Author Topic: Key of D  (Read 9838 times)

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Offline beads

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Key of D
« on: June 15, 2020, 09:59:13 AM »
I've had success learning one key at a time. An experienced player said they would get easier as I learned more. I found that to be true until D. I studied C, F, Bb, Eb, and then G, in that order.  Each one seemed easier to learn. All of those keys sound good to me on the chrome for the simple tunes I play. Then came D. I am struggling to get a smooth flow of notes. For you experienced players: Does D get better with practice?
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Offline jimgrant

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Re: Key of D
« Reply #1 on: June 15, 2020, 10:39:35 AM »
I've found that D gets better with practice but the breathing is kinda tricky. You can run out of breath or fill up very easily so practice is the key IMHO.

Offline Jimmy Halfnote

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Re: Key of D
« Reply #2 on: June 15, 2020, 11:18:44 AM »
 It isn't a great key for a C chromo' , but neither is G for me , a bit clunky and choppy, if you can manage G smoothly then D isn't such a stretch, but personally i try to avoid both ( and C) , when you can maybe use Eb and Ab as an alternative ........ ' what a difference a half makes ', there's a rainbow before me '.  :)

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Offline SlideMeister

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Re: Key of D
« Reply #3 on: June 15, 2020, 12:02:59 PM »
They ALL get "better" with practice, but I'm sure they all will be never be as much to play. There are a couple keys, that, even though I'm learning, I still hate, and always will. That says something! (for me anyway)

For example, I played something (along with the radio in my car yesterday (My "old farts radio station" that you get on https://www.wkhr.org/listen-online) that I really hated" When I realized it was in B, I was both pleased and annoyed.  :-\ Annoyed, cuz it wasn't at all fun, and pleased that I was actually able to play it in that rotten key.

Offline SlimHeilpern

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Re: Key of D
« Reply #4 on: June 15, 2020, 12:36:09 PM »
If we're talking major scales, D (on a solo tuned C chrom) requires 6 breath direction changes while G requires only 4 (assuming you use the draw C). That's a big enough difference to make it more painful. C requires only 3 (assuming draw C and blow F). F, Bb and Eb require only 2 (assuming draw C and blow F). This may be the reason D is giving you more trouble. And yes, it does of course get easier with lots of practice, as do they all.

Arppegios are a totally different story :-).

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Offline Gnarly He Man

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Re: Key of D
« Reply #5 on: June 15, 2020, 12:51:28 PM »
I find that I tank up when I play in D. But it has gotten better.
Only two button pushes, but they are different breath directions. Both are the thirds of the two main chords, F# for the D and C# for the A.
I offer that information in the hopes that it will aid you in your efforts to "push the button".

Offline Grizzly

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Re: Key of D
« Reply #6 on: June 15, 2020, 01:37:26 PM »
I think Slim nails it, without actually coming out and saying it about the key of D. There are no alternate, duplicate notes that are useful. Neither F nor C are in the D scale, the way they appear in several other keys, so blow F and draw C are useless in terms of smoothing out breath directions or to alleviate tanking up on inhales.

Anyone whose desire is to play traditional fiddle tunes, which are mostly pitched in D or G, might consider getting a harmonica in D. Common practice among folk musicians is to learn music by ear, so a D harmonica fits very well. And because most tunes don't stray from their scales (no accidentals), a set of well-made tremolos may be a less expensive way to go. But a chromatic in D gives you the equivalent of C and F for scale patterns, which are two of the easiest keys on chromatic, and is more versatile.

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Offline Jimmy Halfnote

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Re: Key of D
« Reply #7 on: June 15, 2020, 01:38:38 PM »
 You can't always assume a draw C is available Slim , for example C4 on a 12 holer, one of the reasons i wouldn't be too fond of a 48.

                                                                           jh.

Offline gvelasco

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Re: Key of D
« Reply #8 on: June 15, 2020, 01:42:43 PM »
...I studied C, F, Bb, Eb, and then G, in that order...Then came D.
It isn't a great key for a C chromo' , but neither is G for me...when you can maybe use Eb and Ab as an alternative...

