Octave or tremelo harp

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Octave or tremelo harp

Postby JakeyVimto » Fri Jun 06, 2008 11:22 am

Hey guys, I'm bored and I just got paid.

I'm slowly getting to the style I want on guitar, but I'm only able to play fairly simple harp and it feels a little bit samey as its mostly all in D or G.

I was thinking, would an octave or a tremelo harp provide me a little variety?

Are they worth giving a go anyway?

Any comments, opinions, advice, threats etc welcome.

Cheers,

j
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Re: Octave or tremelo harp

Postby allanlummox » Fri Jun 06, 2008 1:16 pm

I use a Suzuki "Humming Tremolo" in C a lot - for racked straight harp. It has a big sound. I like it.
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Re: Octave or tremelo harp

Postby dcblues » Fri Jun 06, 2008 2:15 pm

I have an autovalve, which sounds kind of like an accordion. Mel Melton uses one on some of his more Cajun/Zydeco sounding songs. So far I only use it on one song, Jambalaya, in first position. I really should start using it more, since it cost over $40 with shipping.
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Re: Octave or tremelo harp

Postby barbequebob » Fri Jun 06, 2008 6:28 pm

Whenever I do Slim Harpo's Raining In My Heart, I will alternate a key of C MB with a key of C Hohner 2409 Echo Harp, which is a tremelo harp, and use it for a more accordion like effect, giving it more of a Zydeco flavor to it.
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Re: Octave or tremelo harp

Postby bottleneck » Fri Jun 06, 2008 9:51 pm

i use cheap tremelo harps i buy in chinatown for 4 bucks.can't beat it for the money

the track grown man crying on my myspace http://www.myspace.com/shakeylyman has it.
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Re: Octave or tremelo harp

Postby 1armbandit » Sun Jun 08, 2008 12:20 am

I have a G, Ab,A and E Horner Echo Celeste. They sound allot like an accordion. I play very open mouthed to get a lot of holes going at the same time. Used mainly to play with the church band when we do old hymns. These are available from MF and C2C for $15 or so.
I picked up a Huang Octave harp in C that sounds like an organ. Haven't found an opportunity to use it yet.

Take up too much room to walk around with one in my pocket. Looks kind of funny.

Jack
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Re: Octave or tremelo harp

Postby JakeyVimto » Sun Jun 08, 2008 1:20 pm

Hey all, thanks for the replies, I will have to try a couple out.

One more question, I'm playing in open D mostly, a little in G. I noticed a couple of you mentioned you play them primarily in first position. Do you figure they play OK in second position?

I cant imagine why they wouldn't, but I figure this is a sensible question to ask before laying down any folding money.

I'm thinking of getting a tremolo in G, maybe an octave too, that way I can use them in both tunings just by varying position.

After getting acquainted with 3rd position, I've been meaning to go back and give 1st position harp some more time, again for variety.

Good head-up with the pocket size issue Jack, I dont want the townsfolk talking,

j
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Re: Octave or tremelo harp

Postby allanlummox » Sun Jun 08, 2008 1:24 pm

Because of the double reeds, they don't bend evenly.

So they ain't great for cross harp.
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Re: Octave or tremelo harp

Postby JakeyVimto » Mon Jun 09, 2008 9:00 am

Ah. Good point Dan, I will have to rethink which keys to find I think.
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Re: Octave or tremelo harp

Postby Fishfeathersmacteeth » Mon Jun 09, 2008 8:19 pm

...I wouldn't be thinking of using tremolo harps for anything other than 1st position...

..they're great for Scottish Music, but I guess you want to play Blues on them...? :D

...like anything else, a better instrument will be available in a greater range of keys..(many of the Chinese cheapies are only available in C) and be a more durable and playable instrument... 8)
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Re: Octave or tremelo harp

Postby 1armbandit » Mon Jun 09, 2008 8:26 pm

I second the using the first position position...or first the not using the second position position...I play mine straight. :shock:

The Hohner Echo Celeste is Chinese made and not nearly as well made (IMO) as the German built harps. They are available in 12 keys though. As was stated above most others are "C" only.

Jack
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Re: Octave or tremelo harp

Postby MakaInOz » Tue Jun 10, 2008 1:39 am

I'd suggest getting a cheapo Chinese tremelo (in C, C, or C - not a lot of choice) and see if it meets your requirements for something different. I drag mine out occassionally for some straight harp variations on pop tunes, and it gives some interesting 'depth'. I can't see me investing much more than a few bucks in one though. Too many other toys on the wishlist!
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Re: Octave or tremelo harp

Postby barbequebob » Tue Jun 10, 2008 4:24 pm

Tremelo harps can be used quite easily in positions other than first. On Raining In My Heart, I use it in 2nd, and Jerry McCain on 728 Texas and Popcorn, which recorded for the Jewel label, he's playing them in 3rd position. Bending can be done, but you will need to some serious woodshedding and need to have total command of your breath force, and most diatonic players as a general rule do not take anywhere near enough time to take total and complete command of it and it is something that cannot be done in a single 15 minute practice lesson.
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