Episode #125 of the Stack Overflow podcast is here. We talk Tilde Club and mechanical keyboards. Listen now
13

Actually it's the last 4 holes that produce the opposite effect you describe. I will explain why the original harmonica engineer set it up this way. First thing to note, is the harmonica was not originally intended to be an instrument used to play single notes. Had that been the case, the holes would be farther apart. Instead they are so close as to make ...


11

I think you should start as if it is a game. Your child should be interested in this game, and its rules should be easy. There is nothing hard about creating a random sound with a harmonica, and at first it will be ok just to leave him to this. Once your son is more familiar with the instrument, you should start the main phase of the learning: Find the ...


10

All flat notes are sharp or natural notes. Ab = G# Bb = A# (Cb = B) Db = C# Eb = D# (Fb = E) Gb = F# Or, to put it another way, any flat note you might want is covered by the four "settings" of a chromatic harmonica: no-side-key or with-side-key, each used with "blow" or "draw" (i.e. breathe-out or breathe-in). See this for a list of pitches when using ...


9

You can play the A scale on a C harmonica. But you'll have to bend overblow all the C's (♯1 (or use ♭2, if ♯1 is not available)) F's (♯4 (or substitute ♭5)) and G's (♯5 (or ♭6)) because the A Major scale goes: A B C♯ D E F♯ G♯ A. For Blues, don't raise the G. Use the A mixolydian scale ...


9

It's been a while since I played harmonica but a C won't work for sure. You'll need either a E harmonica to play first position (or Straight harp), or an A harmo to play second position (blues style). Second position (cross harp), is a fourth higher than your tonality (that's five semitones). a key chart for harmonica The first position playing sound major ...


8

I read or heard something a while ago that said that Hohner Marine Bands were tuned to just intonation to sound good while chording, while Lee Oskars were set to equal temperment for better single-note playing. So, I would look into Lee Oskars. But you can tune a harmonica to get it set to your needs.


7

If you enjoy classical, ethnic or folk music, go for the recorder. However, as you say you like rock, I'd say the harmonica is more common for this genre. Also, since you're playing at parties, I'd also choose the harmonica because it is louder than the recorder. Harmonica It's simple, but like any instrument it gets more complicated as your learn more, ...


7

It is indeed in Bb. Which means to play in a bluesy way, you have to suck more than blow. Go up a fourth and there's your answer. An Eb harp, which, when sucked, will give notes akin to Bb9. To play an ordinary melody, you'll use Bb, the key it's in. To play blues, you need to be a perfect fifth above/ perfect fourth below your existing harp key. So, blues ...


7

What key? A minor, see Richard's answer (and my comment) Which Harmonica to use Harmonica is a diatonic instrument designed to play simple major folk tunes, however that's often not the way it's used in the modern day. "minor harmonicas" do have some interesting applications, but they are a read herring to this question, for these applications what you ...


6

It's entirely possible that the vintage harmonica is tuned differently than the modern one. The earlier one being probably closer to, or in, just intonation, while the more modern one is probably closer to, or in, equal temperament. A google search on this model, and "temperament" yielded the following disussion


6

Indeed, you need to bend notes on the diatonic harmonica because all notes are not available. And even when you'll be able to bend them, you'll find out that a few of them are still missing, and you'll then need to learn overblows to obtain them -- but you can worry about that later. You can, but don't need to bend notes on the chromatic harmonica because ...


6

I think it depends if you want to have it as an "active instrument" and play with it, or just keep it as a nice harmonica for memory/collection. I play in one of my projects with Filip Jers. He was sponsored by Hering harmonicas and now Suzuki harmonicas, and he tunes his harmonicas every other show. To clean his harmonicas he opens it, cleans the reeds, ...


6

Although it seems straight forward and simple, this is actually a tricky question. The tuning you describe is simply standard tuning - except one whole step flat. Everything Bob Broadley said in his answer is theoretically correct with one minor glitch (for G to F) created by the harmonica makers. In the example you used for your guitar tuning, if you ...


6

There are lots of ways to modify a 12-bar blues progression. I will narrow it down quite a bit because from your references to Led Zeppelin and Muddy Waters I gather that you're not so much interested in a jazz blues progression. Check out that site though, you'll find some inspiring variations on the 12-bar blues form. Some of the variations I'll mention ...


