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Harmonica Players Unite!

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LEJ 02 Jun 99 - 04:33 PM
Mike Billo 02 Jun 99 - 05:41 PM
LEJ 02 Jun 99 - 06:42 PM
Mike Billo 02 Jun 99 - 07:28 PM
Mark Roffe 02 Jun 99 - 07:40 PM
Mike Billo 02 Jun 99 - 09:40 PM
bseed(charleskratz) 03 Jun 99 - 12:35 AM
Vixen 03 Jun 99 - 10:29 AM
Steve Latimer 03 Jun 99 - 10:58 AM
Fadac 03 Jun 99 - 11:04 AM
Mark Roffe 03 Jun 99 - 12:24 PM
catspaw49 03 Jun 99 - 12:35 PM
reggie miles 03 Jun 99 - 01:13 PM
LEJ 03 Jun 99 - 02:08 PM
Fadac 03 Jun 99 - 03:11 PM
LEJ 03 Jun 99 - 03:20 PM
Mike Billo 03 Jun 99 - 05:02 PM
reggie miles 03 Jun 99 - 05:21 PM
Fadac 03 Jun 99 - 06:37 PM
Knappo 03 Jun 99 - 09:24 PM
DonMeixner 03 Jun 99 - 11:11 PM
Lonesome EJ 04 Jun 99 - 12:35 AM
reggie miles 04 Jun 99 - 01:14 AM
Rick Fielding 04 Jun 99 - 02:20 AM
catspaw49 04 Jun 99 - 02:36 AM
Richard Bridge 04 Jun 99 - 02:42 AM
Steve Latimer 04 Jun 99 - 11:05 AM
Rick Fielding 04 Jun 99 - 12:28 PM
Tony Burns 04 Jun 99 - 12:55 PM
Steve Latimer 04 Jun 99 - 01:19 PM
Lonesome EJ 06 Jan 00 - 12:58 AM
Benjamin 07 Jan 00 - 01:07 AM
jets 07 Jan 00 - 03:06 AM
JamesBerriman 07 Jan 00 - 05:59 AM
Stewie 07 Jan 00 - 07:22 AM
JedMarum 07 Jan 00 - 10:00 AM
Danlbear 07 Jan 00 - 10:19 AM
Miike Billo 07 Jan 00 - 10:26 AM
jeffp 07 Jan 00 - 10:46 AM
Steve Latimer 07 Jan 00 - 10:57 AM
Danlbear 07 Jan 00 - 11:05 AM
Danlbear 07 Jan 00 - 11:07 AM
jeffp 07 Jan 00 - 11:10 AM
Danlbear 07 Jan 00 - 11:49 AM
bseed(charleskratz) 07 Jan 00 - 12:32 PM
Benjamin 07 Jan 00 - 02:20 PM
Mike Billo 07 Jan 00 - 04:44 PM
Benjamin 08 Jan 00 - 12:08 AM
Lonesome EJ 08 Jan 00 - 12:23 AM
bseed(charleskratz) 08 Jan 00 - 01:32 AM
JedMarum 08 Jan 00 - 11:02 AM
Terry Allan Hall 08 Jan 00 - 11:41 AM
Terry Allan Hall 08 Jan 00 - 05:56 PM
Lonesome EJ 03 Mar 01 - 07:15 PM
Barry T 03 Mar 01 - 07:52 PM
GUEST,Miles 02 Mar 09 - 11:30 PM
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Subject: Harmonica Players Unite!
From: LEJ
Date: 02 Jun 99 - 04:33 PM

Who out there plays harmonica? What kind of harp, and what kind of music do you play? Who are your harmonica heroes? Do you have any "tricks-of-the-trade" you would share?

I play diatonics only, usually blues harps and some Marine Band, cross-harp style. I play a lot of shuffle blues, also rock n roll and country. I usually play A and D harps to accompany my vocals, using Unisphere mics for both vocal and harp, playing harp through the PA with treble knocked way back and a windscreen on the mic. Anyone use a separate amp for harp? I am a great admirer of the harp work of Sonny Terry, Paul Butterfield, Charlie Musselwhite and Howard Levy.

