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Dirty-South Blues Harp forum: wail on! > Your strategies for blues on chromatic
Your strategies for blues on chromatic
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1108 posts
Jun 15, 2024
8:07 AM
I've been listening more than playing recently. But chromatic blues is rekindling my desire to play again. I'm still learning the chromatic and like valveless ones for ease of maintenance. I recently bought a 12-hole Easttop Forerunner 2.0 valveless chrom in G. This model is manufactured in all 12 keys. My strategy for playing blues on the chrom will be by "position" playing, by focusing on proficiency in only a few positions e.g. first, 2nd, 3rd and 4th. Having all the keys available makes playing in all keys even easier.
So, how do you guys approach blues on chromatic?

"Just a white boy lost in the blues"
(From Sonny and Brownie 1973)
1109 posts
Jun 19, 2024
6:25 AM
Just an update on the Easttop Forerunner 2.0 valveless 12-hole chromatic. It plays very well and is pretty airtight. The slide is quiet. It's not quite as loud as a valved chromatic, but to me the convenience of being able to just pick it up and play without warming it up is well worth it.
"Just a white boy lost in the blues"
(From Sonny and Brownie 1973)
2359 posts
Jun 21, 2024
6:40 AM
I use positions as well, usually 1st, 3rd, and 4th with occasional 2nd. I had messed around with chromatic from age 11 to 20 and when I started diatonic blues playing 2nd position at first I stopped chromatic in 2nd.

Years later, when invited to play in a jazz group, I started buying and playing keyed chromatics with gig money for lack of skill in some song's keys.

In that jazz group one thing I learned to do is to learn to play with the button in, releasing and shifting up one hole to build on patterns I learned with the button out. It easily added more keys I could play.

Doug S.
1110 posts
Jun 28, 2024
6:45 AM
Thanks Doug, for your comments. I was hoping you would provide your perspective. Your tip about button-in playing is interesting. I'll need to try it to really understand what you mean.

For others who are curious about trying blues chromatic, I recommend an article on Pat Missin's site for historical perspective and suggestions for exploration: https://www.patmissin.com/articles/misc1.html
"Just a white boy lost in the blues"
(From Sonny and Brownie 1973)

Last Edited by mr_so&so on Jun 28, 2024 6:54 AM

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