[Harp-L] DM-48 midi harmonica - plays Little Walter tune

Richard Hunter rhunter377@xxxxx
Thu May 11 10:53:08 EDT 2017

John Shirley wrote:
<As my drummer, Andy Fordyce, and I have recently been working up
looping/layering <arrangements to play out busking at Faneuil Hall in
Boston this summer, I was super curious to <combine all of these things and
try them out with the DM48. Prior to this song I have been using a <bunch
of acoustic harmonicas for layering our live arrangements (including chord,
chromatic and <various diatonics)... https://youtu.be/l7Qu_sTLBT8?list=PLD-

Some very interesting sounds in there. Beyond the sounds themselves,
there's an implication to these develpments that should be made explicit.

The implication is this: it's time for harmonica players to begin thinking
in terms of more than one harp player in the band.

Two or more harp players is overkill when both harps sound the same.  All
that whinin' and cryin'--too much is too much, ain't it?  But when either
or both harmonicas can sound like just about anything you like, there's no
problem in stacking them up, and it's no less valid to have 2-3 harmonica
players in the band than it would be to have 2-3 keyboards or guitars--both
of which we've seen many times.

Of course having two harmonica players in the band demands that both of
them have a better knowledge of music than many harmonica players now
possess.  Standing to the side and riffing once in a while is a different
responsibility than playing parts that are core to the band's sound.  But
if your typical guitar player can handle it, I'm sure harp players can rise
to the occasion.

I've taken steps in that direction with my album "The Lucky One."
 Performing that music onstage will require at least two harmonica
players.  The arrival of these MIDI instruments makes a multi-harmonica
approach even more timely and feasible.  Learning curves aside, there's not
much reason to think that a harmonica player can't take on the roles that
have traditionally been played by other instruments--just about everything
besides drums, and maybe that too.

Regards, RH

Check out our 21st Century rock harmonica record "The Lucky One" at

Author, "Jazz Harp" (Oak Publications, NYC)
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