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Harmonica advice

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Captain Swing 18 Sep 00 - 03:17 PM
GUEST,bseed from school 18 Sep 00 - 05:51 PM
Mbo 18 Sep 00 - 05:56 PM
Captain Swing 19 Sep 00 - 11:21 AM
GospelPicker (inactive) 19 Sep 00 - 04:23 PM
Joe Offer 19 Sep 00 - 04:49 PM
Joe Offer 19 Sep 00 - 04:50 PM
Little Hawk 19 Sep 00 - 05:27 PM
Lonesome EJ 19 Sep 00 - 05:29 PM
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Subject: Harmonica advice
From: Captain Swing
Date: 18 Sep 00 - 03:17 PM

I'd appreciate any advice on starting to play the harmonica. Which type is best: chromatic or diatonic? Or what are their relative merits?

Cheers

Captain Swing


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Subject: RE: Harmonica advice
From: GUEST,bseed from school
Date: 18 Sep 00 - 05:51 PM

Capt. Swing, The best way to start is with a good but inexpensive major diatonic harmonica, such as a Hohner Big River, probably in the key of C--since most harmonica courses have tapes or CDs that are based on that key of harmonica (or you might want to buy a book/tape/harmonica package such as Jon Gindick's Klutz package, about $12 US: it takes you through a couple of songs in C, straight harmonica, useful for most folk melodies, then takes you right into cross harp, blues style, in which you use the C harp to play blues or country in the key of G.

If you start with just a harmonica, just start playing it: straight harp is quite easy--you'll begin finding melodies in it in minutes. Straight harp emphasizes the blow notes; all the blow notes on a harmonica are in the major chord of the key of the harp, and most of the draw notes are part of the other important chords in the key (G and F for the C harp). Then, after you've learned a few tunes, you might want to just try playing along with a guitarist or other instrumentalist playing in G: Here, you'll emphasize the draw (suck) notes; again, just keep playing and soon you'll find the tones that sound good.

Later, after you have mastered a major diatonic, you can decide whether to move to a chromatic or not (I use diatonics in a bunch of keys, major, minor, and special "melody makers" which are made for playing emphasizing the draw notes.

But get a harmonica, start playing it, keep playing it, play with other people, have fun.

--seed


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Subject: RE: Harmonica advice
From: Mbo
Date: 18 Sep 00 - 05:56 PM

Hoo yeah! I've only had mine for a few weeks and I'm bending the draw notes like a madman! No videos for me! SWAMP SONG Hooray!


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Subject: RE: Harmonica advice
From: Captain Swing
Date: 19 Sep 00 - 11:21 AM

Excellent advice, seed. many thanks - Captain Swing.


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Subject: RE: Harmonica advice
From: GospelPicker (inactive)
Date: 19 Sep 00 - 04:23 PM

HEY SWING... I ACTUALLY MAKE MONEY AS A FOLK AND BLUES AND COUNTRY AND JAZZ HARPIST! EMAIL ME REVERENDHARP@CS.COM AND I CAN SET YOU UP WITH SOME GREAT TIPS AND A COPY OF MY INSRTUCTION BOOK!

GOSPELPICKER


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Subject: RE: Harmonica advice
From: Joe Offer
Date: 19 Sep 00 - 04:49 PM

BSeed has to wear something that looks a flak jacket to carry his harmonica collection. He's bulletproof, and available in any key you can dream of!
? He plays darn well, too.

OK, so I bought a harmonica in the Key of C and can play "O Susanna" blindfolded. I'm ready to make a big step and buy a few more harmonicas. What keys should I buy next, if I can afford a total of four of five harmonicas?
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Harmonica advice
From: Joe Offer
Date: 19 Sep 00 - 04:50 PM

BSeed has to wear something that looks a flak jacket to carry his harmonica collection. He's bulletproof, and available in any key you can dream of!
? He plays darn well, too.

OK, so I bought a harmonica in the Key of C and can play "O Susanna" blindfolded. I'm ready to make a big step and buy a few more harmonicas. What keys should I buy next, if I can afford a total of four or five harmonicas?
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Harmonica advice
From: Little Hawk
Date: 19 Sep 00 - 05:27 PM

Yeah, Hohner Big River harps in any major key are the way to go. Have fun!


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Subject: RE: Harmonica advice
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 19 Sep 00 - 05:29 PM

I use A,D,and E harps most often,but I think it depends on the key you sing in,or that your bandmates play the tunes in. Keep in mind there's a 3 step jump from play key to harp key in diatonic playing-

A(play)bc D(harp)

B(play)cd E(harp)

C(play)de F(harp)....and so on


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