Author Topic: Thinking of getting a different keyed harp .  (Read 6692 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Scotty

  • PRESIDENT'S CLUB
  • MonsterMeister
  • *
  • Posts: 9,734
  • Elizabeth (Scotty)
    • Myspace.com/elizabethgs
Re: Thinking of getting a different keyed harp .
« Reply #60 on: December 03, 2019, 06:34:57 PM »
I agree with Rich, however . . .
When you are talking about a slide harmonica, there are more variables--so it's tougher to improvise if you can't remember what hole you are on and whether to follow the note you are playing with one that employs the slide--you probably know whether you are blowing or drawing ROTFLMAO
So keyed chromatics can be confusing.
But the advantages can outweigh the caveats, in the right circumstances.

I couldn't agree more with Rich. There is no confusion. I guess he's like me and we 'just play the darn thing'. ;)

scotty

Offline The Lone Harper

  • V.I.P
  • Chrome-Meister
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,337
  • New Chromatic Player
Re: Thinking of getting a different keyed harp .
« Reply #61 on: December 03, 2019, 06:57:13 PM »
The problem I'm having lately is that I pretty much quit playing my keyed Chromes and as a result, when I play a key other than C, it's starting to mess with my head. It's the same problem Vern told me he had a buncha years ago. I didn't fully understand at the time but now I know exactly what he was talking about.  :( While I can still play them, I find that I'm not as "sure-footed" as I used to be, and have a harder time reaching the "total abandon" mode, and playing other keys (other than the tonic key) really "showcases" the problem.

While playing all keys on one axe is a good thing, maybe I shouldn'ta (izzat a word?) painted myself into that particular corner this late in life. :P  I think all I can do at this point, is to sell all my keyed 270's and start humpin' to get more fluent in all keys on the stinkin' C that my good axes are keyed in.  :P  C is not at all my favourite keyed axe (I hate it , actually) but that's what they ALL come in. Too bad! :P

Because I'm a lousy ear-player I tend to think that I don't have the ability to match the sound/pitch of a given note automatically with a blow/draw note button in/out on a specific hole. Yet when I try to play a chromatic other than a C I find that when I play any given note and then go to the next note in the piece I'm playing I will automatically go to where the note with the pitch I want would sit on a C chromatic, even if I don't know exactly what note it is I'm trying to play. So subconsciously I've developed a degree of note-memory for the C chromatic layout.
"Hi ho, Silver Concerto! Away!"

Offline SlideMeister

  • Owner/Administrator
  • MonsterMeister
  • *
  • Posts: 26,998
  • A.J. Fedor ><((((ยบ>
    • A.J.'s mini-site
Re: Thinking of getting a different keyed harp .
« Reply #62 on: December 03, 2019, 09:07:29 PM »
Yeah, same here. It's not perfect pitch (otherwise I'd rule the world  ;)) This is kind of "messed up the pitch"  Just enough to annoy me, but not good for much else. >:(

Offline John M G

  • CONTRIBUTOR
  • Chrome-Tributor
  • ****
  • Posts: 259
  • Member
Re: Thinking of getting a different keyed harp .
« Reply #63 on: December 04, 2019, 07:12:20 AM »
An interesting topic.
As I only really got into trying to play chromatic harmonica within the last 5 years, I knew from the outset that to try and be able to play every key on the one chromatic was not a realistic goal.
I would love to be able to play jazz, but my background and passion has always been the blues. I started out with diatonic harmonicas back in my early 20's some 40 plus years ago.
Now at 67 I know my learning time is limited. What I'd like to achieve and what's realistic are two very different things.
For the most part, I've been playing my chromatics in 3rd position or Dorian mode with very little use of the button.
To this end I acquired CX-12's in A, D, G, C, F and Bb
Had I not done that, I very much doubt I would have persisted with chromatic harmonica playing.
Now it has its claws in me all I want to do it learn more!
I really wish there was someone I could have lessons with here in Australia, but I'm very much self taught.
I was really pleased with myself once I'd mastered "Big Dave & the Ultrasonics" track "Letter From St Louis". Thanks to Javed, I've been working on Rick Estrin's version of Harlem Nocturne which is almost there.
If I can master a few more pieces, that will be more than enough for me  ;D

Offline Aramis

  • Chrome-Tributor
  • **
  • Posts: 147
  • Member
Re: Thinking of getting a different keyed harp .
« Reply #64 on: December 13, 2019, 02:57:57 AM »
Personally I think there are three reasons you might want a different key chromatic, (alternate tuning is a different story)

1 You might want some different trills or intervals for tongue blocking   
2 You might play a transposing instrument like a sax, trumpet, or clarinet, and want to make your life easier when it comes to reading and using your sheet music
3 like with diatonic though each is functionally the same, the slight changes in the embouchure and playing characteristics of each key make them feel similar but different, like lemons and limes or oranges and grapefruits.
4 you might just like the sound  8)

