Blues is a music genre and musical form, originated in the Deep South of the United States around the 1870s by African Americans from roots in African musical traditions, African-American work songs and the folk music of white Americans of European heritage. Blues incorporated spirituals, work songs, field hollers, shouts and rhymed simple narrative ballads; the blues form, ubiquitous in jazz and blues and rock and roll, is characterized by the call-and-response pattern, the blues scale and specific chord progressions, of which the twelve-bar blues is the most common. Blue notes thirds or fifths flattened in pitch, are an essential part of the sound. Blues shuffles or walking bass reinforce the trance-like rhythm and form a repetitive effect known as the groove. Blues as a genre is characterized by its lyrics, bass lines, instrumentation. Early traditional blues verses consisted of a single line repeated four times, it was only in the first decades of the 20th century that the most common current structure became standard: the AAB pattern, consisting of a line sung over the four first bars, its repetition over the next four, a longer concluding line over the last bars.
Early blues took the form of a loose narrative relating the racial discrimination and other challenges experienced by African-Americans. Many elements, such as the call-and-response format and the use of blue notes, can be traced back to the music of Africa; the origins of the blues are closely related to the religious music of the Afro-American community, the spirituals. The first appearance of the blues is dated to after the ending of slavery and the development of juke joints, it is associated with the newly acquired freedom of the former slaves. Chroniclers began to report about blues music at the dawn of the 20th century; the first publication of blues sheet music was in 1908. Blues has since evolved from unaccompanied vocal music and oral traditions of slaves into a wide variety of styles and subgenres. Blues subgenres include country blues, such as Delta blues and Piedmont blues, as well as urban blues styles such as Chicago blues and West Coast blues. World War II marked the transition from acoustic to electric blues and the progressive opening of blues music to a wider audience white listeners.
In the 1960s and 1970s, a hybrid form called blues rock developed, which blended blues styles with rock music. The term Blues may have come from "blue devils", meaning sadness; the phrase blue devils may have been derived from Britain in the 1600s, when the term referred to the "intense visual hallucinations that can accompany severe alcohol withdrawal". As time went on, the phrase lost the reference to devils, "it came to mean a state of agitation or depression." By the 1800s in the United States, the term blues was associated with drinking alcohol, a meaning which survives in the phrase blue law, which prohibits the sale of alcohol on Sunday. Though the use of the phrase in African-American music may be older, it has been attested to in print since 1912, when Hart Wand's "Dallas Blues" became the first copyrighted blues composition. In lyrics the phrase is used to describe a depressed mood, it is in this sense of a sad state of mind that one of the earliest recorded references to "the blues" was written by Charlotte Forten aged 25, in her diary on December 14, 1862.
She was a free-born black from Pennsylvania, working as a schoolteacher in South Carolina, instructing both slaves and freedmen, wrote that she "came home with the blues" because she felt lonesome and pitied herself. She overcame her depression and noted a number of songs, such as Poor Rosy, that were popular among the slaves. Although she admitted being unable to describe the manner of singing she heard, Forten wrote that the songs "can't be sung without a full heart and a troubled spirit", conditions that have inspired countless blues songs; the lyrics of early traditional blues verses often consisted of a single line repeated four times. It was only in the first decades of the 20th century that the most common current structure became standard: the so-called "AAB" pattern, consisting of a line sung over the four first bars, its repetition over the next four, a longer concluding line over the last bars. Two of the first published blues songs, "Dallas Blues" and "Saint Louis Blues", were 12-bar blues with the AAB lyric structure.
