Introduce yourself

Anything apart from the two mainstream default harmonicas (Solo-tuned fully-valved chromatic, and un-valved Richter 10-hole diatonic). Alternate tunings, different construction, new functionality, interesting old designs, wishful-thinking... whatever!
EdvinW
Posts: 114
Joined: Tue Jun 05, 2018 6:02 pm
Location: Sweden

Re: Introduce yourself

Post by EdvinW » Wed Oct 03, 2018 11:09 am

I reread my introduction, and saw I put the digits of my birth year in the wrong order... I'm in my very late 20's, not my very early 20's :D

The rest of the post wouldn't make sense had I been born in '98...
Edvin Wedin

drstrange
Posts: 5
Joined: Thu Oct 11, 2018 7:17 am

Re: Introduce yourself

Post by drstrange » Thu Oct 11, 2018 8:05 am

Hi

I am drstrange, known as drstrange in many Forums around Music or harp.
I play harp, guitar and drums and if there is no singer available even I sing.
Years ago I got a custom-harp 12 hole diminished from Brendan and it is funny.

I am nearly 60 and play since several decades some time alone direction
of Neil Young orBob Dylan, on the other Hand I play in several Bands
Blues Pop and Rock.

I live near Stuttgart Germany but native I am from Berlin.

I am also engineer for electronics and so I am also interested in amps and
amplification of Music.

BR
drstrange

ROBERT TEMPLE
Posts: 20
Joined: Fri Oct 12, 2018 5:49 am

Re: Introduce yourself

Post by ROBERT TEMPLE » Fri Oct 12, 2018 6:42 am

Hiya friends - I have played mostly diatonic since beginning harp in 1973, maybe 1972. My first real harp hero was and still is Paul Butterfield. His "Driftin' Blues", especially his Woodstock version, really got under my skin. Soon after then I learned of the likes of Charlie Musselwhite, James Cotton, William Clarke and then many others. Jazz/blues, funk and West coast blues became my bag.

My harp playing has always been as a hobbyist though I have had the pleasure to sit in with some real fine musicians along the way, most unknown to the general public. Often times when playing diatonic harps, I have had to settle for second best, I have not always been able to hit the desired note on harp that I was hearing in my head which I had always found irritating and frustrating.

I think I bought my first 12-hole chromatic around 1978 but it took me decades to ever get around to learning simple chro techniques such as how to use it in third position blues. And then I fell in love with Bossa Nova and all things Brasil. Suddenly, the chro harp became my friend, the chro is MADE for Bossa Nova.

Diatonics have remained my ax of choice in the harp world and I have been branching out a bit in the past year or so by experimenting with mixed reedplates from Lee Oskar harps I've owned for decades but never used much. My best mix is using an A Major blow plate over an E Natural Minor draw plate. That gives me b7s on draw holes 3 & 7. I want to do some partial valving [palving] on that beast. Great harp so far, overbends easily, cleanly, smoothly. But there is more in store for that harp.

I have been practicing overbends since January of this year, 2018, and I can happily report that I have the technique well controlled, can get three, complete, chromatic octaves on most any key harp that I have set up. I am now able to use overbends in my sessions at the local open mics and am much better able to play along with many of my jazz albums. I practice about two hours a day on harp and often use piano to assist my studies. I don't read music very well, though since I have been studying overbends I have been using and playing piano a lot more these days and reading has become more a friend than ever. Piano really helps anybody studying music.

I'm thinking the next logical step for me in my musical explorations on harmonicas is to use valves. I like the expressions made possible only with valved harps. I also think that combining valving with so-called alt. tunings AND overbends an interesting avenue to explore.

And then comes the "EDharmonica". Veeeery interesting setup and I am just days from getting my first one. I have my own theory as to how I will use it and how I may label it. For instance, I would still call the EDharp by the blowhole one note's name, not by the blowhole two note's name, just my way of looking at the layout. I am hoping that I will be able to read a lot more about the EDharp here in the near future. Please share with us all your thoughts on this new and interesting tuning.

Thanks for being here, y'all. CHEERS !!!

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UdovisDevoh
Posts: 22
Joined: Sun Feb 03, 2019 8:46 pm
Location: Canada
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Re: Introduce yourself

Post by UdovisDevoh » Sat Feb 23, 2019 2:24 am

Hi everyone, I'm a novice harmonica player. I started playing seriously only two months ago and I fell in love with this instrument (I used to play as a kid with a toy harmonica but I guess that doesn't count).
I have great interest for exotic harmonica tuning.
I am a software developper and I have created music production software in the past. I have a good musical theory bases (I understand the math behind music theory). I also have been playing Jew's harp for more than 16 years so I somehow transfer some skills from Jews harp to harmonica. I also enjoy beatboxing (I used to be a pickup driver so I was doing beatbox all day long in my truck).
Here a video of myself playing harmonica:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NdN9meIgHBA
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YXy0NY5Xy3M
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hhW8lAAXczU
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EVlaR_mwCPc
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S6cL2_tN7S8
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=42U9ksNn_uU
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7eX4fncfQg0
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_6Rtfgg8paM

WoozleEffect
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Jun 13, 2019 2:07 am

Re: Introduce yourself

Post by WoozleEffect » Thu Jun 13, 2019 2:56 am

Hi folks,

My name is Robert Laferriere, and I'm from Russell, Manitoba, Canada. 🇨🇦

I've been playing the harp for about 10 years now, although only in any serious way for the past 3 or 4. I've somewhat transitioned from being primarily a guitar-based loop station performer, to a sound that heavily relies on harmonica, and home-made dulcimer type stringed instruments. I mostly play blues and folk themed covers of pop, punk, and grunge music, with a little bit of everything else thrown in for good measure.

I ordered a set of 6 of Brendan's PowerDraw harmonicas a few years back, and haven't looked back. Just about every harp I own now was either ordered from Seydel pre-tuned to PowerDraw, or I've retuned them myself. Andrew Zajac's tools and videos have made reed swapping a breeze, and I love the control that customising goes me over my instruments!

I just started mucking around with natural minor tuned harps, and have been experimenting with a few alternate layouts that give me the best of the Natural Minor and PowerDraw worlds. So far, I'm impressed!

I'm looking forward to picking your brains as i figure out more about custom tuning layouts and techniques for playing them.

Cheers,

Rob L

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Tyler
Posts: 21
Joined: Fri Mar 31, 2017 10:11 pm
Location: Manitoba, Canada

Re: Introduce yourself

Post by Tyler » Thu Jun 13, 2019 1:18 pm

WoozleEffect wrote:
Thu Jun 13, 2019 2:56 am
Hi folks,

My name is Robert Laferriere, and I'm from Russell, Manitoba, Canada. 🇨🇦

I've been playing the harp for about 10 years now, although only in any serious way for the past 3 or 4. I've somewhat transitioned from being primarily a guitar-based loop station performer, to a sound that heavily relies on harmonica, and home-made dulcimer type stringed instruments. I mostly play blues and folk themed covers of pop, punk, and grunge music, with a little bit of everything else thrown in for good measure.

I ordered a set of 6 of Brendan's PowerDraw harmonicas a few years back, and haven't looked back. Just about every harp I own now was either ordered from Seydel pre-tuned to PowerDraw, or I've retuned them myself. Andrew Zajac's tools and videos have made reed swapping a breeze, and I love the control that customising goes me over my instruments!

I just started mucking around with natural minor tuned harps, and have been experimenting with a few alternate layouts that give me the best of the Natural Minor and PowerDraw worlds. So far, I'm impressed!

I'm looking forward to picking your brains as i figure out more about custom tuning layouts and techniques for playing them.

Cheers,

Rob L
Glad you found your way here, Rob! I found your YouTube a year or so ago when I went looking for other Manitoba harmonica players. Another Manitoban who is into altered tunings, we aren't that common!

EdvinW
Posts: 114
Joined: Tue Jun 05, 2018 6:02 pm
Location: Sweden

Re: Introduce yourself

Post by EdvinW » Thu Jun 13, 2019 2:07 pm

WoozleEffect wrote:
Thu Jun 13, 2019 2:56 am
Hi folks,

My name is Robert Laferriere, and I'm from Russell, Manitoba, Canada. 🇨🇦

I've been playing the harp for about 10 years now, although only in any serious way for the past 3 or 4. I've somewhat transitioned from being primarily a guitar-based loop station performer, to a sound that heavily relies on harmonica, and home-made dulcimer type stringed instruments. I mostly play blues and folk themed covers of pop, punk, and grunge music, with a little bit of everything else thrown in for good measure.

I ordered a set of 6 of Brendan's PowerDraw harmonicas a few years back, and haven't looked back. Just about every harp I own now was either ordered from Seydel pre-tuned to PowerDraw, or I've retuned them myself. Andrew Zajac's tools and videos have made reed swapping a breeze, and I love the control that customising goes me over my instruments!

I just started mucking around with natural minor tuned harps, and have been experimenting with a few alternate layouts that give me the best of the Natural Minor and PowerDraw worlds. So far, I'm impressed!

I'm looking forward to picking your brains as i figure out more about custom tuning layouts and techniques for playing them.

Cheers,

Rob L
Welcome!

I'd be interested to hear more about these minor PowerDraw harps you talk about! Why not start a thread about them?
Edvin Wedin

ROBERT TEMPLE
Posts: 20
Joined: Fri Oct 12, 2018 5:49 am

Re: Introduce yourself

Post by ROBERT TEMPLE » Thu Jun 13, 2019 10:58 pm

I am in my early 60s, have played mostly diatonic harps since 1973 or so, 99.99% of the time as a mere hobbyist. Butterfield was/is my main influence, I really love jazz/blues, jazz standards like Misty, Bluesette, Autumn Leaves, etc., bossa, jazz/samba, swing, funk and some reggae. I am a self-defined jazz/blues snob which is why I can't stand so many open mics in my area, especially when it is mostly "classic" rock. But there is hope on the horizon in that area, in my area, as there is a new place opening soon that will feature live jazz, finally.

About a year and a half ago, I finally bit the bullet and bought three custom, diatonic harps set up for obs. I have learned SO much in the past year regarding the harp, having the so-called "missing notes" has made me really want to study the diatonic AND the chromatic and learn as much as I can about both. Also, I have learned how to set up my own diatonics for obs, both blow and draw. I have never played better.

I also play piano, same genres, and having harp and piano at my disposal, at the same time, has helped me play both much better. Knowing piano is something I recommend for anyone wanting to learn about music. For instance, licks that I have played on harp or piano, while not knowing what I was actually playing before, are now understandable. Knowing scales on both has really opened up a lot of ideas for me.

Over the past year I have also gotten into using alt-tunings. I use a popular modular system harp to make, generally, the "dorian minor" setup. In straight-harp terms, that harp setup flats the 3 and 7 hole draws by a half-step each. Lovely tuning. Using the remaining two plates also gives me some interesting possibilities. Though not sure exactly how I might use them in a band context, those "remaining plates harps" are more for my own experimentation, sort of like using the EDharmonica but with totally different layouts, layouts to explore. Some very cool ideas have come along with these three tunings on diatonics.

In the chromatic world, I was much slower at learning though it is coming along, albeit at a slower pace than with my diatonic studies. In 1991, I went to Brasil for the first time to find the folks who made such beautiful music, especially bossa. I believe the chromatic harp to be MADE for bossa, yes. Last year I learned of the so-called "C6" tuning for chromatics. I am happy to report that I now own one chro harp with that tuning. It is a 12-hole harp, very nice. AND, it was gifted to me by a special company from Brasil, along with another 12 hole, "solo-tuned diatonic", in C. I like that harp for D minor tunes such as Black Magic Woman.

In the spirit of a brave explorer, my next alt-tuning will be a dimi-tuned, 12-hole harp. It won't be cheap, but I believe that tuning will open up yet even more wonderful discoveries. It is my understanding that a 12-hole dimi gives a better range, more complete, for obvious reasons. The dimi is also said to be ideal for blues and jazz soloing. We'll see, er, hear, soon enough.

I am a collector of different mics and amps, too. Some work, some are just cool looking though certainly available for upgrades. I prefer to use stick mics that I have fitted with a modded turkey baster bulb. Said bulb allows for a better grip for my smallish hands and keeps hand cramps at bay. One may look up something like "turkey baster bulbs harmonica microphones" on a couple of other harp-related sites that best explain my ideas in that area.

Brendan, thanks for being there. You are a constant source of information and cool surprises. I will be testing your nail art pen embossing idea soon, soon as my head-cold goes away. I believe it not to be a great idea to blow harp when one's eustachian tubes are clogged. Seven days with a head cold makes one week.

Cheers !!!

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Brendan
Posts: 484
Joined: Fri Mar 24, 2017 2:28 pm
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Re: Introduce yourself

Post by Brendan » Thu Jun 20, 2019 1:54 am

Hi friends!

I've just been reading through your life and harmonica stories on this thread. Thanks for taking the time to post them. What a rich and fascinating range of characters, interests and influences we have here! Nice to be in touch with you all :-)

Brendan

jonvoth
Posts: 8
Joined: Mon Jun 03, 2019 5:08 am

Re: Introduce yourself

Post by jonvoth » Sun Jun 23, 2019 1:48 am

Hello to all, just introducing me here.

I'm a tubist with the U.S. Army Band "Pershing's Own" Washington DC for about 22 years. I found my first harp in my child's B-day party gift pack about 7 years ago and started getting interested since then. I mostly enjoy the chromatic, and especially the thought of playing celtic music using special tunings (diatonic-slide). Not a blues harp player but maybe someday. I've also gone crazy past two years into learning the pedal steel to join the country/bluegrass group in the U.S. Army Band.

I'm just about 50, and will have to retire in a few years, and just wish I could spend the rest of my days playing gigs of different types and different styles on different instruments. So many instruments-so little time! Fortunately there is a whole lot of music going on in the DC/ mid-Atlantic area of the U.S.

I want to thank Brendan for all the great innovations, and especially the music, and also for the forum.


Jon Voth

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