LEJ


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Subject: RE: Harmonica Players Unite!
From: Mike Billo
Date: 02 Jun 99 - 05:41 PM

I play diatonics only. Marine Bands and Big Rivers, Special 20's. I play mostly first position. American and Irish fiddle tunes, Cowboy songs, folk, etc. I used to play (cross-harp)Blues exclusively, but not too much anymore. No particular reason, just drifted away from it. Learned a lot from Big Walter "Shakey" Horton during a tenure as his guitarist. I always use a seperate amp for harp. A Roland Cube-60 with a generic Radio Shack Microphone, with treble rolled off and reverb way up. My heroes are Sonny Terry, Robert Cooksey of Leecan and Cooksey (I know, you're thinkin' whose that? Believe me, this guy was a MONSTER!!),DeFord Bailey, and, of course, Big Walter. I'm also an admirer of Mark Graham. For sheer technique, Howard Levy and Norton Buffalo are high on my list. Most useful tip from Big Walter (the king of tone) was to keep as tight a seal around the harp as possible with your hands , and blow HARD.


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Subject: RE: Harmonica Players Unite!
From: LEJ
Date: 02 Jun 99 - 06:42 PM

Mike...Big Walter was right. I get the best tone by positioning the harp about 1/2 inch from the mic, then cupping the harp and mike together in the hollow made by the palms of my hands. It gives a nice resonant effect. I would like to try an amp for the harp, because I think it may achieve a more distorted electric effect for the rock-blues we do. Why do you use an amp in folk/country style?

LEJ


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Subject: RE: Harmonica Players Unite!
From: Mike Billo
Date: 02 Jun 99 - 07:28 PM

I use an amp because it gives me control over my own tone and volume, as opposed to the soundman, PA owner, singers, or whoever else is at control of the knobs. In a large club/concert setting everything gets miked, and the mix usually is not favorable to the harmonica. With my own amp, I can consistently get a sound I like.


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Subject: RE: Harmonica Players Unite!
From: Mark Roffe
Date: 02 Jun 99 - 07:40 PM

I wear it on a holder around my neck, so's I can play guitar at the same time. Which reminds me...can anyone tell me where to find a really fine (looking) harp holder that used to appear in some music magazines? It was kind of pricey, adjustable in a few directions, padded, and I recall it had some large round pivot points at two corners.

I bought a set of Hohner Blues Harps when our ship stopped in Puerto Rico in 1972, and they are all still working just fine. Actually the G harp got a little quiet on the two lowest reeds a couple of years ago, so I bought a black Hohner, can't remember the model name. I tried a Lee Oskar because of the replaceable reeds, but the sound was a little thin for my taste.

My favorite players are Tony Little Sun Glover, the infamous Mel Lyman, Jimmy Reed, the sloppy Bob Dylan, and Musselwhite and Butterfield.

Mark


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Subject: RE: Harmonica Players Unite!
From: Mike Billo
Date: 02 Jun 99 - 09:40 PM

Right you are Mark. Mel Lyman! What a player! I loved everything he played. Too bad he came to such a bad end. What's your secret to getting your harps to last so long? If I get 6 months out of one I'm pleased. I tried the Lee Oskars with the replacement reeds, replacement housing, special tool set, etc. and realized that my Lee Oskar harmonica finally eneded up costing more than some of the cars I've owned. You've also jogged my memory about the you mentioned. What ever became of those?


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Subject: RE: Harmonica Players Unite!
From: bseed(charleskratz)
Date: 03 Jun 99 - 12:35 AM

I play Lee Oskars almost exclusively: Blues harps for real blues and first position playing, Melody Makers (G harp has complete G scales--played cross harp), and natural minors. I have Melody makers in all five keys (C,D,E,G,A)--but don't like the C much. G and A are the ones I use most. I have Lee Oskar blues harps in C and G, Hohners in Bb, F, C, D, G, A; Lee Oskars in Am, Dm, and Em. Also a few double reed 21 hole Lee Oskar tremolo harps which I almost never play anymore (once they were the backbone of my playing). My favorite players are Sonny Terry, Norton Buffalo, Charlie McCoy... --seed


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Subject: RE: Harmonica Players Unite!
From: Vixen
Date: 03 Jun 99 - 10:29 AM

I just thought I'd drop in here, since I have been trying since the age of 10 to play harp. My dad (71) is an incredible harmonica player--popular stuff from the 30's and 40's and Irish tunes. He claims he plays harp because it prevents him singing. His cronies in the Harpo Club play everything from blues to zydeco, including Finnish and Italian love songs, all on harp. At least in South Central Massachusetts, the harmonica players have united!

