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Content-type: MESSAGE/RFC822

Date: Thu, 19 Mar 1992 17:14:00 EDT
From: "JACK ELY"
Posting-date: Wed, 21 Oct 1992 00:00:00 EDT

              Greetings from the Buckeye State Harmonica Club, Inc.

    I think this HARP-L mail is great! I figure it's time to get my feet wet
    and introduce myself. My name is Jack Ely and I live in Columbus. I have
    played (attempted) harmonica since I was nine, which was 47 years ago and
    I'm still learning. The first 30 years I knew nothing or no-one. Then the
    BSHC was founded by Richard I. Smith in 1976, I joined and my life
    changed. I'm convinced harmonica players are the nicest bunch of people
    in the world. Richard is a collector and has over 1,700 harmonicas in his
    collection, he says he's still trying to find one he can play. ;-)

    A little info on BSHC. We meet every Wednesday evening for practice and
    some jamming. Mostly chromatic (and a couple hard to find chord and bass
    players) but we also have a Tuesday night meeting "Short Harp SIG" for
    the diatonic players where I'm trying to learn diatonic with about 7 or 8
    others. We try to cover all styles and not just dwell on the blues. In
    reality we probably spend 90% of our time on blues because that's what
    most of the instructional material is based on. When someone new shows up
    we give them a quick lesson on "straight harp" and have a handout on the
    subject which explains the "C" harp layout and how to play the "C" major
    scale (using holes 4-7). Then we try to answer any questions they might
    have. We use video tapes by Gindick, Levy, and Sebastian plus the
    Cham-Ber Huang "Blues and all That Jazz" course. [all mentioned later].
    The club purchased the Howard Levy video for our SIG from Homespun Tapes.
    This is the best video we've seen. Howard is an excellent teacher, unlike
    many professionals, he can do it and he can explain HOW it's done.

    I think we are one of the most active HC's around (There are over 40 in
    the US and Canada alone + many abroad). We have two all harmonica bands
    (The Daytimers and the Buckeye Harmonica Band) plus a semi-pro quartet
    "Harpers Bizarre" who perform frequently. We put on an annual Harmonica
    Festival each April and bring in professionals to perform. Last April, in
    conjunction with our festival, we had a competition for several
    categories of harmonica and this brought in a lot of diatonic players. It
    was great to see chromatic players and diatonic players socializing and
    exchanging tips at the same tables after hours or during a break; a sight
    not often seen. I think the two groups really do respect one-another,
    even though there are a few musical snobs (in all clubs) who look down at
    the diatonic. But... Guys like Howard Levy, Lee Oskar, Don Les, etc. are
    making believers out of some of them.

    If anyone would like to receive a complimentary issue of our BSHC
    newsletter "Harmonica Dispatch" let me know. I am co-editor of HD and we
    are anxious to hear from anyone who may want to contribute articles,
    educational material, or newsy items. The new editors want to make HD
    more interesting and valuable to our readers. A full club membership in
    BSHC is $10 per year and an associate membership or senior (55+) is $5
    per year. Both include 12 annual issues of HD. Write to....
     Harmonica Dispatch; Jack N. Ely; 1991 W. 3rd Ave.; Columbus, Ohio 43212

                                                or send me mail via HARP-L

    1. Instruction Methods:

    JAZZ HARP   Oak Publications        by Richard Hunter
    Includes a recording of examples of various styles and techniques by
    different artists. Good stuff if you want to get into jazz or if you just
    want an education in jazz. Contains tricks and methods (i.e. how to
    overblow a reed) useful in any style playing.

    BLUES HARP  Mel Bay Publications    by Phil Duncan
    Covers diatonic and chromatic harmonica. Uses standard notation and a
    number system. An excellent beginners guide. Phil is a school teacher and
    knows the harmonica well. A combination that is hard to beat. Phil has
    authored several harmonica books for Mel Bay Publications, all are good.

    BLUES HARMONICA (Book and Cassette Tape)
    Mel Bay Publications by Charlie Musselwhite & Phil Duncan
    Very well written and illustrated with an excellent companion cassette
    tape. Explains some techniques we have not seen mentioned in other books.

    Lots of illustrations and Humor throughout but also full of good
    information. An extensive record index is included. Highly recommended
    book for the beginner. Another book titled "Blues Harp for the Musically
    Hopeless" Book, Harp & Tape - very similar to the above book. Jon also
    has a video tape (good) and several cassette tapes available.

        (the following from Home Spun Tapes, Inc.)

