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uke5417
08-25-2010, 07:27 AM
this (http://www.michael-thomas.com/music/class/harmonica_notes.htm)


within ten minutes I had the general shapes down and was howling along, having a blast.

There's nothing like basic information, well presented. No, "first we must learn the history and anatomy of the tongue" or any of that crap.

shrink9
08-25-2010, 08:05 AM
Thank you for this very logical explanation. Wow! Somebody knows how to communicate well with those of us who don't have a major in music theory!

Thanks for the post!

MrsMeyerMusic
08-25-2010, 08:10 AM
I have a degree in music and I have never known exactly how to play the harmonica! This really helps!

My only question is: How do you only play the chords on the top or bottom without sounding both?

JT_Ukes
08-25-2010, 08:17 AM
I have a degree in music and I have never known exactly how to play the harmonica! This really helps!

My only question is: How do you only play the chords on the top or bottom without sounding both?

for one you suck, the other you blow...


errr.. i mean draw, not suck :)

JT

Ahnko Honu
08-25-2010, 08:24 AM
Mahalo for the info, was trying to teach myself the harmonica a few years back (own half a dozen in various scales) but got distracted with the 'ukulele so they have been collecting dust. Time to bring them out again. ;)

Inn Sea
08-25-2010, 08:33 AM
I have a degree in music and I have never known exactly how to play the harmonica! This really helps!

My only question is: How do you only play the chords on the top or bottom without sounding both?

The chords on top are played by blowing, whereas the chords on the bottom are played by drawing (sucking / inhaling).

Although normal humans can't really inhale and exhale through the mouth at the same time (circular breathing doesn't count in this case), I learned years ago that it is possible to make both the blow and draw chords sound simultaneously. Harp guru Pat Missin explains it on his site: http://www.patmissin.com/uncommon/uncommon01.html

Another benefit of the visual layout is that you can see which notes are bendable. For any given chamber, the note that is higher can be bent down almost all the way to the lower note. So you can see that holes 1 - 6 are draw bends, whereas holes 7 - 10 are blow bends. Holes 5 and 7 bend the least, and hole 3 bends the most.

MrsMeyerMusic
08-25-2010, 08:50 AM
for one you suck, the other you blow...


errr.. i mean draw, not suck :)

JT

LOL, Thanks JT ;)

Swampy Steve
08-25-2010, 09:08 AM
Blow & draw , are the correct directions ,,,, but you will have much greater sucess, if you think of breathing thru the harmonica.
Steve

rasputinsghost
08-25-2010, 09:37 AM
you've inspired me to pick up a harp! $8 on amazon.

mm stan
08-25-2010, 10:19 AM
Aloha Uke5417,
Mahalo for sharing the translation of harmonica language into simple terms for us. Not all of
us has much experience in music theory,,,, me for one....even then it's puzzling...well done!!

Swampy Steve
08-25-2010, 10:27 AM
you've inspired me to pick up a harp! $8 on amazon.

I dont want to be a downer, but a 8$ harp will play like a 25.00 uke. The notes are there , but the reeds will choke and it will be much harder to play than a 30 .00 Lee Oskar harmonica. I know this may seem like a lot for a harp,, but it will pay off in the long run if you really want to learn. I keep a OLd Marine Band & a Lee , in my truck. The MB has a great tone,, but it is harder to play than the Lee. Just my 2 cents , I was really into harmonica for a while and found these thing out after a bunch of aggrevation

For what its worth
Steve

Graymalkin
08-25-2010, 10:41 AM
I've got a Hohner Echo Celeste that I've not payed much attention to - might have to give it a go next time my fingers are sore from failing to learn the uke...

rasputinsghost
08-25-2010, 10:53 AM
Thanks Steve. I think if I really get into it I'll pick up the $30 harp....but before then, let's see if it infects my brain like the uke has!

(I also can't cancel the order at this point. lol)

For what it's worth it's a Hohner Old Standby Harmonica, in C.

fitncrafty
08-25-2010, 11:01 AM
Thanks for sharing this! I have my grandfathers harmonica! I have very fond memories of listening to him play when I was young... Maybe someday! for now I have a new Uke, and I must keep learning!

Ukulele JJ
08-25-2010, 12:15 PM
Funny, I just started keeping one of my harmonicas in the car. I get a lot more self-conscious practicing harp at stop lights than uke for some reason though.

And I still stink at it. :-(

Playing harmonica is one of those things (like learning to play Bridge or trying to read "Dune") that I've taken a running start at several times in my life, only to just hit a big brick wall each time. Then I put it down for five or ten years. Each time I get a teeny bit further though.

In this case, it's my inability to get just a single note to come out. I tried the tongue-block and the purse-your-lips methods. No luck either way.

JJ

Swampy Steve
08-25-2010, 12:26 PM
JJ I did that too. Finally a bit of it stuck. I can teach you how to tongue block. Im reloading a harp vid now. I had taken them all down. I dont want you to think Im a noodle , and dont have any idea what Im saying. Im certainly not great , but I can play harp a bit. If you or anybody else want help , Here I am and can show you the little I know
Steve

Inn Sea
08-25-2010, 12:48 PM
In this case, it's my inability to get just a single note to come out. I tried the tongue-block and the purse-your-lips methods. No luck either way.


