received my new harp and it is a real instrum

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

received my new harp and it is a real instrum

Postby jagarner70 » Mon Mar 13, 2006 1:59 pm

I just received my new Special 20 and I was amazed when I blew for the 1st time. What a difference between the 20 and my cheap harp I have been learning on. I can hold notes much much longer, Drawing on the lower notes is much easier, the sound is incredible. All of this with a $20 investment. Thanks to everyone who recommended the 20 to me. One of the guys that works with me is an incredible guitar player and I have been bugging him to let me play when he goes into his studio to play.
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RE: received my new harp and it is a real ins

Postby bosco » Mon Mar 13, 2006 2:18 pm

Yep, knew you'd like it! It'll be tough to go back to cheapies once you've been spoiled.

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RE: received my new harp and it is a real ins

Postby rookie » Tue Mar 14, 2006 1:30 pm

It's quality, isn't it? It probably looked the blandest of the bunch of harps I bought last week, but I absolutely love it. Remind me, someone, how many hours' play do you need before it's broken in and can be used for bending?

As for the other stuff, I haven't drawn any firm conclusions yet, mainly because all the tunes etc I know are played in different keys, so they haven't really been put through their paces yet. But the beautiful Hering 1923 in A sounds pretty good but tastes funny, which I never imagined would be a 'problem'. I've weaned myself off the Portnoy set for a while and started practicing the one or two riffs in the Sonny Terry book that don't require bending, until it gets worn in and I can really get down! I feel some whoopin' and hollerin' comin' on!
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RE: received my new harp and it is a real ins

Postby bosco » Tue Mar 14, 2006 2:15 pm

Remind me, someone, how many hours' play do you need before it's broken in and can be used for bending?

The jury is still out on that one Rook, and there's more opinions than Doan's has pills. I personally don't have time to play campfire music on a harp for X number of hours anyway, and just jam on them straight out of the box.

The bottom line is, a harmonica is intended to be a "mouth organ" and is not designed to have bent notes played on it. They will always be detrimental to the health of the harp, that's just a fact. As many pros will attest, you do have some control over this however, by not playing too hard.

A couple years ago we had a thread here about breaking in harps. There was a fellow that posted who had a background in metallurgy. His analogy was that constant bending of any metal fatigues the stress point to the eventual event of failure. The reed will vibrate at it's base where it is connected to the reedplate. Following this line of thinking, ALL playing on a harp is just "playing hours" and will lead in the same direction.

Sure as running a garden tractor up and down hills will burn it up faster than flat ground, I'm sure bending notes will stress a harp faster than "straight" note playing. Up til now though, no one has ever proven to me that a break in period is beneficial in any way. Ahhh, the price we pay to play the blues...

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RE: received my new harp and it is a real ins

Postby ricochet » Tue Mar 14, 2006 5:00 pm

>Sure as running a garden tractor up and down hills will burn
>it up faster than flat ground

What is this "flat ground" of which you speak? We Appalachian-Americans want to know...



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RE: received my new harp and it is a real ins

Postby bosco » Tue Mar 14, 2006 6:26 pm

What is this "flat ground" of which you speak?

Well it's somewhat south of here...in between us, Rico. I took a job transfer and lived in Fort Wayne, Ind for FIVE godawful years. It's flat as a table for 60 miles in every direction and there's not a lake within an hour's drive of there either. The locals eat for recreation and they have the market cornered on obesity, that's for sure.

As BlueJay can attest, I live in God's country now. Gentle rolling hills, lots of tall trees and you can't drive 5 minutes in any direction without running into a lake!

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RE: received my new harp and it is a real ins

Postby ricochet » Wed Mar 15, 2006 12:35 am

I've never quite made it to Fort Wayne, but I've made several pilgrimages to the big antique engine show in Portland, staying in Decatur, just a bit south of Ft. Wayne. Yeah, it's flat. There are little ridges here and there from glacial moraines. Each one's the southmost excursion of a resurgence of the shrinking continental ice cap a few thousand years back.

Got a fair number of Amish carriages on the roads around there, too.

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RE: received my new harp and it is a real ins

Postby rookie » Wed Mar 15, 2006 5:57 pm

"I personally don't have time to play campfire music on a harp for X number of hours anyway, and just jam on them straight out of the box."

I'm tempted to agree, Bosco - you spend weeks learning how to bend, and once you've cracked that, it seems there's nothing worthwhile left to play without using the technique.
I was actually referring to that post from the Archives, but what stuck in my mind more than the metallurgist guy was a bunch of people saying "break 'em in". But whatever - since my new harps only cost half the price I'd pay in the UK, I think I'm gonna risk bending them 'cold'
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RE: received my new harp and it is a real ins

Postby jeffl » Wed Mar 15, 2006 6:02 pm

I bought a pink plastic C harp at the store yesterday,for $2.67,and it plays! No breakin' that one in. I jus' bought it so when the next drunk wants to slobber in one of my harps, I can jus' give it to him. It's surprisingly good for the money. They make 'em in yellow,pink,blue,and green. It won't replace my SP20s.
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RE: received my new harp and it is a real ins

Postby bosco » Thu Mar 16, 2006 2:49 pm

I bought a pink plastic C harp at the store yesterday for $2.67, and it plays! They make 'em in yellow, pink, blue, and green...

* Interesting that you would pick the pink one then...

:P

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* - I'm sure it's for the benefit of the slobberin' drunk you mentioned.
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RE: received my new harp and it is a real ins

Postby jeffl » Thu Mar 16, 2006 4:03 pm

Bosco: have you seen these things,yet...? They're a hoot! They almost look like some kinda candy...Gummy Harps,or sumpin' like that. Same theme as those plastic turbo lids,or whatever those things were.
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