Re: [Harp-L] A Long Dazed Journey Into "Please Please Me"

Bradford Trainham wrote:
> My question...  What harmonica did John Lennon (Fool that I am... I
> post to a list of pure harmonicists with this impure question!!) 
> play on the studio versions of Please Please Me? 

Ah, you underestimate us!  Great music with harp is great music with 
harp.  Have a look here:

You see this offering from the great mind of Pat Missin:
"There are a few other Beatles tunes where Lennon's choice of 
harmonica might not be obvious. The signature riff of "Please Please 
Me" is almost as distinctive as the intro to "Love Me Do". The riff 
is squarely in the key of E major and the phrasing of the notes fits 
perfectly with a diatonic in the key of E. However, if you were to 
play this riff on a standard E diatonic beginning with 7 blow, it 
would come out an octave too high. If you were to play it starting 
on 4 blow, you would need to bend three draw by a wholetone to get 
the C# - and Lennon clearly isn't bending any notes on this riff. So 
how was it played? Well, it could have been a chromatic harmonica in 
the key of E - the Hohner Super Chromonica was certainly available 
in that key back then. Again, of course, one could play these notes 
on a chromatic harmonica in any key, but there is no evidence of any 
button work in the playing and the phrasing of the riff really does 
seem to fit the blow/draw pattern of an E scale instrument. Another 
possibility and perhaps a more likely one, is that Lennon used the 
12-hole Echo Vamper. This was the European market version of the 
Marine Band 364 and was available in all 12 keys back then. The key 
of E Echo Vamper was tuned an octave lower than the standard 10-hole 
E harp, so this would fit the bill. Because the harmonica and guitar 
blend so seamlessly on this riff, it is hard to be certain whether 
it is a chromatic or a low tuned diatonic just by listening."


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