W. C. Handy wrote; the lines are sung following a pattern closer to rhythmic talk than to a melody. Early blues took the form of a loose narrative. African-American singers voiced his or her "personal woes in a world of harsh reality: a lost love, the cruelty of police officers, oppression at the hands of white folk, hard times"; this melancholy has led to the suggestion of an Igbo origin for blues because of the reputation the Igbo had throughout plantations in the Americas for their melancholic music and outlook on life when they were enslaved. The lyrics relate troubles experienced within African American society. For instance Blind Lemon Jefferson's "Rising High Water Blues" tells of the Great Mississippi Flood of 1927: "Backwater rising, Southern peoples can't make no time I said, backwater rising, Southern peoples can't make no time And I can't get no hearing from that Memphis girl of mine."Although the blues gained an association with misery and oppression, the lyrics could be humorous and raunchy: "Rebecca, get your big legs off of me, Rebecca, get your big legs off of m
British blues is a form of music derived from American blues that originated in the late 1950s, reached its height of mainstream popularity in the 1960s, when it developed a distinctive and influential style dominated by electric guitar and made international stars of several proponents of the genre including The Rolling Stones, The Animals, Eric Clapton, Fleetwood Mac and Led Zeppelin. American blues became known in Britain from the 1930s onwards through a number of routes, including records brought to Britain by African-American GIs stationed there in the Second World War and Cold War, merchant seamen visiting ports such as London, Newcastle upon Tyne and Belfast, through a trickle of imports. Blues music was well known to British jazz musicians and fans in the works of figures like female singers Ma Rainey and Bessie Smith and the blues-influenced boogie-woogie of Jelly Roll Morton and Fats Waller. From 1955 major British record labels HMV and EMI, the latter through their subsidiary Decca Records, began to distribute American jazz and blues records to what was an emerging market.
Many encountered blues for the first time through the skiffle craze of the second half of the 1950s the songs of Lead Belly covered by acts like Lonnie Donegan. As skiffle began to decline in the late 1950s, British rock and roll began to dominate the charts, a number of skiffle musicians moved towards playing purely blues music. Among these were guitarist and blues harpist Cyril Davies, who ran the London Skiffle Club at the Roundhouse public house in London's Soho, guitarist Alexis Korner, both of whom worked for jazz band leader Chris Barber, playing in the R&B segment he introduced to his show; the club served as a focal point for British skiffle acts and Barber was responsible for bringing over American folk and blues performers, who found they were much better known and paid in Europe than America. The first major artist was Big Bill Broonzy, who visited England in the mid-1950s, but who, rather than his electric Chicago blues, played a folk blues set to fit in with British expectations of American blues as a form of folk music.
In 1957 Davies and Korner decided that their central interest was the blues and closed the skiffle club, reopening a month as The London Blues and Barrelhouse Club. To this point British blues was acoustically played emulating Delta blues and Country blues styles and part of the emerging second British folk revival. Critical in changing this was the visit of Muddy Waters in 1958, who shocked British audiences by playing amplified electric blues, but, soon playing to ecstatic crowds and rave reviews. Davies and Korner, having split with Barber, now plugged in and began to play high powered electric blues that became the model for the subgenre, forming the band Blues Incorporated. Blues Incorporated became something of a clearing house for British blues musicians in the 1950s and early 1960s, with many joining, or sitting in on sessions; these included future Rolling Stones, Keith Richards, Mick Jagger, Charlie Watts and Brian Jones. Blues Incorporated were given a residency at the Marquee Club and it was from there that in 1962 they took the name of the first British Blues album, R&B from the Marquee for Decca, but split before its release.
The culmination of this first movement of blues came with John Mayall, who moved to London in the early 1960s forming the Bluesbreakers, whose members at various times included, Jack Bruce, Aynsley Dunbar, Eric Clapton, Peter Green and Mick Taylor. While some bands focused on blues artists those of Chicago electric blues, others adopted a wider interest in rhythm and blues, including the work of Chess Records' blues artists like Muddy Waters and Howlin' Wolf, but rock and roll pioneers Chuck Berry and Bo Diddley. Most successful were the Rolling Stones, who abandoned blues purism before their line-up solidified and they produced their first eponymously titled album in 1964, which consisted of rhythm and blues standards. Following in the wake of the Beatles' national and international success, the Rolling Stones soon established themselves as the second most popular UK band and joined the British Invasion of the American record charts as leaders of a second wave of R&B orientated bands. In addition to Chicago blues numbers, the Rolling Stones covered songs by Chuck Berry and The Valentinos, with the latter's "It's All Over Now", giving them their first UK number one in 1964.
