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Author Topic: What key for harmonica?  (Read 1437 times)

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Harmonicatunes

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Re: What key for harmonica?
« Reply #20 on: October 29, 2018, 01:12:53 AM »

Cheers, thanks for the nice words. I am a bona fide melodeon player these days, and seem to gathered gathered 18 of them.
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Harmonica Player
Just starting with the Box

Michael Eskin

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Re: What key for harmonica?
« Reply #21 on: November 01, 2018, 02:43:36 PM »

If you play B/C box as I do, you can take some B tuned chromatic harmonicas and flip the slide, giving a C row with the slide out and a B row with the slide in.  I did that with a Hering Membi in B. Playing it feels very similar to the box. Once I proved to myself that it was viable and I could play tunes I had a custom Suzuki SCX-48 built for me in that tuning.
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Dick Rees

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Re: What key for harmonica?
« Reply #22 on: November 01, 2018, 05:24:52 PM »

Bit of a swerve, but for "all keys" jamming I just bought a 32 key Hohner melodica.  Major difference is that you have to remember there's no air valve, but there IS a spit valve...so take a floor towel with you to be polite.
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Katie Howson

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Re: What key for harmonica?
« Reply #23 on: November 02, 2018, 11:26:44 AM »

I'd recommend the Tombo Band Deluxe in D and G. I've played them for many years and just renewed with two new models, both sweet as a nut. They come in at around £100 each. Not tried the Tombo Premiere range, but they seem good and about £20 cheaper.

The Suzuki Humming (I always call it a Hummingbird too, but that's not actually its name!) in D is a lower pitch and seems to have a more pronounced tremolo effect. I use mine occasionally for specific effects.

It's quite easy to play tunes in two keys, such as Jenny Lind, by holding the two harmonicas close together.

Yes, you can customise them, but as this is your first step into harmonicas, you probably don't want to consider that yet. Without any retuning, it's not possible to play a tune that has both C natural and C# in it, you learn to accommodate that part of a tune and let other instruments play the note you don't have. Some notes are bendable on some instruments. That isn't one of them - in my experience anyway!

Most conventional tutor books are based on the C harmonica, often a 10-hole one, but if you already play the melodeon you really don't need a tutorial book. The hardest thing I've found is trying to learn anything like vamping from books or videos, as you can't see what's going on, and it appears I'm not very good at learning that kind of stuff from verbal descriptions! Thirty years on and I still don't vamp, but play the melody with various ornamentations/articulations based on what I hear in the music I listen to - eg John Lennon's trills in "Love Me Do" - thanks to a tip off from Simon Ritchie!

Buy a £5 one in a shop somewhere, don't worry about what key it's in (it'll be C) just play it as if it's one row of your melodeon. When you get the hang, go online and order proper ones in the keys you want. Available from various sites, I've used Harmonicas Direct several times and they've been prompt, friendly and helpful: https://www.harmonicas-direct.com/
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Rags

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Re: What key for harmonica?
« Reply #24 on: November 02, 2018, 01:28:43 PM »

Thanks to everybody for your advice. Based on this, and a helpful chat with the squeezebox man in my local Hobgoblin, I now have a Hohner Special 20 in D. All I need to do now is learn to play it....
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george garside

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Re: What key for harmonica?
« Reply #25 on: December 04, 2018, 08:33:51 AM »

I
It's quite easy to play tunes in two keys, such as Jenny Lind, by holding the two harmonicas close together.

 hi

Will Atkinson sometimes  held 3 mouthies  at the same time to provide key changes  , one being played and two held vertically, one in each hand anad the changes  were carried out with no lag whatsoever.

george
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author of DG tutor book "DG Melodeon a Crash Course for Beginners".    Available on ebay as a 'buy now' item. Put in melodeon tutor book for full info.

Dick Rees

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Re: What key for harmonica?
« Reply #26 on: December 04, 2018, 01:30:08 PM »

Thanks to everybody for your advice. Based on this, and a helpful chat with the squeezebox man in my local Hobgoblin, I now have a Hohner Special 20 in D. All I need to do now is learn to play it....

Do they still come with a folded (and folded and folded) paper of instructions right in the box?  Don't throw them away as I did many times...mistaking them for packing.  They're immensely helpful!
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Rags

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Re: What key for harmonica?
« Reply #27 on: December 05, 2018, 08:52:10 PM »

Mine just came with a website and a code for a 30 day free trial of lessons. I haven't taken that up yet, so can't review.
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Rags

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Re: What key for harmonica?
« Reply #28 on: December 06, 2018, 07:58:10 AM »

I should to correct my previous post. In the bottom of my bag I have just found a multi folded sheet of paper  which must have originally been in the box, giving playing and maintenance tips in four languages,
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