    INSTRUCTIONAL TAPES (set of six cassette tapes - no book) Excellent!
    Six (6) blues harp tapes by John Sebastian and Paul Butterfield.

    VIDEO TAPE by John Sebastian - For beginners, well done. About on the
    same level as the Gindick video.

    Ocarina, Penny Whistle, etc. with Bela Fleck and the Fleck Tones).
    Some of us have met or at least heard Howard play and he is incredible!
    He blew us away in Memphis last May -- His 12 key improvisation on one
    diatonic harp is a show stopper. Makes us Chro' players want to break off
    our slide buttons. IMHO - This is THE video for diatonic.

        Write for catalog ------>               Homespun Tapes Ltd.
                                                Box 694
                                                Woodstock, New York 12498

    BENDING THE BLUES (Book) Publication date unknown but fairly new.
    musical i press - San Francisco, California by David Harp
    This is a small book but packed with concise, well written information on
    many facets of short harp playing. Other musical i press books. Bending:
    The Cassette, companion tape to Bending The Blues, $9.95. Instant Blues
    Harmonica, Vol. I & II $12.95 (each?). Book &  cassette. Vol. I for "C"
    harp, Vol II for "A" harp. Harmonica Positions, $9.95. Book & cassette.
    Play any harmonica in 5 different keys (1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th
    position). or any level player. Make Me Musical $19.95. Book & cassette.
    Instant harmonica education for kids, carefully programmed for ages 4-9.
    Includes section on reading standard musical notation.

    THE HARP HANDBOOK (book and cassette tape) Very Highly Recommended!
    Distributed by Hohner - by Steve Baker
    This is probably the best book ever written on the diatonic harmonica.
    (Peter MADCAT Ruth says so). The book covers harmonica history,
    construction and manufacture, how it works, different positions, playing
    techniques, styles, different tunings (including the SBS special tuned
    Marine Band - finally available in the US), tuning, maintenance,
    customizing, amplification and more. Very well written and illustrated.
    Order direct from...        Hohner, Inc.
                                P.O. Box 15035
                                Richmond, Virginia  2322

    BLUES AND ALL THAT JAZZ by Cham-Ber Huang - List about $25 - includes a
    special solo tuned diatonic, book, and MMO type cassette. The 1st half of
    the course can be completed with the included harmonica, the 2nd half
    requires a chromatic. (The solo tuned diatonic "eases" you into the
    chromatic layout and tuning). Notation in the book is both by number and
    standard music notation. If not available in your music store try F&R
    Farrell (below) or Write: Insignia International, Inc., 12A Seabro
    Avenue, North Amityville, New York 11701 - Attn: Cham-Ber Huang

    POWER HARP by Charlie Musselwhite and Phil Duncan - Mel Bay Publications
    I think this one also includes a cassette tape and according to others
    who have seen it this is another excellent book and highly recommended.

    MEL BAY'S COMPLETE HARMONICA BOOK by Phil Duncan - Mel Bay Publications
    (MB94713) ISBN 1-56222-280-5 - I just borrowed this book from a friend
    last night. Published in 1992 - This is a thick (237 pages) book which
    covers several styles and playing techniques. Diatonic, cross-harp, and
    chromatic types of harmonicas are used. Traditional folk, blues, rock,
    bluegrass, country, gospel, jazz, and classical styles are represented.
    The diatonic and chromatic basics are given, and there is even a section
    on bass and chord harmonica. Plus several songs with standard and by
    number notation. A companion cassette tape is available at extra $. The
    book alone costs $17.95, a little high but I say well worth it.

    Another good local source for harmonica books is your public library -
    also good source for tapes/CD's - Better music stores or sheet music
    stores stock a variety of harmonica method books. The sheet music store
    in Columbus (Stanton's) has 15 or 20 harmonica books.

    2. Harmonicas:

    F & R FARRELL CO. (Mail order) They can get all the brands - Hohner
    (Germany), Hering (Brazil), Huang (China), Suzuki (Japan), Tombo / Lee
    Oskar (Japan). They carry a large inventory of chromatics and can usually
    ship next day. Diatonics sometimes take a while - it's next to impossible
    to second guess which brands and keys (Lee Oskar has 50 + keys/tunings)
    to stock. Farrell also has a unique bolt on reed system he developed, and
    other harmonica repair stuff. Very reputable company. Also has - Books,
    Tapes, Mics etc. Write for flyer & price list...
    F & R Farrell Co., P.O. Box 133, Harrisburg, Ohio 43216
    (You might want to check his prices on books/tapes mentioned above).

