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Thread: harmonica

  1. #1

    Default harmonica

    ok..so i'm getting my harmonica tomorrow, what should i buy/ what not and what are important things to know when i buy it.

    yawn

  2. #2

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    It would be helpful if you could write what your budgets are man, same goes for your recording threads.
    A trip to the England without a trip to Scotland.... is just a trip to England.


  3. #3

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    ok...i'm still in school so my budget is pretty small, but i can save up money if needed...
    I would like as cheap as possible but still good quality and i am willing to spend allot on something i know i will keep...
    So i'm willing to spend some money, and i hate cheap stuff...

    hope it helps, just think in terms of school budget haha..

    yawn

  4. #4
    Admin Muzoid's Avatar
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    Hohner Marine Band.

    Best bang for the buck.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  5. #5

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    ok, but what should I look out for when i'm buying one?

  6. #6
    Admin Muzoid's Avatar
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    Not too much to look for really, the Marine Band series are always a great start...you just need to decide on the key you want...

    With harmonica, most players I know use one a fifth above the key of the song.

    So if song is in A, they play an E harp.....C > G, D > A, etc.

    That's pretty much the only decision needed.

  7. #7

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    Well, hope I haven't came here too late.

    I advise you to buy an chromatic one, because I'm afraid theres no much to be played whit a common diatonic harmonica. The chromatic ones, by the way, are the ones which have a button on the side, without which you can't play halftones, and therefore nearly any music.

    So arrange yourself a chromatic, even if its cheap.

  8. #8

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    Doesnt Hurricane Ramone play harmonica
    Could always PM him for an opinion
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  9. #9
    Member HurricaneRamon's Avatar
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    Thumbs up So ........you wanna play harmonica :)

    Quote Originally Posted by Muzoid View Post
    Not too much to look for really, the Marine Band series are always a great start...you just need to decide on the key you want...

    With harmonica, most players I know use one a fifth above the key of the song.

    So if song is in A, they play an E harp.....C > G, D > A, etc.

    That's pretty much the only decision needed.
    ================================================== ======
    Muziod :

    Close call but backwards since your referring to diatonic 10 hole 2nd position or what most harmonica men/women call " cross harp " . If the song is in " E " you use an " A " , if in " A " you use a " D " etcetera . Big advantage to be noted on this fact . When you draw air on a diatonic's 1-2-3-4- holes of a harmonica it is possible to get notes that are not there ¿? - in other words you get to produce half step notes that are not actually allocated a reed to make the note .

    You can also use this technique with a chromatic

    - - but - -

    You better know what your doing because bending reeds with air pressure control is just that , it's a control issue that is not that easy as it appears to do , it is the main reason a harmonica player ruins a reed from over blowing or drawing of air when inexperienced at it , it takes time to develop this technique don't rush into it .

    Blues/Jazz/Rock & CW harp players exploit this fact in a most powerful , dynamic and graceful manner when executed correctly . Big headed solo sax players are in awe of this when done by a read deal harp man - Rock Lead Guitar players want to kill them ( harp players who can make their $25.00 harp sound like a $2000.00 Les Paul ) for the way they kill an audience and make them get up off their seats roaring with approval with a louder applause than they just got before the harp player set the room ablaze .

    Below in the quote box Mr.Yakuza mentions a chromatic harmonica . Both he and Muziod have made positive statements in their respective posts in different ways .

    My favorite chromatic - not available any more :

    What I have now :


    A few of the diatonics I play :




    Quote Originally Posted by MrYakuza View Post
    Well, hope I haven't came here too late.

    I advise you to buy an chromatic one, because I'm afraid theres no much to be played whit a common diatonic harmonica. The chromatic ones, by the way, are the ones which have a button on the side, without which you can't play halftones, and therefore nearly any music.



    So arrange yourself a chromatic, even if its cheap.
    ================================================== =======

    Hurricane sez :


    Good observation Mr Yazuka and advice however a diatonic in the hands of a skilled :

    " harp " man

    Can achieve a chromatic scale if they know how to get those half steps by either bending a reed with air pressure control in the lower and middle sections when drawing in air over a reed of the first two scales and over blowing the reeds in the upper register of the scale .

    To a beginner I would suggest they try both kinds of harmonicas as a way to understand the complexities of both to be able to really get the most out of an harmonica experience .

    Now if your only going to play music with a standard rock-n-roll - country western -blues groove a 10 hole diatonic will be sufficient and how ! The diatonic 10 will cover just about anything those genres can produce with stellar results when a person does his " homework " . These songs revolve around the I-IV-V(b) chord progression , it would be a smart move to learn a little about this system of musical chord progression I might add .

    There are many really good harmonica companies out there now a days compared to what was available when I started in 1954 , these are the best harmonica companies :

    Hohner
    Herring
    Suzuki
    Lee Oskar <====<<<- Tombo makes them for Lee
    Huang

    Before you buy a harmonica note that you can not return a harmonica to the store where you purchased it after the sale , it's a question of laws and health concerns so .........

    If you go to a music store ( note I mentioned a MUSIC STORE that sells musical instruments ) to buy a harp ( what a diatonic is more commonly referred too by those who play the heck out of them like me ) ask the sales person if the have a :

    " Harmonica bellows "



    This device allows you to test every individual reed in the blowing and drawing , this is an important thing to do to make sure you walk out with a good working harp . This device also allows for you to test the sound of the first three reeds in unison in the blow and draw for the harp's " chord " , you see a diatonic harp has two " triad " chords .

    In the blow on the first three reeds you will get the major chord ( or the minor if you buy a minor keyed harp ) the harp's tunes too . You will get the second complete chord in the draw ( sucking in air in those same first 3 holes ) of the harp's scale this chord will be the " forth " of the harp's scale it's tuned too . If you have a harp tuned to the key of " C " your blow chord is C and your draw chord is F . I you have a " F " tuned scaled harp your blow chord is " F " and the draw chord is " C " .

    A chromatic is tested the same way note for note , no need to test for a chord sound here .


    If you buy online use the usual cautions and remember if your harmonica is flawed , you will have no recourse for return except for the returning of it to the manufacturer ( where you live will affect this policy so do your homework prior to buying ) for a fix in most scenarios of an online purchase of harmonicas diatonic , chromatic and the other models made .

    This is only a thumbnail sketch on this subject which is more than likely a shock as you read these few words on this subject . I would also suggest that you join a online harmonic forum to further educate yourself on this marvelous and most powerful but highly ignored by most instrument .

    Ask me anything on this instrument you want , I will try to answer it , but a good harp forum's archives like " Harp-L " will have all the answers there waiting for you to research in an instant . I am a member of that one how ever I am not active in it presently , in it you can see all my posts that I accumulated there over a 5 year plus involvement .

    Oh one last bit of advice .

    Keep away from the harmonicas with a wood comb ( body ) , stick to the plastic ones like what I posted , you will be saved from the nightmare of wood swelling up and making the harp useless unless your willing to work at learning harmonica repairs and maintenance too which is a study in and of it's self and if your a beginner it's a distraction from learning to play music on one .

    Good luck

    Hurricane Ramon
    Last edited by HurricaneRamon; 12-12-2009 at 03:26 PM. Reason: Cause I is makin mistaks

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