The often overlooked secret to getting some cool blues, rock, jazz, and funk sounds is 3rd position. For years, players have used it because so many of the notes just lay out perfectly for variations of the minor, pentatonic minor, and related scales. In fact, it not only lays out well on the diatonic, but many players have found it is particularly effective on a chromatic, too.
However, 3rd position play can be a bit challenging on holes 2 and 3 draw where the player has to rely on accurate bends. Miss these notes and you get a sort of Persian sound that is ok the first couple times but gets old quick. Easy 3rd tuning solves this problem by dropping holes 2 and 3 down 1 step. The result is a minor chord on holes 1-3.
This is is not only helpful for vamping when the song goes to the root, but it also means that unbent draw notes will be harmonious in holes 1-3 draw. The sequence actually repeats itself on holes 4-6 draw and holes 8-10 draw.
The Easy 3rd Tuning Scheme for a diatonic (C) harp is as follows:
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
C E G C E G C E G C BLOW
D F A D F A B D F A DRAW
The 2 note differences are the 2 and 3 draw which are dropped down 1 whole step from standard tuning.
Below is a sound sample of a little jam played on a Seydel Session Steel (Bb) tuned to Easy 3rd. The backing track is a blues/funk in Cm.
Shoot me an email and lets discuss your purchase of a Seydel diatonic in Easy 3rd Tuning. I can also re-tune your current Seydel diatonic to Easy 3rd for $20 + $5 return shipping. firstname.lastname@example.org