RE: [Harp-L] OK, breaking down and buying a chromatic. Little help???

I just joined the list a few days ago - I have been really enjoying being
part of this community.

I am not a pure chromatic player but I prefer the range of an "F" or "G"
chromatic (they are tuned lower than the regular "C" chromatic"). This has
nothing to do with not wanting to learn to play in whatever key, I just like
that range.

The top end of the "C" harp just sounds too high for me and I usually stay
away from it. Of course all this comes down to the kind of music you play (I
play blues) and your taste. I know quite a few folks who love the higher
range better than the lower range.

If you get a 16 hole Chromatic you are covered on both ends. They almost too
big for me (although that's what I end up playing most of the time). Some
harmonicas have 14 holes (Suzuki's Slider and Hohner's Meisterclass are two
examples), which would give you two more holes on the lower end (starting
with the "G" note if it is a "C" harp). I never tried those...

I would definitely recommend buying a Chromatic in the key of "C". Most
instructions and older recorded tunes (especially from harmonica bands) will
use C tuned harmonicas. Whether or not you'd like a 16 hole or a 12 hole
better, who knows (but maybe you). If it was me I'd by a 16 hole (which is
what I did when I bought my first chromatic) - more holes the better :)


-----Original Message-----
From: harp-l-bounces@xxxxxxxxxx [mailto:harp-l-bounces@xxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf
Of Mojo Red
Sent: Monday, November 24, 2008 6:49 PM
To: Michael Meehan; winslowyerxa@xxxxxxxxx; Harp L Harp L
Subject: Re: [Harp-L] OK, breaking down and buying a chromatic. Little

Hi Mike,

They make chromatics in different keys for lazy players (like me) who only
learned about three keys on the dang things and make up for the resty by
getting more harps. The patterns needed for various keys on one harp are all
different. Great players are equally facile in any key (even Bb) on a single
C chromatic. Me? I'm mostly a diatonic guy and can only play in 3 or 4 keys
on a single harp, so I own a few different keys. 
I suggest not going too cheap with your first chromo as you tend to get what
you pay for. Stay away from the Hohner cheapies (Chromettas) as they are
very leaky with noisy buttons. Other Hohner chroms can great, but can also
get pricey. Also, you'd likely do better starting with a 3-octave 12-hole
job rather than jumping to the 4-octave 16-hole monsters, as they're so big,
it's easy to get lost on (for me, anyway). 
The Hohner Chromonica 270 is the classic mid-range chrom with great,
dark tone, but I've never dug the relative leakiness and square hole mouth
piece that tends to grate my lips. Roughly $140 bucks. The Deluxe Chromonica
270 ($170) is only marginally better (IMO). 
The Hohner CX-12 is a great harp ($175) with a very cool, Darth Vader look.
Airtight and very responsive. My issue with this harp is the different
sounding tone and the relatively thick mouthpiece. Open wide! 

For the money, you can't beat the Hering Special 48 chromatics. They carry a
fairly bright tone, have a comfortable round mouthpiece and are very
aritight and are not very expensive, but I'm not sure where you can get them
right now. I can't find them at my usual online supply houses. Brazil has
been sketchy with supplies.

The Suzuki Chromtix chromatic is getting great reviews right now, and run
about $115. This would be a very good bet I'm sure, though I've never played
on one myself. Smooth tone, comfortable round-hole mouthpiece.
Also, Seydel makes the Chromatic Deluxe Classic, which is relatively
inexpensive (running at about $100). Another good bet from a high-quality
manufacturer, cut again, I can't speak from experience here. 
There are many great chroms that are available that run into more money, but
these are good bets for starter chroms, IMO. 
Harpin' in Colorado,
--Ken M. 

----- Original Message ----
From: Michael Meehan <mikemeehan2002@xxxxxxxxx>
To: winslowyerxa@xxxxxxxxx; Harp L Harp L <harp-l@xxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Monday, November 24, 2008 5:26:29 PM
Subject: [Harp-L] OK, breaking down and buying a chromatic. Little help???

OK, I can't put it off any longer. Struggling to play certain songs in my
band's list with my diatonic harps (we play 20's and 30's jazz/pop/standards
stuff. Kind of jug band style) so am going to bite the bullet and try to
learn a chromatic. I don't know anything about them, though. I am not a pro,
and don't have a billion songs in my repertoire, so what do I really need?
Just one? I know they sell them in different keys, but I don't understand
  Also, what would be a decent one to get? I can't afford a REALLY pricey
one, but I don't mind dishin' out a little cash to make sure I get one that
does not sound like garbage. 

  BTW, you all are a wonderful resource, and I can't thank you enough for
the guidance I have received in the past. 
  Regards, Mike

Harp-L is sponsored by SPAH,


Harp-L is sponsored by SPAH,

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