step played in key of A with the Mixolydian mode with the 7th flatted instead of the major scale with the sharp 7 note. Question in this section, and go to the first and fourth paragraphs for how I do this. For 1st position playing, sometimes called straight harp, with nothing retuned and playing in the key that is stamped on the harmonica, I usually use Hohner Big River Major Diatonic harmonicas in the key of A.
It is best to practice tuning and re-tuning on old harmonicas at first, since it is easy to make damaging mistakes when you first start learning to tune. I play extra notes - octaves, double notes, and chords wherever possible, since I am always playing solo.
I get these by what is called "tonguing", which means to put the front of the tongue on the harmonica, blocking certain holes so they don't sound. Then when you lift your tongue off those holes a cord will sound. This is the way to play the melody with the right side of the month accompanied by a chord.
Then you play out of both sides of the month with the low note on the left side of the month on the first beat of the measure, then release the tongue on the second beat to produce the chord. Place the tongue back again on the harmonica on the third beat, while playing out of the left side of the mouth for another bass note, then release the tongue for the fourth beat, getting another chord. The right side of the mouth plays the melody while this is happening.
A good way to practice getting a bass note with the left side of the mouth and a melody note with the right side of the mouth is to practice octaves in the low part of the harmonica — for example, blowing out with the breath and blocking holes 2 and 3 with the tongue and playing holes 1 and 4 with the left and right side of the month respectively. You can hold this octave and lift the tongue on and off the harmonica, and then the next step would be to practice playing the note with the left side of the month on beats one and three, and then lifting the left side of the mouth off the harmonica along with lifting the tongue off the harmonica on beats two and four.
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There are two ways to play the harmonica: one with the lips on the harmonica but not the tongue ; and the other is with tongue on the harmonica separating it into two parts, left and right. A way to get subtle harmonics without the tongue on the harmonica is to have the tongue on the roof of the mouth when playing, until you find a high whirring noise a bit similar to the sound of the Tuvan and the Mongolian throat singers.
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I find it a bit easier to find this on the blow notes than on the draw notes. Especially on the blow notes, if you find that little whirring sound by moving the tongue back and forth on the roof of the mouth, then try to locate the middle area of that sound.
It will be a little different for each note. I just recently found this and I have not found a way to get harmonics with the tongue on the harmonica separating it into two parts.http://techedbrains.com/assets/298/furoz-chistes-verdes-de.php
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Again using the tonguing, referencing again in the key of C, holding the low drone G note on the Scottish and Irish and Appalachian and Cajun tunes, basically I play a C harmonica, playing cross harp style in the key of G, playing a low G drone note for every high melody note. This low G note occurs on both blow and draw holes the same G note on hole 3 blow and on hole 2 draw.
I keep the tongue blocking the middle of the harmonica the whole song, so that just the drone and the melody note sound. For the third song, I quickly switch harmonicas, to a C harmonica with the 5th and 9th draw holes raised up a half step from F to F sharp, and hole 10 tuned down a half step from C to B. I also sometimes use the referenced again here in the key of C C Diatonic harmonica with the G drone notes played the same way, but playing in the key of C, with the 5th note of the scale, the G notes, as the drone, just as the Scottish bagpipers do when they occasionally play an Irish tune with the major scale.
This is a technique I learned from Sam Hinton, who was the first one to do it. I later then moved this technique to the key of G the cross-harp key , and retuned the harmonica to the Major Scale as described at the end of the previous paragraph, and the drone here is the tonic note, the 1st note of the scale.
I also sometimes play the harmonic minor tuned harmonicas with this same technique of holding the fifth note of the scale as a drone. I have had two major influences for playing solo harmonica. Sam was the first one ever to play the stride harmonica, with the bass and chord accompanying the melody.
Harmonica players had played the melody with an accompanying chord which is played by holding the tongue on the harmonica, and then releasing it to let the air flow through to get the chords in whatever rhythm the player wants, but no one before Sam had put the bass in also. It features studio recordings and live recordings, including a radio broadcast from when Sam was with a vaudeville troupe. Sam also inspires me in all other aspects of music and life.
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Sam has invented three major innovations for solo first position harmonica playing:. I am currently extensively recording his repertoire, both solo harmonica, and his beautiful playing of the harmonica and concertina at the same time and occasionally harmonica and mandolin at the same time, as well as harmonica and banjo at the same time. Rick plays cross harp a lot, the 2nd position - for example the key of G on a harmonica that has the key of C printed on it.
He also often tunes holes 5 and 9 draw tuned up one half step — on a C harmonica this would be with the fifth hole draw F note and the Ninth hole F note an octave higher both tuned up a half step to F , yielding the Major scale, with the sharp 7th note, while playing in the cross harp position the 2nd position , in the key of G with the scale G, A, B, C, D, E, F , G. He also often plays in the 3rd position, yielding the Dorian mode - for example, the key of D minor on a harmonica that has the key of C printed on it, and he does this with a tuning of lowering holes 2 and 3 draw two half steps - on a C harmonica this would be with the third hole draw B note tuned down to A, and the second hole draw G note tuned down to F the scale for the Dorian Mode on a C harmonica is be D, E, F, G, A, B, C, D.
