It is currently Fri Sep 21, 2018 1:58 am

All times are UTC - 6 hours




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 10 posts ] 
Author Message
 
PostPosted: Sat Jun 26, 2010 5:19 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon Nov 10, 2008 9:13 am
Posts: 58
Location: Washington, D.C.
Forgive me for repeating a question I'm sure has been posed many times before, but I couldn't seem to find the right thread.

I'm a relative newbie to the whistle (and an adult learner when it comes to music generally). I've also begun noodling around with the harmonica. To begin playing on the harmonica some of the Irish tunes I've learned for the whistle (say, "Si Beag Si Mohr," for starters ... or "Inisheer"), is there a single harmonica that would serve me best?

Do I need to buy (or assemble myself) a harp in Paddy Richter tuning? Or is the Lee Oskar Melody Maker in D (the cheaper option, I think) the one to buy?

Thanks!

_________________
JC


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
PostPosted: Sat Jun 26, 2010 7:11 pm 
Offline

Joined: Wed Nov 25, 2009 12:52 pm
Posts: 10
It would be very difficult to do it all on one harmonica. You'll need one in G and D for certain, and an A and C are often handy as well. As to the tuning, you can do a lot with a standard harp, but many tunes become much easier with the paddy richter tuning. You can assemble them yourself from Lee Oskar plates, or buy them ready-made from Seydel. http://coast2coastmusic.com/cgi-bin/cart/scan/fi=products/st=db/co=1/sf=category/se=harmonicas/op=rm/nu=0/sf=sub_cat1/se=Seydel/op=rm/nu=0/ml=50/tf=sku/to=x.html
Although I've had trouble with a certain reed on their Blues Session Paddy Richter D harmonicas, my G has lasted a couple of years now. If you have the money, I have heard nothing but good things about their 1874 models. Indeed, I am probably going to get one myself soon, should the budget goddess alllow. But don't let it intimidate you: a single D harmonica will stand you for many tunes.

It's also not impossible to tune a regular harp to Paddy Richter (If I managed it, anybody can) but you are risking a bit of money should it turn out poorly.

For inspiration, Brendan Power is absolutely amazing, although he strays far from the pure drop at times (he has a method book as well) and "Pigtown Fling" by Randal Bays and Joel Silverstein is a delight for harmonica enthusiasts. I'm sure others will come in with more sensible advice, but for what it is worth, I've learned the most by simply playing the tunes and enjoying them on the harmonica.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
PostPosted: Sat Jun 26, 2010 7:51 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Wed Jun 09, 2010 6:54 pm
Posts: 64
Location: New England, USA
You can do tons of Irish tunes with just a simple D harmonica, doesn't even need special tuning (the Paddy Richter tuning gives you a low B, but since the whistles and flutes can't play that note, it is no big deal anyhow). After all, single row D melodeon players have been a part of the music for a long time, and with the exception of the C natural, you have all the most common notes of Irish music.

Now, if you really want to play the tunes in G or with C naturals in them, then a G harmonica is in order, and on that one, the Paddy tuning brings you a low E which is pretty much essential. And if you want to play the tunes that use both C nats and C sharps, then a chromatic is in order. And if you want to do ornaments like the other instruments, a customized chromatic. And the next thing you know you are down the slippery slope, reading all the websites about esoteric harmonica facts, acquiring more and more specialized instruments and spending a bundle....

Myself, two Hohner special 20 harmonicas, one in Low D, and one in G, cover enough tunes to make me happy. (I also have a number of other harps for the group I play in, to accomodate the singer's favorite keys, but that is another story.)

So, don't feel like you need to make a big investment to get started, and enjoy the journey!


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
PostPosted: Sat Jun 26, 2010 9:39 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sat Jun 26, 2010 5:57 pm
Posts: 2
I find that a simple diatonic in D, regular old Richter tuning, is sufficient for the vast majority of tunes. You might start there and then move on to more specialized harps once you start hitting the edges of what you can do with that one.
Years ago, I assembled a list of good tunes for the D harp, if you're interested I can try to dig it out of my hard drive, but you can start with these sets
Jigs: Donnybrook Fair/Tripping Up the Stairs/My Darling Asleep
Reels: Sporting Paddy/Man Of the House/Drunken Landlady
Polkas: Egan's/The Little Diamond (the one in D, it's got another name that I can't remember)/the Glenside/the Britches

Those will get you started, at least.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
PostPosted: Sun Jun 27, 2010 4:22 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sun Dec 20, 2009 11:29 am
Posts: 29
Location: Paris, FRANCE
Hi ! You can also try to play on a solo tuning in D or G. I know Seydel makes some diatonic in solo tuning. And with this tuning it's easy to swich from diatonic to chromatic.

_________________
http://www.myspace.com/nicolasmoreau


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
PostPosted: Sun Jun 27, 2010 11:13 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Fri Aug 26, 2005 4:24 pm
Posts: 1248
Location: Pittsburgh, PA USA
Where is the mighty Steve to give a reply? He's by far our resident expert here.

I follow pretty much what he does, using a Paddy tuned Lee Oskar in G and a Hohner Special 20 in Low D. I have a high D that I like to play with sometimes if I want a brighter sound. I use a Bushman Delta Frost in C and I will most likely try to Paddy tune one in G sometime soon (I really like how my Delta Frosts have held up).

I like the Seydel Blues harps because they don't pull my mustache hairs, but they have a bit of a weak sound and the reeds don't last as long in my opinion.

As for listening, remember that as good as Power is, he's playing 99% on a chromatic. Listen to Steve Shaw, James Thurgood and James Conway for a good selection of what you are going to be learning. Listen to Accordion and Concertina music, and listen to Fiddle Music. That's good inspiration for playing. Listen to Mr Power because he's just that good. His tutor is actually a pretty darn good one and worth the price of admission. Heck, listen to LoveBoxQuartet on YouTube to hear a completely differing approach to playing. Of course, listen the The Murphys. Trip to Cullenstown is amazing.

That should hold you for a good start.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
PostPosted: Sun Jun 27, 2010 12:41 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Wed Jun 09, 2010 6:54 pm
Posts: 64
Location: New England, USA
If you are referring to Steve Shaw, I believe he was barred from future discussions here on C&F for excessive grumpiness, or something like that. If you wish to discuss something with him, he can still be found at thesession.org.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
PostPosted: Sun Jun 27, 2010 2:42 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon Nov 10, 2008 9:13 am
Posts: 58
Location: Washington, D.C.
Thanks for all the helpful info, guys ...

_________________
JC


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
PostPosted: Sat Jul 24, 2010 10:13 am 
Offline

Joined: Fri Feb 26, 2010 1:39 pm
Posts: 131
Location: North Somerset U.K
Hi

I am a member of O'Caralan Fan's (Folk Duo) and find that my Hohner Chromatic 12 (G) and Seydel Super Chromatic 12 (D) gives me all the options I generally need. If you are looking for something more specific in tuning for ITM Seydel now produce a Chromatic Super 12 (G & D) with what they call Irish Tuning check out their wed site, just google Seydel.

Hope this is of help.

Ian


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
PostPosted: Sun Jul 25, 2010 12:54 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sun Dec 20, 2009 11:29 am
Posts: 29
Location: Paris, FRANCE
By the way Michael Timler from Harponline has now the Tuning-Designer and you can have your specific tuning on the Hohner harp. I've bought a Chromonica 270 with the Trad tuning and it's great, very well tuned and it took less than a month to have it.

Nico

_________________
http://www.myspace.com/nicolasmoreau


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 10 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 6 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group
[ Time : 0.102s | 11 Queries | GZIP : On ]
(dh)