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 Post subject: Low D Harmonica Options
PostPosted: Sat Aug 23, 2014 10:51 am 

Joined: Fri Jun 14, 2013 7:15 pm
Posts: 104
I've played harmonica sine I was ten but have only really used it to accompany singing in a rack or for the odd blues lick. This past week, though, I've been at three different sessions with trad harmonica players (including one with Rick Epping!), and I've been inspired to try out tunes on the harmonica. I'm finding it pretty easy to transfer tunes to the harmonica, but as my D is hopelessly beyond repair I'm looking for a replacement, preferably a Low D with a plastic comb.

I know there used to be a Special 20 in Low D, and I also know Lee Oskar doesn't make one, but are there any available in that price range from good makes? I prefer Hohner or LO, but only because that's what's always been available to me so I don't know other makes too well. Seydel makes a low d in their "session" line, is it any good? I also prefer replaceable reed plates to having to buy a new harp, but I'd go for either.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 24, 2014 11:50 am 
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Joined: Fri Jul 20, 2001 6:00 pm
Posts: 1378
Location: NorthernIreland/Scotland
There's a lot of choice
One of the biggest issues for harmony playing
is the missing notes on standard diatonics.
Getting a low tuned harp is one way round it but
even better would be a Paddy Richter tuned low harp.
This will allow you to blend better with other instruments rather
than being an octave higher than the fiddle or pipes or whatever.
A lot of Irish players opt for Tremolo harps which have
no missing notes, you just need different keys to allow
for C nat in the G scale and C sharp in the D scale.
Solo tuned diatonics are around too I think.
Then there is the likes of the Seydel Sampler
and also the Slide Diatonic, plus chromatics of course
All the above are used for trad music
I haven't bumped into anyone with a Lee Oskar far
Players mostly settle on one way of playing ie one tuning format
That way you can practice until its all automatic
and fast flowing
It is therefore useful to think about the options and try a few
before you commit to a particular approach
Otherwise you might get good on one then have to learn another when you
decide that it is going to be better
Not a problem for some quick learners but a killer ask for others!!
Some of the top players can handle several different types of harp
with ease and panache !


....nobody said this would be easy......


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 24, 2014 4:23 pm 

Joined: Fri Jun 14, 2013 7:15 pm
Posts: 104
Thanks for the reply. I've been playing Richter tuned diatonics for 14 years, so while I'll try to get Paddy tuned harps, I think I'll stick with what I know. I've tried tremolos and chromatic harps in the past and not been wild about them or solo tuning, plus you can buy diatonics in any shop anywhere pretty much so they're convenient.

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