This being said, I have gotten by just fine with a pair of C chromatics though  I have all kinds of blues harps in different keys
« Last Edit: February 24, 2020, 02:27:22 PM by Aramis »

Offline Scotty

  • PRESIDENT'S CLUB
  • MonsterMeister
  • *
  • Posts: 9,734
  • Elizabeth (Scotty)
    • Myspace.com/elizabethgs
Re: Thinking of getting a different keyed harp .
« Reply #65 on: December 13, 2019, 09:38:42 AM »
Personally I think there are three reasons you might want a different key chromatic, (alternate tuning is a different story)

1 You might want some different trills or intervals for tongue blocking   
2 You might play a transposing instrument like a sax trumpet or clarinet, and want to make your life easier when it comes to reading and using your sheet music
3 like with diatonic though each is functionally the same, the slight changes in the embouchure and playing characteristics of each key make them feel similar but different, like lemons and limes or oranges and grapefruits.
4 you might just like the sound  8)

This being said, I have gotten by just fine with a pair of C chromatics though  I have all kinds of blues harps in different keys
Ding, ding, ding! that's exactly my reason for finding an A (and alternately a Bb) chromatic far more to my liking--after years of playing a C (and G)
primarily. The A is tonally far more pleasant to my ears (I'm purely an ear player) and gives me just about everything I want and need...and I find
it extremely natural to switch off to any other keyed chromatic. Whatever floats your boat. It's all such a personal choice. I also have quite a few
diatonics as well, although I never became a good enough player on those, it's still nice to have them.

scotty

dougharps

  • Guest
Re: Thinking of getting a different keyed harp .
« Reply #66 on: December 22, 2019, 11:07:01 AM »
Just watched CBS Sunday Morning regarding Irving Berlin. He only played in one key on piano when writing melodies. The piece showed and demonstrated a special piano he had that let him move the keyboard so he could play the same fingering, but play in different keys by moving it to a different starting note/pitch.

This sounds a lot like using keyed chromatics.

Obviously his musical limitations prevented him from being a serious musician.

Too bad...


Doug S.


Offline Danny G

  • Happiness is a New Harmonica
  • THE PARTY GUY
  • MonsterMeister
  • *
  • Posts: 5,645
  • Danny G
    • New Harmonica
Re: Thinking of getting a different keyed harp .
« Reply #67 on: December 22, 2019, 11:44:25 AM »
I never considered there was a good reason for me to play keyed chromatics until Bruce told me that if I were to play a keyed chromatic it would make it easier for him to back me up with his bass chord.
So I got a them in G, A, Bb and D.
I think about Smokey Joe's equating addresses with note placement makes allot more sense but when I go to an address (note hole) and somebody who looks the same but who's voice (note) has dramatically changed still takes a bit of getting used to.

dougharps

  • Guest
Re: Thinking of getting a different keyed harp .
« Reply #68 on: December 22, 2019, 12:56:50 PM »
Yeah, you have to switch your reference pitch in your mind/ear and then the intervals will all be in the same places relative to that reference. At first I would play part of a scale starting on 1 or 5 blow to switch my "do".

It never troubled me that "C" on my clarinet was Bb on a piano. It is all relative.

My first chromatic was a G, and I later got a C. Ten years after I started I switched to diatonics due to musical interests and finances. I can't attribute my keyed chromatic approach just to playing keyed short harp. When faced with playing chromatic in keys beyond my skills I added other keyed chromatics.

As previously noted, Pat Missin mentioned vaudeville players playing in C, which I found interesting.



Doug S.
« Last Edit: December 22, 2019, 01:02:45 PM by dougharps »

Offline smojoe

  • HELPER
  • MonsterMeister
  • ***
  • Posts: 6,315
  • virgo
Re: Thinking of getting a different keyed harp .
« Reply #69 on: December 22, 2019, 01:57:04 PM »
Brain drippings & deep thoughts, by smokey-joe
Let's talk constellations.
Eons ago some goof ball(s)? put stars together in groups and called them constellations.
Let's take 'just' the belt of Orion as an example.
They're saying that those 3 stars belong grouped together. BUT, they're not.
Let's say that the first star is 4 pixels on your computer screen but is 4.75 light years away.
Te second star also takes up 4 pixels, is just as bright, but is actually 16 light years away.
The third, and dimmest star takes up only 1 pixel, but is 54 light years away.

Ok, the problem is that whomsoever started all this nonbsense was viewing these stars on a FLAT plane.
And not considering depth. How on Earth can anyone say that these 3 stars are in the same group.

Which brings us to Dougharps, the first musketeer Athos, Scotty, and a few more. WE are ALL in the same constellation as far as thought wise, experiences. In fact the closest star to me is actually Pyro-Fire. At a mere
one light HOUR apart.

smo-joe