I don't have COPD but can I get extra points for having cancer twice . Seriously, I think I know more people who've had cancer than those who've never had it.
My mother has a friend with COPD and asked me to find a harmonica that she could give him for Christmas (last year). While googling the subject of COPD and harmonicas, I found something with a title like, "Play harmonica, save your life".
There is a fair amount about this subject to be found on the net.
I'm going to desperately try to post something this month.
I actually did record an N song but it was late in the month and I ran out of time to get it edited to an uploadable version. I seem unusually busy (that happens up here when the weather warms up).
I'll try no to wait until the 30th before recording .
I've bought my Tombo Aeroreeds direct from Japan. Here in North America, Tombos aren't "officially" imported but the deals from eBay or amazon third party sellers are often really good. They are usually available with free shipping or very nominal shipping. I think I even bought a Manji direct from Japan.
Of course, in Canada, the government can't be bothered to collect tax or duty. This is the great advantage of living in a GIANT country with a widespread population. The authorities are so busy looking for drugs that just about everything gets a pass.
"Hey Bob, where are the tax and duty forms for this stuff?"
"What have you got?"
"It a box of harmonicas"
"Harmonicas? Geezuz...don't waste time with friggin' harrmonicas. Get them out of here. We're looking for methamphetamine."
I agree with Dezzy...you want to move away from U-blocking.
It's a an easy technique that gets a lot of people started but it's extremely limiting. It's a dead end.
You "couldn't get lip pursing" because you didn't try it long enough. That's not an insult...that's the way it is for beginners (including me).
When I first tried tongue blocking, I honestly thought it was impossible. I got NOTHING usable from my harmonica. It sounded like I was taking a huge step backward. It was awful for weeks. But I decided that I was just going to keep trying tongue blocking. I wasn't going to do any other technique until I could tongue block. I immersed myself in it. It took about 3 weeks to get recognizable sounds.
Today, I consider tongue blocking the EASIEST technique for me.
But you just have to push through it. There are times when you will sound horrendous...and that's generally when you are switching to new techniques. So just do it. Don't worry about sounding awful for a few weeks. It has to be done.
Dex can’t, he’s keeping them to sell in the future and make a hugh profit.
The SCH24 Chord, Sirius and SS-37 Soprano are worth around $1800.00 in total.
I paid about $325.00 for them! There's money to be made...but I like owning them
I think my run of great harmonica bargains has come to an end.
For a year and a bit, I was getting steals on amazon.ca...deals that defied all logic: "Fabulous" diatonics for $55.00, an SCH24 chord harp for $75.00 and a Sirius chromatic for $160.00 among other deals.
The LAST deal was an SCX chromatic for about $75.00.
Insane deals that made no sense.
But something has happened on amazon.ca. The deals are gone. No Suzuki harmonicas are on sale. Most of them are out of stock. It's almost like amazon.ca is getting out of the Suzuki harp selling business...I don't blame them; I stole most of their stock .
So the days of me talking about my newest harmonica are likely over (I might buy 1 every year or so but, after buying things at 50%, 60% and 70% and 80% discounts, it will be hard to pay retail.
If you have a "modern" harmonica, opening it up is a simple task with little risk.
If you have a standard Marine Band put together with nails, you have a more daunting challenge. Same with any number of nailed together harps...which was largely a Hohner issue. I think other makers gave up on nails years ago.
Generally speaking, opening up a harp is accomplished by the simple action of removing the screws/bolts at either end of the harp. And the reed plates themselves are bolted to the comb and can be removed easily (again Hohner continues to use nails on a limited number of harps like the standard Marine Band and standard 270 chromatic).
This is simple and should not be cause for concern. Just don't lose the bolts, so don't do this while standing on a shag carpet or your lawn . And be aware that the reeds are delicate so be careful when you expose them. I suggest working on a hard surface...you don't want to snag a reed on your wool sweater!
That being said, there is usually little reason to open up a harp. A plastic comb harp can be rinsed under water if it gets gummed up. Some corrosion is normal and is not cause for worry. Don't take the reed plates off unless something is clearly amiss...but if it must be done, it's a simple matter of remaining calm and turning a few screws.
Trev, last year I started a harmonica tool/maintenance thread in the "Harmonica Hardware" section.
