Help an idiot

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

Help an idiot

Postby jamesfarrell » Tue Aug 29, 2006 3:15 pm

Hey guys, i'm usually over @ the slide forum. I'm looking for my wife to blow the harp. I usually play in open G and D, but I'm not sure about music theory and all that. Do I need a Key of G and D harp? Also, I hear on the blues channel on sirrius sometimes harps and sometimes there seems like there are two different types of harps. I don't know how to describe this but it's as if one of these harps were a 12 string guitar? I know there are different types of harps, diatonic and chromatic, but I haven't a clue. If someone could describe the difference between these two and perhaps tell me what keys I need and where to buy.

I don't want a piece of crap harp, but 1/2 decent ones.

Any help is appreciated.

James
User avatar
jamesfarrell
Regular
 
Posts: 738
Joined: Thu May 18, 2006 10:37 pm
Location: In your mind, disconnecting neurons

Postby jeffl » Tue Aug 29, 2006 4:20 pm

James: your questions are answered thoroughly by our host in the "harp" section,accessible from the main page. When you type in the url,you go right to the main page (I don't know if you can access the main page by going back to it from here; you may have to log off and re-type the url.) Way at the bottom of the main page (you'll prob'ly have to scroll down to it) there's a line of links across the bottom. Access the harp link,and you'll see that there are lessons and introductions in there. It talks about the basic theory,in very concise form,choosing and beginning to play harp. It's very short,but it does the job. As far as selecting a harp,you should start with a 10-hole diatonic harp,and I would suggest purchasing a few Hohner Special 20s from our host. If you use the "Coast to Coast Music" link at the top of the page,it'll go right to Pappy's website,and you can order online. You won't beat his prices,and it'll help support this site. Using the link will also signal Pappy that our members are supporting him. The Special 20 is a good quality,plastic combed (versus wood combs) harp that is very popular among veteran harpers. I play 'em,and have no complaints. They are moderately priced,and are in no way a compromise. If you like quality without paying alot, there's your huckleberry. You need to read the harp section, 'cuz it explains playing in "cross harp","blues",or "2nd Position" (all are different terms for the same position.) very well,and tells you which holes to start on. Good luck and happy harpin'.
jeffl
Contributor
Contributor
 
Posts: 4051
Joined: Thu Mar 10, 2005 2:04 pm

Postby dcblues » Tue Aug 29, 2006 5:13 pm

I agree with jeffl, but I think you should buy a Special 20 and a Marine Band (or 2-3 of both). Then you can figure out whether plastic or wood works better for you.
User avatar
dcblues
Contributor
Contributor
 
Posts: 1398
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 1970 12:00 am

Postby jeffl » Tue Aug 29, 2006 5:22 pm

dcblues wrote:I agree with jeffl, but I think you should buy a Special 20 and a Marine Band (or 2-3 of both). Then you can figure out whether plastic or wood works better for you.
Good idea,dcb! If he doesn't like the wood,he can always heat with it,lol! I used to play MBs exclusively, but I jus' got to likin' the feel and heft of the 20's better,as well as preferring the cover plate bracing of the 20's,since I crushed a few MBs with my hands. It's definitely a subjective choice, and should be experimented with.
jeffl
Contributor
Contributor
 
Posts: 4051
Joined: Thu Mar 10, 2005 2:04 pm

Postby jamesfarrell » Wed Aug 30, 2006 1:05 am

What sounds better and is more durable? Wood or Plastic? Is replacable reeds a concern?

Also, I read the article, but I still don't understand keys.


Is the key of G like if I'm playing my tricone in open G? Then I would need a C harp?

James
User avatar
jamesfarrell
Regular
 
Posts: 738
Joined: Thu May 18, 2006 10:37 pm
Location: In your mind, disconnecting neurons

Postby bosco » Wed Aug 30, 2006 1:06 pm

Is the key of G like if I'm playing my tricone in open G? Then I would need a C harp?

That is correct. Or if a band is playing a song in the key of G, you need a C harp.

Then you can figure out whether plastic or wood works better for you.

Beyond the wood or plastic choice, look at the design of the harp as well. I prefer the Spec 20 as much for the recessed reed plates as anything else, they are much more comfortable to play.
User avatar
bosco
Contributor
Contributor
 
Posts: 1505
Joined: Thu Mar 10, 2005 12:36 am
Location: Michigan

Postby t bone bruce » Wed Aug 30, 2006 6:34 pm

Second that on plastic bodied harps. They don't swell, are more airtight, easier to clean, and a couple of blind trials have shown that most people can't hear any difference between wooden and plastic bodied harps. Pat Missin had an article about this on his site. Sp20's are sweet, I have one sitting by my computer. I like Lee Oskars on the durability stakes. If Hohner could be bothered to make stainless steel covers for the Sp20 instead of chrome plating them then I'd use 'em more. I'd pay the extra happily. Hear that Hohner? stainless coverplates. Or bring back the old pro-harps, the ones with the Sp20 body and black covers. They were awesome.
User avatar
t bone bruce
Regular
 