Blues songs and influences continued to surface in the Rolling Stones' music, as in their version of "Little Red Rooster" went to number 1 on the UK singles chart in December 1964. Other London-based bands included The Yardbirds, The Kinks, Manfred Mann and the Pretty Things, beside the more jazz-influenced acts like the Graham Bond Organisation, Georgie Fame and Zoot Money. Bands to emerge from other major British cities included The Animals from Newcastle, The Moody Blues and Spencer Davis Group from Birmingham, Them from Belfast. None of these bands played rhythm and blues relying on a variety of sources, including Brill Building and girl group songs for their hit singles, but it remained at the core of their early albums; the British Mod subc
The bass guitar is a plucked string instrument similar in appearance and construction to an electric guitar, except with a longer neck and scale length, four to six strings or courses. The four-string bass is tuned the same as the double bass, which corresponds to pitches one octave lower than the four lowest-pitched strings of a guitar, it is played with the fingers or thumb, or striking with a pick. The electric bass guitar has pickups and must be connected to an amplifier and speaker to be loud enough to compete with other instruments. Since the 1960s, the bass guitar has replaced the double bass in popular music as the bass instrument in the rhythm section. While types of basslines vary from one style of music to another, the bassist plays a similar role: anchoring the harmonic framework and establishing the beat. Many styles of music include the bass guitar, it is a soloing instrument. According to the New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, an "Electric bass guitar a Guitar with four heavy strings tuned E1'-A1'-D2-G2."
It defines bass as "Bass. A contraction of Double bass or Electric bass guitar." According to some authors the proper term is "electric bass". Common names for the instrument are "bass guitar", "electric bass guitar", "electric bass" and some authors claim that they are accurate; the bass guitar is a transposing instrument, as it is notated in bass clef an octave higher than it sounds. In the 1930s, musician and inventor Paul Tutmarc of Seattle, developed the first electric bass guitar in its modern form, a fretted instrument designed to be played horizontally; the 1935 sales catalog for Tutmarc's electronic musical instrument company, featured his "Model 736 Bass Fiddle", a four-stringed, solid-bodied, fretted electric bass guitar with a 30 1⁄2-inch scale length, a single pick up. The adoption of a guitar's body shape made the instrument easier to hold and transport than any of the existing stringed bass instruments; the addition of frets enabled bassists to play in tune more than on fretless acoustic or electric upright basses.
Around 100 of these instruments were made during this period. Audiovox sold their “Model 236” bass amplifier. Around 1947, Tutmarc's son, began marketing a similar bass under the Serenader brand name, prominently advertised in the nationally distributed L. D. Heater Music Company wholesale jobber catalogue of 1948. However, the Tutmarc family inventions did not achieve market success. In the 1950s, Leo Fender and George Fullerton developed the first mass-produced electric bass guitar; the Fender Electric Instrument Manufacturing Company began producing the Precision Bass in October 1951. The "P-bass" evolved from a simple, un-contoured "slab" body design and a single coil pickup similar to that of a Telecaster, to something more like a Fender Stratocaster, with a contoured body design, edges beveled for comfort, a split single coil pickup; the "Fender Bass" was a revolutionary new instrument for gigging musicians. In comparison with the large, heavy upright bass, the main bass instrument in popular music from the early 1900s to the 1940s, the bass guitar could be transported to shows.
When amplified, the bass guitar was less prone than acoustic basses to unwanted audio feedback. In 1953 Monk Montgomery became the first bassist to tour with the Fender bass guitar, in Lionel Hampton's postwar big band. Montgomery was possibly the first to record with the bass guitar, on July 2, 1953 with The Art Farmer Septet. Roy Johnson, Shifty Henry, were other early Fender bass pioneers. Bill Black, playing with Elvis Presley, switched from upright bass to the Fender Precision Bass around 1957; the bass guitar was intended to appeal to guitarists as well as upright bass players, many early pioneers of the instrument, such as Carol Kaye, Joe Osborn, Paul McCartney were guitarists. In 1953, following Fender's lead, Gibson released the first short-scale violin-shaped electric bass, with an extendable end pin so a bassist could play it upright or horizontally. Gibson renamed the bass the EB-1 in 1958. In 1958, Gibson released the maple arched-top EB-2 described in the Gibson catalogue as a "hollow-body electric bass that features a Bass/Baritone pushbutton for two different tonal characteristics".
