Subject: [Harp-L] hold diatonic right or left hand???

wow, Jim - first you and now MadCat chiming in on this same idea. I'm SO  
glad I read this thread since I'm soon to embark on my own diatonic learning  
Every time I've tried (before this), the instructions were to ALWAYS hold  
the harp in one's left hand. Despite being right-handed this doesn't at all 
feel  right for me and in fact is decidedly uncomfortable and I'm quite sure 
is the  reason I've so far been unable to progress at all with diatonic 
So - I've stuck with my chromatics but have been accumulating a nice 'kit'  
of well made and even some custom diatonics.
Even when I'd express the belief that I might have been intended to be  
left-handed (and was steered as a child to  right-handedness)...the harmonica 
instructor would insist I HAD to  hold the harp with my left-hand as 'that's 
how it's done'.
It's very refreshing to now read about an entirely new approach to this:  
the possibility of playing with the high notes to the left. Not sure my  
brain will encompass this since I DO play chromatics, but I just might give  it 
a shot since I tend to do things outside the 'norm' as it is.<G>  Have 
nothing to lose since I'm as much a newbie as Al when it comes to  diatonics. 
and Thanks!
"Message: 6
Date: Wed, 14 Mar 2012 20:42:46 -0400
From: Jim Rumbaugh  <jrumbaug@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Subject: [Harp-L] hold diatonic right or  left hand???
To: Al Mizenko <almiz111@xxxxxxxxx>, _harp-l@xxxxxxxxxxx 

simple answer

use your left

more complex answer
If you wanna play blues, or do some chugging sounds, the majority  of your 
notes are in the low end of the harp, holes 1 through 6. It's easier  to 
your hands around those holes if your left hand holds the  harp.

When I started, 15 years ago, I started with my right, I still use  my 
and have been working at using my left more and more. I wish I had  started 
with my left, like most people, I like the sound better, when I hold  it in 
my left.


One of the best players in my town holds it  in his right and holds the 
upside down, with the low notes on the  right. It is my personal, unproven, 
and unscientific opinion, that this is  the best way to learn to play, but 
I'm afraid to say it out loud because  it's SO against the norm.

Jim Rumbaugh" 

"Message: 9
Date: Wed, 14 Mar 2012 21:55:31 -0400
From: Peter Madcat  Ruth <madcat@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Subject: Re: [Harp-L] hold diatonic right  or left hand???
To: Jim Rumbaugh <jrumbaug@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Cc:  harp-l@xxxxxxxxxx

If you are playing the harp with the low notes on  the left and high notes 
on the right I HIGHLY recommend holding the harp in your  left hand and 
using the right hand for cupping.

If you want to play the  harp with the low notes on the right and the high 
notes on the left (upside  down), then hold the harp in your right hand and 
cup with your  left.

Cupping the low end sounds better than cupping the high  end.

Peter Madcat Ruth
Musician - Grammy Award  Winner

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