Author Topic: Diminished tuning, what about those enharmonics?  (Read 846 times)

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Offline Nico.Nico

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Diminished tuning, what about those enharmonics?
« on: July 06, 2023, 01:49:41 PM »
Hello you all.
I've been practicing recently quite regularly aiming at playing some jazz standards with a Super 64x that was tuned to dimi with a flat slide.
I'm loving the harmonica, partly because is the first custom harmonica I have and I'm finding it quite an improvement in response, and then because of the tuning and how intuitive is.

Others that have gone this route or have experimented with other symmetrical tunings, how you go about using the enharmonics or systematically include them in your practice?

Offline Age

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Re: Diminished tuning, what about those enharmonics?
« Reply #1 on: July 06, 2023, 07:36:22 PM »
As an ear player, I'm kind of a dolt when it comes to musical terms. If you're referring to the redundant notes found on standard tuned Chromatics, there probably aren't any. Then again, not all alternate tunings completely eliminate the extra notes, AFAIK.

Offline Nico.Nico

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Re: Diminished tuning, what about those enharmonics?
« Reply #2 on: July 06, 2023, 10:24:50 PM »
yes, I meant those redundant notes.
In the dimi layout I'm playing, with the flat slide, every draw note is the same and the next hole's blow + slide note. So, in all, there're a 1/3 of the notes repeated.
This is great for breath control while playing, but I'm wondering if people usually learn the scales and arpeggios following a pattern first, build some muscle memory, and then go using those extra notes, or should I just use them from day one and enough practice will take care of any muscle memory anyway  ;D .... 


Offline Age

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Re: Diminished tuning, what about those enharmonics?
« Reply #3 on: July 07, 2023, 01:16:20 AM »
I remember trying either diminished or augmented (I can't remember which) and while I was somewhat impressed with it (all you need to learn are four patterns and you play every key) but the problem I had with it was that at my age, I don't wanna learn another tuning! I finally got straight tuning figured out and I like it. I think you however, as a younger player, should "go for it"  I know if I were a younger player, I certainly would. I'm sure there are probably gunna be some downsides as well, but nothing that I would consider a game-changer.

Offline John Broecker

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Re: Diminished tuning, what about those enharmonics?
« Reply #4 on: July 07, 2023, 04:21:07 AM »
Hello, Nico.

Welcome to SlideMeister. You have many new friends here. The
diminished reed placement slide harp is fully chromatic.

Many years ago (at least 5-6), I bought dimi reed plates for a Hohner
Super 64X, from Mike Easton ("Bloharp"), a SlideMeister member.
I haven't practiced enough to be proficient on the dimi chromatic,
but I recognize it's intuitive, easy learning curve.

It's easy to learn to play one mouthpiece hole at a time. With four
reeds (notes) per hole, you only need to practice one blow-draw & slide
in-out pattern. The other remaining holes have the same blow-draw &
slide in-out pattern. Practice each 4-note set until it's smooth.


For the redundant (duplicated) reeds, I use the slide out when ascending
a melody, and slide in when descending a melody. This doesn't always
work, so I try to practice each melody ascending and descending, to be
prepared.

Here's the note chart. This is the most popular dimi reed placement,
according to Jason Rogers ("Chesper Nevins"), a SlideMeister member.
Apparently, the dimi scale may be set in other reed placements. Search
Pat Missin's website for "Altered Tunings", or other listing, for more
diminished reed placements.

www.patmissin.com

Jason has written articles about diminished tuning slide harps, and
he has, as far as I know, used dimi tunings exclusively. In this chart,
exhale notes are written in LARGE letters, and inhale notes are in
small letters. Redundant reeds are shown in bold print.


Jason has an MM music degree from the New England Conservatory
of Music. He plays trombone, piano, accordion and harmonica. I'll
mail (US Postal Service) a FREE copy of the Harmonica Educator
quarterly journal to you, if you request it. To contact Jason, here's
his year 2014 email address:

jasonharmonica@gmail.com

The Rogers article in the Harmonica Educator lists a dimi reed placement
provided by Pat Missin. Jason didn't provide a reed chart. Jason uses the
same reed chart as shown below. You have written that your dimi harp
has redundant reeds from one hole to the next. That fits the following
note chart:

DIMINISHED SCALE FOR HOHNER SLIDE HARPS, key of C dim.:
(same reed placement is repeated after hole #4; twelve-hole models omit holes 1. - 4.)

