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Featured, Harmonica Lessons »

[7 Dec 2010 | Comments Off | 5,370 views]
Chromatic for Diatonic Players: Hand Cupping & The Slide – Part 2

By Winslow Yerxa 
Putting it to Work – Combined Slide and Cup Action
Now, let’s try playing a note sequence while using the hand cup to produce a very subtle vibrato (and let’s not quibble over whether this is tremolo or vibrato). Play a simple C major scale, as shown in Tab 1, using a subtle hand vibrato. Play each note long enough to get the vibrato effect, and see how little hand movement you can use and still get an audible vibrato.

Click here to listen

Now, do the same thing, but with …

Featured, Harmonica Workbench »

[11 Oct 2010 | 2 Comments | 11,120 views]
Harmonica Workbench: EMC2 Einstein for Harpies

by  Kinya Pollard
For those full time and part time Harp-Techs who have experienced the joys of harmonica tuning, you understand how even being ambidextrous is not enough to avoid some stress.
Consider the tedious process of removing (and reinstalling) the reed plates from the comb; add to this, the task of holding the reed plate in place with one hand, reed support tool in another, and Chisel, file, sanding stick an/or rotary tool in the other—wait a minute, that’s three hands!
Rick Trankle’s inspiration for designing, manufacturing and distributing his Harmonica Einstein …

Featured, Microphone Choices »

[11 Oct 2010 | Comments Off | 3,356 views]
Microphone Choices: The Modern Candy Coatings!

“At The Harmonica Microphone Bench”
by Fritz Hasenpusch
That thin candy shell, sealing in LORD MICROPHONE’S natural goodness while sealing out the bad guys—like US! As we’ve seen while rummaging thru the spray booth down here in the Microphone Dungeon, it takes a concerted effort to preserve the Harpster’s tools of the trade. Isolating our beloved mics from the corrosive environment they exist in (especially our hands) is an insurance policy we should all subscribe to. We’ve learned of the advantages and disadvantages of electroplating their vulnerable alloy grills and shells, how …

Featured, Harmonica Lessons »

[11 Oct 2010 | Comments Off | 10,467 views]
No More Excuses

By David Barrett
I’m writing this article sitting in a plane on the way back from the SPAH convention (Society for the Preservation and Advancement of the Harmonica). At last night’s blues jam (hosted by Joe Filisko) the focus was on country blues and any blues progression other than twelve bar. It was tons of fun. Though I was able to hold my own, it was obviously time for me to get MUCH better at dealing with non-twelve bar blues progressions—I was really racking my brain to hear the chord changes …

Featured, Harmonica Lessons »

[11 Oct 2010 | Comments Off | 9,140 views]
Chromatic for Diatonic Players: Hand Cupping & The Slide – Part 1

By Winslow Yerxa
Cupping your hands around a harmonica has several benefits—you can use it to create a subtle vibrato (favored by classical players), to create a darker tone color, and to create the sort of vocal effects such as a “wah” sound.
On the chromatic, using the slide can complicate your attempt to incorporate cupping, and that’s what this article is about.
When you open and close a hand cup, one hand holds the harmonica steady, while the other hand may move to manipulate the cup or operate the slide. (I’m going …

Featured, Harmonica Lessons »

[25 Aug 2010 | Comments Off | 16,158 views]
Windsaver Valves – Part 2

by Winslow Yerxa
In the last issue we looked at windsaver valves—what they are, why they exist, and how to install and service them. In this issue, we’ll investigate how windsaver valves and note bending interact, and how you can customize both chromatics and diatonics with valves to change their bending capabilities.
Bending without Valves – the Dual Reed Bend
When you sound a reed normally, your breath moves the reed down into its slot and through the other side, before it springs back for one complete vibration. It’s like a door closing …

Featured, Harmonica Workbench »

[25 Aug 2010 | 2 Comments | 23,051 views]
Harmonica Workbench: My Next Favorite Tool

by Kinya Pollard
It was love at first site (don’t tell Mrs. Harpsmith). I think I found my next new favorite tool.
Many of you have read or heard that my least favorite Harp-Tech thing to do is tuning. So when I unwrapped the new 2oz high speed rotary “engraver” from Micro Mark with 3/32″ chuck (M-M #84446), I was moved to thank the Harmonica Gods.

With an assortment of available carbide bits (#60476) I am expecting tuning chores to be quick and precise.

It did not take long for me to discover the …

Featured, Microphone Choices »

[25 Aug 2010 | Comments Off | 4,201 views]
Microphone Choices: Paint-By-Numbers Protection

by Fritz Hasenpusch
“Beauty’s only skin-deep.” Nice song, cool descriptive phrase/aphorism. However, in the realm of LORD MICROPHONE, that “skin” is key to preserving the mic’s delivery system (metallic casing) and the precious cargo within (the element or capsule) from the cruel world outside. That world includes—as we’ve seen in prior entries—the very essence of us! Yep, in many ways we are our microphone’s worst enemies. Beyond the incidental wear and tear we inflict on these sonic servants, there’s the corrosive nature of our own bodily fluids. Thank you, General Ripper…
We’ve …

Featured, Harmonica Lessons »

[25 Aug 2010 | Comments Off | 10,321 views]
Blues Is Not Always Blue

by David Barrett
Not all Blues is dark and aggressive-sometimes we’re called upon to play with a lighter feel. This is especially the case when playing country blues, ballad blues and common grooves with a lighter feel, such as the Rhumba. This issue we’ll dig into a chapter from my soon-to-be-released book with Mel Bay on Rock Harmonica. Enjoy!
Major Pentatonic Scale
To solo with a light, more major feel, a five note scale called the Major Pentatonic scale is often used. This scale comes from the major scale, with the fourth …