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Afro Droid

Chromatic Harmonicas

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Depends on the style of music you're after. Most blues guys play them in 3rd position, which is a dorian mode. Not all that hard to get started, but the octaves take work. As for jazz on one? Arrrgh, that's tough work.

If you're amplifying them, it's hard to get a good air-tight seal around the mic to keep it from feeding back, Reeds are real fragile to, not like in a marine band or a blues harp. Easy to damage them if you pull to hard.

That help at all?

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I bought one for a blues rock vibe a few weeks back, but it's tuned to C and no matter what I play it always sounds like a hymn! DON'T BUY C Major ones for blues!

Sure it was a chromatic? Or was it a diatonic - the smaller one, like a Blues Harp, or Marine Band etc? If it was, then try playing it along with a tune in the key of G, using the second hole inhaled as the root note. This should produce a bluesy scale in G. If you need a bluesy scale for a tune in C, you need a harp in the key of F.

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I bought one for a blues rock vibe a few weeks back, but it's tuned to C and no matter what I play it always sounds like a hymn! DON'T BUY C Major ones for blues!

That doesn't sound like you've got a chromatic harp, with a chromatic you should be able to play in any key.

I have a moothie in C (and in F and G, need one in D), I know what you mean about the churchy sound.

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That doesn't sound like you've got a chromatic harp, with a chromatic you should be able to play in any key.

Yeah, the fact that he calls it a C major harp is a bit of a giveaway on the non-chromaticism.

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'Tis a Big River Harp by Hohner, sounds nice, but as I said, a little too songs of praise-esque. Never realised how many types of moothies there were. Would a blues one be more expensive? (That one was 15)

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'Tis a Big River Harp by Hohner, sounds nice, but as I said, a little too songs of praise-esque. Never realised how many types of moothies there were. Would a blues one be more expensive? (That one was 15)

it would just be the same harmonica you have but in a different key, i think?

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'Tis a Big River Harp by Hohner, sounds nice, but as I said, a little too songs of praise-esque. Never realised how many types of moothies there were. Would a blues one be more expensive? (That one was 15)

The Big River will do fine for a blues sound, but a C harp won't play blues in C. It will play blues in G. This is because you use the draw (inhale) second hole as the root note of the key, in this case this is a G. Playing the scale from this point will give you the minor 'bluesy' notes you need. This is known as playing '2nd position' or 'cross-harp'. If you take the first hole (blowing) as the root it only plays the notes of the C major scale, hence, churchy. This is 'straight harp'.

So to play cross-harp, you need a harp that is marked in the key 4 notes up from what you want. If you want blues in C, then get a harp tuned to F. Then when you draw on the second hole, you're playing a C, and a bluesy scale from there up.

Not sure if you can get a Big River in F, if not get a Marine Band, a Blues Harp, or a Pro Harp. They're a bit pricier than the Big River, but well worth it.

The other secret to sounding bluesy is to master bending. The draw notes can be sucked in such a way as to 'pull' the note down by a semi-tone or so which you should be able to control , like bending a guitar string, but in reverse. It's hard to describe, but it's essentially done by kinda flattening the back of your tongue as you suck, a bit like playing a jews harp. You just need to practice until you get the feel of it.

If you get a new harp though, best break it in first. Go gentle with it for the first cupla days, and get it broken in before you try bending with it, otherwise it'll just go out of tune.

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with harmonica, my advice is thus: give up - paul lamb has done it and he's better than you'll ever be ;)

only jesting. there's not enough blues harp out there these days

/x

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yeah, Paul Lamb is good- tone and phrasing. Dresses like a bingo-caller, classic blues cat.

But, back on topic- the Chromatic is great for blues/rock stuff. It's just that you don't play in first (the key of the harp) or second position (the draw position, like mentioned up there) like you would with a diatonic. The notes just don't bend the same way, and actually the reeds are thin enough that it's really a bad idea to bend them at all. Much better to do those quick dorian scale runs (and if you push the slide in you've the same scale a 1/2 step higher)

Give it a try, not too many people play it, so it's a unique tone. It's harder to learn though.

Oh, you can play blues in C on a C diatonic- that's where Jimmy Reed hung out, all those high bends are great in 1st position. And it's great for playing on a rack, because the bends are all on the exhale.

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he does dress like a bingo caller but those shoes blow me away every time. has them made in italy i believe. his tone and his control are the bomb. i hope to hear some of you guys stuff on here soon. share your creations with the world.

/x

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