Re: [Harp-L] shark tank - harmonica promotion


By the same token, walk into any music store and you'll see that they have at least as small display of harmonicas and usually carry at least a couple of brands, most often Hohner and Lee Oskar. Guitar Center stores have small kiosks that have harps from both of those companies as well as Seydel. While it pales next to the floor space given to guitars, basses and drums, it still demonstrates that there's a market. I think it was Richard Hunter who said that 41 million Americans have at least tried to play the harmonica. Let's say you came up with some kind of foolproof instruction method, something that you could teach to the Sharks in the Shark Tank during your pitch, that 41 million figure then becomes significant.

I agree with you about harmonica players being rather set in their ways. Peter Madcat Ruth told me that new harmonica ideas are a hard sell because harmonica players tend to be resistant to change.

I do think that the fact that harp players are used to spending relatively little on their instruments is not entirely accurate and what is accurate about it may present an opportunity to sell them stuff. Yes, a pro quality diatonic is just $40 compared to, let's say, a Mexican built Fender Stratocaster, that I think costs about $400. However, how many serious harp players have less than a dozen harps? Six is the bare minimum you need for the most popular musical keys. I've seen harp cases with almost 50 harmonicas. Fifty times $40 will buy you a couple of U.S. built Fenders along with a Mexican Strat. Also, if there's a chromatic or two in the case, the investment just went up significantly.

And then there are microphones, which typically go for $100 a pop or more. So harp players do spend money but one could argue that they have limited opportunities to spend money. There just aren't a whole lot of harmonica accessories and gizmos compared to what you can buy for a guitar. So maybe there's some pent up demand.

Ronnie Schreiber

On 11/24/2014 8:36 PM, harp-l-request@xxxxxxxxxx wrote:
Even if you could sell a widget to every harmonica player, that isn’t a big enough market to interest a shark. There are more guitar players by orders of magnitude. Harmonica players are accustomed to paying relatively little for their instruments and expect the accessories to be equally inexpensive. Walk in your local music store and see how much inventory and floorspace is dedicated to harmonicas.


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