In 1959 these were followed by the more conventional-looking EB-0 Bass. The EB-0 was similar to a Gibson SG in appearance. Whereas Fender basses had pickups mounted in positions in between the base of the neck and the top of the bridge, many of Gibson's early basses featured one humbucking pickup mounted directly against the neck pocket; the EB-3, introduced in 1961 had a "mini-humbucker" at the bridge position. Gibson basses tended to be smaller, sleeker instruments with a shorter scale length than the Precision. A number of other companies began manufacturing bass guitars during the 1950s: Kay in 1952, Hofner and Danelectro in 1956, Rickenbacker in 1957 and Burns/Supersound in 1958. 1956 saw the appearance at the German trade fair "Musikmesse Frankfurt" of the distinctive Höfner 500/1 violin-shaped bass made using violin construction techniques by Walter Höfner, a second-generation violin luthier. The design was known popularly as the "Beat
West Coast blues
The West Coast blues is a type of blues influenced by jazz and jump blues, with strong piano-dominated sounds and jazzy guitar solos, which originated from Texas blues players who relocated to California in the 1940s. West Coast blues features smooth, honey-toned vocals crossing into urban blues territory; the towering figure of West Coast blues may be the guitarist T-Bone Walker, famous for the song "Call It Stormy Monday", a relocated Texan, who made his first recordings in the late 1920s. In the early 1940s Walker moved to Los Angeles, where he recorded many enduring sides for Capitol, Black & White, Imperial. Walker was a crucial figure in the electrification and urbanization of the blues doing more to popularize the electric guitar in the form than anyone else. Much of his material had a distinct jazzy jump blues feel, an influence that would characterize much of the most influential blues to emerge from California in the 1940s and 1950s. Other Texas bluesmen followed: the pianist and songwriter Amos Milburn, the singer Percy Mayfield, Charles Brown moved to Los Angeles.
The guitarist Pee Wee Crayton divided his time between Los Angeles and San Francisco. Lowell Fulson, from Texas by way of Oklahoma, moved to Oakland. List of West Coast blues musicians Bay Area Blues Society
The washtub bass, or gutbucket, is a stringed instrument used in American folk music that uses a metal washtub as a resonator. Although it is possible for a washtub bass to have four or more strings and tuning pegs, traditional washtub basses have a single string whose pitch is adjusted by pushing or pulling on a staff or stick to change the tension; the washtub bass was used in jug bands that were popular in some African American communities in the early 1900s. In the 1950s, British skiffle bands used a variant called a tea chest bass, during the 1960s, US folk musicians used the washtub bass in jug band-influenced music. Variations on the basic design are found around the world in the choice of resonator; as a result, there are many different names for the instrument including the "gas-tank bass", "barrel bass", "box bass", "bush bass", "babatoni", "tanbou marengwen" "tingotalango", "tulòn", "laundrophone" and others. The hallmarks of the traditional design are simplicity low cost and do it yourself construction, leading to its historical association with lower economic classes.
These factors make it quite common for modern-day builders to promote modifications to the basic design, such as adding a finger board, electronic pickup, drumhead, or making the staff immovable. Ethnomusicologists trace the origins of the instrument to the'ground bow' or'ground harp' - a version that uses a piece of bark or an animal skin stretched over a pit as a resonator; the ang-bindi made by the Baka people of the Congo is but one example of this instrument found among tribal societies in Africa and Southeast Asia, it lends its name to the generic term inbindi for all related instruments. Evolution of design, including the use of more portable resonators, has led to many variations, such as the dan bau and gopichand, more the "electric one-string", which amplifies the sound using a pickup; the washtub bass is sometimes used in a jug band accompanied by a washboard as a percussion instrument. Jug bands, first known as "spasm bands", were popular among African-Americans around 1900 in New Orleans and reached a height of popularity between 1925 and 1935 in Memphis and Louisville.
