"Do you ONLY play the harmonica?" and other stupid

The lowdown on the Mississippi Sax. Just for Google, this section is about harmonicas.

Re: "Do you ONLY play the harmonica?" and other stupid

Postby Bournio » Thu Dec 11, 2008 12:25 am

The band I told I play harmonica but don't want to "muddy up their sound" play in G, E major, E minor and C... so next jam where I'm not gonna get shouted at I might take my G and C, and sit out on the E major song... which has the added bonus of I don't like the song...
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Re: "Do you ONLY play the harmonica?" and other stupid

Postby harpdude » Mon Dec 29, 2008 3:39 pm

tobiepsg wrote:
harpdude wrote:Covering the 12 keys should do fine to start with

Unless you've got the bucks to buy all in one shot, it might be worthwhile asking the band what keys they play in most. I've found that each genre / application has its favourite keys. We play about 80% of our songs in F or C (easy for the congrgation to sing along with). Just about never play anything in F# and Db.

Here's an affordable set of 12 that is actually a good quality harp to boot.

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Re: "Do you ONLY play the harmonica?" and other stupid

Postby jbone1 » Tue Dec 30, 2008 11:59 am

i think sometimes, that q is asked to find out if you know anything about music theory. there are and always have been harp players who could maybe jam pretty well in a limited vein, say a 1-4-5 shuffle, but got lost quickly outside their comfort zone. i know because that was me some decades ago. and there are those band leaders who feel like harp is a luxury and not a basic, and why pay for a luxury that isn't worth an equal cut of gig pay?

one thing that really helped me with credibility was learning to sing. i think this maybe reassured band leaders and co-founders that i knew when to shut the harp down and be polite during a song. another thing was learning to play in most keys, in a variety of positions, and knowing when to sit out or maybe just accent here or there. to this day i will gladly work the harp in songs that don't even have a solo or lead for the harp, if i cn add to the band's sound without being a pain in the butt! i learned stage manners from some pretty hard guys, and i'm glad for it today.

the ubiquitopus harmonica is had by many, used asa toy or a hobby, and not taken seriously for those reasons. if you want to be taken seriously, be serious in your endeavor and present a serious aspect in your manner and playing. leave no room for someone to laugh you off! that way, if a band or partner is truly looking for a harp to add to their thang, you will be easy to spot and leave a good impression. politeness counts and it helps to know when to walk away from a situation too.
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