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Harmonica Forums

Posted: Thu May 31, 2018 9:01 am
by fatmac
There are two harmonica forums that I frequent, both in regular use, these are not your regular blues harp forums.

Harmonica Club Forum - all sorts, diatonic, tremolo, chromatic mainly.

Slidemeister Forum - mainly chromatic, but has a diatonic section.

Re: Harmonica Forums

Posted: Sat Aug 25, 2018 2:27 pm
by Crawforde
Both are great.
I do not have enough time to participate regularly, so I joined here too. I’ve got a thing with attention span.
Anyway since I do not have the time play my Harmonicas enough, I thought I would try to pick up a new instrument and have ordered a whistle. Hopefully they compliment each other.

Re: Harmonica Forums

Posted: Sun Aug 26, 2018 1:55 am
by fatmac
Hi, Crawforde, these little whistles are easier than our harmonicas, but watch out they are very collectable. :thumbsup:

Re: Harmonica Forums

Posted: Sat Sep 01, 2018 6:03 am
by Crawforde
Yep. Little instruments are dangerous.
So after ordering my first whistle, a tweaked Clarke original, looking around here and surfing the posts,...
I purchased two used whistles from a member here.
A Chieftain F and a Dixon Low D.
Now I haven’t had a whistle since I was a little kid.
I didn’t have it long, it disappeared shortly after I got it. I suspect my dad or maybe the neighbors buried it somewhere.
Anyway, the F and Low D arrived already.
Great fun. At first I thought the low D was painfully difficult. But now I like it. I may rarely play that Clarke, just like on my Harmonicas I really like the lower octave tones.
I’ve got a couple harmonica to retunes and put wood covers on them on the bench.
Plus a couple I am making for myself. As soon as the bench is clear, it’s whistle time.
I’ve already started preparing to make myself a few whistles from some copper and PVC I have out there.
Tinkering is a disease without cure.

Re: Harmonica Forums

Posted: Sat Sep 01, 2018 6:27 am
by fatmac
Tinkering is a disease without cure.
:D Some do - some don't. :lol:

I, too, was tempted by a lower whistle - I got an alto G. :)

Re: Harmonica Forums

Posted: Sat Sep 01, 2018 6:47 am
by Crawforde
Does the “some do, some don’t “ go for collecting too?
HAS and the Whistle equivalent may both be contagious and incurable.
Tinkering helps with some of the symptoms, but can turn into its own disease.

Re: Harmonica Forums

Posted: Sat Sep 01, 2018 11:17 am
by fatmac
Oh, yes, we have here an affliction known as W.A.S. :)

I got bitten very quickly. ;)

Full set of Generation nickel high whistles - Bb C D Eb F G
A generation brass high D & a pre used Feadog brass high D
The afore mentioned Tony Dixon traditional brass alto in G
A Tony Dixon ABS high D

With a Generation brass high Bb & C, plus a Waltons Little Black aluminium high D, (just to see/hear what one sounds like), coming shortly. :D

Edit: I already have a couple of duplicates, so if you were counting........... :P

Re: Harmonica Forums

Posted: Tue Mar 05, 2019 9:01 pm
by easycomeeasygo
I'm sure there's a lot of you guys in this thread play harmonica. I've tried it once and liked it SO much, now I consider buying one for myself. I've seen some beginners options and have learnt some basics from these articles:
My main question is for actual experienced players: what particular harmonica can you recommend buying to make my learning process smooth and what are the main points should I pay attention to?

Re: Harmonica Forums

Posted: Thu Mar 07, 2019 4:04 am
by Tor
If we're talking diatonic harmonicas - the ones I prefer (by a hair's width) are the old style Hohner Pro harmonicas (black metal+plastic), with non-replaceable reeds. But they don't make them anymore. The newer ones with replaceable reeds are also good, but not exactly up there with the old ones.
(This would be for blues + Neil Young etc. style harmonica playing. I don't know anything about e.g. chromatic-style harmonica playing).
But there are some variations and I often have to tweak and maintain my Hohner harmonicas. They're my preference, but if I'm going to recommend something that you can't go wrong with it would be Lee Oskar major diatonic harmonicas (they've got three alternative tunings also, but I stick to the normal ones). They're extremely consistent (I've got lots of them), they stay in tune, they're *very* easy to play, they bend easily enough, and the sound is good.
As for lower priced harmonicas I did order a single Easttop chinese blues harmonica, in G, and it's fine. It's very similar to the Hohner harmonicas. But I only have that single one.

Edit: I've never used notation to play harmonica (unlike everything else I play), so for keys I've always just picked harmonicas for the keys I want to play in. If something goes in G, and I want to play that, I use a G harmonica.

Re: Harmonica Forums

Posted: Thu Mar 07, 2019 7:53 am
by fatmac
Lots of options out there. :)

First I'd suggest either a Hohner Special 20 or a Seydel Session (or Session Steel) if you want a decent Richter harp - first 3 holes mainly used for chord playing, with melody on the rest.

Second, I offer the Seydel Orchestra-S, solo tuned like a chromatic, plays melodies better than a Richter, still a 10 hole diatonic, not too expensive.

Then there are tremolos, nice if you like that kind of sound, but a bit different to play - I like them.

Finally we have the chromatic, the best option for playing melodies, it has all the notes & incidentals, (sharps & flats).
(Uses a slide to give the higher note option on each blow or draw note).
You can try out a chromatic fairly cheaply with a Swan 1040, but the better ones are 3 figure prices.

I have all 4 types. ;)

P.S. Start with a key of 'C' - as most tutorials are for that key.

Re: Harmonica Forums

Posted: Thu Mar 07, 2019 10:08 am
by An Draighean
I agree with Tor that the harps with plastic combs are better to start with/easier to play. I haven't played mine for a long time, but I liked Lee Oskar and Hohner Special 20's. Not sure if either are still available. Both were modestly priced.

Re: Harmonica Forums

Posted: Tue Aug 27, 2019 6:39 pm
by Crawforde
Also, check out Paddy Richter harmonica tuning.
Brendan Power makes them for playing Irish music.
They are great for any melody based tunes.
Brendan sells them, as well as Seydel and Easttop, and I think Lee Oscar. Plus it’s easy to make your own. Just sharpen the blow 3 reed.