Author Topic: Chromaticas with augmente tuning?  (Read 22270 times)

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triggerfinger

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Re: Chromaticas with augmente tuning?
« Reply #30 on: September 24, 2010, 12:08:53 AM »
Hi Banjo

The harmonica manufacturers, and Harponline in particular, calls my starting E the low E or LE. On my 10 hole augy I get the range of an acoustic guitar with this little wonder. I think it was Gary that suggested the LE starting note. Boy am I glad he did. And boy am I thankful for all the help the SlideMeisters gave and give me. I think they probably saved me a few hundred dollars and a spared me a lot of frustration.

banjo-guy

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Re: Chromaticas with augmente tuning?
« Reply #31 on: September 24, 2010, 08:19:35 AM »
Hi Trigger,
 But I assume that the starting E sounds and octave higher than the 6th string low E on guitar. Is that correct?

On your 10 hole do you have these notes : E G# C   E G# C   E G# C   E   ?


What an amazing range for 10 holes!

triggerfinger

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Re: Chromaticas with augmente tuning?
« Reply #32 on: September 24, 2010, 12:46:29 PM »
Yes I think the fundamental frequency of my lowest E is that of the 4th string 2nd fret (standard tuning of guitar) note. However I hear a lot of harmonics in the harmonica which to my ear creates an over all sound that has more bottom to it. For all I know the fundamental frequency of the blown or plucked harp reed may not be the loudest harmonic and maybe what we predominantly hear is actually the second harmonic.

Does anybody here have the spectrum of a blown reed handy?

jazmaan

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Re: Chromaticas with augmente tuning?
« Reply #33 on: September 24, 2010, 08:43:46 PM »
From reading these posts you'd think that the only disadvantage to augmented tuning is its paucity of chords.   But in my personal experience the same compactness of the tuning which can be so advantageous when navigating wide intervallic leaps can be quite dis-advantageous when trying to smoothly navigate smaller scalar steps.  

You'll find yourself almost constantly working the button and changing breath direction, making the tuning in layman's terms much more "huffy-puffy" and "herky-jerky" than other tunings.   I'm sure that practice and skill can help minimize this disadvantage, but it can't be denied that compared to other tunings,  augmented is the worst for smoothly negotiating scalar passages.

You never get something for nothing in an altered tuning.  There's always a trade-off.

triggerfinger

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Re: Chromaticas with augmente tuning?
« Reply #34 on: September 25, 2010, 01:55:42 AM »
Jazmaan

I simply don't hear the herky jerky. I would estimate that 90% of the time that I'm playing I don't even notice whether I'm blowing or drawing or making a blow to draw transition. Maybe I will hear some of this as I push the instrument more ... maybe not. But at this point any herkiness in my playing is easily attributed to inexperience and every day I get smoother. I am also discovering lots of interesting ways to slur notes and although my motivation for slurring is expression rather than disguising herkiness I can see potential for both. Now I just to need to make my little slurring "discoveries" second-nature aspects of my playing. That will take some doing.

spectr

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Re: Chromaticas with augmente tuning?
« Reply #35 on: September 25, 2010, 02:30:23 AM »
...constantly working the button and changing breath direction...

With SLIPPY tuning (wich also is augmented tuning) there is no need to change direction so frequently, and 'working the button' is actually a natural way to play chromatic harmonica.

...but it can't be denied that compared to other tunings,  augmented is the worst for smoothly negotiating scalar passages.

There is no proof of that hypothesis either. I mean, that is subjective.

By the way, on d!@t@nic people doing constantly direction change when playing jigs and do it in a pretty fast and smooth way, w/o complaints... :)
« Last Edit: September 25, 2010, 03:31:19 AM by spectr »

Offline Gnarly He Man

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Re: Chromaticas with augmente tuning?
« Reply #36 on: September 25, 2010, 03:05:06 AM »
You never get something for nothing in an altered tuning.  There's always a trade-off.
Yes, Dr. Jaz has been looking for the perfect tuning for quite some time--I for one am glad that he seems to have found it.
I bet he still plays the other tunings some tho . . .
"Horses for courses"
G

jazmaan

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Re: Chromaticas with augmente tuning?
« Reply #37 on: September 25, 2010, 05:08:23 PM »
Perhaps I shouldn't have criticized the augmented for being "herky-jerky" if that term means frequent use of the button.  In my own playing I would rather push the button than change breath direction, and I do believe that button pushing is easier on the listener's ears than breath direction changes.

