I Bought a Wilde Tuned Harmonica (It Blew my Mind!)

Wilde Tuned Harmonica Blew My Mind

Last June I shared Will Wilde’s blazing rendition of the entire Freebird guitar solo on Harmonica. (If you missed it, check it out!)

I was gonna tab out some portions of the solo for you, but then quickly realized:

Free Bird is NOT played on a standard diatonic harmonica.

It’s played on a Seydel Wilde Tuned harmonica.

It didn’t take long for the lightbulb to go off… :bulb:

I should check one of those bad boys out!!!

First, I bought an 1847 Classic ( $130 plus shipping . :eyes:)

PROS

:+1: Beautiful

:+1: Responsive

:+1: Exceptional tone

CONS

:-1: Expensive

:-1: Exposed reed plate (tin sandwich design)

After playing the Freebird solo nonstop for an hour , the “tin sandwich” design with exposed reed plate eventually made my lips feel sore :laughing:.) So I explored the other option…

Second, I bought the less expensive 1847 Blues Session Steel ( $95 plus shipping. )

PROS

:+1: Comfy on the lips

:+1: Cheaper (Still ain’t cheap though!)

CONS

:-1: Dull Tone

:-1: Less Responsive

And now to get to the main point…WHAT’s the Wilde Tuning like ???

It blew my mind.

So many blues rock guitar riffs are easier to play on this harmonica .

If you are an intermediate or advanced harmonica player, and especially if you play lead guitar too, (and if you can afford it,) this harmonica may be worth checking out.

The kind of FUN that I thought I was gonna have playing the Hohner Pentaharp (but didn’t) is exactly the kind of FUN I actually had playing the Wilde Rock tuning.

Here are just a few of the things I love about it:

:arrow_right: Holes 1-5 are exactly the same , so all your bluesy stuff still works!

:arrow_right: Having -6 equal normal tuning 6 = all kinds of new speed .

:arrow_right: Any of your favorite Blues riffs involving -2” -2 3 -3’ 4 -4’ -4 -5 now can be played up an octave : -6” -6 7 -7’ 8 -8’ -8 -9”

Here are a couple of cautions:

:exclamation: Those high notes are HIGH! If you’re an advanced beginner and you get one of these, I recommend getting a lower key, perhaps the key of A , so that those high notes aren’t tooooo high.

:exclamation: This is a 2nd position harmonica (but labeled in 1st position.) You don’t want to try and play Neil Young or Bob Dylan on this thing!

:exclamation: If you go to buy one on the Seydel site, make sure the “Tuning” box in the upper right hand corner is selected to “Wilde Rock”

:exclamation: You would need a key of C to play along with Will Wilde’s Freebird.

You can check it out in my short review of it here.

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I would like to try a Wilde tuned harmonica and also have it be in equal temperment, but it’s out of my harmonica budget. I would rather take an old harmonica and tune it to ET Wilde.

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I wanna try the Parrot Tuning!!!

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Hi Luke @Luke

I really enjoy the Parrott tuning and I imagine you might also prefer it to overblowing hole 6. It does restrict you somewhat, but also permits interesting high end riffs. I notice that Roly Platt uses it frequently to great effect.

For all around use and wide applicability, however, I prefer the PowerBender and/or PowerDraw tunings. Nevertheless, the Parrott tuning will continue to have a prominent place in my harp collection and playing. Go for it, Luke !

Regards,
– Slim :sunglasses:

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Hi Slim. I really thought Luke was joking about parrot tuning, I thought it was to play along with song birds easier. That made sense to me. So much to learn. I was going to google it, but decided to ask you guys what it is instead (though google probably would have taken me to a video of Luke explaining it). You guys are amazing, and have my complete respect brother. Cheers

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The namesake person of the tuning and probably the tuning’s most notable user, Todd Parrott has a video explaining his signature tuning. If you’re looking for a few good songs with it, check out his album, ‘Songs From The Harp’. There are multiple songs that feature this tuning style and has a lot of overbending on them as well.

