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Dirty-South Blues Harp forum: wail on! > Minor tuned harps
Minor tuned harps
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139 posts
Aug 24, 2022
8:37 AM
Does anyone use natural minor tuned harps to play blues?
780 posts
Aug 24, 2022
9:54 AM
Yes ---Everyone is correct --u can play 3rd pos----But I play with a rack---I can play it with the same feel as a standard richter

Some say Im cheating-- Its a very SWEET sounding harp when in a minor key

Theas are some of the songs i use them on
Thrill is Gone
I Shot the sheriff
Jonny B good reggae--Peter Tosh
Dont Let me be misunderstood
Back to the city It segues into Oye =como va
Hotel California
Down by the river ANDLOTS MORE

I do "work Song" in Gm rather than Fm-- easier on my fingers---I use a Cm harp and match the guitar licks--this one took me awhile--

I do "feelin Alright" Cm7 to F9-- not standard C7 to F7 or F9--- on the lead -I segue into "Mr Magic" then back to song
Nothin to nobody- R Ford - Dm harp

All along watchtower I use an Fm harp

Do This;
Buy a E nat minor tuned

Find "Thrill is gone" BB KING make sure its in Bm--maybe use your regular E harp -to make sure--

Now try your [standard Richter] E
Try a A harp for third pos
Try your new Em tuned
U decide

Bear in my my main reason I use 'Nat minor' is cuz of rack

If I play work song "Free handed" no rack-- and I stick with key Gm--I use a standard Richter in C---I try to play "mark fords" lead--my favorite version ---and just bend correctly

It takes about 2 monthes of playing nat minor b4 yr ears adjust

I now use Richter--Nat minor and Melody Makers-- My ears know the difference in sound and its no big deal---but u have to give it time.
781 posts
Aug 24, 2022
10:00 AM
oLD Video i made ---
I do Thrill in Cm not Bm---I sing better higher

BB Bob was right-- My single note playing is a little sloppy--

Listen to the [Im Ivm] chordal and octave split stuff at begin

If u get a nat and u have a song in mind do these vamps In [3rd -- 2nd pos] and do it wth your new nat minor --again U DECIDE
at 2;54 bsong starts Cm--F9 I use F nat minor harp

782 posts
Aug 24, 2022
10:09 AM
ok this is 8 years ago---iVE HAD 8 YEARS TO BETTER THIS

When recording apparently u tune yr guitar sharper ---I forget---So guitar sounds flat---or I suck

Mr magic Fm harp with rack [8 years ago}

10405 posts
Aug 24, 2022
10:12 AM
Minor harmonicas give some great chord options that can sound beautiful. If you are trying to sound more like minor key originals a regular Richter probably works better, just because that's usually what they used on original recordings most of the time, but when you aren't trying to do note for note or you are creating, minor keys are a great option.

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First Post- May 8, 2009
140 posts
Aug 24, 2022
1:58 PM
I know Lee Oskar and Pierre Lacocque use natural minor harps at times and they sound great using them.
102 posts
Aug 24, 2022
8:07 PM
I use Lee Oskar Natural Minor harmonicas for some tunes – for others I use a major key harmonica in 3rd position. It usually depends on what sounds better to my ear.

But there is no magic solution! As an example, 'Summertime' is in A minor. On a G major harmonica there are some looong -3” (i.e draw 3 bent down two semitones) at the end of phrases. I find it hard to be ‘spot on’ with the bend and to hold it for all those beats. A Lee Oskar Natural Minor in Am (they’re labelled in 2nd position) means that note is now a -1. However, there is a long end-phrase note that is a +5 on the G major but becomes a -3’ on the Am – so you can’t escape a long, end-phrase bent note.
783 posts
Aug 25, 2022
9:18 AM
Needed to review uploading to U tube

This is summertime—played through a fishman mini loudbox---reverb and some delay--- at a very small venue outside.

-key Am

the I chord is minor ---
so is the IV chord ---
Forgot the name of turn chords—I’d have to analize---Im lazy n old

Used a Lee Oscar Natural minor in “Dm”-----Note; he labels them different read “ MakaInOz”

I re- label them ----MAIN POINT -Make sure your [ 1st blow note is a D]

All the 3rds and 6ths are flatted so its easier on the rack.

Harp at about [1:20 thru 2:40 or so]

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