V


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Subject: RE: Harmonica Players Unite!
From: Steve Latimer
Date: 03 Jun 99 - 10:58 AM

I am not a harp player, but I am a fan of the instrument. Little Walter and Sonny Boy Williamson (Rice Miller) are the guys that I like. I'm just wondering if any of you have heard of Carlos Del Junco. Carlos is a Toronto harp player who has won the Hohner World Championship in the Diatonic Blues and Diatonic Jazz categories. Apparently he is a master of the overblow technique, which to tell the truth I don't know the instrument well enough to understand what that means. I have seen him perform three times and was astounded at the music that he creates with a harp. I would welcome comments from harp players on Carlos.

If you haven't heard of him, check out his web site www.carlosdeljunco.com

I have both the Big Boy and Just Your Fool Cd's and really like both of them.


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Subject: RE: Harmonica Players Unite!
From: Fadac
Date: 03 Jun 99 - 11:04 AM

Anybody remember the Harmony Cats? I used to have an open reel (prerecorded) tape of them. My accordion teach used to take classes from one of them.


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Subject: RE: Harmonica Players Unite!
From: Mark Roffe
Date: 03 Jun 99 - 12:24 PM

Mike - yep, these harps have lasted a very long time. I have been reasonably careful to not get any food inside them, and I've tried not to let the kids use them (bought them their own harps instead). The only other thing I did differently with this group of harps is that I didn't ever soak them or rinse them underwater, which is something I had previously done a lot of. Consequently, the wood has never swelled up. And since I mostly play them along with the guitar, they don't get the hell played out of them as much as a solo harp player's would.

As for the super-adjustable-pricey-cushioned harmonica holders: I will look through old music magazines & do some internet searches and report back here. If anyone runs into information on these harmonica holders, please let us know (these were fancy looking holders that used to be advertised in music magazines a few years ago. They may have had large round pivot points at two corners).

Mark


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Subject: RE: Harmonica Players Unite!
From: catspaw49
Date: 03 Jun 99 - 12:35 PM

Ya' know Vixen's comment kinda' struck me that besides guitar and maybe even including guitar, the actual use of harmonica in so many varied types of "traditional" music may be without equal. Sorry, that's a sorta' "Incredible Dumbass" comment, but it never really occurred to me before just how prolific the ol' harp really is!

catspaw


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Subject: RE: Harmonica Players Unite!
From: reggie miles
Date: 03 Jun 99 - 01:13 PM

I play but am just a hack compared to almost anyone else even though I've been at it for years. I almost exclusively play along with my own guitar work and can count on one hand the number of times I've played just harp with someone else. I usually just hire a harp wizard to join me when I've needed one for a show. I guess I've never worked on it enough, not to say that I won't, when I get that spare moment, that I'm certain will come my way one of these days, when I get everything else I'm suppose to be workin' on done and out of the way. Hey maybe this thread could be the answer. Any of you guys with harps tattooed to your whatevers got secrets to impart about how to improve ones playing? One friend who was chosen as one of the world champs of the ten hole said to practice playing melodies on the darned ol' thang. That's something I don't often do, I usually play a rhythmic kind of riff to go along with the stuff I play with. I have a rack that I use with my guitar work and when I play along with someone else I'm almost always playing washboard percussion at the same time. It has a rack that I've mounted on it along with all the other stuff that I've managed to house there. Now where did put that bird call I was gonna mount right in between that harmonica rack.... Reggie


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Subject: RE: Harmonica Players Unite!
From: LEJ
Date: 03 Jun 99 - 02:08 PM

Reggie... I am no great shakes myself, but I believe that the fastest way to improve is to play a lot, and to listen to the masters of the instrument like Terry, Rice Miller, Norton Buffalo, and others mentioned in the above posts. The key to improvement for me right now is increasing my control over alternate blow and draw notes along the scale.

Steve...I think the "overblow" technique you mentioned may have to do with creating a secondary tone by blowing extra hard on a hole.

LEJ


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Subject: RE: Harmonica Players Unite!
From: Fadac
Date: 03 Jun 99 - 03:11 PM

Birdcalls? Hmmm, I did get to play a very old anglo concertina. It was built around 1900 and used on the stage. It had one button, on a pull it sounded like a little birdie, on a press it sounded like a baby crying. I wish I had bought it. It is much better than the one I play now.