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@stonestone63 Parrott Tuning, also sometimes known as flat third tuning, has the 7 draw tuned down a half step, letting the minor third in cross harp be easier to achieve than if you were to overblow. You still can overblow and overdraw on these harps, just listen to the tuning’s namesake, Todd Parrott, play “Amazing Grace” to hear the tuning in action.

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Thanks loads KeroroRinChou. It’s very interesting. Harp is a completely different universe of it’s own. And because I didn’t have people to talk to about it. I didn’t even realise you need to tune them when you buy them. I think all of my ms blues harps are fine to play, and Seydel session steel’s, well I have a huge crush on all of mine. Just a couple of the Lee Oscars really disappointed me. Maybe they were knocked around in the post. Thanks for showing me the video. I’m wondering how I’m going to fit all of this knowledge in my poor little brain, cheers

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@stonestone63, don’t worry, you’re not alone in this. :joy:
My brain is then not a sponge, but feels like a large whorl. I get very dizzy. :wink:

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Maybe my problem is that my brain is a sponge. Only good for doing the dishes, but at least it does a great job on the plastic things.

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@stonestone63 Don’t mention it, bud.

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I actually have a Golden Bird harmonica that Todd gave to me that has the tuning “pre-installed” on there. It’s a pretty decent harp, it’s just that it doesn’t do throat vibrato very well. I also believe that Blue Moon Harmonicas offers the tuning now, so you can have it pre-installed on a custom harp.

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WOW! Todd is fricken AMAZING!!! Killer licks. Very inspiring video. Thanks for sharing it @KeroroRinChou :+1:t3:

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Thanks, @Luke. My teacher is not only a very nice man, but he’s an excellent harmonica player. I actually checked out a couple videos of him playing before I started my lessons with him. I have so much respect for him as a fellow musician. My favorite preformance he did was “Everybody Wants to Go to Heaven” at Hill Country Harmonica 2012.
Song begins at 12:46

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Incredible KeroroRinChou. I started playing it at 06.30 Melbourne time and the dog stuck her head out from under the covers and gave me this weird that said, what the heck are you doing stupid. You know I like to sleep until eight. But seemed to get it after a couple of minutes. She’s not spoiled, just all living things have equal rights In this house. Im going to take the train more seriously now. I thought it was mainly a tool for encouraging beginners, but he showed me how much of a beginner I am. :pray:t2:

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@stonestone63 There are some amazing harmonica players that do excellent train imitations. If you want a good train song, listen to Lonnie Glosson. I say he had the best train imitation on the planet.

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Thanks KeroroRinChou. I will certainly check it out :sunglasses:

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Hello @KeroroRinChou,
Wow, is very, very good. The Song “This Train Is Bound of Glory” was not previously known to me. It’s just after 6am here and I’m awake :smiley:. I really like it!
I’m surprised how many variations and artists have this song in their repertoire. Good presentation! Thanks very much!

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Hi Astrid @AstridHandbikebee63,

"This Train Is Bound For Glory" is perhaps my favorite gospel song!

Have you heard of Sister Rosetta Tharpe ? She is probably the first and one of the greatest female stars who had a major influence on Rock 'n Roll music and guitarists. Just listen to her play and see which rock guitarists you hear in her playing – amazing!

Go to YouTube and enter this search: This Train Sister Rosetta Tharpe and get started with your introduction to this fabulous woman’s music!!

Regards,
– Slim :sunglasses:

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Good morning @Slim,
big thanks for the tip. I’ll look on Youtube right away.
Do you know that I was thinking about you all afternoon yesterday :relaxed:? Why? There is an Advent/Christmas song. Last year you played and called it here. I haven’t forgotten THAT! Yes! I looked for the tabs yesterday and maybe I’ll make my own recording of them. :smiley:

Although it’s old German songs, it’s almost unknown :woman_shrugging:. I find it really sad, especially since it comes from Thuringia. I was born in Thuringia and for that reason alone I should include it in my repertoire.

I wish you a nice holiday on Tuesday and happy :bat: for tomorrow.

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