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Any help for a new harmonica player?

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GUEST,Tracey Dragonsfriend 30 Mar 01 - 11:57 AM
Sorcha 30 Mar 01 - 12:01 PM
GUEST,Tom 30 Mar 01 - 12:18 PM
GUEST 30 Mar 01 - 12:19 PM
Noreen 30 Mar 01 - 12:49 PM
GUEST 30 Mar 01 - 01:11 PM
Noreen 30 Mar 01 - 01:22 PM
Les from Hull 30 Mar 01 - 01:46 PM
Matt_R 30 Mar 01 - 01:54 PM
GUEST,Tom 30 Mar 01 - 01:59 PM
GUEST,Tom 30 Mar 01 - 02:02 PM
Peter T. 30 Mar 01 - 02:09 PM
Ebbie 30 Mar 01 - 03:16 PM
Mr Red 30 Mar 01 - 03:27 PM
GUEST,Tom 30 Mar 01 - 03:52 PM
Ebbie 30 Mar 01 - 07:54 PM
GUEST,Tracey Dragonsfriend 01 Apr 01 - 10:25 AM
Mr Happy 01 Apr 08 - 10:15 AM
pavane 01 Apr 08 - 10:47 AM
Mark Ross 01 Apr 08 - 11:06 AM
GUEST,Arnie at work 01 Apr 08 - 11:08 AM
Les from Hull 01 Apr 08 - 11:18 AM
Escapee 01 Apr 08 - 06:38 PM
GUEST,Gramps 01 Apr 08 - 08:52 PM
Peace 01 Apr 08 - 09:07 PM
GUEST,Bob Ryszkiewicz 01 Apr 08 - 09:48 PM
GUEST,Bob Ryszkiewicz 01 Apr 08 - 09:51 PM
Peace 01 Apr 08 - 09:53 PM
GUEST,Bob Ryszkiewicz 01 Apr 08 - 10:00 PM
The Fooles Troupe 01 Apr 08 - 10:03 PM
GUEST,Bob Ryszkiewicz 01 Apr 08 - 10:11 PM
GUEST,Bob Ryszkiewicz 01 Apr 08 - 10:45 PM
Lowden Jameswright 02 Apr 08 - 07:06 AM
Lowden Jameswright 02 Apr 08 - 07:24 AM
Steve Shaw 02 Apr 08 - 08:48 AM
pavane 02 Apr 08 - 09:04 AM
Mr Happy 02 Apr 08 - 11:09 AM
Mr Happy 02 Apr 08 - 11:32 AM
Steve Shaw 02 Apr 08 - 11:51 AM
Steve Shaw 02 Apr 08 - 11:52 AM
Mr Happy 02 Apr 08 - 11:53 AM
PoppaGator 02 Apr 08 - 12:00 PM
Mr Happy 02 Apr 08 - 12:03 PM
Mr Happy 02 Apr 08 - 12:04 PM
GUEST,Bob Ryszkiewicz 02 Apr 08 - 12:16 PM
Lowden Jameswright 02 Apr 08 - 02:32 PM
GUEST,Bob Ryszkiewicz 02 Apr 08 - 07:05 PM
pavane 03 Apr 08 - 05:44 AM
Mr Happy 23 Oct 08 - 07:01 AM
The Fooles Troupe 23 Oct 08 - 07:28 AM
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Subject: Any help for a new harmonica player?
From: GUEST,Tracey Dragonsfriend
Date: 30 Mar 01 - 11:57 AM

Well, after growing up listening to my Grandad play harmonica by ear to any tune he heard, adding effects with his hands or a glass, I've always loved the sound. So, when I was working in the USA for a week a while back & saw The Discovery Store selling Hohners at $6, I had to buy one. Now all I have to do is learn to play it! There's some great links out there, giving tabs for songs with the numbers you see on the case. I can now play all sorts of stuff - By the banks of the Ohio, Oh Suzannah, etc... AS LONG AS I keep the piece of paper in sight! Sometimes, I don't even spend 5 mins gasping for breath afterwards, too. But, sadly it's proved that I can't just play be ear as Grandad can... I NEED those tabs. But what I'd really like to do is play some basic blues, and I can't seem to find any tabs for that kind of thing. Anyone know of any very basic stuff around, or have any other advice?