BTW: Anglo concertinas play just like a hamronica. Just buttons instead of hole and a few other simple things. If you can blow a harp, you could play a concertina. Same order of notes.

Fadac


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Subject: RE: Harmonica Players Unite!
From: LEJ
Date: 03 Jun 99 - 03:20 PM

Were the Harmony Cats the same group as the Harmonicats, Fadac?


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Subject: RE: Harmonica Players Unite!
From: Mike Billo
Date: 03 Jun 99 - 05:02 PM

Hey Reggie, I have a harmonica rack on a washboard too. I couldn't use a conventional rack, (I became un-coordinated on both instruments) so my wife built one to custom fit on top of the washboard, and it works great! My advice to you guys out there, if you meet a woman that can build things to accomodate your harmonica, marry that girl. I did. BTW, overblow refers to the technique of bending the blow notes as well as the draw. It's way beyond me.


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Subject: RE: Harmonica Players Unite!
From: reggie miles
Date: 03 Jun 99 - 05:21 PM

Well Mike I guess great minds think alike. I can't seem to get the hang of that over blow stuff either. Maybe it works better in certain keys then once you get the hang of it you try it in a more challenging key. I dunno. Unfortunately for me I didn't have a little woman to do my constuctions, those, I have to claim, are my own doing. You're a lucky man Mike.

Still scrubbin' on the darn ol' thang, Reggie


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Subject: RE: Harmonica Players Unite!
From: Fadac
Date: 03 Jun 99 - 06:37 PM

LEJ, Could be, I havn't seen that tape for over 25 years.


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Subject: RE: Harmonica Players Unite!
From: Knappo
Date: 03 Jun 99 - 09:24 PM

In response to LEJ's original question. I play a mix of Lee Oskars, Special 20's, Golden Melody and recently a Honer Pro harp. The plastic combs are "faster" to me. I play either through a vocal mic into the PA or a "Green Bullet" which is a Shure 520D I think. This I put through a seperate 10" amp that gives the distortion. Try out differnt apms to find a sound you like. Tube amps are the ones of choice especially the old vintage ones. I would like to try out different mics. Anyone have opinions on the Shaker and/or Astatic(?) mics? Also, Peter "Madcat" Ruth from the midwest is another player to check out! Bye Tom


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Subject: RE: Harmonica Players Unite!
From: DonMeixner
Date: 03 Jun 99 - 11:11 PM

I play Golden Melody's and Huang harmonicas. I only play straight harp melody with very sparse chording. If I had to choose a favorite harpist it would be Toots Thielmans but if I could play as well as John B. Sebastian or Paul Butterfield I wouldn't mind.

Don


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Subject: RE: Harmonica Players Unite!
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 04 Jun 99 - 12:35 AM

Tom K...I don't know much about the modern models, but Little Walter Jacobs popularized the JT30 from Astatic as the first real bullet-style mike.

Fadac...The Harmonicats were one of the last of the great all-harmonica groups, and the end of an era that began around 1920 with a vaudeville star named Borrah Minevitch and his Harmonica Rascals. The original Harmonicats consisted of Al Fiore, Jerry Murad, and a phenomenal player named Don Les. Don played bass harmonica for the cats, but was a vituoso on the Marine Band. They had a number one song in 1947 called "Peg o' My Heart." Les is considered a pioneer of modern jazz harp, and Howard Levy sites him as a major influence.

LEJ


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Subject: RE: Harmonica Players Unite!
From: reggie miles
Date: 04 Jun 99 - 01:14 AM

Oh yeah I forgot to make my preferences known. I like Special 20's but I've just found a cheaper alternative in the Big Rivers. My friend Jim let me try his custom made brass body with specially tweeked Special 20 reedplates and man oh man were they sweet but at $75. a crack, $125. (for gold plated model), what's a poor boy to do but sing the blues! It's true what they say though the better the instrument the easier it is to play.