Hole number:||1.       |2.     |3.       |4.     |1        |2     |3        |4      |5        |6       |7        |8      |9        |10     |11      |12    || 
Slide out:      ||C   d   |Eb f  |Gb ab |A  b  |C   d   |Eb f |Gb ab |A   b|C   d   |Eb f   |Gb ab |A   b |C  d    |Eb f   |Gb ab |A  b ||
Slide in:        ||Db eb |E  gb|G   a   |Bb c |Db eb |E gb |G  a   |Bb c |Db eb |E   gb|G   a   |Bb c |Db eb |E  gb |G    a  |Bb c ||

Best Regards, Stay Healthy

John Broecker, Sussex Wisconsin, USA
« Last Edit: July 30, 2023, 11:59:23 AM by John Broecker »
Bob Uecker, Catcher, Announcer, USA Baseball: "The best way to catch a knuckleball is to wait for it to stop rolling on the ground, then pick it up."

Offline streetlegal

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Re: Diminished tuning, what about those enharmonics?
« Reply #5 on: July 07, 2023, 06:16:24 AM »
It is always great to hear from another player who has chosen to go down the flat-slide route 8).

As for enharmonics, I decided to follow one simple rule and that is - when a note is available as a blow note, whether slide out or slide in - then I will always play it as a blow note. This simplifies things a lot for me in terms of the intervals on the mouthpiece. But I am a simple player - and others will make a case for using both the blow and draw position for these notes.

Offline Nico.Nico

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Re: Diminished tuning, what about those enharmonics?
« Reply #6 on: July 07, 2023, 12:09:06 PM »
Thanks for all the replies.
Great to know I'm not alone in the flat-slide route. It felts really nice. I'm not missing the high D yet, but for sure I'm loving that low B available.


Hole number:||1.       |2.     |3.       |4.      |1        |2     |3         |4      |5        |6       |7        |8        |9        |10      |11       |12    ||
Slide out:      ||C  D   |Eb F | Gb Ab|A  B   |C   D  |Eb F |Gb Ab |A   B |C   D   |Eb  F |Gb Ab |A   B  |C  D    |Eb F   |Gb Ab |A   B  ||
Slide in:        ||B  Db  |D   E| F   G  |Ab Bb|B  Db  |D   E| F   G  |Ab Bb|B  Db |D   E  | F   G  |Ab Bb|B  Db  |D   E  | F   G  |Ab Bb||

Well, this is how my axe is setup with the flat slide. I should mention besides a flat slide is also valveless from the 2nd octave  ::). Andre Coelho made a superb reedwork. After I did my own dimi with a valveless Eastop Forerunner, I asked him if he could do the same for the Super 64x. The first octave with its long reeds was apparently harder to be made valveless without affecting the tone, but from the 2nd octave, the tone remains super smooth, and I get to play my harp most of the time almost right away without caring much for valve issues, and get to bend all the draw notes.  8)

The draw bends are also enharmonics. For the draw notes with no slide I'm using those as passing and grace notes more than anything, as is the same as pushing the slide. But for the draw notes with slide on, they are the same as the same hole blow note, which is super nice to have for quick passages where pushing the slide might be cumbersome.

Here's part of an etude I'm working on. The first bar had some quick triplets where bending felt like the better option to make for a smooth run.

The blow note rule, make sense actually, if not for every situation, certainly for arpeggios. That would make your thirds next to each other every time, avoiding jumps.

« Last Edit: July 07, 2023, 04:59:11 PM by Nico.Nico »

Offline John Broecker

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Re: Diminished tuning, what about those enharmonics?
« Reply #7 on: July 07, 2023, 02:59:27 PM »
Hello, Nico.

Your Hohner Super 64X diminished looks interesting.
Especially the unvalved octaves 2-4; and the bends
on all blow reeds in a chamber.

Good Luck with your custom-made reed placements.

I checked Pat Missin's list of customized slide harps,
and your diminished system wasn't found there. Pat
lists 46 custom slide harp reed placements, a few of
them are diminished, a few augmenteds, a few whole
tone, and other crazy reed placements.

Another source for slide chromatic reed placements
is the Seydel company's Configurator section, where
you can design your own reed placements, and Seydel
will make the harp for you (with an extra fee).

www.seydelusa.com

Best Regards, Stay Healthy

John B.
« Last Edit: July 16, 2023, 05:38:51 PM by John Broecker »
Bob Uecker, Catcher, Announcer, USA Baseball: "The best way to catch a knuckleball is to wait for it to stop rolling on the ground, then pick it up."

