Is it just me?

The lowdown on the Mississippi Sax. Just for Google, this section is about harmonicas.

Postby dblues » Wed Jun 14, 2006 5:00 am

Thank God you finally set that straight. I had a feeling you were thinking in LO terms. This part is not aimed directly at you Neon, but to anyone confused about what key harp to use. What is so damed hard to know what harp to use? So what if there are 500 songs. The guitar players know what key they are in. (Yes if they are tuned down a half step you are screwd if they don't tell you, but that should take about 5 sec to figure out) Or if not, someone in the band does or the band is totally whacked. If you know anything about music, this is so simple and straight forward, how can anyone be confused? If you want to be considered a musician, you better understand your instrument. If it's too dark to see the lable, put the key on with glow in the dark paint. (But what key do I paint on, the key of the harp or it's crossed key? "Oh I'm so confused, Do I blow or suck. Do I have the low end on the left or right Help Help") OK, now I will climb down offa my soapbox. Should I mention............
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Postby bosco » Wed Jun 14, 2006 12:21 pm

So what if there are 500 songs. The guitar players know what key they are in...

Not always. You missed my point entirely...and Bubba's. We weren't talking about not knowing your instrument...the points we made were about being given misinformation about song keys by other band members.


OK, now I will climb down offa my soapbox...

Good idea.

Lighten up D, you been drinking? The "Cross harp" labeling scheme is a stupid idea to a non existent problem and I can see where it would only confuse less experienced players. You are right, there isn't anything difficult about figuring out which harp to use when you have the correct song key.

Bosco 8)
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Postby Little Mickey » Wed Jun 14, 2006 12:56 pm

I thought Neon was talking about Lee Oskar Melody makers, have you ever played those ones? They're labelled in the second position key and tuned so you can play the full scale, a Melody maker in D is actually tuned to E minor, but in second position it plays a full D scale. They're crazy, and no use for playing Blues whatsoever. Good for dance bands though...
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Postby dblues » Wed Jun 14, 2006 1:19 pm

Hahahaha. No I don't drink, but I admit I got carried away some. It's just that so many so called harp players I have run across in my life are the worst when it comes to having any real musical knowledge. By the waywhen you said: "Lighten up D, you been drinking? The "Cross harp" labeling scheme is a stupid idea to a non existent problem and I can see where it would only confuse less experienced players" Are you talking about LO's? If so I agree. And in Hohner's case, why they named that a "Cross Harp" was kinda confusing. But it's all the harp players fault for ever discovering and playing in the so called "cross position" in the first place.Hahahahahaha. Harps were originally intended as a straifgt position play. Only us hairbrained harp players (me included) chose to experiment with playing in positions 2-12
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Postby Little Mickey » Wed Jun 14, 2006 1:39 pm

I dunno about you guys, but I'm glad us 'hairbrained' types decided to play in the other positions- I for one would rather not be left playing 'Oompahpah' for the rest of my life...
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Postby jeffl » Wed Jun 14, 2006 2:14 pm

It's good that we're still encouraging guys to get more general music knowledge,in order to understand their harp better. It seems harp presents some interesting obstacles to learning because you can't actually see what you're playin' on it; on guitar,piano,wind and brass instruments,etc.,you have sight aids to learning (keys,strings,valves,etc.),while playin' harp requires more of a "feel" type experience. I'm thankful that I had basic music instruction in choir and band when I was very young,and it helped me understand harp better. Everybody approaches music from different angles and conceptualizes it differently,but keys,chords,notes and rhythms are common denominators everybody should learn.
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Is it just me.......

Postby qtheblues » Thu Jun 15, 2006 6:12 am

Wow! Didn't mean to kick this sort of response off!
The Hohner 'Cross Harp' is just a brand name, as the 'Marine Band' or 'Blues Harp' is. It has nothing to do with the tuning of the harp as it's standard Diatonic tuning.
My quibble is with the 'finish' of the item. I've been playing harps since I was 11 years old (which is way over 40 years) and I thought my lips had hardened to most of the abuse thrown at them from wood / plastic / metal combs. I'd never actually been cut by one before! Sure, after some particularly long recording sessions they've been swollen, and even bruised, but cut? Never.
Just wondered if anyone else had the same problem with these - or any other - brand of harp.
As far as labeling is concerned, I'm sure I'm not the only one (in fact I know I'm not), but whatever the key of the harp, I ALWAYS stick a small piece of masking tape on the top-plate with the 2nd position key written on it in felt tip as well as laying out my harps in scale order in their trays. This way it doesn't matter how bad the lighting is at a gig I don't pick up the wrong one in error.
Of course, if you're given the wrong information.........
This also means that if I need replacement reedplates (and I usually carry a couple of sets in popular keys) I can put them into any harp I wish and re-label it straight away. It doesn't take long to drop a set of new plates in - a couple of times I've done it at the side of the stage under the light from the mixing desk.
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