5

Answer Yes, it is possible to play it. Simply transpose the version in A to C. How do I transpose? Move every note up a minor third (three semitones). For example, A would become C (A > A# > B > C). B would become D (B > C > C# > D) and so on.


5

Harmonicas should be in tune when you buy them, and should stay in tune for a long time. Tuning them is not something you should expect to do often. However, it is possible. You need to open it up to expose the reeds. You can remove metal from a reed using a filing tool, and you can add small amounts of solder to the end of a reed. To sharpen a note, ...


5

All of the below assumes whatever you do will involve daily practice (at least half an hour but an hour is better) and study (of resources on how to play). You don't need a teacher to learn harmonica but if guitar is your first instrument then a teacher is highly recommended, and for violin almost everyone needs a good teacher to succeed. A diatonic ...


5

You can open up a melodica. There are screws holding the back on. Once you're inside the cure may be obvious. But they're still for sale, and cheap. So don't waste too much time on it. http://www.melodicashack.com/melodica-care-and-maintenance


5

Let's take a standard diatonic harmonica in C. By blowing, 3 notes are produced. C E and G. That gives us the C chord. Drawing will produce the other notes in that key - namely D F A and B. By blocking one note,(B), a Dm chord can be produced, drawing on all will make a kind of G9, albeit with no root. That's about it for one harmonica. To a great extent why ...


4

For ear-training you could follow the basic procedure used by Suzuki students. At first, play melody lines you already know really well, anything from nursery rhymes to pop songs to Christmas carols. Start with something simple like Twinkle Twinkle, pick a starting note and try to reconstruct the tune. Be kind to yourself and go a couple of notes at a time; ...


4

You may not be able, easily, to play this ,in A, on a C harp.But there is probably no point. Just play it in the key of the harp you have. When you find the tab, it will still be playable, but you will be in a different key. This will only be a problem if other people want to play along with you, but that's a sort of inherent problem for most harmonica ...


4

http://www.bluesharmonica.com/blog_tags/taxonomy/term/1100 On any wind instrument spit is a fact of life. You will notice that larger wind instruments have a spit valve, and regularly empty it (sometimes on your shoes!) There really isn't a good way to keep your body from making more spit, and you want to shape your embouchure for good sound rather than ...


4

Standard tuning on the guitar is E A D G B E, from the lowest/thickest string (6) to the highest/thinnest (1). Therefore, tuning the guitar strings down to D G C F A D, from lowest to highest, will make them each exactly a whole-tone lower (the same as two semitones, or two frets, if you like). Therefore, playing the music on your detuned guitar, in the ...


4

There are a couple of problems. The harp is most likely diatonic, and has a major scale playable, with an octave - 8 notes- range. The song has a range of 10 notes, so the highest two COULD be played an octave lower, but it will sound strange. Another problem is that since it's diatonic, but the song is in a minor key, the bottom two notes in the song will ...


4

In my opinion half an hour sounds perfectly normal. I suppose that is half an hour of constant playing? Most blues featuring harmonica do not call for it to be played continously but rather in a "call and response" fashion with the singer, or to take solos of limited lenght. I would say, after practicing any instrument constantly and vigorously for half ...


4

I think the confusion comes from the naming of the notes. In C major, the notes will be C,D,E,F,G,A,B and the next C. This gives all the notes you need diatonically to play in key C.With the button pressed in, you'll get the notes from C#. These are C#,D#,E#,F#,G#,A#,B#, and the next C#. This gives all the diatonic notes to play in C# (or Db , with different ...


4

I can't speak for what blues harp or penny whistle to use, but I can address the question of key: Pieces with progressions like Am--Dm--Am--E are unequivocally in the key of A minor. If you've ever heard the joke that "there are only three chords" in popular music, these are the exact three chords you're playing! In music theory parlance, we call this a i--...


4

Is there perhaps a technique I can use to lower the pitch of the E to Eb while blowing a C triad? No there isn't. For minor key chord stuff people tend to play chromatic harmonicas in D minor or Eb minor (and in that sense they become partially diatonic instruments). I saw a video the other day that I now can't find, of Jason Ricci playing a chromatic live ...


4

If it's for a bluesy sound, the harp is usually a fourth above the played key. So, he plays a song in G, the harp needed will be a C harp. However, since he tunes down a semitone, the harp needs to go the same way. It needs to be in B. When he uses the open G tuned guitar, the far more common C harp is the choice. If it's a German made harmonica, you'll be ...


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