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Subject: RE: Any help for a new harmonica player?
From: Sorcha
Date: 30 Mar 01 - 12:01 PM

Try this site.


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Subject: RE: Any help for a new harmonica player?
From: GUEST,Tom
Date: 30 Mar 01 - 12:18 PM

Tracey, There are a number of instructional videos that could be of good use. Homespun tapes has a few. Although, I haven't seen it, the one's by Peter "Madcat" Ruth I would bet are very good. I have seen him play many times and he is incredible. Also, Jerry Potnoy who played with Muddy Waters amoung others has a very good box set of instructional CD's. I bought this and have learned a lot. He covers all aspects of how to produce the blues sounds your after. From very basic to advanced "tricks". It is a bit on the pricey side though, I paid about $60.00 US dollars. I would also try to avoid learning just by tabs, cause if your like me and it sounds like you are a bit. Once I learn from a tab I always seem to need it. But if I learn from ear than I can play it at any time. And who wants to drag around a bunch of tab sheets? The beauty of the harp is that it's so portable. Just don't put it in your back pants pocket! It's hard to play a flatted harp. Try these sites: www.harpmaster.com www.homspuntapes.com Type in harmonicas in Yahoo etc. and you'll get all kinds of good sites. Good luck. Tom


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Subject: RE: Any help for a new harmonica player?
From: GUEST
Date: 30 Mar 01 - 12:19 PM

Click here for a site that purports to give some basic instruction in blues harp playing. I don't play harp, and I didn't give the site a thorough going over, but it sounds promising.

Typing something like "Blues harmonica tab instruction" (without the quotation marks) into the search engine of your choice will yield this site and others that may even be of more use to you. Best of luck.


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Subject: RE: Any help for a new harmonica player?
From: Noreen
Date: 30 Mar 01 - 12:49 PM

And why is it called a harp? I've only heard this recently and found it confusing...

Noreen
easilyconfusedattimes


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Subject: RE: Any help for a new harmonica player?
From: GUEST
Date: 30 Mar 01 - 01:11 PM

Click here for one explanation. There may be others.


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Subject: RE: Any help for a new harmonica player?
From: Noreen
Date: 30 Mar 01 - 01:22 PM

Thanks, Guest, interesting! French Harps made in Germany, and harmonica being too long a word... But wasn't harmonica a trade name originally, and 'mouth organ' the accepted name?


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Subject: RE: Any help for a new harmonica player?
From: Les from Hull
Date: 30 Mar 01 - 01:46 PM

Hi Tracey

If you want to learn more about playing by ear, you need to discard the tab as soon as you can. Think of the simplest tunes you know (three blind mice?) and play them without your cribsheet. It doesn't matter how slow or how many mistakes you make.

When you can do this well enough, go back to Oh Suzannah and such and play them without the cribsheet. Then start to just play, sort of making up tunes as you go along. You'll sound find that your mouth and hands know where the notes are without your brain interfering too much.

Always keep your harmonica handy. You can play it anytime you have a spare minute or two.

Blues is a bit different. Most players play what they call 'cross harp', which is playing a harmonica in a different key to the key of the song. So if you have a guitar player playing in E (which they often do, being the easiest guitar key for blues) you'll need a harmonica in A. This makes the most important notes into 'suck' notes, which are the easiest to bend.

Now bending notes is something that's hard to explain without someone having a glass mouth - you need to see what's going on in there! But try a suck note on say hole 4, keep sucking and then imagine it's not a harmonica but a lemon! You purse you lips more and tighten the inside of your mouth and the note starts to bend slightly down. When you can connect what you are doing with your mouth with what your ears are hearing, your playing the blues!

I wish you the best of luck, I've had a lot of fut playing harmonica - it's a very underrated instrument.

And Noreen - they're also called gob-iron and tin sandwich.

Les


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Subject: RE: Any help for a new harmonica player?
From: Matt_R
Date: 30 Mar 01 - 01:54 PM

And Scots call it a "mouthie"! THE SWAMP SONG is insanely hard to play...almost every note is a sucking bend. You have to take big breaths after each riff so you have enough air to hold out for those sucks!


