[Harp-L] What first attracted you to harmonica? Why did you learn to play it?

Vern jevern@xxxxx
Sun Mar 5 13:18:36 EST 2017

My Grandfather gave me a Marine Band when I was about eight.  I played it with slowly increasing proficiency to about age 12.  Becoming frustrated with the missing Fa and La in the low octave and the lack of “black-key” notes, i put it aside in favor of guitar lessons.  My teacher happened to be Perry Bechtel, a famous fretted-instrument virtuoso.

When the harmonica quartets and Adler were popular, I discovered the chromatic.  Since then, playing chromatic on a rack has been my goal.  In college, I made a rack with a button-pushing mechanism that used a slab of 3/4” plywood strapped to my chest and an automobile choke cable coupled to a foot pedal. Over the years, I have experimented with foot pedals using pneumatics, hydraulics, solenoids, and push-pull cables.

A SPAH seminar with Eddie Manson and a week-long seminar in Copake with Bonfiglio are fond memories. I received valuable instruction in repair and adjustment in the shop of James McKenzie. 

In 2001, I invented the Hands-Free-Chromatic.  I developed a production capacity in my garage and later transferred it to Chris Reynolds. This gave me more time for arranging for the HFC and practicing.  


More information about the Harp-L mailing list