Rick also plays a lot in the first position in the key of C on a C harmonica , in this tuning, which yields a nice ii minor chord the D minor chord in the key of C. He favors low pitched harmonicas, usually from the key of G all the way down to the low D harmonica and he has created a low C harmonica as well. Rick has recently designed a new harmonica, the result of decades of research and experimentation, the XL, for Hohner Harmonicas, that you can bend every note on.
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It is the first major innovation for Hohner Harmonicas since the chromatic harmonica came out in and it is altogether a new class of harmonica, a true fusion of the diatonic and the chromatic harmonicas. Here are the main traditions I draw from for harmonica playing and some of the great players who have influenced and inspired me:. The Cajun accordion originally the German accordion is the same tuning and works on the same principle as the harmonica push and pull on the accordion, making two different notes for the same button, and blow out and draw in on the harmonica to produce two different notes in the same hole.
The one difference is, the accordion has one higher note the 3rd in the scale than the harmonica, and it does not have the low root base note on the finger board, since it is available on the other side of the accordion to play. You can also look online for possible instruction sites. Basically though, you take the covers off the harmonicas, take the reed plates off and put a thin piece of metal under the reed. You carefully file a little bit off the 3 end of the reed with a good sharp file or razor blade the end that is not attached to the comb , to raise the pitch to get it in tune or to tune to a higher note.
To lower the pitch, you file near where the reed is attached to the comb.
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You may have to go back and forth to get the note in tune. Notes can be tuned up a half step, sometimes two half steps and at the most occasionally three half steps.
Again, it is good to practice on old harmonicas. Always check the note you are tuning and remind yourself are you raising or lowering the pitch to get the harmonica in tune or to change the note itself. See question 1 above in this harmonica questions section. I know nothing about the business. Available for purchase online at : www. You can download a full list HERE.
There are many, many more wonderful musicians, and there are many deep traditions of the bowed, plucked, wind, and percussion instrument families, and many in these first three families of instruments are listed here below. These instruments are used for traditional music, classical music, folk music, and modern music and compositions there are also many other older instruments used by the many Minority groups in China. Chinese music is some of the deepest and longest running traditional music on the planet. I have for decades been very inspired and influenced by many of the beautiful and incredibly expressive Chinese music traditions, particularly by many great players of these five instruments:.
The 18 string and the older 16 string ones have metal strings, and the 21 to 25 string ones have metal strings wrapped with nylon. Traditionally the older instrument had 13 strings made of silk, and that one is the ancestor of the Japanese Koto. I am especially inspired by the playing of these five artists:. I am especially inspired by the playing of these artists:.
Traditionally the strings were made of horsehair and were tuned a fifth interval apart, as well as sometimes a fourth interval apart, and it was used to accompany singing.
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Around it became standard to tune the two strings a fourth interval apart. It is the ancient ancestor of the Western German harmonica. Unlike the German harmonica, where the breathing in and out produces two different notes and the German accordion, where the bellows pushed in and pulled out produce different notes when the same button is held , the notes on the sheng are the same with in and out breathing. Traditionally it had 17 notes and more recently it has 21 and 24 notes, and most recently 36 notes. Toggle navigation. Piano Guitar Harmonica Other Questions. Piano Related Questions 1.
What is your concept of fading songs out at the ends of songs? And how do you do the fades? Is there any sheet music of your recordings available? What is your view of music theory? Do you give workshops? What materials do you make available at workshops? How do you learn music? Which piano do you prefer?
What songs do you work on for the piano? What is your concept of composing? When did you begin playing? What is stride piano? Also contains insights, "how-to"s, and musical tips. What do you do if a note or notes go out of tune on the piano during a set? How do you get harmonics on the piano? At the same time, pluck that string with the thumbnail. Unlike on the guitar where you have fret markings, this is pretty much intuition but does improve with practice. I am usually aiming for the harmonics that is an octave above the note of the string like playing a natural harmonic on a string at the 12th fret on the guitar , but you can experiment with other harmonics, like the equivalent of playing a natural harmonic on the guitar on a string at the 5th fret sounding 2 octaves above the note of the string , the 7th fret sounding an octave plus a fifth interval above the note of the string, or the 9th fret sounding 2 octaves plus a Major third interval above the note of the string.
While doing this, strike the keys normally I hit them pretty hard. Like the technique in 1 above, it takes intuition and practice. Around the low second octave, touch the string lightly in the space before the hammers and strike the key normally I usually strike the key a little less hard then in 2 above. What are you doing when you reach inside the piano during a song? The strings can also be scraped with the nail, although I have not done that on any songs yet. How do you play the rapid repeats in the right hand at the end of Variations on the Kanon by Pachelbel, and during the song Moon?
What is your concept of pedaling on the piano? Why do you never mic the piano during a concert?