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Subject: RE: Any help for a new harmonica player?
From: GUEST,Tom
Date: 30 Mar 01 - 01:59 PM

Les made a good point about the "cross" harp. Below is a reference of some common guitar or song keys and the corresponding harp key to play in.

 Song Key      Harp key
A..............D
G..............C
E..............A
C..............F
D..............G
B..............E

Tom


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Subject: RE: Any help for a new harmonica player?
From: GUEST,Tom
Date: 30 Mar 01 - 02:02 PM

Well, that's not quite how I layed out the pattern in my message but it will do I guess. The first letter is the song key and the second letter is the "cross"harp key to play in. Tom


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Subject: RE: Any help for a new harmonica player?
From: Peter T.
Date: 30 Mar 01 - 02:09 PM

Anyone know a site for the kind of harmonica they play in Quebec/Cajun? It looks like a bass harmonica, but is obviously structured differently. Rick Fielding had me play one last night. Never seen one before.

yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Any help for a new harmonica player?
From: Ebbie
Date: 30 Mar 01 - 03:16 PM

Tom, I'm missing something here- what is the pattern in cross harp keys? For instance, from A to E is 4 1/2 steps; from D to G is 3 1/2 steps; from G to B is 3 steps... How does one know which harp a key calls for?

Eb


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Subject: RE: Any help for a new harmonica player?
From: Mr Red
Date: 30 Mar 01 - 03:27 PM

I bought the seminal work on the subject
"Country & Blues HARMONICA for the musically hopeless"
and failed 15 years ago.
but the good news is I never really gave it a go. The book(let) comes complete with Harp, is by John Gindick, Klutz press, ISBN 0-932592-08-2. And if it is out of print I know where there is an unused copy.......
It maybe why I am a drummer!!!


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Subject: RE: Any help for a new harmonica player?
From: GUEST,Tom
Date: 30 Mar 01 - 03:52 PM

Ebbie, It does look confusing the way it got laid out let me try again. The cross harp is a fourth from the root chord. Or, in a I IV V blues pattern the cross harp key is the second chord you play. Hope that's clearer.

Song Key. Harp Key. A..............D. B..............E. C..............F. D..............G. E..............A.

How do shut up a harp player? Ask him what notes he just played.


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Subject: RE: Any help for a new harmonica player?
From: Ebbie
Date: 30 Mar 01 - 07:54 PM

Thanks, Tom!

Eb


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Subject: RE: Any help for a new harmonica player?
From: GUEST,Tracey Dragonsfriend
Date: 01 Apr 01 - 10:25 AM

Thanks to all of you! I really appreciate all your help...


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Subject: RE: Any help for a new harmonica player?
From: Mr Happy
Date: 01 Apr 08 - 10:15 AM

Anyone have any tips for when they get 'bunged up'?

Is it feasible to wash them to clean out gunk or will this damage them further?


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Subject: RE: Any help for a new harmonica player?
From: pavane
Date: 01 Apr 08 - 10:47 AM

Never did manage to clean them successfully, even if I dismantled the whole thing and tried to clean just the reeds.

On the subject of playing by ear:

I find that if I learn anything from written music (Notes, tab), it is MUCH more difficult to remember than if I learn by ear.

I think this is related to different memory areas in the brain.


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Subject: RE: Any help for a new harmonica player?
From: Mark Ross
Date: 01 Apr 08 - 11:06 AM

The easiest instrument to play, the hardest to teach.

Mark Ross


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Subject: RE: Any help for a new harmonica player?
From: GUEST,Arnie at work
Date: 01 Apr 08 - 11:08 AM

A useful tip regarding cleaning is to tap out the harmonica on your knee after every play. This stops excess moisture building up on the reeds and keeps it useable for a bit longer. I learned to play a 'gob-iron' from my father and I think my first real tune was 'Oh when the Saints come marching in' which is reasonably easy in either G or C. Some guitars players accompany themselves on a harp using a neck brace but this does mean that you can't use your hands to get the 'wow wow' effect. However, that's for the future Tracey!

