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About changing harmonicas?

About changing harmonicas? Topic: Harmonica case single
June 20, 2019 / By Abbie
Question: I'm a beginning harmonica player and I'm finally starting to get a real hang of it. I currently have a Hohner Marine Band Special 20 (bought it as it was recomended as a beginers harmonica) tuned in C. Now I am currently looking to get myself another one; possibly tuned in G as that seems to be recomended for the kind of blues improv I like to play. What I would like to know however is how difficult it is to get used to a new harmonica; how great is the step to suddenly learn how to play out of a new tune? Furthermore I would like to get a slightly more higher-end harmonica; as the sound of the Marine band isn't bad allthough a tad dull. How difficult am I going to find it converting to a new model/maker? is it going to require me to relearn the bends or wherein lies the potential problems? And finally; any recomendations on what harmonica to get next / what to avoid / personal experience or preference would be greatly apprecieated. I have only ever played on one single harmonica; and I'm not planning on playing concerts or gigs. I just jam a bit every now and then. Any help would be greatly appreciated :)
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Best Answers: About changing harmonicas?

Stacy Stacy | 10 days ago
Just to add to the discourse: I play mostly wooden combed harps because I like the traditional timbre. Marine Band (1896) are really good harps. But, I don't play blues style either and like some different sorts of scales in my harps. I like my Marine Band (365) in G a lot - it's a wonderful player. As for "more high end" - recording professionals lean toward those Hohner Marine Band, Special 20, and Blues Harp models; they're pretty ubiquitous. The history is very solid. I find the Suzuki to be even brighter than a Special 20 and the Lee Oskar to be about the same as a Special 20. The Special 20 is a "good beginners harmonica" because it's also a good professional musical instrument. Keys: playing one is just about the same as playing the rest. The diatonic pattern is the same no matter which. I like the tone of the G and A for tune playing. The key of your harp only really matters as it relates to the key other people are playing in but the tone quality (timbre) of a lower pitch is very different from that of a higher such as the Eb or F. Your ear is going to be accustomed to finding certain sounds in a certain place but you'll adjust quickly. Something different: if you'd like to try something different in a harmonica you might want to look at a chromatic, solo tuning, or a tremolo. In those cases there's a new skills learning curve (not too bad though) but with any 10-hole major diatonic your playing is essentially the same as any other. What to get: Since you've only ever played on a Special 20 and you're curious about something else - why not try the Marine Band 1896 with a wooden comb? That way you can answer for yourself right off whether you like wooden or plastic combs better and can make future choices based on your own feelings. My opinion is that wood was a warmer and more traditional tone quality. Others, as you can see here, don't agree. What to avoid: cheap sets (such as Piedmont Blues), toys that aren't real instruments, special/odd tunings that are for specific purposes that you don't need unless you know you need that, types (such as tremolo, echo, solo, chromatic, etc) that aren't for what you like to play, custom/designer harps that cost a fortune because they look pretty but play exactly the same.
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Stacy Originally Answered: I need help changing this poem?
Tell your teacher to go stick it!.....your poem is brilliant if you think it is and if it's come from the heart. I like it!

Othniel Othniel
There isn't a huge difference in technique between different key harps, There is a slight difference in how much air is required between say a G (lowest) and F (highest) chiefly because of the size of the air ways, but it isn't anything really all that dramatic. Usually everyone starts in C because it is in the middle range and lower or higher keys require a bit less or more air to blow or draw, but again it isn't dramatic. Personally I am not all that fond of playing in C. I prefer the sound of an A, D or F to a C. As far as plastic or wood combs go it is really a matter of personal preference, I play both mainly depending on what is available in a particular key. I do find the plastic combs hold up better and most of my harps are plastic. Most players know use mid priced harps, mainly Special 20's, Marine Bands, Blues Harps or Lee Oskar Diatonics. A good Basic set of harps is C, A, G, D, E, F, Bb. Get them gradually. Later on if you start playing out you can pick up other keys as needed.
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Lesley Lesley
Assuming you are using a harmonica in the scale of E, obviously, if the song is being played in Eb and you play the harmonica in E, the whole song will sound off-tune/off-scale ! Further, playing any other scale harmonica when the song is in Eb is bound to sound to sound wierd ! ( I wouldn't discount the possibility of two different scales being played together to produce some kind of a noise and call is music, in the near future !!) Solution 1: Get an Eb Scale Harmonica and all your problems will vanish. Solution 2: Depending upon which harmonica you use, you could get a set of reed plates in Eb for your model. This, of course, would mean opeing up the harmonica to change the reed plates. This would be a slightly cheaper option, than buying a new harmonica in Eb, provided the reed plate set for your harmonica are available. As far as I can see, these are the only two options you have. All the best !
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Jamie Jamie
The relationship between the notes/holes stays the same, so you can transfer your licks to any key of diatonic, 10 hole harp. Sorry to disagree with the other poster-apparently they aren't aware that the Marine Band Special 20 has a plastic comb. I switched to Special 20s from the 1896s about thirty years ago to get away from the wooden combs. Either are well made, professional quality instruments. Not sure what you would consider "higher-end". I own/have owned most Hohners as well as Huang, Seydel, Hering, etc. None compare to the Marine Band models in my opinion. You can get customized harps if you like, and if you have $100-200 to spend on something that began as a $35 instrument. Many of the "gear heads" that have discovered harp in the last few years like them. Then again, both Sonny Boys, Big & Little Walter, Sonny Terry, etc. seemed to do fine with plain old , off the shelf Hohners (or even Sears harps out of the catalog). As far as keys to buy, If you only play by yourself, you only need one harp. To play with others, you'll need several keys, depending on what position you play, and what key they're playing in. I'd suggest A,D, or B as your next key.
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France France
assuming you have a diatonic harmonica (within the key you bought) a G will be very low, and dark. Marine bands tend to have wooden combs, which is the sound you get. avoid plastic combs as they do not last. few harmonicas have Metal combs like a suzuki switching is not hard at all, in fact there is no switch its just a different sound harmonica. a different key sound and sometimes feel. but they all play the same. Suzuki Key of G diatonic Harmonica Metal comb $60 ish http://www.suzukimusic.com/harmonicas/mr... thats my harmonica, have no complaint only compliments. by far best harmonica iv owned.
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France Originally Answered: I need help changing this poem?
Tell your teacher to go stick it!.....your poem is brilliant if you think it is and if it's come from the heart. I like it!

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