What I was trying to point out, is that with the augmented tuning you will be doing one, the other, or both, more frequently than with any other tuning.    I don't have the math skills to "prove" it, but it seems self evident to me that if you've got the most notes compacted into the smallest number of holes, as augmented tuning does, then it logically follows that you will be working the button and changing breath direction more frequently than with some other tuning where the notes are spread wider across the harp.

And while the breath changes and the button pushes can be disguised by a skilled player, its still going to be be more work for the player than a less compacted tuning.    So on the one hand, augmented tuning may be the most logical with the fewest different patterns to learn.   But on the other hand, execution of those patterns is inherently more difficult than on some other tuning.


Offline Gnarly He Man

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Re: Chromaticas with augmente tuning?
« Reply #38 on: September 25, 2010, 06:02:47 PM »
In terms of MOLT, dimi is probably more legato than aug--
But not as legato as LeGato  ;D
Le Gnarly Man

roady43

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Re: Chromaticas with augmente tuning?
« Reply #39 on: September 25, 2010, 07:19:48 PM »
The augmented system (halftone slide) with its 4 patterns is not difficult to learn. You can interpret these 4 patterns as being only 2 in some way: everything can be played vice-versa (concerning the slide and breath direction) and you have the same melody in a new key...

That makes it probably the most regular, symmetrical and most logical system (e.g. in diminished you have 3 patterns for all 12 keys. This is true if you ignore the enharmonic possibilities. Using the redundant reeds in diminished makes it more irregular).

Only press/release the slide for semitones: on an augmented tuned harmonica for any major scale you have to move the slide only twice regardless which tonality you play in. Means, not using the slide produces a holetone scale.

Easiest way of playing chromatic scales (very fast if necessary).

It is reasonable to concentrate more on the scale patterns than on "anything else than C Major = press the slide" (as often demonstrated in schools for harmonica in solotuning).

Augmented tuning is very comfortable and secure to play. Using the button is not more complicated or expending than on any other instrument (think about fingerings on piano, guitar, woodwinds etc.).

Playing legato passages is a challenge on every instrument. Specially when the line is interrupted by inevitable technical facts as plucking/"knocking" (guitar, piano, cembalo),  bow changes (stringed instruments) or breath change. If range wouldn't matter I'd go for a BLOWHARMONCA or legato tuning  :-\

roady43

Offline smojoe

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Re: Chromaticas with augmente tuning?
« Reply #40 on: September 25, 2010, 09:04:17 PM »

The only thing I ever had against augmented tuning is that when a player uses it, they become known as a player whose stuff cannot be duplicated. Like playing in keys that are 'between' keys in pitch. 

jazmaan

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Re: Chromaticas with augmente tuning?
« Reply #41 on: September 25, 2010, 09:16:12 PM »
Well having played and devoted some effort to augmented, diminished, solo, bebop and legato, I know that they each have their advantages and shortcomings.   Personally I found augmented too rigid and confining for my taste.   For me, most logical doesn't necessarily equate to most musical.  

triggerfinger

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Re: Chromaticas with augmente tuning?
« Reply #42 on: September 26, 2010, 01:51:08 AM »
Hi Smoejoe

The only thing I ever had against augmented tuning is that when a player uses it, they become known as a player whose stuff cannot be duplicated. Like playing in keys that are 'between' keys in pitch.  

That's art.  8) If you use the same medium and tools as everyone else your art will bear a striking resemblance to that of everyone else ... especially if you are trying to sound like everyone else.

Maybe you want to sound like everyone else. That's fine with me if you do. But I don't.