Check it out here:
A few thoughts:
I think the most important thing for a beginning harmonica player is motivation. They have to see some progress and feel a sense of anticipation. This is the reason most harmonicas end up at the back of a drawer after two days...new harp players feel they are getting nowhere and don't see the light at the end of the tunnel.
The truth is that there are some players who have a musical aptitude and then there are guys like me . People who suggest learning by ear usually more gifted than the rest of us. Sarge is much better harmonica player than I will ever be and, unlike Eric, I still can't imagine playing a chromatic by ear. For those gifted players, playing by ear must seem natural and logical and more useful than using tabs. The rest of us schmoes need more hand-holding. Tabs are like step-by-step directions. Harmonicas don't have an entirely logical note layout...we need to learn where those notes fall before we can start playing by ear.
One may make an argument that playing by ear is "better". I really don't know...I'm VERY weak on music theory but I can certainly understand that argument. But I think the more important task for those of us giving advice is, "How can we keep this guy playing the harmonica regularly for the next three months"? What can we do to help motivate a new player? What can we do that will give him a sense of accomplishment.
The untalented rabble (of which I am a charter member) would likely have gotten nowhere for 6 months if we started off trying to play by ear. I'm just not that good. It was hard enough trying to do clean single notes and do multi-hole jumps. I would have been lost trying to figure out why some notes are repeated or why high notes move from the blow hole to the draw hole. That's just TOO much for many of us.
I would suggest that ANY learning technique is a failure if can't motivate a new player in the critical first few days or weeks. Anything that will result in a newbie playing a simple, recognizable song is good. I started with a few bad ideas and less than desirable techniques but it kept me motivated long enough for me to pick up better habits and better techniques. Keeping that new harmonica OUT of the "drawer of doom" is JOB ONE .
Regarding harp purchases: This is another thing that speaks to motivation. Although I would later be famous for buying loads of expensive harmonicas at bargain prices on amazon.ca, I didn't start out that way. Every couple of months, I would pop down to the local music store and drop $25.00 on Suzuki Bluesmaster or similar harp. I never thought a new harp would make me better...but it was fun. When I got a new harp, I WANTED TO PLAY IT. It would refire my motivation. So even bad players should feel no guilt about buying a new harp if they still suck (no pun intended) on the old harp.
Further to buying: check out eBay or third party sellers on amazon. They will usually offer harmonicas directly from China (or thereabouts) at bargain prices with free-shipping.
tpbass wrote: Dex, real nice "I Remember You". Frank Ifield did it too. My favorite version.
I always think of I REMEMBER YOU as a Frank Ifield song so I do a quick mental double take when I hear somebody say Slim Whitman . But I like Slim so it's all good!
trev wrote: I will look into a chromatic but I thought swan were a name to avoid ??...
You can't beat a SWAN for the Price.
70% of my chrom practice is on a SWAN 1248.
I have a Hohner 270, CX12, a Suzuki Sirius and a number of Suzuki SCXs. They are great harmonicas...but the CHEAPEST one of those is still THREE times the price of a SWAN 1248.
You want a high quality chrom?...spend $650.00 and get a Suzuki Sirius. You want a decent , entry level harp?...spend $50.00 and get a SWAN 1248.
The 1248 is a standard harp which features the things found in most good chromatic harps. It's a 12 hole harp and it is valved. And, the good thing is, the valves are LESS sticky than the valves in more expensive harps. Seriously, I have WAY less valve issues with my SWAN than I do with my Suzuki Sirius.
Here's a little demo I made using my SWAN 1248 (keeping in mind that I'm not that good a harp player...imagine this in the hands of somebody with talent). Perfectly OK for 50 or so bucks.
trev wrote: ...f the problem I have is the tab doesn't really say when to miss a beat before paying the next note so every thing I play sounds rushed or to slow .
Ohh and my harmonica isn't in c so a lot of the tab sounds a lil funky when I play it as some of the notes are different I think
One of the fundamental rules of using tabs is that you really have to be familiar with the music that you are playing. You have to know the song in your head. Don't use a tab to play a song that you can't hum from memory . If someone says, "Try song X"...only try it if you already know the song.
I'm pretty hopeless with old folk songs...because I don't know old folks songs. I like old pop songs because I know old pop songs. One of the early songs that I found easy to play was The Everly Brothers BYE BYE LOVE. Just find something you know so that you are familiar with the tempo.
Having a non C harmonica shouldn't really make a difference. It's just practice. Practice fixes 90% of all problems.