Because one isn’t enough.

Seriously, when every piece of music played in the world uses the same scale and chords, I’ll stick to one harmonica tuning.  Maybe.  In the meantime, I need at least six different tunings to express my music.  (Joni Mitchell uses 31 tunings or so for her guitar.  Why shouldn’t I use six?)

Check out my recordings of “Big 17”, “When Johnny Comes Marching Home,” and “Peppermint Life” at   There is no conceivable way that those arrangements can be played on the same tuning.  (In case you’re interested, the tunings on the pieces are Melody Maker, Natural Minor, and standard, respectively.)

I repeat: music is bigger than one scale.  That’s why I need more than one tuning.

Along those lines, I find myself playing a lot of chromatic harmonica lately.  It’s not just that it has all the notes. It sounds really good with my effects, too–like some kind of wierd cross between a harmonica, a synthesizer, and a human voice.  Very cool.