Good luck

Arnie


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Subject: RE: Any help for a new harmonica player?
From: Les from Hull
Date: 01 Apr 08 - 11:18 AM

Harmonica maintenance (sensitive people read no further!)

You can clean out the mouth gunk that gathers around the holes with a pin. But to get the stuff that collects near the reeds you really have to open them up. Sometimes a sharp tap on your leg will work (with the gob-iron, this is not a plumbing joke). You can get a tool kit from Lee Oskar Harmonicas with good instructions, which are reprinted here Lee Oskars (and possibly others) also sell replacement reed plates.

On the subject of washing /soaking - with the older wooden bodied instruments it was often used to tighten up the instrument and make it more airtight. Some of the old blues players would only play them wet. But it doesn't really do the instrument any good. I don't play the wooden bodied ones any more - the comb swells beyond the reed plate and tends to act as a wood plane on your lips!

So you can wash your instruments under the tap, but only use water. Anything else will be going down you lungs when you play next! And shake and tap them to get them dry.


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Subject: RE: Any help for a new harmonica player?
From: Escapee
Date: 01 Apr 08 - 06:38 PM

I soak them briefly in hot soapy water and rinse them well. I dry them with a hair dryer, but try not to get them so dry they shrink or crack. Sometimes you have to give up and replace it.
SKP


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Subject: RE: Any help for a new harmonica player?
From: GUEST,Gramps
Date: 01 Apr 08 - 08:52 PM

Advice to harmonica player:

Remember, you don't suck completely.


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Subject: RE: Any help for a new harmonica player?
From: Peace
Date: 01 Apr 08 - 09:07 PM

"Any help for a new harmonica player?"

I stumbled 'cross this thread quite by accident. I couldn't help but think that anyone who's taken up the harmonica is either a relapsed banjo player or a frustrated tuba player. I regret to mention that by the time a soul has turned to harmonica, well, he's far beyond our humble means to rejuvenate or reintroduce to society.


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Subject: RE: Any help for a new harmonica player?
From: GUEST,Bob Ryszkiewicz
Date: 01 Apr 08 - 09:48 PM

Start here: Larry Adler & Itzhak Perlman...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OmC4SJ42Z-s&feature=related

bob


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Subject: RE: Any help for a new harmonica player?
From: GUEST,Bob Ryszkiewicz
Date: 01 Apr 08 - 09:51 PM

Then. You go NUTS! Harmonicats - Jerry Murad...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dw0J6lICTQQ


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Subject: RE: Any help for a new harmonica player?
From: Peace
Date: 01 Apr 08 - 09:53 PM

LOL


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Subject: RE: Any help for a new harmonica player?
From: GUEST,Bob Ryszkiewicz
Date: 01 Apr 08 - 10:00 PM

After you've been WORKIN' it......You boldly go where no man has gone before, and you ask to sit in with TOOTS & STEVIE!.........
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RtSJH8iVdJg


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Subject: RE: Any help for a new harmonica player?
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 01 Apr 08 - 10:03 PM

Actually, I am tempted to say that there isn't any help for an old harmonica player, either...


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Subject: RE: Any help for a new harmonica player?
From: GUEST,Bob Ryszkiewicz
Date: 01 Apr 08 - 10:11 PM

And then, when you have it all figured out....You challenge BUDDY to a "winner take all" right in the middle of the street. Like Doc Holliday meets Johnny Ringo at High Noon...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rfLhnkme2mE
And if you win, you can quit your day job...
bob


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Subject: RE: Any help for a new harmonica player?
From: GUEST,Bob Ryszkiewicz
Date: 01 Apr 08 - 10:45 PM

And just when it's time to go to that big Marine Band in the sky, if you've been really good,
perhaps your destiny will take you to "Harmonica Heaven"...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LtlWhDZIgOg

I just couldn't forget Borrah Minevitch and his Harmonica Rascals w/Johnny Puleo.
Brings me back to my first harmonica that I got when I was 8...