Offline Gnarly He Man

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Re: Chromaticas with augmente tuning?
« Reply #43 on: September 26, 2010, 01:53:37 AM »
Funny you should mention it--i wanna sound like smo-joe  :D

triggerfinger

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Re: Chromaticas with augmente tuning?
« Reply #44 on: September 26, 2010, 02:06:28 AM »
Hi Jazmaan

For me, most logical doesn't necessarily equate to most musical.  

I wouldn't call the augy tuning logical. I would call it optimal. It is optimal with respect to certain criteria. For different criteria the legato may be optimal. I don't think anybody here would disagree with that.

But I have questions.

The first question I have is: What are your criteria for an ideal tuning of the slide chromatic harmonica?

The second I have is: Is a particular tuning optimal for said criteria?

If anybody wants to continue this discussion I would be happy to list my criteria.
« Last Edit: September 26, 2010, 02:09:40 AM by triggerfinger »

triggerfinger

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Re: Chromaticas with augmente tuning?
« Reply #45 on: September 26, 2010, 02:07:45 AM »
Funny you should mention it--i wanna sound like smo-joe  :D

Who doesn't?  ;D  :o

I obviously overstated my position.
« Last Edit: September 26, 2010, 02:11:04 AM by triggerfinger »

Offline Gnarly He Man

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Re: Chromaticas with augmente tuning?
« Reply #46 on: September 26, 2010, 02:12:59 AM »
The first question I have is: What are your criteria for an ideal tuning of the slide chromatic harmonica?

The second I have is: Is an particular tuning optimal for said criteria?

If anybody wants to continue this discussion I would be happy to list my criteria.
Yes--I want to have adjacent notes with the same breath direction for several keys--chords, if you will.
And I want to have full chromaticity.
In addition, I want to have enharmonics for grace notes.
The best tuning I have found for this is the Dr. John Yeadon tuning--it's a diminished tuning where the draw note is the same as the blow button.
https://forums.SlideMeister.com/general/diminished-chromatic-layoutdr.-john-yeadons-favorite-3383.0.html
But that's not the one I am practicing, I am studying bebop tuning, as I already have a lot on time invested in it, and play it well enough to get by for now.
Bear in mind I am 58, and time is not as easy to come by at this point!
Gary

roady43

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Re: Chromaticas with augmente tuning?
« Reply #47 on: September 26, 2010, 06:19:41 AM »
The unique invention of using changing airdirection (in- and exhale) to produce different tones is THE characteristic of the harmonica family. Beside the chromatic used at other instruments as blues harps,  bandoneon etc. (I'm not talking of accordions [change of airdirection = equal tone] or bass harmonicas etc.).

Positioning the keys gradually (= chromatically) has been the most common way since mechanical instruments have been constructed (harp, cembalo, organ, piano).

That might not in all cases be the most optimal or most musical solution but what provides it better than doing the same on a chromatic harmonica?

4 reeds in 1 channel offer 4 different semitones. That is the source for augmented tuning. And this for me is the criteria for an ideal tuning of the slide chromatic harmonica!

If the Richter tuning would not have been invented, we'd probably all play augmented...  :o ;) ;D


Musicality does not come from the reed placement pattern but from the player. I wouldn't deny that other altered tunings support certain needs, tastes and techniques. So there is a solution for everybody. Fancy  free!

roady43

jazmaan

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Re: Chromaticas with augmente tuning?
« Reply #48 on: September 26, 2010, 03:54:15 PM »
One of the criteria I've written about is the ability to play whole-step triplets without changing breath direction.   Bebop as played by most instrumentalists of the 1940's uses those whole step triplets liberally.   For the most part Solo chromatics can't pull them off convincingly.    To my ears this makes Solo Chromatic definitely NOT the optimal tuning for playing Bebop in the tradition.

Augmented tuning is even worse.   As far as I can tell, there are NO whole step triplets available without changing breath direction.

Now you might say, "what's the big deal about changing breath direction to execute a triplet,  I'm used to it."  But I think to most players it is a big deal which is why you rarely hear them from most solo chrom players.  What you will hear is plenty of 1/2 step triplets or trills which to my ears is "faking it."

