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Dirty-South Blues Harp forum: wail on! > Bebop Tuning for the Chromatic Harmonica
Bebop Tuning for the Chromatic Harmonica
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Gnarly
2975 posts
Mar 21, 2021
7:12 AM
Hi—
Just want to mention that changing blow hole 4 and its slide equivalent to Bb makes the chromatic harmonica way more logical and great for blues.
The blow chord is now a dominant 7, and the draw chord starts to sound more like G9 instead of Dm6–those notes are D F A B, so no Root, but hopefully the band is in G LOL
Bb is the first flat, so having it as a “given” makes all those flat keys easier to play.
Also, no change in breath direction—the blow notes are lower than the draw notes.
Also like to point out that this change makes the button action the same on hole 4 as it is on hole 2–such that the enharmonic is blow button and draw.
Hope that’s not too much unasked for information.
I hipped Michael Peloquin to this tuning, and he pointed out that G blues is much more fun with this tuning. He’s no dummy.
Lastly, if you really want to hear a great harmonica player who uses this tuning, check out Bill Barrett. It’s not the tuning that makes him great, but it certainly doesn’t hold him back.
Gnarly
2976 posts
Mar 21, 2021
7:15 AM
I’m currently working on a diminished tuned harp for someone, it too is logical, but I think bebop is a safer bet. It’s not much of a change, whereas the dimi is a whole new world—all the chords are diminished 7ths!
Gabriel.Harmonic
67 posts
Mar 26, 2021
11:21 PM
Bill Barrett turned me onto this about 2004/5 and I had Dick Gardner tune one of my chromatics to this. I never invested the time to make the switch but, all the cool things you describe and Bill for sure rocks the Jazz with this tuning, I may go back to it.
mpharpsax
48 posts
Mar 29, 2021
5:51 PM
I am loving this 6 months in. Gnarly setup my first one-and then I had 6 more CX-12s and Suzki G-48s set this way by Steve Malerbi. E major and B major are now laying a lot smoother. Lots of diads and triads available. My website has my email: email me, we can setup a Zoom call and I can give you the lowdown if you like. Bill Barrett has spent some time with me on this - he is about 25 years in on this— I wish I had done it 10 or 15 years ago when Gnarly first hipped me to it. ----------
Michael
http://www.harpsax.com
Gnarly
2982 posts
Mar 29, 2021
8:41 PM
It’s much more intuitive. There’s no reason for the breath pattern to reverse, let alone every octave.
Gnarly
2983 posts
Mar 29, 2021
8:42 PM
It’s much more intuitive. There’s no reason for the breath pattern to reverse, let alone every octave.


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