I wish you all the best and much success with this incredible instrument...bob


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Subject: RE: Any help for a new harmonica player?
From: Lowden Jameswright
Date: 02 Apr 08 - 07:06 AM

I have to say Tracey that Mudcat is a wonderful resource, but sometimes you have to trawl through a load of guff too! If you want to learn to play the harmonica properly, start from the basics and do it right. That means learning how to play clean individual notes and starting by learning to play up and down the scale and playing simple tunes. You CAN learn by ear, but you need to start with proper "building blocks" - starting with your scale notes starting from hole number 4 on a 10 hole Diatonic harmonica.

Learn the "tongue blocking" method by which you place the tip of your tongue in hole No 2 and slightly press your tongue onto holes 1 and 3, leaving a gap between your tongue and the right hand edge of your mouth to blow a clean note in hole 4 to get the 1st note of the scale. The 2nd note of the scale is a draw (or suck) note in hole 4 and then as follows:

3rd note - 5th hole blow
4th note - 5th hole draw
5th note - 6th hole blow
6th note - 6th hole draw
7th note - 7th hole DRAW
8th note - 7th hole BLOW

Once you can play up and down all 10 holes and creating clean individual notes you are well prepared to progress quickly on to the many techniques that enhance your sound. Those techniques include cross harp blues playing using the "lip pucker" method, but beware of advice from anyone trying to tell you how to play blues from scratch (without learning the basics) - too many of them are "random note and chord chuckers" who have tried to short circuit the process. OK - some of them are able to achieve a workmanlike sound, but it is impossible to get the best out of the instrument going down that route.

There are many good books available on learning the harmonica - and there are some excellent CD's, but there is no substitute for GOOD practice.

Good luck


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Subject: RE: Any help for a new harmonica player?
From: Lowden Jameswright
Date: 02 Apr 08 - 07:24 AM

For blues harmonica technique, this guy seems to know what he's doing and is probably as good as it gets for free tuition.... but my advice is to leave the blues technique well alone until you have learned how to play straight harp with competence and confidence:


http://www.youtube.com/user/KudzuRunner


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Subject: RE: Any help for a new harmonica player?
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 02 Apr 08 - 08:48 AM

Ive written about hygiene and cleaning harmonicas here: http://harmonicapics.mysite.wanadoo-members.co.uk (page three is wher it's at!) Also, this chap knows a thing or three about cleaning chromatics: http://www.angelfire.com/music/HarpOn (dig around -you'll find it!)

Basically, make sure your mouth is clean before playing. I play all night in pub sessions and my downfall comes when the landlord brings us a big plate of chips half-way through. Do whatever you have to to get your mouth food-free before recommencing, and only play non-valved, plastic-bodied harps for a while afterwards - they're the easiest to clean! The worst things are sweet drinks, peanuts and crisps. Never use Vaseline or similar as this will accumulate rapidly and disgustingly in the holes and it is well-nigh insoluble. You can use a thin, water-based lip cream (unscented) such as Cymex if you must have lip lube. After a fair bit of playing (e.g. a long night in the pub session) I clean my harps as follows. Plastic-bodied blues harps with no valves (Lee Oskars, Special 20s and the like) get a good wash-out under a stream of tepid water, fore and aft. Tap out the excess water and leave out to dry overnight. Similar but wood-bodied harps: you're not supposed to, but I do the same to some of these as well. I would never do it to the old, nailed blues harps or any Marine Band because they have wood that swells, but it doesn't seem to hurt the MS blues harps. Echo tremolos have very delicate wood bodies, and you can wreck the harp with a single immersion in water. I've done it so I know! Harps like these that can't be washed (including any with plastic valves), just clean off the covers and mouthpieces and resort to very occasional dismantling to clean if necessary. Do this with chromatics too, dismantling only when absolutely necessary. A very useful way of preventing a sticking slide is to get a dinner plate and fill it with a shallow layer of hot water. Hold the crom upside-down (mouthpiece down) in the water and work the slide rapidly back and forth for a minute. Remove the harp still facing downwards (the harp, not you) and tap out before lying it down to dry overnight. If you really must dismantle for cleaning (e.g. a second-hand harp you've inherited) you can soak all metal and plastic parts in denture cleaner (or Fairy liquid) and clean carefully with a toothbrush. A safe solvent and bug-killer is isoproyl alcohol. It's that stuff in little plastic bottles that used to be used for cleaning cassette player heads, etc. Not valved reedplates though (valves are those white plasticky bits). Stroke reeds with the brush only from the rivet upwards, otherwise you've wrecked the harp.   With the best will in the world there will be the occasional moustache hair or other thread-like object that gets itself wedged under a reed and stops it working. Don't just go poking blindly down the holes. Remove cover, investigate and gently ease the offending object away.   If your harmonica bungs up frequently with saliva, cut down on drinks other than water and angle the harp slightly up when you play it. Tap out at the end of every tune. Trouser legs have nothing to do with keeping legs warm - they were invented so that you'd have someting to tap the harp out on. Unlike some websites that offer similar advice, I would never recommend that harmonica players should avoid alcoholic drinks. ;-)


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Subject: RE: Any help for a new harmonica player?
From: pavane
Date: 02 Apr 08 - 09:04 AM

And don't forget - once you can play Harmonica, it will be easy to pick up Melodeon (which is just a harmonica with a bellows to blow it, so it doesn't get clogged up with gunge).

Then someone will point you to the local Morris side, and you will be on the downhill path....

(Pavane, ex Morris dancer)


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Subject: RE: Any help for a new harmonica player?
From: Mr Happy
Date: 02 Apr 08 - 11:09 AM

pavane,

Been there.........done that!!

************

Steve Shaw,

Thanks for tips, I'll try 'em, Cheers


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Subject: RE: Any help for a new harmonica player?
From: Mr Happy
Date: 02 Apr 08 - 11:32 AM

Steve,

Just had a peek at your site http://harmonicapics.mysite.wanadoo-members.co.uk
good stuff!


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Subject: RE: Any help for a new harmonica player?
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 02 Apr 08 - 11:51 AM

The main one is here though:
http://mysite.wanadoo-members.co.uk/trad_irish_harmonica

Thanks!

Steve


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Subject: RE: Any help for a new harmonica player?
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 02 Apr 08 - 11:52 AM

http://mysite.wanadoo-members.co.uk/trad_irish_harmonica/index.jhtml

Does that work? I'm useless at this!


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Subject: RE: Any help for a new harmonica player?
From: Mr Happy
Date: 02 Apr 08 - 11:53 AM

http://mysite.wanadoo-members.co.uk/trad_irish_harmonica


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Subject: RE: Any help for a new harmonica player?
From: PoppaGator
Date: 02 Apr 08 - 12:00 PM

I'm amazed that this thread sat idle for exactly seven years, from 01 Apr 01 to 01 Apr 08.

Could this curious development have anything to do with April Fools?

..................

"...I couldn't help but think that anyone who's taken up the harmonica is either a relapsed banjo player or a frustrated tuba player. I regret to mention that by the time a soul has turned to harmonica, well, he's far beyond our humble means to rejuvenate or reintroduce to society."

Geez, Bruce, lighten up! My arthritis is getting so bad that I may have to abandon the guitar someday sonn, and if that happens, I just might take up the mouth harp. If it comes to that, I'm gonna be really really sensitive about nasty jokes like yours there. That crap may be OK for banjo players and squeezeboxers, but it's in very bad taste for the likes of Sonny Boy Williamson, Paul Butterfield, Junior Wells, Toots Thielman, and perhaps my own future self as well!

Years ago, I had thoughts of taking up the harmonica and carried one around for a couple of years (an "A" harp, to play blues in E). I never got beyond using it as a pitch piipe for tuning my guitar, and occasionally loaning it others so they could jam with me. I even owned a neck rack for a while, but never learned well enough to become a real player. I just didn't apply myself and practice ~ whenever I felt the motivation to play music, I'd always fall back on the instrument I already knew, the guitar.


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Subject: RE: Any help for a new harmonica player?
From: Mr Happy
Date: 02 Apr 08 - 12:03 PM

Not April Fool - I generally don't want to start a new thread if there's one existing already, which is why I revived this one with my related query.


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Subject: RE: Any help for a new harmonica player?
From: Mr Happy
Date: 02 Apr 08 - 12:04 PM

BTW,

I've a neck rack too, tried it once, then never used it - tips?