LeGato tuning has smooth whole step triplets available on 8 out of 12 notes.  Without LeGato tuning there's no way I'd be able to even begin to approximate Charlie Parker's style on a chromatic which is my ultimate goal.  Yes I know its an unattainable goal,  I couldn't even do it on an alto sax!  But I think pursuing that goal is making me a better harp player.  And the satisfaction I get from my partial successes is well worth the effort.
« Last Edit: September 26, 2010, 03:58:17 PM by jazmaan »

triggerfinger

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Re: Chromaticas with augmente tuning?
« Reply #49 on: September 26, 2010, 06:09:09 PM »
Hi Jazmaan

I recall you mentioning those triplets previously. I also recall what my jazz guitar instructor (the great Warren Nunes: rest in peace) said about them when I used them a bit too liberally. "Stop it. It sounds hokey." He seemed to prefer the half step triplet but then again he was a "straight ahead bebop" player.

To each his own but the excecution of such a niche phrase is too idiosyncratic to go on my criteria list.

I will write more about my criteria this evening. As always I will be interested in what you have to say about it.

Regardless of tuning I aspire to reach your skill level ... and Smoejoe's ... and Roady's ... A.J.'s ... and Jens' ... and Gary's ... BanjoGuy's and Winslow's ... This is exhausting!!
« Last Edit: September 26, 2010, 06:11:19 PM by triggerfinger »

spectr

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Re: Chromaticas with augmente tuning?
« Reply #50 on: September 26, 2010, 06:55:30 PM »
Augmented tuning is even worse.   As far as I can tell, there are NO whole step triplets available without changing breath direction.

Now you might say, "what's the big deal about changing breath direction to execute a triplet,  I'm used to it."  But I think to most players it is a big deal which is why you rarely hear them from most solo chrom players.  What you will hear is plenty of 1/2 step triplets or trills which to my ears is "faking it."

LeGato tuning has smooth whole step triplets available on 8 out of 12 notes.

Hello Jazmaan.

SLIPPY tuning is wholetone slide augmented tuning, and all 12 whole step triplets can be performed w/o any breath direction changes. Thanks to your posts about this issue I did SLIPPY as my choice, not 'usual' augmented with half-step slide.

banjo-guy

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Re: Chromaticas with augmente tuning?
« Reply #51 on: September 26, 2010, 08:01:28 PM »
Hi Jazmaan



Regardless of tuning I aspire to reach your skill level ... and Smoejoe's ... and Roady's ... A.J.'s ... and Jens' ... and Gary's ... BanjoGuy's and Winslow's ... This is exhausting!!

Thanks for the mention Trigger but I don't belong in this group. I am working to get there!

Offline Gnarly He Man

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Re: Chromaticas with augmente tuning?
« Reply #52 on: September 27, 2010, 12:28:47 AM »
Regardless of tuning I aspire to reach your skill level ... and Smoejoe's ... and Roady's ... A.J.'s ... and Jens' ... and Gary's ... BanjoGuy's and Winslow's ... This is exhausting!!
MY SKILL LEVEL????
Good Lord man--haven't you seen my YouTubes?

G

triggerfinger

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Re: Chromaticas with augmente tuning?
« Reply #53 on: September 27, 2010, 01:19:54 AM »
Banjo Guy

Modesty too?! Now you are definitely on the list.


Gary

Self deprecation?!!! You move to the head of the class.
« Last Edit: September 27, 2010, 01:52:28 AM by triggerfinger »

triggerfinger

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Re: Chromaticas with augmente tuning?
« Reply #54 on: September 27, 2010, 01:48:25 AM »
My criteria for the tuning of the slide chromatic harmonica is very simple.

  I want a tuning that most closely resembles the tuning of the human voice.

I choose this criteria for biological reasons. We humans are particularly well suited to singing and hence the tuning of the human voice. I dare say that most of us would be world class players if we could play our instruments with the ease that we use our voices. We do this with such ease because the voice is a simple instrument and our brains are tightly linked to the instrument. One parameter controls the pitch through the voices range - tension in the laryngeal folds. This mapping between tension and pitch is 1-to-1 where the pitch increases monotonically with the tension in the laryngeal folds.

