Re: [Harp-L] First chromatic harmonica

Something I'm not too clear on Winslow: Does the term 'tenor' when applied to a chrom, mean a three octave harp,
but starting in the bass where a standard 64 starts? So it's a lower three octave harp than the regular model  (sorry, I don't know my model nos.) Right?

>>> Winslow Yerxa <winslowyerxa@xxxxxxxxx> 10/01/11 7:34 PM >>>
You've done some homework, good for you.

Don't bother with the Seydel Chromatic Standard. it lacks the valves needed for 
proper airtightness in a chromatic.

The Koch and Slide Harp are tuned like a diatonic, with the missing notes but 
with a slide to raise all notes by a semitone. This has the familiarity factor 
but will severely limit you if your aim is to play like the music you've heard 
played on a chromatic. 

The Hohner 260 is a good harmonica but is too limited in range.

The 270 is decent. The Larry Adler is the same harp but more expensive. The 270 
comes in several keys, which can be helpful for third-position blues in other 
keys (see below). It's also the traditional sound for chromatic overall.

The CX-12 is a very good instrument (airtight, bendy, easy to service) but 
sounds different from the chromatics traditionally used in blues, if emulating 
blues chromatic is one of your aims. By blues chromatic I mean the way chromatic 
is employed by people like Little Walter, Rod Piazza, George Smith, William 
Clarke, Mark Hummel, Paul deLay, etc.

The most traditional blues chromatic style is played by using a four-octave C 
chromatic such as the Hohner 280 (though the Suzuki SCX-64 would work fine) and 
playing it in D by utilizing the D minor draw chord that extends through the 
entire range of the instrument - third position. You can hold in the slide and 
play in Eb using the same approach. To play this way in additional keys, you can 
get three octave chromatics (such as the Hohner 270, CX-12, or SCX-48) in other 
keys - G chromatic to play in A, F chromatic to play in G, and so on. However, 
for playing in D on a C chromatic, the four-octave instrument is preferred 
because you can exploit the added low octave for a dark, gritty sound.

The 12-hole, three-octave instruments such as the Seydel Deluxe, 270, CX-12 and 
SCX-48 have the minimum range needed for overall work. The four-octave 16-holers 
are much bigger and offer vast range (and the right sound for traditional blues 
chromatic) but are kind of bulky. The 14-hole instruments such as the SCX-56 
(and similar models from Hering and Bends) give you some of the low range of a 
16-hole instrument but without the bulk. it also give you notes that often come 
up in melodies but go below the range of the standard three-octave chromatic.

What key to get? For jazz, C is the usual key, and the four-octave C is also the 
original blues chromatic instrument, though other keys are used. If you plan to 
read music, it's easier in general on a C unless you plan to read music that's 
been transposed for Eb alto sax or Bb tenor sax (or trumpet or clarinet).

Winslow Yerxa
Author, Harmonica For Dummies ISBN 978-0-470-33729-5
Harmonica instructor, The Jazzschool for Music Study and Performance
Resident expert,

From: "Poirier, Guillaume" <Guillaume.Poirier@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
To: "harp-l@xxxxxxxxxx" <harp-l@xxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Sun, January 9, 2011 6:30:30 PM
Subject: [Harp-L] First chromatic harmonica

Hello Harp-l !

I am an intermediate diatonic player that is looking to buy his first chromatic 
and hopefully learn some blues and jazz with it. This may be an already much 
discussed topic so feel free to point me to older relevant threads if need be. 
There are so many models and it is difficult to chose... I'd like to know which 
key is recommended, how many holes, and I am looking to pay a maximum of 200$.

Here are some models that fit my budget:

- Seydel Chromatic Standard Harmonica<proddetail.asp?prod=50480&cat=173>
- Seydel Chromatic Deluxe Classic Harmonica<proddetail.asp?prod=51480&cat=173>
- Suzuki Chromatix SCX48 Chromatic Harmonica<proddetail.asp?prod=SCX48>
- Suzuki Chromatix SCX56 Harmonica<proddetail.asp?prod=SCX56>
- Suzuki Chromatix SCX64 16H/64Rd Harmonica<proddetail.asp?prod=SCX64>
- Hohner Slide Harp
- Hohner Koch
- Hohner 260 Chromonica 
- Hohner 270 Chromonica 
- Hohner "Larry Adler" Chromatic Harmonica<proddetail.asp?prod=7534C>
- Hohner CX12 Chromatic Harmonica<proddetail.asp?prod=7545C>
- Hohner 270 "Super Chromonica Deluxe" Harmonica<proddetail.asp?prod=7540C>

What do you recommend ?

Many thanks !



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