Re: [Harp-L] Re: Stevie Wonder's Harmonica
- To: BassHarp <bassharp@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>, harp-l@xxxxxxxxxx
- Subject: Re: [Harp-L] Re: Stevie Wonder's Harmonica
- From: Winslow Yerxa <winslowyerxa@xxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Sat, 2 Jun 2007 14:56:32 -0700 (PDT)
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The dailymotion video you are commenting on is different from the
Youtube video that Joe's comment addresses.
The dailymotion clip has Stevie accompanying another singer on Isn't
She Lovely, played in F (instead of E) on what I'm fairly sure is a
But Joe was writing before that video link was posted. He was referring
to a video posted on Youtube of "True to your Heart" from the film
In this one Stevie is playing a completely different instrument. It has
an opaque, dark-colored comb and silver colored covers. You can hear
Stevie early in the song, then he appears with the harp at about 1:25,
first playing and then singing.
Stop the video at about 1:23 as he's putting the harp up to his mouth
and you'll notice two things:
1) The dark color of the comb looks almost like the gray of stainless
2) The covers, while they extend to the end of the comb the way a Super
64 cover does, they DO NOT taper downward toward the comb. The top
cover presents an almost flat plane parallel to the comb.
Clearly not a Hohner.
The tune begins in Bb, and it sounds to me like a C instrument from the
slide ornaments and legatos (By the way, listen closely to the intro
and you'll hear Stevie play the Bb reed bent down to Ab, then release
it to Bb again).
Then at 2:27 it changes to the key of B-natural and Stevie starts to
solo again, but it's not stuff that plays gratefully in B on a C
instrument. It's the sort of thing that might work in A, D, G, C, F,
Bb, or even Eb, but not B. To me it sounds like C position - all the
slide moves fit, and he plays a fluter-tongued high tonic note,
something most easily done on a blow note.
The video shows him with an identical-looking instrument, but that's
just what they shot for display. Either he's playing an instrument in
some other key or they could have shifted the instrumental track up
from B to C to record his solo, then shifted track and harmonica back
down a semitone. This is something Stevie has done before, on Chaka
Khan's "I Feel For you" where the track was in F# and it was shifted to
allow him to play in either F or G position, I forget which now, but
you can tell from the way he uses the high D.
--- BassHarp <bassharp@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> Joe Leone wrote:
> > > > >> How many people noticed that the covers on that '64' come
> > > > >> flare all the way to the ends of the chromo? It's not a
> Anyone familiar with Hohner's line of Super 64's will refute such a
> Simply take another look at the video in question and if one notices
> approximately 3/4 of the way thru, immediately after he invites the
> audience to sing along with him, hit your pause, and note the big
> letters on the back of the comb spelling HOHNER. This is after he
> his left hand away momentarily.
> Also, anyone familiar with Stevie's association with Hohner will be
> aware that his technician all these many years has been, and
> still is, none other than Frank Huang, originally of Hohner and of
> course younger brother of Cham-Ber Huang. Stevie plays Hohner!
> Harp-L is sponsored by SPAH, http://www.spah.org
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