I'm broke and ain't got a dime, Reggie


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Subject: RE: Harmonica Players Unite!
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 04 Jun 99 - 02:20 AM

Glad to see Don mention Huang. I've started buying them and not just because I'm cheap. I find them more "forgiving" than the others. For years I had a couple of the old Hohner "echo harps" and they just gathered dust, until I did a workshop at a festival with one of the guys from "La Boutine Souriant". I loved the way he played the old French-Canadian fiddle tunes on it, so I dug mine out and have been using them a lot lately. Now learning to step-dance while sitting in a chair is a LOT harder.
The recent tribute album of Gershwyn songs done by Larry Adler and an all-star cast and produced by George Martin is fabulous. Don't think I've got the guts to get the chromatic out though.
Steve, I had Carlos on the radio show (while he was still playing with the late Thom Roberts) and he's quite astonishing. Nice to see that he's finally getting his due. Did you see the big article in the Star?


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Subject: RE: Harmonica Players Unite!
From: catspaw49
Date: 04 Jun 99 - 02:36 AM

Glad to see some of you brought up Huang...but unlike Brother Rick, I DO buy them 'cause they're cheap. Not being a virtuoso player, they do Okay by me. I think they have a nice sound in the bass end, very full.

catspaw


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Subject: RE: Harmonica Players Unite!
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 04 Jun 99 - 02:42 AM

Little old English electric Blues band, "The Chosen Few" - not the current lineup but a few changes ago(!) had a really good harp player called Little Pete.

Album "First Take" on Cyclone Records ,CTRL1001CD


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Subject: RE: Harmonica Players Unite!
From: Steve Latimer
Date: 04 Jun 99 - 11:05 AM

Rick,

I didn't see the Toronto Star article, but would like to. Do you know roughly when it was published? Saw him at the Toronto Blues Society Christmas party. Kevin Breitt played guitar on his latest CD and on the live "Just Your Fool" CD but rarely plays live with Carlos anymore due to his schedule with the Holly Cole Trio. These two together were outstanding, playing off one another magically. I have seen Carlos on two other occasions and both times he had a very good guitarist and I really enjoyed the show, but the TBS party was one of the most memorable musical evenings of my life.

Carlos is playing The Silver Dollar tomorrow night, unfortuantely I had previous plans.

I can't help but think that if these guys lived in the U.S.A they'd be huge. Alas, such can be the fate of the Canadian Artist.


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Subject: RE: Harmonica Players Unite!
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 04 Jun 99 - 12:28 PM

Oh how true Steve. Canada has always had a kind of "self hatred" for it's artists. They get VERY little support on the way up and rarely get the publicity until they crack the States. 'Specially in alternative music. The Toronto Star article was either yesterday, day before, or day before that. Wonder if you can find it on the "net"?


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Subject: RE: Harmonica Players Unite!
From: Tony Burns
Date: 04 Jun 99 - 12:55 PM

I visited the Toronto Star site Rick but I couldn't find anything under any variation of Carlos' name I could come up with. I don't think they put the whole paper on-line.

I will add my encouragement to those who are recommending Carlos. He always sells out fast when we book him.


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Subject: RE: Harmonica Players Unite!
From: Steve Latimer
Date: 04 Jun 99 - 01:19 PM

Hey Rick,

Can you say "Bare Naked Ladies? Tony, where are you?

Steve


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Subject: RE: Harmonica Players Unite!
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 06 Jan 00 - 12:58 AM

Got a couple of Lee Oskar harps for Christmas, and played them for the first time last night. These are the harmonicas with the plastic body and replaceable reed plates. Wow! SUPER resonant, especially on the bottom end. Also, VERY comfortable and smooth against the mouth. I am a lifelong Hohner fan, but I am almost ready to jump ship after playing the Oskars. I urge you harpers to give 'em a try.

LEJ


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Subject: RE: Harmonica Players Unite!
From: Benjamin
Date: 07 Jan 00 - 01:07 AM

I play exclusively on Marine Band harps right now. As for what I play, I'm still strugling to find my self on the harmonica. One of my teachers back from High School plays harmonica and Banjo really well and during my Senior year, we'd do blues jams at lunch (I was on the guitar) till some younger kids came in trying to play their rock riffs over the rags and delta riffs I was playing and then the session would come to a quick hault.

As for players, I'm into Sonny Terry, Tony "Little Son" Glover, Doc Watson impressed me when he played "I wish I was in Dixie" at the end of his Vestapol video "Doc and Merle in concert."

Anyways, anyone have any advice for a young player who hasn't yet found his identity on the harp? And could I get some adivce on how to play harmonica over guitar (I do own a rack)?

Thanks!