I think there's a reason for this phenomenon. The keys C, F, Bb, Eb, and Ab all have a C natural in them. We have three ways to play a C natural on a C chromatic. The key of D adds a C#. That's where the "problem" is. As soon as you lose your C natural, you lose start getting into more awkward fingerings. That's why I think the A is such a popular "keyed" chromatic. It makes the key of D play like the key of F on a C chromatic. It makes the A which is normally a challenging key on the C chromatic play like the key of C on a C chromatic. It makes the key of E which is normally considered a nasty key play like the key of G.
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Offline Grizzly

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Re: Key of D
« Reply #9 on: June 15, 2020, 02:02:54 PM »
And an A chrom means the key of G is like Bb on a C. Not too bad.

Tom
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Offline Jimmy Halfnote

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Re: Key of D
« Reply #10 on: June 15, 2020, 02:10:35 PM »
 I used to think the duplicate C's and F's made the difference, but that was years ago, i have changed my mind a wee bit since then, often i now avoid the obvious 'easier ' blow or draw on these notes in preference for phrasing or bending or which ever provides the best staccato etc., i do not miss the choice so much anymore in fact sometimes it becomes a nuisance and you can set a trap for yourself instead of making it easier, but that perhaps is a personal thing and not to be taken as anything else.
              For jazz improvisation/invention/ arranging i personally find the key of G to be awkward and not forthcoming, as i do with the key of C it makes me feel fenced in, but i think this may be deviating from the original post.... maybe not.


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Offline Eugene Ryan

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Re: Key of D
« Reply #11 on: June 15, 2020, 02:11:47 PM »
D minor is no issue, just stick your tongue on the harmonica and vamp away ... <ducks!>  ;D Just kidding, I hear you on D major being tricky, beads.

I think there's a reason for this phenomenon. The keys C, F, Bb, Eb, and Ab all have a C natural in them. We have three ways to play a C natural on a C chromatic. The key of D adds a C#. That's where the "problem" is. As soon as you lose your C natural, you lose start getting into more awkward fingerings. That's why I think the A is such a popular "keyed" chromatic. It makes the key of D play like the key of F on a C chromatic. It makes the A which is normally a challenging key on the C chromatic play like the key of C on a C chromatic. It makes the key of E which is normally considered a nasty key play like the key of G.

This is a very good observation. More enharmonics = more options. And the transposition option there is a good suggestion.

Nice one on the key of B, Age!

Of course, I can't let a change like this go by without plugging diminished tuning, where D is the same as F, Ab and B, but of course it depends there too on which "position" you end up playing how many enharmonics you have - my observation is absolutely no good to the original poster due to us talking about solo tuning so I'll stop there.

Are there examples anyone can think of with people on Youtube playing fluidly in D major?

Jimmy, what is it about G that is awkward? Too much changing air direction?

Offline Grizzly

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Re: Key of D
« Reply #12 on: June 15, 2020, 02:15:22 PM »
"Are there examples anyone can think of with people on Youtube playing fluidly in D major?"

…On a C, of course.

T
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Offline Danny G

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Re: Key of D
« Reply #13 on: June 15, 2020, 02:23:10 PM »
I haven't looked but more than likely someone is playing Ashoken Farewell in D

Offline Gnarly He Man

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Re: Key of D
« Reply #14 on: June 15, 2020, 02:27:32 PM »
I retune harmonicas . . . no, really, and I recently finished work on a 16 hole that is key of D bebopped, I think retuning a 16 hole to D is probably what would work best for folks.
I bought a 10 Hering in D back in the day and was dismayed when I received it, the top note was F#5, much too low for melody--a 12 hole only takes you up to E6, the retuned 16 hole starts on C3 and goes up to C7. Not that I play in the top octave much, but most folks don't play melody in the first octave of a Tenor--standard D chromatic is only a whole step above a tenor.