Offline John Broecker

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Re: Diminished tuning, what about those enharmonics?
« Reply #8 on: July 21, 2023, 01:58:11 PM »
Here's an article written by Jason Rogers, Circa 2008.
It's 10 pages, so I didn't print it here. It's about playing
major scales on a diminished tuning slide chromatic harmonica.
This internet publication may be expired:

C:/Users/john/Downloads/Dimi%20to%20Playing%20Major%20Scales%20(1).pdf

If that link doesn't work, I can send a copy on your request.
I'll need your postal address. Send the information to:

johnbroecker1962@outlook.com

Best Regards, Stay Healthy

JB
« Last Edit: July 21, 2023, 05:46:07 PM by John Broecker »
Bob Uecker, Catcher, Announcer, USA Baseball: "The best way to catch a knuckleball is to wait for it to stop rolling on the ground, then pick it up."

Offline Nico.Nico

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Re: Diminished tuning, what about those enharmonics?
« Reply #9 on: July 22, 2023, 01:05:57 PM »
Thanks John! I managed to download the pages from Jason's page.
I'll practice using the tetrachords he talks about. I think I'll start analyzing scales in those terms, so as to take more advantage of the symmetry of the tuning.

Using consistent patterns will help to build some muscle memory for sure, so I'll try squeeze that as much as possible from the beginning.

Take care!
Nico

Offline John Broecker

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Re: Diminished tuning, what about those enharmonics?
« Reply #10 on: August 01, 2023, 07:03:54 PM »
Hello, Nico.

There are very few articles written about
the Augmented, Diminished and Whole Tone
reed placement slide harmonicas. And,
there are no known instructional method
books written for those reed placements.

I've found another article, by Max Greco,
written in 2008. It's about:

"How Augmented, Diminished and
Whole Tone Layouts Really Work".
It's written for slide chromatic harps.

It's a copyrighted article for the internet,
and is 21 pages. Max writes, on page 12:

"Feel free to copy this document for
your own personal use, or to share it
with anyone you think may be interested,
provided that there are no changes
made to any part of it".


If you are interested, send me a
Personal Maessage (PM) here at
SlideMeister.

It covers 25 topics, too many to
list here.

Best Regards, Stay Healthy

JB
« Last Edit: August 01, 2023, 07:13:00 PM by John Broecker »
Bob Uecker, Catcher, Announcer, USA Baseball: "The best way to catch a knuckleball is to wait for it to stop rolling on the ground, then pick it up."

Offline Gnarly He Man

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Re: Diminished tuning, what about those enharmonics?
« Reply #11 on: August 02, 2023, 08:07:11 AM »
https://www.angelfire.com/jazz/maxinfo/pdfs/molt0100.pdf
Looks to be well written.
Thanks John.

Offline John Broecker

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Re: Diminished tuning, what about those enharmonics?
« Reply #12 on: August 02, 2023, 09:17:36 AM »
Hello, Gnarly.

Thanks for the link to the
Max Greco article.

I made a copy of the text
and charts, many years
ago, but I didn't file the
internet address at that
time.

Now, every interested person
may copy it.

Best Regards, Stay Cool. 8)

JB
« Last Edit: August 02, 2023, 09:20:36 AM by John Broecker »
Bob Uecker, Catcher, Announcer, USA Baseball: "The best way to catch a knuckleball is to wait for it to stop rolling on the ground, then pick it up."

Offline Gnarly He Man

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Re: Diminished tuning, what about those enharmonics?
« Reply #13 on: August 02, 2023, 10:08:32 AM »
It’s worthwhile to consider optional tunings, of course, no one who is famous for playing the chromatic harmonica uses them.
Will Galison uses 6th tuning some, and Bill Barrett uses Bebop exclusively, but neither one is a household name.
Hello, Gnarly.

Thanks for the link to the
Max Greco article.

I made a copy of the text
and charts, many years
ago, but I didn't file the
internet address at that
time.

Now, every interested person
may copy it.

Best Regards, Stay Cool. 8)

JB

Offline wolfman

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Re: Diminished tuning, what about those enharmonics?
« Reply #14 on: August 02, 2023, 01:40:25 PM »
 Wich one do you  prefer and why Gary?

  Roman

Offline Gnarly He Man

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Re: Diminished tuning, what about those enharmonics?
« Reply #15 on: August 02, 2023, 11:46:06 PM »
Hey Roman, glad you asked—I just finished reading the document.