    HARMONICA WORLD -ST. LOUIS (Mail Order) Hohner, Huang, Hering, Lee Oskar.
    Reputable. Harmonica World, 2353 Roland Lane, Arnold, MO 63010

    ** Nothing against David's Harps - just don't know him. Besides, he was
    mentioned in another post.

    3. HARMONICA MIC: The Hohner Blues Blaster (Made by Astatic, and in fact
    is an Astatic JT30 with a volume control. (Check Farrell's price). I did
    not see this mentioned in other posts so thought I'd throw it in.

    4. EVENTS: (Sorry, late notice) The Gateway Harmonica Club Harvest Moon
    Festival - St. Louis. November 5, 6, 7, 1992. Professional & Semi-Pro
    acts, seminars, open mic playing, Sat. dinner show. Registration $50 for
    full package. Hotel accommodations extra. Our friends in St. Lou do a
    fine job with their festivals. Al Fiore, original Harmonicat chord player
    (remember Peg-O-My Heart?), will be there.

    SPAH - The Society for the Preservation and Advancement of the Harmonica.
    Nice Quarterly Newsletter and annual convention. Based in the Detroit
    Area.     Write... SPAH, Box 865, Troy, Michigan 48099

    NHL - (Europe) National Harmonica League. Monthly Newsletter.
    Write... Norm Dobson (USA rep), 63 Washington St., Peabody, MA 01960

    IHO - (Europe) International Harmonica Organization.
    Write... (don't know address but I'm sure Dobson, above, has info.)

    HIP, MISSISSIPPI SAXOPHONE, AHN (all mentioned in other posts).

    EASYREEDING Biannual newsletter - Hohner, Inc. (USA one time fee $10.00)

    USA - Hohner, Inc.; P.O. Box 9375; Richmond, Virginia 23227
    BELGIUM/NEDERLANDS/LUXEMBOURG - Hohner S.A.; Quai au Bois de Construction
    7a; B-1000 Brussels Belgium
    AUSTRIA - Hohner Austria; Musikinstrumente; Vertriebsgesellschaft mbH;
    Hauffgasse 24; A-1110 Wien
    SOUTH AFRICA - Hohner (South Africa)(Pty.) Ltd.; 2nd floor, Mayveen
    House; 160 President Street; Johannesburg 2001
    SWITZERLAND - Arthur Squindo, Seestrasse 73, CH-8712 Stafa ZH
    JAPAN - Moridaira, Musical Inst. Ltd.; 7-4 2 Chrome, Iwamotocho;
    Chiyoda-Ku     Tokyo 101
    ENGLAND - M. Hohner Limited; Bedwas House Industrial Estate; Bedwas,
    Newport; Gwent NPL 8XQ
    FRANCE - Maison; Hohner S.A.; Zone Industrielle; F-211140 SEMUR EN AUXOIS
    DENMARK - Hohner Denmark APS; Erritsoebygade 124; DK-7000 FREDERICA
    All other Countries must contact:
    GERMANY - Hohner Vertrieb GmbH; Postfach 1260; 7218 Trossingen 1

    7. GENERAL INTEREST: (And of special interest to Carolyn Mayr)
    The World Harmonica Championships, Detroit, Mich. 1991, was won hands
    down by Maria Wolfsberger, a young lady from Austria, she was 17 then.
    Tidbit- She blew out a reed about an hour before competition and had no
    time for repairs so she bought a new Hohner 280 at one of the vendor
    tables. She asked if she could try it and proceeded to play the chromatic
    scale up and down the full four octave range faster than I've ever heard.
    Then stated politely "It'll do". There were many fine harmonicists there
    (mostly from Europe, China & Japan - sigh). Her closest competition was
    Naoko Takeuchi, a Japanese girl (age 14), who would have won except she
    chose not to play the required test piece. She was given a special award.
    Yes - women can play the harmonica too.

    Hey Luke James in Australia. Two fine harmonica players I know of live
    there (I know it's a big country, but...) Paul Farmer and Stu Hunter. Stu
    is one of the best I've ever heard. Also, I just heard about a harmonica
    competition in Australia later this year or early next.

    ***** I'm sorry about such a long posting but this board has got me
    wired! I Haven't done a lick of work for three days. If you get tired of
    my ramblin's flame me and I'll cut it down.

                                                Jack N. Ely, BSHC

        "If Music is the international language,
                                then why not the harmonica to speak it?"

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