practice idea

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

practice idea

Postby mike932 » Wed Mar 15, 2006 1:11 pm

I was having trouble sustaining overblows, so I purchased a Hohner 14 hole monster, Marine Band. The 14 hole took every ounce of breath I had to get a sound out of it. After practicing for about a week using only the monster , I picked up one of my special 20's, WOW. My son ran into the music room to see who had showed up to play harp. I am now able to overblow without any problems. Anyone else ever try this?
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RE: practice idea

Postby little leslie » Wed Mar 15, 2006 2:02 pm

That's true. Sometimes I pratice with my 12 holes in low C only for a few days. When I get back to regular harps, everything is easier...embouchure is small, hand techniques improve a lot, and I feel I have so much more air in my lungs that I will ever need. I think everyone should have some time on this kind of harp once in a while. It is a very efficient TONE builder.
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RE: practice idea

Postby angerboy » Thu Mar 16, 2006 4:40 am

I've had one of those things for years. The new ones must be super leaky. I've never had a problem getting really nice sounds out of it. It's one of the most fun harps to play those old Sonny Boy tunes on.
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RE: practice idea

Postby mike932 » Thu Mar 16, 2006 11:07 am

Yes it does leak. I purchased the monster for the exact same reason as you, the Sonny Boy sound, which as hard as I try ,I cannot copy. My compliments to you for being able to do so. I have been reading articles on how to make the 14 airtight but now I think I will leave it alone, using it's flaws to my advantage for practice seems to have helped my overblow skills.
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RE: practice idea

Postby rookie » Thu Mar 16, 2006 1:16 pm

[updated:LAST EDITED ON Mar-16-06 AT 10:35 AM (EST)]Sounds like the blues equivalent of Kung Fu monks practicing in concrete books to trick their bodies when doing the real thing...

Concrete boots even...
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RE: practice idea

Postby bosco » Thu Mar 16, 2006 3:07 pm

I have a Marine Band 12 hole in Low F that I bust out from time to time. That puppy really takes some air to operate but it does enhance your playing technique when you go back to a diatonic.

I too had read that Sonny Boy II favored these, but you have to remember that he was 6'5 and had hands the size of baseball gloves! If you've ever seen video of SBII, a diatonic between his thumb and forefinger looks like a stick of chewing gum.

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RE: practice idea

Postby little leslie » Thu Mar 16, 2006 3:47 pm

[updated:LAST EDITED ON Mar-16-06 AT 10:50 AM (EST)]I dipped my 12 holes comb in beeswax and renailed the plates...it is much better and there's no swelling. I takes 10 minutes to do and makes a big difference, but it wont make you sound like SBII... ;)
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RE: practice idea

Postby dcblues » Thu Mar 16, 2006 4:08 pm

If I play diatonic right after playing chromatic, the diatonic almost feels like a toy in my hands. Still plays the same though. :)
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RE: practice idea

Postby angerboy » Fri Mar 17, 2006 3:50 am

[updated:LAST EDITED ON Mar-16-06 AT 10:50 PM (EST)]Sonny Boy recorded several LP's using the 14 hole Marine Band in the key of C. He used it a lot on his European tours during the 60's. Check out the various CD's and LP's with Memphis Slim that he recorded during the American Folk Blues Festival tours. On his final LP, The Last Sessions, he used it almost exclusively. It's great stuff.

I've seen RJ Mischo use one of those harps. With the right haircut, he's 5'10" and has smaller hands. He gets killer tone out of that harp.

Despite what women will tell you, size doesn't matter. Well, at least not this time.
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