At about the same time, European-Americans of Appalachia were using the instrument in "old-timey" folk music. A musical style known as "gut-bucket blues" came out of the jug band scene, was cited by Sam Phillips of Sun Records as the type of music he was seeking when he first recorded Elvis Presley. According to Willie "The Lion" Smith's autobiography, the term "gutbucket" comes from "Negro families" who all owned their own pail, or bucket, would get it filled with the makings for chitterlings; the term "gutbucket" came from playing a lowdown style of music. In English skiffle bands and New Zealand bush bands and South African kwela bands, the same sort of bass has a tea chest as a resonator; the Quarrymen, John Lennon and Paul McCartney's band before the Beatles, featured a tea-chest bass, as did many young bands around 1956. A folk music revival in the U. S. in the early 1960s re-ignited interest in the washtub jug band music. Bands included Mother McCree's Uptown Jug Champions, which became The Grateful Dead, the Jim Kweskin Jug Band, which featured Fritz Richmond on bass.
A tea chest bass is a variation of the washtub bass that uses a tea chest as the resonator for an upright stringed bass. The instrument is made from traditionally a broomstick, placed into or alongside the chest. One or more strings are plucked. In Europe England and Germany, the instrument is associated with skiffle bands. In Australia it was traditionally used to provide deep sounds for "bush bands", though most such groups today use electric bass or double bass, it was called a "bush bass". Other variations on the basic design are found around the world in the choice of resonator, for example: "gas-tank bass" "barrel bass" "box bass" "bush bass" "babatoni" "dumdum" "dan bau" "sanduku" "tanbou marengwen, in English, mosquito drum" "tingotalango" "tulòn" Will Shade vocalist and multi-instrumentalist member of the Memphis Jug Band who recorded from the 20s until his death in 1966 Kansas Joe McCoy, washtub bass player and multi-instrumentalist, recorded with Arthur Crudup in 1941. Fritz Richmond has performed on numerous recordings from Japan.
One of his washtub basses is in the collection of the Smithsonian Institution. Donald Kachamba and Moya Aliya, one-string box players with the influential Malawi group Kachamba Brothers Band. Can be heard on "Donald Kachamba's Kwela Band", "Malawi / Concert Kwela". Brian Ritchie, of the band The Violent Femmes, plays a'tubless electric washtub bass'. Les Claypool, of Primus plays a variation called a whamola. Bill Smith, Len Garry, Ivan Vaughan, Nigel Walley, tea-chest bass players of The Quarrymen. Lionel Kilberg and player of the'Brownie Bass' with'The Shanty Boys' during the folk music revival of the 1950s and 60s in New York, producer/lyricist/player of the 1973 album "We Walked by the Water" featuring Kate Wolf; that 1 Guy plays a variation of the washtub bass called the'Magic Pipe' and a few other self-built instruments. Terry Devine, of The Genuine Jug Band from Vancouver, B. C; the late Dennis Johnson from the Gutter Brothers. David Bowie in his pre-teen days. Stu Cook, the bassist of Creedence Clearwater Revival, played washtub bass on the track ″Poorboy Shuffle″ from the album ″Willy and the Poor Boys″.
Geoff Bell, the bassist of the folk punk band Days N' Daze. Inbindis Around the World
Funk is a music genre that originated in African-American communities in the mid-1960s when African-American musicians created a rhythmic, danceable new form of music through a mixture of soul music and rhythm and blues. Funk de-emphasizes melody and chord progressions and focuses on a strong rhythmic groove of a bass line played by an electric bassist and a drum part played by a drummer. Like much of African-inspired music, funk consists of a complex groove with rhythm instruments playing interlocking grooves. Funk uses the same richly colored extended chords found in bebop jazz, such as minor chords with added sevenths and elevenths, or dominant seventh chords with altered ninths and thirteenths. Funk originated in the mid-1960s, with James Brown's development of a signature groove that emphasized the downbeat—with heavy emphasis on the first beat of every measure, the application of swung 16th notes and syncopation on all bass lines, drum patterns, guitar riffs. Other musical groups, including Sly and the Family Stone, the Meters, Parliament-Funkadelic, soon began to adopt and develop Brown's innovations.
While much of the written history of funk focuses on men, there have been notable funk women, including Chaka Khan, Lyn Collins, Brides of Funkenstein, Mother's Finest, Betty Davis. Funk derivatives include the psychedelic funk of George Clinton. Funk samples and breakbeats have been used extensively in hip hop and various forms of electronic dance music, such as house music, old-school rave and drum and bass, it is the main influence of go-go, a subgenre associated with funk. The word funk referred to a strong odor, it is derived from Latin "fumigare" via Old French "fungiere" and, in this sense, it was first documented in English in 1620. In 1784 "funky" meaning "musty" was first documented, which, in turn, led to a sense of "earthy", taken up around 1900 in early jazz slang for something "deeply or felt". In early jam sessions, musicians would encourage one another to "get down" by telling one another, "Now, put some stank on it!". At least as early as 1907, jazz songs carried titles such as Funky.
The first example is an unrecorded number by Buddy Bolden, remembered as either "Funky Butt" or "Buddy Bolden's Blues" with improvised lyrics that were, according to Donald M. Marquis, either "comical and light" or "crude and downright obscene" but, in one way or another, referring to the sweaty atmosphere at dances where Bolden's band played; as late as the 1950s and early 1960s, when "funk" and "funky" were used in the context of jazz music, the terms still were considered indelicate and inappropriate for use in polite company. According to one source, New Orleans-born drummer Earl Palmer "was the first to use the word'funky' to explain to other musicians that their music should be made more syncopated and danceable." The style evolved into a rather hard-driving, insistent rhythm, implying a more carnal quality. This early form of the music set the pattern for musicians; the music was identified as slow, loose, riff-oriented and danceable. A great deal of funk is rhythmically based on a two-celled onbeat/offbeat structure, which originated in sub-Saharan African music traditions.
New Orleans appropriated the bifurcated structure from the Afro-Cuban mambo and conga in the late 1940s, made it its own. New Orleans funk, as it was called, gained international acclaim because James Brown's rhythm section used it to great effect. Funk uses the same richly coloured extended chords found in bebop jazz, such as minor chords with added sevenths and elevenths, or dominant seventh chords with altered ninths. However, unlike bebop jazz, with its complex, rapid-fire chord changes, funk abandoned chord changes, creating static single chord vamps with melodo-harmonic movement and a complex, driving rhythmic feel; some of the best known and most skilful soloists in funk have jazz backgrounds. Trombonist Fred Wesley and saxophonist Pee Wee Ellis and Maceo Parker are among the most notable musicians in the funk music genre, with both of them working with James Brown, George Clinton and Prince; the chords used in funk songs imply a dorian or mixolydian mode, as opposed to the major or natural minor tonalities of most popular music.