BMW


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Subject: RE: Harmonica Players Unite!
From: jets
Date: 07 Jan 00 - 03:06 AM

I am having fun with the 48 chord harmonica and a bass harmonica that I just purchased .I have played the 10hole for years but these 2 new ones are something else.


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Subject: RE: Harmonica Players Unite!
From: JamesBerriman
Date: 07 Jan 00 - 05:59 AM

I'm a big fan of the harp, but I don't play myself. I play in a band called Off The Wall (named after a Little Walter tune), with harp player Mike Fyles. Our influences include people like James Cotton, Rod Piazza, Rick Estrin (of Little Charlie and the Night Cats), Kim Wilson, George Smith, Little Walter, Walter Horton, William Clarke, James Harman and Sugar Blue.

Mike uses Huang and Hohner harps, and an Astatic bullet mic (repackaged by Hohner as the Blues Blaster). He also has a Shure Green Bullet mic, but prefers the Astatic in a live situation. The harp goes through a modified 50W Sound City valve amp.

James


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Subject: RE: Harmonica Players Unite!
From: Stewie
Date: 07 Jan 00 - 07:22 AM

I don't play, but I love the harmonica. Besides the blues greats, old and new, mentioned above, my favourites are Tony 'Little Sun' Glover, the then very young Mark Ford on the classic Arhoolie 'The Charles Ford Band' album and a country musician, PT Gazell, who had an album titled 'Pace Yourself' on Sugar Hill, helped out by Skaggs, Douglas etc.


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Subject: RE: Harmonica Players Unite!
From: JedMarum
Date: 07 Jan 00 - 10:00 AM

I play Hohner Golden Melodies or Marine Band. The Goldne Melodies have a clean full sound and last forever. The Marine Bands have a great sound as well, but I can't keep the wood for long. It swells and shrinks and ultimately wears out the harp.

I am not an accomplished musician on the cross harp stuff, but I play straight harp pretty well. I use a vocal mic, on the stand when I play. I cup my hands around the harp, opening and closing for volume and tonal effect - even for cross harp tunes, though I do less of that for cross harp.

I have run across an astounding harp player in Dallas, who appears at some the places I play. I never caught his name, but he is a world class player; excellent cros harp for blues, folk, country, and clean, perfect incredibly complex for classical pieces. I know he plays with some famous harp trio, and I can see why. My other harp hero is my Dad. He is not a musician, by musician standards. But he has played beautifully for many years .... a number of songs from his tradition. When I was a child, there was one time in our house when peace was guaranteed; it was when my Dad was playing his harmonica. As soon as he finished the hustle and bustle (or the battles) would resume!

Great thread.


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Subject: RE: Harmonica Players Unite!
From: Danlbear
Date: 07 Jan 00 - 10:19 AM

I play Hohners blues band harps.


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Subject: RE: Harmonica Players Unite!
From: Miike Billo
Date: 07 Jan 00 - 10:26 AM

I've been playing Hohners for 35 years. I've tried all of the others, but keep coming back to Hohner. There's no doubt that the Lee Oskar is a fine instrument, but I don't think it's any better than a Special 20, which is considerably less expensive. To Benjamin; Keep on playing! You'll find that playing with a rack requires an entirely different technique (moving your head across the harp, rather than, moving the hand-held harp across your mouth), and you'll find that you're either better at one or the other. I don't know if I've ever heard anyone equally adept at both.


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Subject: RE: Harmonica Players Unite!
From: jeffp
Date: 07 Jan 00 - 10:46 AM

I know this is going to sound like a stupid question, but I haven't been able to find the answer anywhere. What is the key relationship for cross-harp playing? In other words, what key harp would you use for playing cross-harp with a blues in A? Apparently all the books I've seen assume you have at least this amount of knowledge, but my wife and I are total neophytes at this instrument.

Thanks in advance.

jeffp


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Subject: RE: Harmonica Players Unite!
From: Steve Latimer
Date: 07 Jan 00 - 10:57 AM

The Canadian contingent was discussing Carlos del Junco earlier in this thread. He is, to use Brother Fieldings words, quite astonishing. I saw him again a few months ago and was once again amazed by his playing. At the time I thought of starting a thread telling all harp players to run out and buy his CD's, but then I thought there is an off chance that you won't like him. So the better ideas is to go to www.carlosdeljunco.com (sorry, can't blue clicky thing) and hear a few tracks. I would be interested in harp players opinions of him.