If you can whistle, that's about the size of the opening you need for single notes. One tip that might be helpful to get you started is to tilt the back of the harmonica down towards the ground, maybe close to a 45 degree angle. Purse your lips, but the top lip will cover the hole a bit more than the bottom lip, kind of like an overbite with your lips. It might help, or maybe you've tried everything. I think it gets easier once you hear the single note and strive to repeat it.

Uncle-Taco
08-25-2010, 02:40 PM
Thanks Steve. I think if I really get into it I'll pick up the $30 harp....but before then, let's see if it infects my brain like the uke has!

(I also can't cancel the order at this point. lol)

For what it's worth it's a Hohner Old Standby Harmonica, in C.

Careful! Harmonica can be addictive, too, and it is deceptively expensive if you get really into it.

I was talking with my friends at a recent blues jam and the subject came up, "Who in your band has the most money tied up in their rig?" Well, some have pretty nice guitars, vintage amps, and pretty costly things, so I broke down the most conservative estimate of the MOST BASIC harp rig I am willing to get on stage with:

At least 30 diatonic harps (major keys, some backups, special tunings) at an average of about 32 bucks each for the cheapest ones I am willing to perform with
A 16 hole chromatic and a 12 hole chromatic
A Kinder AFB+ antifeedback box
At least an analog delay and a slap echo
At least one 4x10 45 watt amp (though I always use an additional 22 watt 1x12, at least, if there are 2 guitar players...which I won't do anymore)
A wireless rig
My custom harp mic plus one backup just in case
cables, etc.

The most conservative total for me is about $3600 dollars! That tops everybody I play with who doesn't have a high-end Les Paul.

Harmonica is really fun if you know where to stop.:p

SuzukHammer
08-25-2010, 03:56 PM
I have over 70 diatonic harmonicas and I really like the Suzuki Hammond (hence my name on UU). I also like the Suzuki ProMaster (unvalved and valved) THese are great for overbends, those rare notes few can do but are so easy on the Promasters.



I also purchased a bass harmonica and 2 chord harmonicas with mics. Espensive.
I got one of those 6 harmopnica star shaped octave harmonicas from Seydel.

I got harmonica instructional data out the yang yang.

Wait Hold on a second. I am just reading Uncle Taco's post. I need to know his info on antifeedback. I need that. That is the only thing from stopping me from blowing all night. I know that didn't sound right. I'm talking about wailing on the harmonica.

bassfiddlesteve
08-25-2010, 04:59 PM
That's a great link. Thanks for sharing. I may just grab my seldom used Hohner "Big River Harp" and give it another try.

- Steve

Hippie Dribble
08-26-2010, 02:05 AM
again he says "Thankyou!!!!" Uke 5417

I've got heaps of the things lying around and a rack to hold em in. I drag them out occasionally when I'm strumming the guitar and whine away at it dylan style but really, have no idea what I'm doing. This is going to be a massive help. I always figure, you're only 1/2 a blow away from making thge right note! More often than not mine are stinkers - like my voice... I tend to sing in B flat most of the time...it's B awful! Cheers mate and happy days. eugene

ichadwick
08-26-2010, 03:48 AM
you've inspired me to pick up a harp! $8 on amazon.
Don't waste your money. $8 harps are poorly made, the reeds get warped quickly, they are often out of tune and their reeds stick easily. You'll toss it away in a couple of months. They are to harmonicas what a $10 day-glo ukulele is to ukes. Read my harmonica reviews (http://www.ianchadwick.com/essays/harmonicas.htm) for more. I suggest you get something better like a Suzuki Bluesmaster or Folkmaster or a Seydel. Spend a few dollars more an be infinitely happier.

Thebenn
08-26-2010, 07:27 AM
The Hohner Special 20 is a nice Harmonica if you want a step up. You will pay a bit more, but once I purchased one I noticed a huge difference from the cheap one I had been trying to learn with.

ceviche
08-26-2010, 11:25 AM
Get yourself a harmonica rack, so you can play it with your uke. Now we're talking some serious fun!

Oh, and do try a Lee Oskar harp. Those are some of the best. I also agree with a previous poster about the Suzuki harp. Another very nice product.

--Dave E.

Uncle-Taco
08-26-2010, 02:52 PM
Don't waste your money. $8 harps are poorly made, the reeds get warped quickly, they are often out of tune and their reeds stick easily. You'll toss it away in a couple of months. They are to harmonicas what a $10 day-glo ukulele is to ukes. Read my harmonica reviews (http://www.ianchadwick.com/essays/harmonicas.htm) for more. I suggest you get something better like a Suzuki Bluesmaster or Folkmaster or a Seydel. Spend a few dollars more an be infinitely happier.

Totally.

I like your review page, too!

janet986w
08-29-2010, 10:49 PM
I also think so.

dans003
08-31-2010, 12:10 AM
this (http://www.michael-thomas.com/music/class/harmonica_notes.htm)


within ten minutes I had the general shapes down and was howling along, having a blast.

There's nothing like basic information, well presented. No, "first we must learn the history and anatomy of the tongue" or any of that crap.
wow!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

rasputinsghost
08-31-2010, 05:58 AM
I think I'll go with the Folkmaster, key of C. I guess I have an extra harp now!