Banner: Fanfare for two trumpets and organ

Page 2 of 2 FirstFirst 12
Results 16 to 30 of 30

Thread: Chromatic Harmonica

  1. #16
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    1,709
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by clavichorder View Post
    I suppose I'd just ask to figure out if its airtight?

    Musicians Friends in Canada? Is that a store with an online website of something?

    Its a good thing I like classical, blues and folk.
    Hi,

    it's not quite as straight forward as that. Best to check up the Slidemeister forum and ask for specific advice or search the model you're after.

    For example - some harmonicas have no valves. This means, that the reed can never block when moisture is trapped in the body: these are leaky and designed this way, so that they can be played in outdoor very cold weather. The trade off, is that they feel difficult to play long classical phrases.

    Valve designs vary: the cheaper models can be leaky. An airtight chromatic harmonica is an absolutely must for me: Hohner's CX12 which is safe but unexciting is airtight in ABS plastic and other flavours:

    http://www.musiciansfriend.com/folk-...atic-harmonica

    The 'harp' which Ptr is referring to, is not actually fully chromatic. It is usually a 10 hole diatonic harmonica; the bottom 4 holes are used for chordal playing for blues/jazz, and the 6 holes on the right are used in a straight octave scale, in a fixed key. This way, you can use chords in fixed patterns with octave playing. It is very easy to play pop and folk stuff in that key, but it is a headache for classical with less than a 2 octave scale. Best to avoid the 'blues harp' or 'slide harp' and go for a straight chromatica or ' chromatic harmonica'.


    Here's mine:

    http://www.musiciansfriend.com/folk-...osewood-covers

    Nuts...the prices have rocketed since the Japanese nuclear disaster

    You might have to hunt for a USA made one for a better bargain, since imports might be dear (Suzuki in particular).. Seydel are German, and with the Euro exchange, you might get a good price for a Saxony

    http://www.bluesharmonica.com/best_12_holer_out_there

    Xerxa on the Blues Harmonica forum is a great mine of information. He's on Slidemeister too and really knows his harmonicas. I left this kind of music and playing behind me in my teens so it's kind of funny hearing you mention harmonicas again. Gives me a whiff of nostalgia *sniff*

    The Saxony is different from the Suzuki CX48 or the Hohner CX12 (all 12 holers) - these are the players elite for chromatic 12 holers, until you go into stratospheric priced handmade ones.

    Do check out a great little south American chromatic maker called Hering:

    http://www.heringusa.com/index1.html?c19.html&1

    I played with a Hering 48 chromatic deluxe. It is a very fine harmonica too. Different sound. Personally, for a newcomer who isn't going into chromatic harmonicas as a fad, I'd recommend a Seydel Saxony: this robust tool will travel around the world with you without fail. If you're a bit reticent thinking you might not be a harmonica virtuoso tomorrow, then the Hering 48 Deluxe is a cheap but quality entry into the world of the 12 holer. Any more holes ...and you're doomed. You lose out in speed; your covering power decreases, and the harmonica becomes as portable as a didgeridoo. You will learn to deal with blocked reeds (moisture trapping) in time and develop tongue block techniques to play scales and arpeggios. Playing a harmonica is really good for your health. It develops your breathing, especially your respiration control and intercostal muscles. It improves your rhythm control for breathing and posture and your tongue develops a faster more fluid articulate form of expression. Girls will flock to you and the Dow Jones index will rise. You cannot go wrong with a chromatic harmonica

  2. Likes KenOC, clavichorder, PetrB liked this post
  3. #17
    Senior Member clavichorder's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    WA, U.S.
    Posts
    5,072
    Post Thanks / Like
    Blog Entries
    3

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by PetrB View Post
    Having met with and spoken with a number of 'harp' players over the years, whenever this particular model came up in discussion, each player reported this about the chromatic harmonica:

    Cool, but an instrument which is very cumbersome to handle / play.
    Can you explain more about that?

  4. #18
    Senior Member clavichorder's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    WA, U.S.
    Posts
    5,072
    Post Thanks / Like
    Blog Entries
    3

    Default

    Hey all, I purchased a Chromatic! 180 US dollars at a local acoustic instrument store. A Hohner. More than sufficient for me.

  5. Likes Taggart, Head_case liked this post
  6. #19
    Senior Member clavichorder's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    WA, U.S.
    Posts
    5,072
    Post Thanks / Like
    Blog Entries
    3

    Default

    This instrument is truly great for its portability.

  7. Likes ahammel, Taggart liked this post
  8. #20
    Senior Member ahammel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    1,462
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by clavichorder View Post
    This instrument is truly great for its portability.
    Beats the contrabassoon, I suppose.

  9. Likes clavichorder, Taggart liked this post
  10. #21
    Senior Member clavichorder's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    WA, U.S.
    Posts
    5,072
    Post Thanks / Like
    Blog Entries
    3

    Default

    Definitely beats the piano in that.

  11. Likes Taggart liked this post
  12. #22
    Senior Member PetrB's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    11,622
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by clavichorder View Post
    Can you explain more about that?
    My bad. The near dissertation, highly articulate, above my entry about the 12 holer, etc. says it all. One gets less than 'handy.'

  13. #23
    Senior Member clavichorder's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    WA, U.S.
    Posts
    5,072
    Post Thanks / Like
    Blog Entries
    3

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by PetrB View Post
    My bad. The near dissertation, highly articulate, above my entry about the 12 holer, etc. says it all. One gets less than 'handy.'
    I have noticed that it is hard for me to figure out how to play it like a normal harmonica. I suppose some can, but I have yet to find it easy to use my hand to make the warbling sound.