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Subject: RE: Harmonica Players Unite!
From: Danlbear
Date: 07 Jan 00 - 11:05 AM

Cross harp on an "a" harp would be "e". Although if you practice certain techniques in bending the notes, it can be played in other keys, but I'm not an expert.

Dan


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Subject: RE: Harmonica Players Unite!
From: Danlbear
Date: 07 Jan 00 - 11:07 AM

I believe cross harp is on the 5th note of the scale you're playing in.


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Subject: RE: Harmonica Players Unite!
From: jeffp
Date: 07 Jan 00 - 11:10 AM

Thanks Danlbear! I knew an answer would be forthcoming, but 20 minutes for someone in Illinois to answer a question for a stranger in Maryland is absolutely amazing! Don't any of us have enough to do at work today? :-) BTW, Happy Friday, everybody!


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Subject: RE: Harmonica Players Unite!
From: Danlbear
Date: 07 Jan 00 - 11:49 AM

Jeff...smiles...I am working. I work part-time for an ISP. Glad I could help...Dan


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Subject: RE: Harmonica Players Unite!
From: bseed(charleskratz)
Date: 07 Jan 00 - 12:32 PM

Leej, thanks for reviving this one (as well as for starting it in the first place).

Jeffp: Use a D harp to play crossharp blues in A (the straight diatonic harps I carry in my bag and the keys I play them in are: Bb in F, F in C, C in G, G in D, D in A, and A in E. I also use these in their nominal keys in fiddle tunes, and they can be played in their relative minors as well (C for Amin, F for Dmin, G for Emin, D for Bmin, etc), although I prefer to use Lee Oskar natural minors or LO Melody Makers, both of which have the low, resolving tonic in the relative minors (a C harmonica has two low G notes but no low A note).

The only Hohners I buy now are the Big Rivers--I think plastic combs are the way to go, and the Big Rivers are held together by rivets, rather than the tiny nails Hohner uses on the Blues Harps. Out of the box, the Lee Oscars are the best: they don't have to be broken in. The reeds are already easy to bend.

By the way, somebody above (Leej?) said that overblows are blow bends. Not so. Blow bends are blow bends: holes seven, eight, nine, and 10 can be bent (lowered in tone) on blow notes by changing the position of the tongue, just as holes one through six can be bent on the draw. Hole number six can be RAISED in tone by blowing hard, overblowing. The blow bends are a bit more difficult than the draw bends, but they're there. Hole #9 can be bent furthest.

One more note, then I've gotta get breakfast, go to the dentist, then head over to MacWorld Expo in the city. I've mentioned him in several threads, most notably in one I started in regard to him: Corky Siegal. His "Chamber Blues" ensemble is a total gas, and makes a great statement about the use of the harmonica in any kind of music. It is just plain flat out the most expressive of any instrument, with only the human voice in competition--mostly because of its ability to use the expressive force of language. Violin and other bowed strings are expressive, certainly, but don't come close to the good old pocket harmonica, which is also capable of producing tones as clean and beautiful as any Cremona instrument.

--seed


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Subject: RE: Harmonica Players Unite!
From: Benjamin
Date: 07 Jan 00 - 02:20 PM

Seed, Your saying you play cross harp in the 4th of the key. I've always been told cross harp is in the 5th of the key. I'm sure you can play in the 4th though.

Mike, Thanks for your advice.

BMW


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Subject: RE: Harmonica Players Unite!
From: Mike Billo
Date: 07 Jan 00 - 04:44 PM

Seed is absolutely correct, you play cross harp on a harp that is a fourth above (i.e.D harp for key of A, A harp for key of E, E harp for key of B etc.)conversely, this makes the key you are actually playing in a fifth BELOW the key of the harp you are playing. Hope this makes sense.


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Subject: RE: Harmonica Players Unite!
From: Benjamin
Date: 08 Jan 00 - 12:08 AM

Mike, everyone else, I have another queston.

The main problem I have that keeps from the Harmonica is canker sores. They hurt when you try to play! I've tried using medication, but the stuff got into the harp!

Any advice? Thanks

BMW


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Subject: RE: Harmonica Players Unite!
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 08 Jan 00 - 12:23 AM

urk sounds nasty, Benjamin. As I said, one thing I immediately liked about the Oskars was the smooth fit and finish on them- lots of round surfaces.