Offline Gnarly He Man

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Re: Key of D
« Reply #15 on: June 15, 2020, 02:30:07 PM »
"Are there examples anyone can think of with people on Youtube playing fluidly in D major?"

…On a C, of course.

T

Offline SlideMeister

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Re: Key of D
« Reply #16 on: June 15, 2020, 03:09:09 PM »
Ain't that one in D minor?

Offline SlimHeilpern

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Re: Key of D
« Reply #17 on: June 15, 2020, 04:04:54 PM »
You can't always assume a draw C is available Slim , for example C4 on a 12 holer, one of the reasons i wouldn't be too fond of a 48.

                                                                           jh.

Indeed. The top and bottom Cs are the two place where there's no blow alternative. That turns out to not be much of a limiting factor for most playing. I use draw C as my default C, but obviously have to make exceptions for those two locations. Sometimes I use the other blow Cs as well, if it suites the particular phrase I'm playing better than the draw. But if I'm running up or down any scale other than Db major (or its relative minor), I tend to use the blow C.

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Offline SlimHeilpern

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Re: Key of D
« Reply #18 on: June 15, 2020, 04:10:26 PM »
Ain't that one in D minor?

Nah. D major for  about 90% of the tune.
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Offline Jimmy Halfnote

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Re: Key of D
« Reply #19 on: June 15, 2020, 04:38:16 PM »
D minor is no issue, just stick your tongue on the harmonica and vamp away ... <ducks!>  ;D Just kidding, I hear you on D major being tricky, beads.

I think there's a reason for this phenomenon. The keys C, F, Bb, Eb, and Ab all have a C natural in them. We have three ways to play a C natural on a C chromatic. The key of D adds a C#. That's where the "problem" is. As soon as you lose your C natural, you lose start getting into more awkward fingerings. That's why I think the A is such a popular "keyed" chromatic. It makes the key of D play like the key of F on a C chromatic. It makes the A which is normally a challenging key on the C chromatic play like the key of C on a C chromatic. It makes the key of E which is normally considered a nasty key play like the key of G.

This is a very good observation. More enharmonics = more options. And the transposition option there is a good suggestion.

Nice one on the key of B, Age!

Of course, I can't let a change like this go by without plugging diminished tuning, where D is the same as F, Ab and B, but of course it depends there too on which "position" you end up playing how many enharmonics you have - my observation is absolutely no good to the original poster due to us talking about solo tuning so I'll stop there.

Are there examples anyone can think of with people on Youtube playing fluidly in D major?

Jimmy, what is it about G that is awkward? Too much changing air direction?


  Not sure Eugene , there maybe a theoretical reason, it just does not float, fly, sing or grin for me , it seems to come out heavy, ponderous and on its heels, plus i can't seem to transfer what's in my head instinctively like i can do say in Ab , always have to concentrate a bit harder and the flow is not so natural, maybe just a personal quirk ?
                                                     jh.
« Last Edit: June 15, 2020, 04:58:50 PM by Jimmy Halfnote »

Offline SlideMeister

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Re: Key of D
« Reply #20 on: June 15, 2020, 04:48:43 PM »
Ain't that one in D minor?

Nah. D major for  about 90% of the tune.

Wow! I just figured it was D minor cuz it was easy to play along with Jimmy. Hey! I must be gettin' better. ;D ;D

Offline beads

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Re: Key of D
« Reply #21 on: June 16, 2020, 12:09:00 AM »
Looked up the music for Wave. Appears to be in D but the C# is used very little.

I have no problems with G. Maybe the result of two decades of playing that other harp without the button. Very common to play those in G on a C. I haven't studied Ab much but seem to be able to play it ok already. To me it is basically G with the button in.
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Re: Key of D
« Reply #22 on: June 16, 2020, 01:17:56 AM »
Yeah, Gia the first "other key" I learned (besides of course D flat) just because of playing the suck-harp. I didn't realize that F was actually easier, and didn't realize until lately that I could actually play in D. I can't "run away with it" but I can hold my own (more or less) :)

Offline Gnarly He Man

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Re: Key of D
« Reply #23 on: June 16, 2020, 02:09:57 AM »
I didn't realize that F was actually easier
In some ways, I feel that the chromatic harmonica in C is most comfortable in the key of F.
And, of course, if you tune hole 4 blow to Bb, you can do it without a button push.
I seem to harp on that . . . don't I  :P

Offline beads

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Re: Key of D
« Reply #24 on: June 16, 2020, 09:59:27 AM »
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Offline smojoe

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Re: Key of D
« Reply #25 on: June 16, 2020, 10:50:19 AM »
As you wander through life..brother
whatever be your goal
keep your eye upon the donut
and not upon the hole

Ok, worrying about the key of a tune is the hole. It doesn't matter. It's a void, a hole, a space, a nothing, a zero. You get no nourishment from it.
Better to concentrte on the donut.

More later. I have to run
Jofish

Offline Gnarly He Man

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Re: Key of D
« Reply #26 on: June 16, 2020, 11:02:17 AM »
IIRC, the key of D is no problem for Mr. Cellophane--I believe it was the second key (position) he learned on the chromatic.
And, always nice to hear from the friendly trooper--"Thanks for your cooperation" LOL

Winslow has this thing he does with keys, where you first play the scale without the accidentals--so Dm with a sixth, Dorian--and then add the button pushes--the major third, the major seventh--so you learn the pattern separate from the button moves.
« Last Edit: June 16, 2020, 11:05:13 AM by Gnarly He Man »

Offline smojoe

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Re: Key of D
« Reply #27 on: June 16, 2020, 01:20:52 PM »
Ok, here's the deal. The slide is your familily, the enharmonics (c & f) are your friends. Due to the unique layout of a chromo. it is very sensitive to how the notes are LAID OUT. The key is unimportant. Because all the notes are there.

Now one might think that playing something IN C ON a C would be easiest. Nope, not always the case. OR one might surmise that if they wanted to play something in Eb that they would find an Eb TUNED chromo easiest. Nope again.

Most tunes are written with no consideration to how they would lay out on a chromo. SO, between the breath switching and slide switching one has to find the best way to play a tune.

This means studying the tune and the way notes FOLLOW each other. Do they require a plethora of breath switching? Not so good. Do they require a lot of slide switching? Well, that's a bit better.

Ironically some of the nicest tunes actually fall better on a C chromo even though they are NOT in the key OF C. This is because the critical notes, And all tunes have a few, may land on a draw note. Draw notes are more conducive to 'milking'. Examples? Ruby, The way we were, etc. are in D. I happen to use a C chromo. BUT you could also do a Richard Hayman and use an A chromo played in the key of F. You would STILL get terminal sound of D. Except it might sound a bit different.

So what IS milking? It's drawing or pulling on a note to accntuate a mood. I can play the same tune in different keys and get dofferent moods simply because of this uniqueness. Sometimes the result is magic. Sometimes it sucks. BUT with the support of your family (slide), and friends (enharmonics), wonderful choices are possible.

 Jose Brachemonte

Offline SlimHeilpern

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Re: Key of D
« Reply #28 on: June 16, 2020, 01:27:08 PM »
...
Winslow has this thing he does with keys, where you first play the scale without the accidentals--so Dm with a sixth, Dorian--and then add the button pushes--the major third, the major seventh--so you learn the pattern separate from the button moves.

Interesting, but if I understand the concept correctly it doesn't make a lot of sense for flat keys. Consider (solo tuned C chrom), with C as the tonic. Lydian (starts on F), even forgetting about the blow C (which makes the key of F more legato), with no button you have this pattern:

2 draw (F)
3 blow (G)
3 draw (A)
4 draw (B)
etc...

Now, to turn this into F major
2 draw (F)
3 blow (G)
3 draw (A)
3 blow with button (Bb)

different pattern, no?

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Offline SlideMeister

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Re: Key of D
« Reply #29 on: June 16, 2020, 01:32:02 PM »

Ottima spiegazione Giuseppe!
I'ma reely lika dada splain whatta you joosta did!  8)