I like diminished, but I never really got good on it. Solo tuning certainly works for most players, but I dislike the change in breath direction on holes 4 and 8.

As you know, I have tried a lot of different tunings! Augmented holds no charm for me—one of the nice things about playing chromatic is the “bump”, the grace note you get from pressing the button.

LeGato is very cool, but nobody makes that tuning and 5 holes per octave is quite a challenge of its own, both in customizing and in playing large intervals.

But it’s relatively easy to lower 4 and 8 blow a whole step to Bb, and that is the tuning I like (and recommend), BeBop tuning. I like to start on G3, Orchestra layout.

How’s the hip?

Offline wolfman

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Re: Diminished tuning, what about those enharmonics?
« Reply #16 on: August 03, 2023, 12:03:30 PM »
 The hip is doing good Gary.
 Thanks for asking.
 I guess i'm stuck with solo tuning,
 to old to change. ;) ;D

 Roman

 

Offline Age

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Re: Diminished tuning, what about those enharmonics?
« Reply #17 on: August 03, 2023, 12:59:46 PM »
The hip is doing good Gary.
 Thanks for asking.
 I guess i'm stuck with solo tuning,
 to old to change. ;) ;D

 Roman

Same here. Took me sixty years to learn standard well enough to where I can actually play this silly thing. I'm officially happy with standard tuning. Hey, if it was good enough for Toots . . . .  ;D ;D ;D ;D

Offline gvelasco

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Re: Diminished tuning, what about those enharmonics?
« Reply #18 on: August 04, 2023, 06:19:39 AM »
I'll risk being pedantic just in case someone cares. If you don't care, just ignore this post. TECHNICALLY, enharmonics and duplicated, or repeated, or redundant notes are not the same thing. Enharmonics is a musical term that refers to one note having two (or more ! ) names like this:

C# = Db. C# and Db are the same note. You can get VERY technical to show why they aren't really, but in practice, they are the same and you finger them the same on a chromatic harmonica. So, C# and Db are "enharmonics" because they are the same note. Likewise,

D# = Eb, E# = F, Fb = E, F# = Gb, G# = Ab, A# = Bb, B# = C, and Cb = B. All of those pairs two different names for the same note, so they are enharmonic.

What makes it confusing on a harmonica is that in addition to the enharmonics that you find on all chromatic instruments, some harmonica tunings have repeated or duplicated notes like the C on a solo tuned harmonica. Cs are duplicated, but a B# is also a C because they are enharmonics. An E# is the same note as an F because they are enharmonics, so an F is repeated.

Enharmonics give you options in fingerings for SOME scales, so sometimes you can take advantage of them to make a tricky passage easier to play whether it's because of fingering or breath direction.
-=Gabriel=-

Offline Grizzly

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Re: Diminished tuning, what about those enharmonics?
« Reply #19 on: August 04, 2023, 12:17:19 PM »
Pedantic, but very clear. You nailed it.

Tom
working on my second 10,000!

Offline Gnarly He Man

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Re: Diminished tuning, what about those enharmonics?
« Reply #20 on: August 04, 2023, 04:08:19 PM »
Well, Jason calls them enharmonics.
https://www.jasonharmonica.com/files/Dimi%20Guide%20to%20Playing%20Major%20Scales.pdf
So there’s that . . .

Offline gvelasco

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Re: Diminished tuning, what about those enharmonics?
« Reply #21 on: August 04, 2023, 09:27:08 PM »
I wouldn't criticize anyone for using a "wrong" term. I know that lots of times, especially in music, people will use technical terms "incorrectly," but in a way that's understood by most other people. Sometimes it's even "official." Fender refers to the "whammy bar" on their Stratocaster as a tremolo even though it's actually a vibrato. Then, they refer to the tremolo on their amps as vibrato. Many (most?) guitar players know that this is exactly backwards, but they still refer to them that way.

I know most people don't care, but sometimes this can answer some things that some people had been wondering about.

P.S. Notice that I even end my sentences with a preposition sometimes. ;-)
-=Gabriel=-

Offline Gnarly He Man

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Re: Diminished tuning, what about those enharmonics?
« Reply #22 on: August 04, 2023, 10:04:39 PM »
Arguing the point . . .
The slide raises the note, so the F blow is E# and the draw C is B#!
As far as the two Cs, I got nothin’ . . .