« Last Edit: September 27, 2010, 01:54:51 AM by triggerfinger »

jazmaan

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Re: Chromaticas with augmente tuning?
« Reply #55 on: September 27, 2010, 02:13:48 AM »


Hello Jazmaan.

SLIPPY tuning is wholetone slide augmented tuning, and all 12 whole step triplets can be performed w/o any breath direction changes. Thanks to your posts about this issue I did SLIPPY as my choice, not 'usual' augmented with half-step slide.

Someday I would like to try Slippy tuning.   In the meantime I'd love to see or hear demos of it.  If you know of any post a link!

Offline Grizzly

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Re: Chromaticas with augmente tuning?
« Reply #56 on: September 27, 2010, 08:25:17 AM »
My criteria for the tuning of the slide chromatic harmonica is very simple.

  I want a tuning that most closely resembles the tuning of the human voice.

I choose this criteria for biological reasons. We humans are particularly well suited to singing and hence the tuning of the human voice. I dare say that most of us would be world class players if we could play our instruments with the ease that we use our voices. We do this with such ease because the voice is a simple instrument and our brains are tightly linked to the instrument. One parameter controls the pitch through the voices range - tension in the laryngeal folds. This mapping between tension and pitch is 1-to-1 where the pitch increases monotonically with the tension in the laryngeal folds.


What you say is no guarantee that a singer can match pitch. It doesn't happen organically every time; I've sung with people who couldn't carry a tune in a bucket.

Florence Foster Jenkins is a prime example.

Tom
working on my second 10,000!

Offline John Broecker

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Re: Chromaticas with augmente tuning?
« Reply #57 on: September 27, 2010, 09:30:40 AM »
Hello, Augmanians.

My requirements for an altered tuning harp are not the same as the rest of the criteri-osophers.

Forgive me if I'm oversimplifying. It's because of my ignorance.

Augmented players seem to choose the agmented tunings for ease of learning and melodic playing.

Diminished players seem to like the ease of learning and available chords.

Those who intend to imitate the human voice?

I forget what their criteria are, but one would be melodic playing on the harmonica, possibly with the flexibility of note bending and possibly overblowing. They would undoubtedly also require just intonation tuning, not the standard equal temperament of the solo system harmonica.

I can already play melodically (to a limited extent) on the solo system harp.

I wanted a slide harp that could play chords on every diatonic scale note, be in a low range, and play melodically, with bending and overblowing possibilities (the bending & overblowing aren't needed on a slide chromatic, but they do imitate the human voice), and I wanted the range of a 14-hole solo system slide chromatic, on a 12-hole slide chromatic.

To each his (or her) own.

John Broecker
« Last Edit: September 27, 2010, 06:33:50 PM by John Broecker »
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Offline Gnarly He Man

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Re: Chromaticas with augmente tuning?
« Reply #58 on: September 27, 2010, 10:36:04 AM »
Hey John, careful with the term overblow--it means a certain specific thing to diatonic harmonica players, and you probably mean a different thing.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Overblowing
Quote
A normal diatonic harmonica has two reeds for each slot, one blow reed and one draw reed.
When playing a (draw) bent note these reeds work together, the draw reed vibrating at a pitch lower than the one it is tuned to and the blow reed vibrating at a pitch higher than the one it is tuned to.
When playing an overblow only the draw reed sounds while the blow reed is choked.

Playing the overblow can be seen as to consist of two separate parts:

1. Getting the blow reed to stop sounding.
2. Getting the draw reed to sound.

Though the objective in overblowing is to get the draw reed to sound while blowing into the slot, choking the blow reed is the important first step to achieving this.

jazmaan

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Re: Chromaticas with augmente tuning?
« Reply #59 on: September 27, 2010, 10:52:03 AM »
I am intrigued by the increased chordal capabilities of Circular Chromatic tuning.   I sure do wish I could hear one, or better yet try one on loan, before ordering one from Seydel.    My hesistation comes from my experience with circular diatonic tuning - that each chord is only available at one specific segment of the harp which may not be easy to reach in the context of the melody you're playing.  But I would like to try it.
« Last Edit: September 27, 2010, 10:54:20 AM by jazmaan »