I've always played right through the mike channel of the PA, but I'm told the way to go is through a small (25-30 watt) tube amplifier, and then mike that to the PA. Others in this thread seem to play directly through amps or PAs- any one use the amp/PA approach?


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Subject: RE: Harmonica Players Unite!
From: bseed(charleskratz)
Date: 08 Jan 00 - 01:32 AM

Benjamin, lots of vitamin C--and read carefully what I said: (the harmonicas I own and the keys in which I play them) C [harmonica] for G blues. G IS the fifth in the C scale. The reason (aside from the bends) that it works so well is that the G scale has a flatted 7th, F instead of F#, which it is on a G harp (because, of course, that's what it is in the G major scale).

--pedantictwitseed


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Subject: RE: Harmonica Players Unite!
From: JedMarum
Date: 08 Jan 00 - 11:02 AM

Canker sores? I never had that problem ... but I have picked up an occasional upper resperatory infection after playing harmonica - on a few occasions. I play hard and draw a lot of air, and probably contaminents against my throat and larynx ... I believe the minor irriations caused by that 'spray' can sometimes create a welcome home for bacteria. I have found that if I feel that 'tickle' in my throat after playing that if I gargle with an anti-bacterial mouth wash - an infection never takes root.


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Subject: RE: Harmonica Players Unite!
From: Terry Allan Hall
Date: 08 Jan 00 - 11:41 AM

Kevin's Harps ( http://www.kharps.com/ ) carries that extremely nice harp holder...about $65, as I recall, and worth every penny if you play "rack" harp a lot, as I do.

As for my own harps, I use the Hohner Big River Harp (about $13 from Kevin's Harps), as they really sound fine, last just as long as Marine Band and Blues Harps, and I go through 3-4 sets each year (A, C, D, E, G).

If you can't afford the $65, the Lee Oskar holder (very similar to the no-longer available Elton holders most of us started with years ago) is about $15, and is pretty good for the money.


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Subject: RE: Harmonica Players Unite!
From: Terry Allan Hall
Date: 08 Jan 00 - 05:56 PM

While looking for something else, I found the ad for the aforementioned harp rack:

Blues Tools
P O Box 4045-A
Oak Park, Il. 60303-4045
(312) 409-7771

In the July,'96 edition of Acoustic Guitar, it is listed as $60 + $5 (S/H), so it's probably a few $ more, now. (I bought mine about 5 years ago at a NAMM show, and I think they'd just been introduced...as I recall, I gave $40-45 for it, and still love it.)


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Subject: RE: Harmonica Players Unite!
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 03 Mar 01 - 07:15 PM

I recently bought a Shure Green Bullet mic, and I like it. I play it through a Crate Acoustic 60 W amp, and it sounds great. Now I realize the reason for using an amp miked to the PA - if your band is amplified you can only hear the harp if you stand in front of your amp, in which case it feeds back. Duh.

I've run into some interesting quirks in the Lee Oskars. When played hard, the reeds seem to have a tendency to stick or clog. When I'm getting ready to do a tune that requires hard harp playing, I now choose the Hohners because they seem to play cleaner and clearer under stress.


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Subject: RE: Harmonica Players Unite!
From: Barry T
Date: 03 Mar 01 - 07:52 PM

I play the Hohner 12 hole chromatic. I was taught by my Dad, so I grew up listening to and trying to emulate the sounds of the Jerry Murad and the Harmonicats, Borra Minevitch and the Harmonica Rascals, The Mulcays, et. al.

But now I'm happy playing Celtic slow airs while I fingerpick a quiet background on guitar.


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Subject: RE: Harmonica Players Unite!
From: GUEST,Miles
Date: 02 Mar 09 - 11:30 PM

Visit www.modernbluesharmonica.com for the Greatest Blues Harp lessons and info.

Made by Adam Gussow of "Satan and Adam". One of the greatest Blues Harmonica players to live. If you like Raw, heavy swinging blues...you must check out "Satan and Adam"...

....or go on youtube for over 170 FREE lessons on blues harp by the master himself "Adam Gussow".

See you there.

and... GO CHICAGO BEARS!!!
    As this is your first posting of the exact same message you've posted to a myriad of other harmonica threads, tonight, we will allow this one. It is not necessary to post the same thing to so many threads. In future, it would be better if you would start a thread of your own about this teacher or website and we really encourage membership. It's free. Thank you,
    a moderator


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