It seems the common understanding is that if you pay enough money for harmonicas you can consider yourself a harmonica player and therefore qualified to make critiques based on your own, shall I say, limited knowledge of the subject.
NUMBER ONE RULE WHEN PLAYING AN INSTRUMENT! BULLSHIT IN, BULLSHIT OUT! Many don't want to believe
that, I understand, we all start somewhere.
"CHAMPAGNE FOR MY REAL FRIENDS, REAL PAIN FOR MY SHAM FRIENDS"/b]
Actually, I frickin' despise show tunes, but I would like to see Dexer come out of the closet and do a version "Chorus Line" in red pumps, CMFM shoes.
More Show Tunes!!!
Right, I am using only the 57 in acoustic situations, I don't touch the mic when I am playing harmonica, I get close or farther away depending on the tune, what I am adding, and of course taking into consideration the room acoustics. Think Sonny Terry,
Joe Filisko, Kim Wilson, style of acoustic playing. The heavy use of hands makes holding the mic obsolete, it'll sound better playing close and shaping notes and using hand FX.
Make big deal outta using the cup, tell the crowd you went all the way to Corning New York to have a "Harmonica Resonator" made especially for you, or some such BS, this is a great time for interacting with the crowd and adding a bit of brevity to the mix
I use a Shure SM57 for what I refer to as acoustic style play, meaning I don't cup the mic, but rather I play to the mic much like a singer would use it. Since I do 99% of the singing I am using my vocal mic and just leave it in the stand whether seated or standing. I use this set-up mostly in situations with acoustic instruments, I don't cup or hold the mic I can use my hands to shape notes and add effects.
When I play with electric guitars and bass, I use an Astatic JT30 thru a '79 Fender Super Reverb with a LW Harp Break. I cup this mic as securely as possible to drive the element and amp for that "Fat" Chicago style tone. These two techniques sound quite different from each other as you know, but I can always incorporate the "acoustic" style approach in any situation since I
have a focal mic, but, I would never try to achieve the overdriven tone with a vocal mic, since it being set up for vocals (1-3 inches away, in my case) it would howl like a banshee with feedback when cupped.
For a VERY cool FX when playing acoustic I use a glass coffee cup as a resonant chamber, nice round "sweet" sounding notes, definitely give this a try, the audience will love it! Having fun and enjoying the communal moment with band and audience is what I enjoy the most when playing music live. Good Luck!
Thanks. Whaddaya think? Thanks for lookin'. Thank you again. No no, thank you.
I am what is referred to as "old school," I still use my ears to figure out runs, riffs, etc.
The guitar player in the group I play with swears by The Amazing SlowDowner from
Roni Music, ronimusic.com/ He plays the Hell out of "Hot Rod Lincoln" and
attributes it to being able to break it down with the SlowDowner. Zero pitch change,
no matter how slow the segment.
I play diatonics and 64 chromatics, I would like to think I play each with equal aplomb, but I know I'm better on the diatonic.
My favorite harmonica is one that is in tune and has a smooth comb surface. I recently acquired a Hohner 64 Chromonica in
C that Danny G dates to the late 60's early 70's, it plays superbly. I'm working up Rod Piazza's "Devil's Foot", cool tune.
I want to add more Chromatic tunes to our bands repertoire.
I have several different makes and models of harmonicas, a half dozen "custom" harmonicas, I am partial to the Hohner sound with Seydel a close second.
"Playin' harmonica is like whacking off. You mess with it long enuff, you'll figure it out!" Delbert McClinton
Oh hell yeah!!