Yes, I know, a very strange question. The sax player should be tuning the guitars, but that is not going to happen. So, that being said, if he's a half step down, E, or a half step up F what relative harmonica keys should I use to conform to the band? Any advice would be greatly appreciated! Thanks, Matt

closed as unclear what you're asking by Richard, MattPutnam, Carl Witthoft, Doktor Mayhem Mar 23 '18 at 10:21

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  • I’m a bit confused about this question. You’re asking about diatonic harps, not chromatic, right? Also, how the instruments are tuned isn’t as important as what keys the songs are in. Sax and guitar are both chromatic, so they can play in any key regardless of the tuning. – Todd Wilcox Mar 19 '18 at 19:02
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    Unless you're referring to the fact that the alto saxophone, like many/most wind instruments, is a transposing instrument, meaning that when the alto sax player plays a written C for them, it actually sounds like Eb on the piano (guitar). If that's what you're referring to, then that's an inherent quality of the saxophone, one that cannot be changed. You just have to be able to transpose to know the equivalent note for concert pitch instruments. – John Doe Mar 19 '18 at 23:30

As it stands, the question isn't clear. Alto sax is tuned to Eb, that is, when the player sees a C, the note that comes out is Eb. Guitars could tune a semitone down, to Eb if needed.

For a straight harp, choose the one in the guitar key, as in, when a song is in A, choose an A harp. Playing cross harp, for A, you will use a D harp.

I suspect the problem is that if the guitars are tuned down, and they play in what they think is A, it will be Ab. So you need a straight harp in An, or cross harp in Db. Better go buy some more harps! The saxist will sort out his own key. All the ones I play with do so.

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