Pat Missin is a UK-based harmonica technician and player whose modified and retuned instruments are used by some of the best players in the business. Pat’s incredible research into alternate…

Pat Missin is a UK-based harmonica technician and player whose modified and retuned instruments are used by some of the best players in the business. Pat’s incredible research into alternate tunings for diatonic harmonica is documented in his freeware publication Altered States, which to our knowledge is the most complete catalog of alternate tunings available anywhere.

We are certain that our readers will find this document to be thought-provoking at least! Using one or more of these tunings on your next gig may change your life. (Hey, it could happen.)

Note: readers who are undecided about alternate tunings may wish to check out the samples available at this site of Richard Hunter’s The Act of Being Free in One Act and The Second Act of Free Being, both of which make extensive use of off-the-shelf alternate tunings from Lee Oskar, including Natural Minor, Dorian Minor, Melody Maker, and Country (sharp draw 5 reed) tuning. Take it from me, the stuff works, it’s easy, and it lets you do things that can’t be done any other way.

Bookmark this page, then click here to go to Pat Missin’s website and download Altered States v2.1 (ZIPped file, about 34 KB).

2 Comments

  1. Hello together

    I was experimenting with alternate tunings for harmonicas for several years.
    I found a special, logical, circular tuning similar to a circle of 4th, meaning
    that the notes do always have the same steps.

    It is always 2 half notes, 2 half notes and then 1 half note and so on….(blow/draw) 2,2,1,2,2,1,2,2,1,2,2,1. ……..etcetera.

    KNIRI 221

    Alternate Tuning for 10-holes diatonic harmonicas

    G/B/D/F/A/C/Eb/G/Bb/Db blow

    A/C/E/G/Bb/D/F/Ab/C/Eb draw

    16 Triads are possible (in the circle of 4th)

    G,C,F,Bb,Eb,Ab-major A,D,G,C,F-minor G7,C7,F7,Bb7,Eb7 (or B,E,A,D,G dim)

    More information on my website: http://www.kniri.ch/bluesaccordion.aspx

    A feedback would be great.

    Regards
    Kniri

  2. This is very interesting. The tuning suggested here is radically different from standard Richter, and I can see that the chording possibilities are vast.
    Let me suggest that you post this tuning scheme to the Harp-L list and ask for comments. if you don’t currently subscribe to Harp-L, you can find instructions at http://harp-l.org.

    Thanks, Richard Hunter

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