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Subject: RE: Any help for a new harmonica player?
From: GUEST,Bob Ryszkiewicz
Date: 02 Apr 08 - 12:16 PM

Hi Tracey: Your request for help got me inspired to bring you the list of vids on some of the great harmonica players of our time. So many were left out. It was fun to do and I hope YOU got inspired....People who tell you you need a regimented approach To "learn to play the harmonica properly" don't know what they're talking about. So many of the great players came right off the street, Sonny Terry, Stevie Wonder, Paul Butterfield, etc. Through trial and error, they developed unique styles.
I can tell you that I learned to play the guitar by pure desire. Sometimes just hitting loose strings that I did not know how to tune. Then came tuning & chords from a friend. Then came the Coffehouses and Concerts. After that,
Berklee(Boston). I am still learning today... Joni Mitchell developed her own chordal methods and created some great music. Because, it's all about MUSIC. I could go on with people like Jeff Healey, who played with the guitar on his lap...Jimi Hendrix. Incorporating feedback and whammy bar techniques he created music never heard before. These people are now legends. So there is no "PROPER" way to learn an instrument.
You could take this into the world of film with people like Alfred Hitchcock, Ingemar Bergman, Quentin Tarantino, etc.
I once walked the streets of Montreal with John Hammond(Bluesman), and asked him how he got those incredible vibratos. He told me, "Just keep trying to do it, and it will come." He did NOT refer me to a book. I couldn't understand at first, but then it came. And in my own unique way. I also had the opportunity to jam with George Benson(Jazz Master), who taught me to be able to sing what I could play, and vice versa...No book. All FEEL...George admitted at the Musician's Union where he was giving a seminar, that he knew little about music.LOL. But that he learned to play by "searching for the notes" as he moved his hand up and down the neck. A Great Memory...
I was with Howard Roberts(L.A.Session Ace/Jazz Master) who told me he won "1958 DownBeat's Jazz Guitarist of the Year," with ONE SCALE. LOL. The notes are all there, it's how you put them together that counts.
I had friends who would endlessly copy, note for note, licks off of records, and yes, they were able to play some complex things. But something was missing. That something was A UNIQUE STYLE. They sounded like everybody else. Music is NOT about being a ROBOT...
So, in my view, there are as many ways to approaching learning to play an instrument as there are people...Some do it by books, others take a more direct approach.
You will find your own way...
I was thinking how cool it would be to take the harmonica and incorporate the use of Synths...So I found this guy...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w5pQxLlRnw0
I wish you "Happy Harmonica" and a pleasant journey in Music...Let your Spirit guide you..Just keep trying to do it, and it will come...bob


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Subject: RE: Any help for a new harmonica player?
From: Lowden Jameswright
Date: 02 Apr 08 - 02:32 PM

... and for every Jimi Hendrix there's a thousand would-be guitarists who sold their guitars out of frustration, and for every Sonny Terry another thousand who threw their harmonicas in the bin. So just learn to play by trial and error and you'll magic-up some new inspired way of playing. If learning to drive just go out on the highway and "play it by ear" and you'll end up a top F1 driver - or dead.


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Subject: RE: Any help for a new harmonica player?
From: GUEST,Bob Ryszkiewicz
Date: 02 Apr 08 - 07:05 PM

For all you harmoniacs out there...Another great one...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0YHCiC7IIg8&feature=related
I wonder if anybody out there is doing this kind of stuff these days?


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Subject: RE: Any help for a new harmonica player?
From: pavane
Date: 03 Apr 08 - 05:44 AM

Detractors may wish to note that the (chromatic) Harmonica is the ONLY free-reed instrument to be admitted to the classical Orchestra.

No Concertinas, accordions, melodeons, harmoniums allowed.


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Subject: RE: Any help for a new harmonica player?
From: Mr Happy
Date: 23 Oct 08 - 07:01 AM

Hi again folks!

I've a cross harp equivalence chart for most keys.

The one I don't have is for B#, anyone have the equivalent?


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Subject: RE: Any help for a new harmonica player?
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 23 Oct 08 - 07:28 AM

"Detractors may wish to note that the (chromatic) Harmonica is the ONLY free-reed instrument to be admitted to the classical Orchestra."

This is simply not true. Indeed the reverse is the case.


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