Major Cross Tuning - the Irish harmonica

SESSION STEEL - Major Cross Tuning

Key G 10315G

Tony Eyers' MAJOR CROSS tuning - corrosion-free Blues harmonica with stainless steel reeds, ergonomically shaped covers and plastic comb

VAT incl.

Play fast runs and Irish tunes on your harmonica

The SESSION STEEL Major Cross from Tony Eyers makes fast tunes easier to play. The instrument was developed for fast bluegrass and Irish tunes. It’s also useful for Irish Folk, Scottish Reels, Jigs, Country tunes and all kind of flute and fiddle tunes. Explore the possibilities of this new tuning. 

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Listen to the 'Tony Eyers Trio' to see what can be done on MAJOR CROSS tuned instruments - namely a D and a Low D in the video!


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More details:

The MAJOR CROSS tuning, developed by Tony Eyers, allows a major scale to be played in second (or cross) position without any bending. While many players use second position, they often find traditional tunes challenging, due to the bending/overblowing needed for some notes.

MAJOR CROSS eliminates this problem. Moreover, as bending/overblowing is generally not needed, Major Cross harmonicas are well suited to the fast speeds common with traditional fiddle tunes.

The difference between MAJOR CROSS tuning and the usual Richter tunings is shown below. The “root” note for second or cross position is the two hole draw and this note is used for labeling the instruments as well.

Three other positions are available for Major Cross harmonicas. These are:

  • 4 hole draw as the root note: this is for “modal” tunes, e.g. Red Haired Boy, an American bluegrass standard

small: Tony Eyers - Red Haired Boy

  • 3 hole blow as the root note: this is for minor tunes, such as “Drowsy Maggie”, a well known Irish tune
  • 1 hole draw as the root note: another minor position, for tunes like “Jerusalem Ridge”, another bluegrass standard

Besides very intuitive melody playing the MAJOR CROSS tuning opens new options for playing chordal accompaniment as well!

In the table below you can see that the most important chords (major and minor)) are available in a very easy to remember arrangement:

Chords available on a Major Cross (key of G)

The MAJOR CROSS tuning is labeled in Cross-Position (here G), so the note in 2 draw is the root note and the tone table below shows the MAJOR CROSS in G - however the basis for a MAJOR CROSS in G is a usual Richter tuned diatonic in the key of C:

A:B comparison between Major Cross (root note G) and Richter tuning (root note C)


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TIP: We added Tony Eyers' MAJOR CROSS tuning to the SEYDEL TabTool:



With this tool you can 'translate' standard Richter tabs into MAJOR CROSS tabs very conveniently.

Customer report:

"I'm a long-time blues harp customer of yours, but only started buying Major Cross harps a couple of years ago. 
I was playing in a 3-piece band (I play bass) at garden party last weekend, and after the party wrapped, there were a few people left who were treated to an acoustic performance by the lead singer/guitarist, doing a wide variety of songs. I was able to accompany him on most of the songs using the four MC harps I carry. If I only had blues harps, I could never have come close to the harmonies his songs demanded. Two hours of really great music, made possible because I discovered Seydel Major Cross harps! The rare occasions I can really work them out are treasures indeed!"
Thanks for providing them! 
- Geoff Sale

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