Harping Again (?)

Down Up Dick

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I helped a member who was having a harmonica problem a coupla days ago.

Then yesterday I played one of my harps just to see if I could still draw and blow bend and if I could remember how to play. And, doggone, it pretty much all came back! Well, I thought about how much I usta enjoy the harp all afternoon.

So today I had another good time looking at my old harp books, and I‘ve decided I’m gonna start playing my harps again.

I was really into them before. I usta fix and clean and retune ‘em, and the learning of new stuff never ends. They are also good for people with breathing problems.

I’m gonna give ‘em another go and see if I still enjoy ‘em.
 

Down Up Dick

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Last night I went through some of my harp stuff while listening to a coupla my blues cds. It seemed a little bit like old times.

Some of my harp covers need to be cleaned. I don’t know what to clean ‘em with though, so I just wiped them with a clean cloth.
The ones I played still sounded good, except for that stinkin’ little, high pitched F Harp. I never did like to play it. I put it back in it’s box and in the big, storage one. I put the Chromatic ones in there too. There’s no room in my case for them, and I don’t ever play them either. I shifted a few others around too and had a good time with ‘em.

I browsed through some of my books too. I need to go through them and get rid of some old stuff — lotsa clutter. The tool kit was okay and ready ta go.

Well, I’m lookin’ forward really gettin’ into playin’ ‘em again. I’m kinda tired of the strings . .
 

badhabits

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If you're thinking of putting in a request to change your name to "In Out", don't do it!
 

Ed1

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You have me interested. I haven't touched a harp in almost 50 years when I and my friends were into blues, rock, and cross-harp. So, what brands are considered best for almost beginners these days? I can remember only Hohner's Marine Band and Blues Harp being what we used. If I recall, we spent most of our time with C and A harps.
 

Jim Yates

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I also have a high F that I seldom play Dick. I usually grab my low F when I need an F harp. I also have a low D and a couple of low Cs.

Ed1, If you haven't bought a harp for 50 years, be prepared for a case of sticker shock. Those Marine Bands and Blues Harps that were about two bucks in the sixties are now $55 or $60. About the cheapest worthwhile harp I've found are the Big Rivers for about $45 the last time I checked.
I like the Special 20s which are often close to $70.
 
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Jim Yates

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If you're thinking of putting in a request to change your name to "In Out", don't do it!
But those blues guys always seemed to be fond of double entendres (or sometimes even single entendres).
 

Ed1

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I also have a high F that I seldom play Dick. I usually grab my low F when I need an F harp. I also have a low D and a couple of low Cs.

Ed1, If you haven't bought a harp for 50 years, be prepared for a case of sticker shock. Those Marine Bands and Blues Harps that were about two bucks in the sixties are now $55 or $60. About the cheapest worthwhile harp I've found are the Big Rivers for about $45 the last time I checked.
I like the Special 20s which are often close to $70.
Wow!. With most items going up around 10 times since then https://www.americanadvisorsgroup.com/1963-vs-now/ , a jump of 30 times puts it up there with the cost of a coke or concert tickets. Thanks for the info on Big Rivers and Special 20s. Just ordered a Special 20 at a reasonable price.
 

Down Up Dick

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My harps are old and well played, but still play well so far. I like the Special 20s a lot, but my favorite is the Golden Melody, except that one can’t take it apart to work on it. The old Marine Bands with the wooden combs are classics. I stopped buying harps when China took ‘em over, but I have enough to keep me going.

Oh, I forgot about my Lee Oscars. I found ‘em hard to bend well, so rarely play ‘em.

Jim, I like the low D and Eb Special 20s too, and I also have a so-so low Lee Oscar F. I like Gs and Cs best, and I’ve gotten out of storage my big, 12 hole Marine Band like James Cotten played it’s in C too.

Anyone have any minor keyed harps? I really like to play in minor keyed music.
 

Jim Yates

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I have a couple of Lee Oscars too Dick. I don't find them much different than the Hohners.
I believe Carlos del Junco uses the Golden Melodies that you mentioned.
I have a 12 hole low C Marine .Band that my ex-father-in-law gave me and a 14 hole low C Marine Band that I bought in the sixties that still works.
12 hole Marine Band harp.jpg
14 hole C harp.jpg
 

Jim Yates

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I also have an Echo Super Vamper in A that I bought in Scotland or England when my Marine Band in A crapped out on me while I was hitch-hiking overseas in 1968/69.
I went into a music shop and asked for a Marine Band in A. The guy had never heard of a Marine Band. I showed him my busted one and he said, "That looks like an Echo Vamper." We put them side by side, and, sure enough, the only difference was the top cover plate. I guess Hohner branded them differently in Europe and North America. It still works fine, though I seldom use it.
Echo Super Vamper.jpg
 

Down Up Dick

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I had a heck of a time with my big,12 hole MB last night. It didn’t play like I thought it should. I had to look it up in my note book to find out how to play it. I don’t remember it being like that, but I didn’t play it a lot then. I figgered it out, but I’m gonna have to work at it to learn how to “play” it.
 

Down Up Dick

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I haven’t played for a while. I’m having mouth problems, so I stopped playing all my wind instruments. I’m just a string player for the time being.
 

Down Up Dick

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Well I finally got back into harpin’ last night. I had a very enjoyable 25 minute session with my Golden Mel. I was a little sloppy though, and my bends weren’t spot-on. I guess I’m a little rusty.
 

Down Up Dick

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Played my Bm harp today. Russian, Fiddler on the Roof, whatever classical that I could remember and some made-up minor tunes. A really good time was had by me.
 

Down Up Dick

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Today I checked my harps and made sure they were all playable. I also rearranged them in their cases according to their type and key. I played some too. It sure feels good.

Does anyone ever use a harp holder when playing a uke or guitar? I have one, but I’ve never used it. I just thought I‘d give it a try.
 
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Down Up Dick

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Hi, plunker, how are you comin’ along with the bends? I hope you can do ‘em now. If not, keep tryin’. Move your tongue every which-a-way. The middle notes work easiest. I wish you good luck with it.
 

Staredge

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I’ve owned harmonicas for years, but never learned to play them. Bought a Special 20 last year to start learning online and finally broke it out last week. Working through the David Barrett trial that they give a coupon for. Think I may keep it up after my free month. I quite like it.
 

plunker

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Hi, plunker, how are you comin’ along with the bends? I hope you can do ‘em now. If not, keep tryin’. Move your tongue every which-a-way. The middle notes work easiest. I wish you good luck with it.
Still working on em, someday I hope