Melodic content was derived by mixing these modes with the blues scale. In the 1970s, jazz music drew upon funk to create a new subgenre of jazz-funk, which can be heard in recordings by Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock. Funk creates an intense groove by using strong guitar riffs and bass lines played on electric bass. Like Motown recordings, funk songs use bass lines as the centerpiece of songs. Indeed, funk has been called the style in which the bass line is most prominent in the songs, with the bass playing the "hook" of the song. Early funk basslines used syncopation, but with the addition of more of a "driving feel" than in New Orleans funk, they used blues scale notes along with the major third above the root. Funk basslines use sixteenth note syncopation, blues scales, repetitive patterns with leaps of an octave or a larger interval. Funk bass lines emphasize repetitive patterns, locked-in grooves, continuous playing, slap and popping bass. Slapping and popping uses a mixture of thumb-slapped low notes (also
The Richter-tuned harmonica, or 10-hole harmonica or blues harp, is the most known type of harmonica. It is a variety of diatonic harmonica, with ten holes which offer the player 19 notes in a three-octave range; the standard diatonic harmonica is designed to allow a player to play chords and melody in a single key. Because they are only designed to be played in a single key at a time, diatonic harmonicas are available in all keys. Harps labeled G through B start below middle C, while Harps labeled D♭ through F♯ start above middle C. Here is the layout for a standard diatonic harmonica, labeled C, starting on middle C. Although there are three octaves between 1 and 10 "blow", there is only one full major scale available on the harmonica, between holes 4 and 7; the lower holes are designed around the tonic and dominant chords, allowing a player to play these chords underneath a melody by blocking or unblocking the lower holes with the tongue. The most important notes are given the blow, the secondary notes, the draw.
The valved diatonic is one of the most common ways of playing chromatic scales on diatonic harmonicas. While chromatic is available, valved diatonic is common, there are reasons to use a valved diatonic rather than chromatics, it does not have a slide assembly, it has a wider tonal range and dynamic. As well, it has a smaller size and is much more suitable to use with microphone, it is still cheaper than chromatic for a premade one like Hohner's Auto Valve or Suzuki Promaster MR-350v. Valved diatonics are made by fitting windsavers on draw holes 1–6 and blow holes 7–10. Alternatively, one can buy a factory-made valved diatonic such as the Suzuki Promaster Valved; the disadvantage of the valved diatonic is that it does not require one to develop proper embouchure in order to bend the notes accurately. Many of the notes reached by bending are nearer just intonation, the lower equal tempered pitches preferred by western classical music are unattainable; this limits the number of chromatic notes available when playing classical repertoire when compared with that of jazz or blues.
Another thing worth noting is that, due to the valved bends being one-reed bends, the sound is less full than traditional bends, may seem dull, making it less dynamic. One way to address this is by having an additional reed. Aside from bending, Richter-tuned harmonicas are modal. Playing the harmonica in the key to which it is tuned is known as "straight harp" or "first position" playing. For example, playing music in the key of C on a C-tuned harmonica. More common is "crossharp" or "second position" playing which involves playing in the key, a perfect fourth below the key of the harmonica; this is because the notes of the G pentatonic scale are more accessible on a C-tuned harmonica. The lower notes of harps in the lower keys take more wind. Since much of crossharp is played on the inhalation, every opportunity for exhalation must be capitalized upon—by blowing out lots of air on every exhaled note and during every pause. Crossharp lends itself to ninth chords as well as blue notes. Another method is to play in the key one whole tone above that of the harmonica.
On a C-tuned harmonica, this would mean playing in the key of D. This is known as "slant harp" or "third position" playing, results in the harmonica playing in dorian mode; this is much less intuitive as it requires the ability to bend notes accurately, there are fewer useful chords available than in 1st or 2nd position playing. The technique offers many notes that are not achievable in the other positions without overblows, such as the blue note on the third degree, which may or may not be favorable depending on the circumstance; the bends available at the lower end of the instrument make playing melodies in a D major scale easy for those who have any semblance of proficiency at the bending technique, though most of the notes in the scale are on the draw, requiring great skill and strategy in exhaling more so than in crossharp. Continuing along the circle of fifths, fourth position, fifth position, sixth position and zeroth positions can be played, with the scales played in those positions indicated as follows: Note that using blue notes, any of the seven positions can be used over music in its corresponding major scale if only the notes in the corresponding pentatonic scale are played.
Some players prefer specially tuned variants of the diatonic harmonica. Several manufacturers, for instance Lee Oskar Harmonicas, make a variety of harmonicas to help players used to a "cross-harp" style to play in other styles. Cross-harp players base their play around a mixolydian scale starting on 2 draw and ending a 6 blow. Lee Oskar specially tunes harmonicas to allow players to play a natural minor or major scale from 2 draw to 6 blow, or a harmonic minor scale