ALL MINOR HARMONICA

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SEYDEL INNOVATION*:

The SEYDEL ALL MINOR HARMONICA is the first harmonica that can temporarily be re-tuned from a Major into a Minor key: 3 in 1 - the ALL MINOR HARMONICA is a Richter, a Natural Minor and a Harmonic Minor Harmonica in one instrument! 

Diatonic Richter harmonicas usually are tuned in Major keys. Without using special playing techniques it is difficult to play a Richter harmonica in Minor keys (in 1st or 2nd  position). This is why many players use diatonics that are tuned in Minor keys if they like to play Minor sounding melodies or for improvising a Minor Blues solo.

With regard to intervals, the words major and minor mean large and small. It is the third note of the scale that usually dertermines the so called mode (Minor or Major). Thus, a major third is a slightly wider interval than a minor third. This means that if you lower certain notes of the Major scale you will hear the Minor scale in the same key.


Functional principle of the SEYDEL MAGNET-SYSTEM

This is exactly what happens if you slide the magnetic sliders of your ALL MINOR HARMONICA towards the tip-end of the reed: the magnetic field slows down the reed's oscillation resulting in a pitched-down tone.

 

 small: tuning down (upper sliders U2, U5 and U 8 - NO BENDING!)


 

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*The inspiration for designing the ALL MINOR HARMONICA came from Jim Antaki's Turboslide harmonica (>www.turboharp.com) where little magnets were used to alter the pitch of stainless steel reeds for the first time.

 

Re-tuning the ALL MINOR HARMONICA from Major to Minor 

Like the strings on guitars the reeds of a ALL MINOR HARMONICA can be turned into a Minor key with the magnetic sliders.


 

 

Tone table and re-tunable notes in the key of C


 small: Re-tuning of the upper blow-reedplate to Minor (upper sliders U2, U5 and U8 - NO BENDING!)



 

 small: Re-tuning of the lower draw reedplate for Natural Minor (lower sliders L3 and L7 - NO BENDING!)

 small: Re-tuning of the lower draw reedplate for Harmonic Moll (lower sliders L6 and L10 - NO BENDING!)

 

 

At the beginning we strongly recommend to use a chromatic tuning device (link at the bottom)!
After a while your ears are getting better and better and you will be able to tune by ear even during a performance.

Tip for re-tuning with magnetic sliders

To get the best tuning results it is necessary to play the notes with a medium controlled pressure: when playing pressure is too high the reeds oscillation is whider and they are more attracted by the magnetic field resulting in a lower pitch (this happens especially to lower pitvhrd reeds). Please tune with a medium playing pressure and take your time  to get used to the instrument. The diagrams below explain how the sliders have to be set.

 

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1) Slider position neutral: Richter-tuning (Major)

All sliders are in off-position (the magnetic fields are not influencing the reeds’ pitches).



small: Chords on the Richter 

 

2) Slider position for Natural Minor (2nd position)

The exact slider positions are different for instruments in different keys. The exact pitches have to be adjusted by moving the sliders very accurately resulting in a pitch which is a semi-tone lower than before.

 



small: Chrords on the Natural Minor



3) Slider position for Harmonic Minor (1st position)

The exact slider positions are different for instruments in different keys. The exact pitches have to be adjusted by moving the sliders very accurately resulting in a pitch which is a semi-tone lower than before.



small: Chords on the Harmonic Minor 

 

4) Slider position for Natural Minor (1st position)

The exact slider positions are different for instruments in different keys. The exact pitches have to be adjusted by moving the sliders very accurately resulting in a pitch which is a semi-tone lower than before.

 

small: Chords on the Natural Minor 

 

Possible scales and chords – tabs

small: 1) C-Major scale (1st position)

small: 2) G-Natural Minor scale (2nd position)

small: 3) C-Harmonic Minor scale (1st position)

small: 4) C-Natural Minor scale (1st position)


Tip: mixed Major-Minor Mixed tuning (Major blow) and Minor (draw)

There are endless possibilities for experimenting! We found the combination of a major blow chord and a minor draw chord very interesting for 2nd position playing of melodies in minor keys. On a Richter harmonica you will get a useful chord combination of Gm and C which allows you to improvise very intuitively in Gm (Dorian mode).

The exact slider positions are different for instruments in different keys. The exact pitches have to be adjusted by moving the sliders very accurately resulting in a pitch which is a semi-tone lower than before.

small: Chords on the Mixed Tuning

 

Do the ALL MINOR COVERPLATES also work together with harmonicas other than A, C or D?

Our tests showed that the ALL MINOR COVERPLATES can be used with harmonicas of a very large tonal range: they work fine  from LC (Low C) up to the standard D harmonica and therefore can be used together with all SEYDEL Richter-tuned harmonicas with stainless steel reeds – they work on SESSION STEEL models as well on models from the 1847 series (CLASSIC, SILVER, NOBLE). For a better tone response a bigger reed offset of the blow reeds in 2, 5 and 8 is required so re-gapping can be necessary.

However the ALL MINOR COVERPLATES work best in a key range from LEb to D.

The lower the pitch of thr instrument the less magnetic force is needed to tune a reed down. That is why it is possible to detach the 1mm flat magnets from the ring magnets on the sliders U5, U8, L6, L7, L10) when you use harmonicas lower than LF.

 

Magnet configuration for different keys

Keys LEb to A: upper (U2, U5, U8): 0-0-1; lower (L3, L6, L7, L10): 0-0-0-1 (+ 5 unused disk magnets).

Keys B to C: upper (U2, U5, U8): 0-0-1; lower (L3, L6, L7, L10): 0-0-1-1 (+ 4 unused disk magnets).

Keys D or higher: upper (U2, U5, U8): 0-1-2; lower (L3, L6, L7, L10): 0-1-1-2 (all disk magnets in use).

 

Here is a detailed review done by Harmonica Guru Michael Rubin - thanks for sharing:

 

 

>Attach - Download (pdf)

>Chromatic Tuner

 

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