Posts: 133
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 1970 12:00 am
Location: Chelmsford, Essex, UK

Postby t bone bruce » Wed Aug 30, 2006 6:50 pm

I've just e-mailed Hohner to ask why they don't produce a stainless coverplate for the Sp20! If enough of us ask, then who knows what may happen?
User avatar
t bone bruce
Regular
 
Posts: 133
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 1970 12:00 am
Location: Chelmsford, Essex, UK

Postby t bone bruce » Fri Sep 01, 2006 5:26 pm

Well, what do you know? I got a very nice reply from Fernando Bresslau at Hohner, to let me know that Hohner started using stainless steel about 3 years ago, (after I bought my last Sp20) but that some shops would still have older harps with the chrome plated coverplates in stock, and they would send me some SS coverplates if I wanted. How's about that for service? Top marks for that, Hohner!
I think I might well go back to Special 20's as the LO's start wearing out. The only issue that had stopped me from buying the Sp20 in the past has gone.
User avatar
t bone bruce
Regular
 
Posts: 133
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 1970 12:00 am
Location: Chelmsford, Essex, UK

Postby jeffl » Fri Sep 01, 2006 5:42 pm

Prompt replies from large companies always surprise me. When I bought my last boat (purchased used,one year old), there was no owner's manual for the depth finder. I called Hummingbird (the manufacturer),and was sent a manual within 3 days. Nice little surprise. My experience with working with auto manufacturers has been that their national customer service numbers have been useless. Most customers will be way more pissed off after talking to one of their customer service reps; it's nice to see that Hohner can give different results.
jeffl
Contributor
Contributor
 
Posts: 4051
Joined: Thu Mar 10, 2005 2:04 pm

Postby bosco » Fri Sep 01, 2006 7:17 pm

Hohner started using stainless steel about 3 years ago

Thanks for that info T-Bone. I noticed several years ago that the covers on the Special 20s I was buying didn't oxidize and darken like the older ones I had. I mistakenly attributed that to thinking they had switched from nickel to chrome, when in fact it looks like they switched from chrome to stainless. Hhmmm.

Hard to believe that Hohner doesn't tout the stainless steel on the Spec 20 in their advertising and that veteran harpers like ourselves are just finding this out. BTW- They still use crap chrome that oxidizes on their lesser models like the Old Standby (unless of course there is still a lot of old stock being sold out there.)

Bosco
Last edited by bosco on Sat Sep 02, 2006 2:20 am, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
bosco
Contributor
Contributor
 
Posts: 1505
Joined: Thu Mar 10, 2005 12:36 am
Location: Michigan

Postby jeffl » Fri Sep 01, 2006 8:41 pm

I hadn't noticed the change. I bet I've only bought about 3-4 harps in the last coupla years,though. My blow-up rate has been severely reduced due to a change in playing habits,and mostly due to the fact that I haven't jammed as much with my acoustic bunch the last coupla years (tryin' to keep up with 7-8 acoustic instruments forced me to play louder).
jeffl
Contributor
Contributor
 
Posts: 4051
Joined: Thu Mar 10, 2005 2:04 pm

Postby t bone bruce » Fri Sep 01, 2006 8:51 pm

Bosco, I was surprised too.. most other manufacturers seem quite keen to tell you about the materials used in the construction of their harps, and I'd have expected Hohner to put something in their blurb about it too.
User avatar
t bone bruce
Regular
 
Posts: 133
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 1970 12:00 am
Location: Chelmsford, Essex, UK

Postby jeffl » Fri Sep 01, 2006 9:05 pm

t bone bruce wrote:Bosco, I was surprised too.. most other manufacturers seem quite keen to tell you about the materials used in the construction of their harps, and I'd have expected Hohner to put something in their blurb about it too.
Well,when was the last time you read any promos on harps you've been playin' for years....? The only promos I read on harps are concerning ones I've never purchased before.
jeffl
Contributor
Contributor
 
Posts: 4051
Joined: Thu Mar 10, 2005 2:04 pm

Postby cdon » Fri Sep 01, 2006 9:14 pm

Stainless steel... Really!?? I got a new one a few months ago from C2C (who should have fresh stock by now), and it sure doesn't look or slide like SS. Hmmm. It is my understanding that Hohner switched their entire line from nickel plating to chrome plating around 2000 when Germany passed some consumer protection laws against nickel. Never heard from any source that they used SS... But that would certainly be great!
cdon
Regular
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Fri Dec 09, 2005 4:46 am

Next

Return to Blues Harp

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron