Re: What types?
I've been playing about four years, and have tried lots of different
harps. Lee Oskars have been my favorite, because they are consistent
from harp to harp and from key to key, they bend easy, and they play
LOUD. They are also repairable, although I haven't worn one out, yet.
I have at least one Lee Oskar in every key.
Problems with Oskars? Of course. The covers are too shallow, so when
I play a note loud or bend it hard the reed bangs against the cover.
This only happens on the lowest holes. They tried to fix this on the
newer harps, which also have "LEE OSKAR" printed on the back of the
comb and the 2nd position key printed on the end. The newer covers are
deeper, but still not deep enough.
Also, the tone of the Oskars, while pretty good, is not quite as rich
as a Marine Band. I got tired of buying Hohner harps with quality
problems, though. That's why I switched to Lee Oskar. My teacher
plays Oskars, too.
Yes, I found a teacher! He's a truly excellent player, and a good guy.
<From him I've learned a lot about both blues and jazz harpin'. I forgot
to mention I play chromatic, too.
I bought a couple of Marine Bands, recently, and they play much nicer than
those of 2-3 years ago. I'll probably pick up a few more. I started out
on Blues Harps, but found they sounded muffled compared to a Marine Band.
I also have a Special 20 in A, but to me it sounds like a Blues Harp
wrapped in a sock. (That's only my opinion, guys. A lot of good players
like Special 20s, so if you do then by all means play them.)
Kevin's Harps, in NJ, has Lee Oskars for $14.75, Marine Bands for $13.50.
I don't have the address with me. I'll post it later.
Somebody asked about bending. David Harp's book, "Bending the Blues" is
well worth the $4.95. It's as good a written description as I've seen.
Honk away, dudes.
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