    Its like a portable pitch pipe though. I feel like the pitch pipe that my director uses to tune our vocal ensemble is like an auto harp, and what I have is indeed a guitar. Lol. I am rather pleased with it, but have yet to really figure out what to do with it.

  14. #24
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    1,709
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Are you trying solo pieces rather than chord harmonies?

    The C E G must be the easiest chord of C to blow and exhale across all three holes. But other chords are limited in the chromatica.

    The warbling sound is termed tremelo: learn it well from tbe start instead of any blues holler. The right index finger of the left hand rests in the ledge of the chromatica' roof and the left palm edge forming the lateral wall. This position covers most of the exit of the mouthpiece and forms the grip position,

    The right hand C shape formed by the thumb and the index covers only a third of the chromatica so that the other right handed palm, with the slide control going in and out, forms the echo cave which 'darkens' the the tone colour. The right hand is loose in articulating tremelo and the left hand grip stabilising and holding the chromatica allows the right hand to do the cupping, sealing and freeing of the cupped area....this is the articulating movement of the tremelo.

    Start by practicing scalar runs. C notes are duplicated as two blow holes...this is how you remember their position: C E G C C E G C C E G C for the blow notes. Corresponding in notes B F A D are repeated for inhale notes.
    Last edited by Head_case; May-05-2013 at 11:43.

  15. Likes clavichorder liked this post
  16. #25
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    1,709
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Just realised I told you everything back to front!

    Clarified it now

    Have you got the book: "How to play the mandolin well"

    They need one for guitars....too many bad guitar players everywhere....

  17. Likes Taggart, clavichorder liked this post
  18. #26
    Senior Member clavichorder's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    WA, U.S.
    Posts
    5,072
    Post Thanks / Like
    Blog Entries
    3

    Default

    Is the object ultimately to be getting chords? I am working on getting to know all the notes and playing melodies. That might be too tedious or something. I have yet to jump into playing it like I mean it.

  19. #27
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    1,709
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    No no....not at all.

    Teenage rock god guitarists spend most of their time trying to develop power chords and riffs which impress x-factor fans and under 5s. Classical guitarists play mostly without chords.

    Same for the harmonica. Knowing four chords, like C, G, D and maybe one extra to really push the envelope means that you can just whip out your cool Hohner at an environmentally unfriendly campfire and jam along to virtually any music by permutating those four chords. Its a useful party trick which I used to do to impress babes - the under 5s

    Have you found any of the online primers with exercises? Start of by learning some straightforward tunes in the key of D major and practice to death. You will find like with the piano breathing rhythm is so crucial and controls expression so much and so silently (hopefully silently and not snorting or grunting like uncouth harmonica players). Stay in C major, D major or G major until you master the use of the slide effortlessly.

    Its important to brush your teeth before play otherwise your mouthpiece bronzes over time. Don't forget to start a phrase in mid-expiration, in full expiration and full inspiration to get a feel for the phrasing. You may be surprised that you retain too much air in which case, starting in near full expiration is better. You will pick it up as time goes on.

  20. Likes Roger Knox liked this post
  21. #28
    New Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2020
    Posts
    2
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Hi everyone

    I play the chromatic harmonica as a hobby
    https://www.youtube.com/user/MrChromatica/videos

    Warmest Regards!
    Lai

  22. #29
    New Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2020
    Posts
    2
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Hi everyone

    I play the chromatic harmonica as a hobby

    https://www.youtube.com/user/MrChromatica/videos

    Warmest Regards!
    Lai

  23. #30
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Location
    Toronto, Canada
    Posts
    2,652
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by PetrB View Post
    Having met with and spoken with a number of 'harp' players over the years, whenever this particular model came up in discussion, each player reported this about the chromatic harmonica:

    Cool, but an instrument which is very cumbersome to handle / play.
    I have found diatonic harmonica is great for playing folk, rock, pop and other styles, especially in groups, with singing/other instruments.

    12-hole chromatic harmonica (with the slide) is in my experience a different kettle of fish. You need a good ear and theory to progress beyond an early stage. And whether you play classical, jazz, or any other style, you really have to go to the woodshed to play chromatic harmonica well! There have been musical geniuses who managed to master this beautiful instrument, including the greats:

    Classical: (There is more repertoire than people realize.)
    Tommy Reilly
    John Sebastian, Sr.
    Larry Adler (tremendous innovator)

    Jazz:
    Toots Thielemanns

    Still living are Robert Bonfiglio (classical and popular) and Hendrik Meurtens (Latin-style jazz on chromatic harmonica and vibes). I have missed several others who were or are also in this league. Then there is the one and only Steve Wonder (soul, pop) who plays the chromatic harmonica magnificently -- wish he'd recorded more on it.
    Last edited by Roger Knox; Jan-11-2020 at 19:12.

Page 2 of 2 FirstFirst 12

Similar Threads

  1. Chromatic Stuff
    By ErinD in forum Today's Composers
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: Oct-28-2012, 20:06
  2. Bach's Chromatic Fantasia and Fugue
    By Tapkaara in forum Classical Music Discussion
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: Jun-23-2012, 22:09
  3. Chromatic Fugue
    By Henrique in forum Today's Composers
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: Apr-24-2012, 01:31
  4. Harmonica
    By jurianbai in forum Percussion and Other Instruments
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: Jan-12-2012, 06:04
  5. Atonal/Tonal/Chromatic work for orchestra
    By Igneous01 in forum Today's Composers
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: Oct-07-2011, 19:03

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •