Author Topic: Jazz Melodic Minor Tuning  (Read 493 times)

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Jazz Melodic Minor Tuning
« on: July 12, 2021, 03:33:08 AM »
I actually just stumbled across this while in the process of tuning my valveless chromatic to Dimi. A decent amount of my drive to try diminished tuning was to get draw bends on all the holes. As I was about to begin the process I realized I only needed to actually alter the 2 and 4 blows to do that since there's already a whole tone step on holes 1 and 3, allowing bends. I thought why not start with those and see how I like it.. so that gave me this the bottom 4 (the only ones I've altered)
                    1           2          3           4
Slide out:  C    D      Eb F     G    A      A    B
Slide in  :  C#  Eb    E   F#   G# A#    A#  C

Well I didn't think much about the new overall layout until I started playing to test the bends and really liked it. At that point I realized I basically just flattened the Major third to a minor third (while tuning the enharmonic 4 blow C to an enharmonic A ). Right away I noticed it gave me a minor chord on both the blow and draw now (Cm6, Dm6), then after I wrote it out I noticed it was just melodic minor with an enharmonic A

I like it enough so far I plan on sticking with it for for awhile. It seems like an intuitive tuning but I don't remember ever having came across it, so I'm curious.. Have any of you tinkerers messed with this tuning? Any thoughts or observations from anyone else?

Offline SlideMeister

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Re: Jazz Melodic Minor Tuning
« Reply #1 on: July 12, 2021, 12:42:15 PM »
Hey, if you like to tune, there ain't no rules. 8)

Offline SlimHeilpern

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Re: Jazz Melodic Minor Tuning
« Reply #2 on: July 13, 2021, 09:14:54 AM »
I don't see anything bad about that tuning, other than you having to tweak every harmonica you wish to play once you learn it well. If you really want those valveless draw bends, then it seems like a good solution. The minor 6th chords have a nice sound, and now you have twice as many of those compared to solo tuning.

- Slim

Offline Edvin

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Re: Jazz Melodic Minor Tuning
« Reply #3 on: July 15, 2021, 07:46:33 AM »
I wrote about this tuning last year over at Brendan Power's forum, but I never saw one built. It would be really cool to hear what you've made of it!

If you want half-step bends in every hole with a tuning that repeats every 4 holes, there are not so many tunings to choose from. The complete list spans 8 tunings, three of which are quite awkward. The 5 "reasonable" ones are:
  • Diminished
  • PowerChromatic
  • Inverted Bebop (by IaNerd)
  • The tuning you built which I called PowerChromatic's "Flat Sister"
  • PowerChromatic's "Sharp Sister"
I named the sisters because they can be made by flattening or sharpening one hole in the PowerChromatic, and the Sharp Sister has the following slide-out notes: (blow notes on top)
C# E  G  A  C# E  G  A   (Or : C  E  G  Bb C  E  G  Bb
D# F# A  B  D# F# A  B         D  F# A  C  D  F# A  C  )

Your tuning can be made by lowering either hole 2 (like you did) or hole 3 of a PowerChromatic.

Both sisters have all but one note reachable by bends, like the PC, and the intervals between adjacent blow notes are the same but appear in a different order.

The three awkward ones can each play a single major scale without the slide, using bends. Any key except for that of that single scale requires use of the slide, even if you bend. Here are the diagrams for the three "1 Awkward Key Bastards", as I called them, transposed so you can play the key of C without using the slide: (again, blow notes on top)

B  C# D# G  B  C# D# G
C# D# F  A  C# D# F  A

B  D  Eb G  B  D  Eb G 
C# E  F  A  C# E  F  A

C  Eb G  B  C  Eb G  B 
D  F  A  C# D  F  A  C#

It's possible that some of them could be useful with good use of the slide, but I didn't think they looked very welcoming.

This is the complete list! Of course there are plenty of choices for slide-in notes, such as flat slide or even irregular notes, but these are the only 8 patterns that repeat every 4 holes and have half-step bends everywhere.

If you want a slide-out tuning that repeats every 4 holes and can play at least one major scale using bends alone, either you're stuck with one of these or you'll have to make some of the bends larger or smaller.
« Last Edit: July 15, 2021, 07:50:09 AM by Edvin »
Edvin Wedin - Sweden