Re: [Harp-L] How fast can a harmonica be played compared to other instruments?

One key?? most of us play diatonic in at least two keys, many three or four, some of us six or seven, and some lunatics even more.
Speed isn't the only factor, as it depends on the kind of lines you are playing. Charlie McCoy can play very fast, as can quite a few others coming out of that style.
The fastest harmonically complex playing I've heard on diatonic is Don Les, whom, for some reason, one rarely hears mentioned on harp-l, possibly because few people have heard his beautiful diatonic jazz.
For speed generally, the slide on the chrom is a help, not a hindrance. For example, on a C chrom, the C major scale can be played with only two breath reversals:
C draw, button in;  D draw, button out; E blow, button out; F blow, button in; G blow, button out; A draw button out; B draw, button out; C draw button in.
On the diatonic its blow, draw,blow, draw, blow, draw, draw blow (holes 4-7) It's the breath reversals that slow you down.

>>> Boris Plotnikov <ploboris@xxxxxxxxx> 1/12/2010 16:32 >>>
Diatonic harmonica can be pretty fast, but only in one key, while key
doesn't matter for violin.

2010/12/1 dmf 273 <dmf273@xxxxxxxxx>:
> I was wondering if anyone has studied the response time of harmonica
> compared to other instruments?   Is there a measurable limit to how fast a
> sequence of notes can be executed on a diatonic or chromatic compared to say
> a piano, trumpet,  sax or violin?  I would imagine that a chromatic harp
> would have to be slower than a diatonic if only because of the slide
> introducing some delay.   Are there studies comparing other musical
> instruments in this way even if harmonica was not included?

Thanks, Boris Plotnikov

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