RE: [Harp-L] Cheap harps

oops. I meant <$10. Also the Johnsons that have served this purpose have been in A, Ab.or Bb. When I bought the A just out of curiosity I was so pleasantly surprised that this $7 harp played well (for what it was) and lasted as long as it did that I bought a whole set for around $40. 50% of them sucked for even messing around with and I tried tightening up a couple and just shelved the rest. I finally wore that A harp out after 2 years of out of the pocket playing. I still have and use the Ab and Bb and if they are not in my pocket they just get tossed around in my truck and washed out in the sink regularly.
I think it is noteworthy to mention that one has to be careful that those cheap harps, being stiffer and unresponsive as compared to a quality harp, that one has to keep this in mind. I have been driving to a gig and warmed up with a cheap harp and then had to make the leap back into the world of quality with care.

Has anyone else out there messed around with Johnson harps?

I had a student that was 7 years old and was so passionate and picked up on it so well that I would not advise him or his parents to let him use anything but reasonably quality harps. That's just to say that I agree that if one is inclined to make the effort to be a player, one should start with quality in mind.

> From: boogalloo@xxxxxxx
> To: turtlehill@xxxxxxxxxxxxx; harp-l@xxxxxxxxxx
> Subject: RE: [Harp-L] Cheap harps
> Date: Tue, 2 Jul 2013 01:13:07 -0500
> CC: 
> Hi Richard. I agree. But I keep a couple of Blues Bands in my case for giveaways to kids. I took a dozen to a Cub Scout campout and we all had a ball.
> I never see Johnsons mentioned. I have had some good luck with Johnsons just for carrying in my pocket and if I get some lint in them or drop them or whatever I'm only out >$10. If someone asks for a little tune off the cuff I'm ready and dont have to run the risk of ruining a $50 harp by carrrying it in my pocket without being in a case. Usually in these instances the requester is happy with what I deliver. If a request is made by someone whom I perceive as "serious" I just say "well I dont have a harp on me". So with that said, in my world, cheap harps have their place in a not so serious setting.Buck
> > Date: Tue, 25 Jun 2013 13:29:32 -0600
> > From: turtlehill@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
> > To: harp-l@xxxxxxxxxx
> > Subject: RE: [Harp-L] Cheap harps
> > 
> > It seems to me that the most important question in this thread is: what's the least expensive harp that meets minimum needs for volume, responsiveness, durability, etc.--an instrument that will not hinder either a beginner or a pro?
> > 
> > The answer depends on the player, of course.  High-end players need high-end instruments; concert pianists do not practice or perform on anything less than a well-tuned concert piano.  In terms of harmonicas, Howard levy plays very technically demanding stuff, and I'm sure he practices as well as performs on high-end instruments; it probably doesn't matter much what make or model Bob Dylan is playing on, so long as it's in tune, given that he doesn't put a lot of demands on the instrument.
> > 
> > That said, I agree with several other posters: a Lee Oskar, Special 20, or lower-end Suzuki harp is a solid choice for a beginner.  The slightly greater expense is more than justified by better playability, without which any player will be unable to progress. It's terribly frustrating to play lame instruments, and the lowest-priced instruments are thoroughly lame.  But I definitely would not advise a beginner to buy more-expensive instruments until she knows that harmonica is going to play a continuing role in her life.
> > 
> > Players who've already progressed beyond the beginner stage, who know that their relationship with the harmonica is going to last a long time, should get the best instruments they can afford.  And of course, instruments in every price range are a lot better now than they were even ten years ago, and FAR better than they were 20 to 30 years ago. 
> > 
> > regards, Richard Hunter
> > 
> > author, "Jazz Harp" 
> > latest mp3s and harmonica blog at
> > Myspace
> > Vids at
> > more mp3s at
> > Twitter: lightninrick

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