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Harmonica Players

A group for fellow harmonica players.

Members: 16
Latest Activity: Dec 23, 2013

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Comment by Dave Payton on February 26, 2012 at 8:06pm

Has anyone on the group fooled around with chromatic harmonicas?

For better or worse the diatonic harp is associated with blues for country music.

There's a whole other music world out there that seems to be beyond the the abilities of the diatonic unless your name is Howard Levy.

Does anyone have a good suggestion for a chromatic harp?

Comment by Timothy W. Allen on February 18, 2012 at 10:59pm

Thanks for the information Dave, I think I need to be patient too.

Comment by Dave Payton on February 18, 2012 at 6:48pm

I'm not a great harmonica player and I'm not a blues player, but I think that the best way to learn is to know someone who plays, whether an acquaintance or a paid teacher. A teacher, whether formal or informal, can show one techniques that are hard to demonstrate in a book, a recording or a video. It's a matter of being able to ask the question, "How did you do that?" several times and being given several different answers all saying the same thing in different ways.

The book I've found useful is Alfred's Teach Yourself Harmonica by Steven and Ron Manus. It's concise, fairly thorough and covers both diatonic and chromatic harps. It's very basic but covers bends, overblows, chords and different styles. And, if you're interested, you can learn to read music.

One thing that I think is important is to allow one's self just to fool around on the harp. From my reading, most of the old blues harp players started out trying to imitate animal sounds, trains and fox chases. Those things gave them the base on which they built.

Comment by Timothy W. Allen on February 14, 2012 at 10:38pm

I bought a Harp several years ago with the intent of really wanting to learn because it just sounds awesome in blues music and easy to carry everywhere with me. However I don't know where to even start with learning. Does anyone have guidance in learning books?? I don't think it's like taking guitar lessons?

Comment by Dave Payton on February 12, 2012 at 9:09pm

     Eric Jobes asked for tips about playing the harmonica. My suggestion is to learn how to play single notes. That is the most important thing. Once one has learned to play a clean single note (whether by puckering or tongue blocking) one is halfway to the goal. Bending and tremalo and chording come easy after that.

Comment by Dave Payton on February 12, 2012 at 9:03pm

     I usually play a Hohner  Old Standby or Big River harp. They are different in that the Standby is a small, rather thin harp while the Big River is a bit larger than a Marine Band. The Old Standby has a bit thinner sound, but it's comfortable. The Big River has more of a Marine Band sound. Both are pretty airtight. The Big River is better for hard blowing.

     I stumbled across a harp called a Spirit made of plastic that is amazingly good for the price. If you buy one you won't be wasting your money. It's probably the best harp for the money that you can find.

Comment by Eric Jobes on September 22, 2011 at 1:15pm

does anyone have any tips for someone who wants to learn

 

 

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