[Harp-L] Bass harmonica on stage

Richard Hunter rhunter377@xxxxx
Sat Jun 24 14:05:04 EDT 2017

I appreciate that the original poster wants to know how to amp up a bass
harmonica, but I have a suggestion for anyone who doesn't already own a
bass harp:

1) Get a pitch shifter that can handle 1 or 2 octaves down.  The
Electro-Harmonix POG used by Wade Schuman in Hazmat Modine, the pitch
shifter in the Digitech RP series devices (some of which sell used for $50
and down), or any number of other products will do.

2) Set the effect output to 100% wet, i.e. no original harp sound in the

3)  Plug the output from the device into the nearest amp and play.

A few years ago I experimented with this approach, and found that it
produced a remarkably natural-sounding bass harmonica tone that preserved
the characteristic attack of a vibrating reed. I very much doubt that
anyone would know the difference when the instrument is presented in the
context of a full band.

For most players, it'll be easier too than learning to play the bass
harmonica, which instrument is a different beast in many ways (for
instance, all the reeds are played with on the exhale, and it takes a lotta
air to move them, both of which mean a lot more attention to breath control
than you need with a blues harp).

Regards, Richard Hunter

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