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Articles Archive for October 2011

Featured, Harmonica Workbench »

[11 Oct 2011 | Comments Off | 10,263 views]
Harmonica Workbench: BluesXlab SP20 Combs

 by Kinya Pollard
 
What’s not to love about the perfectly milled SP20 combs made by BlueXlab (Italy)—makers of the vintage switchcraft lookalike Amphenol connector volume control. With exquisite materials and seductive finishes, I was fully expecting the BlueXlab (www.bluexlab.com) combs to provide me with my next favorite Special 20 harmonica.
 
Shown in aluminum

 
Check out the detail on this olive wood comb:

 
Unfortunately, there was a design flaw that prevented this from happening. For those harmonica players on the quest for big fat tone, you probably spotted the “fly in the ointment”—the mouthpiece.

No, it …

Featured, Microphone Choices »

[11 Oct 2011 | Comments Off | 3,349 views]
Microphone Choices: Back Inside Lord Microphones

by Fritz Hasenpusch 
Sure, it’s always fun to hang in the bright shiny world of the thin, thin candy coatings that shield LORD MICROPHONE from the corrosive world outside—not to mention your grubby paws—but it’s time to dive back inside. Where the TONE is…
 
There’s a compulsion among Tin Sandwich jockeys—not all, but many, that drives them to experiment with virtually every aspect of their sonic pursuit. Some will focus on tinkering with the instrument itself: The harmonica’s reeds, the reed plates, the combs, even the nails and screws that hold them together. …

Featured, Harmonica Lessons »

[11 Oct 2011 | Comments Off | 8,791 views]
No More Excuses – Part VII: 1st Position, Part 2

By David Barrett
Last issue we explored the standard three chords used in the blues, the I7, IV7 and V7 chords. If you spent the time necessary memorizing those three chords on the C Harmonica and playing the examples to a twelve bar blues jam track, then you’ve already experienced what amazing things it can do for your playing and you’re ready for this new study. If you haven’t, go back and do it. This article will do you no good if you haven’t mastered the basics. The focus of this …

Featured, Harmonica Lessons »

[11 Oct 2011 | Comments Off | 8,306 views]
Keep that Slider Slidin’- Part 1

Chromatic for Diatonic Players
By Winslow Yerxa
The slide mechanism is what separates the chromatic from other types of harmonica. Of course, not every chromatic player takes full advantage of it. Witness the famous photograph of blues harmonica icon Little Walter Jacobs holding a Hohner 64 with the slide button broken off. Or listen in on a harmonica club playing session where everyone plays a tune in C, then presses the slide button and holds it in to repeat the tune in C#, just for some variety.
But many players (even Little Walter, …