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[11 Oct 2011 | Comments Off | 8,718 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 …

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[11 Oct 2011 | Comments Off | 8,143 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, …

Featured, Harmonica Workbench »

[29 Jul 2011 | Comments Off | 12,502 views]
Harmonica Workbench: News Flash! X-Men Nemesis, Magneto, Likes Harmonicas

with Kinya Pollard
Every superhero has their unique gifts that they can choose to bring forth good or evil into our world. For years, I thought Marvel Comic’s Magneto character was one evil dude—little did I know there is a softer side to him. It turns out he’s a harmonica buff!
So with the X-Men movie prequel hitting the theatres, I couldn’t help but make the correlation between Magneto and TurboHarp. Both have a fascination with magnetism and continuously look for unique ways to manipulate metal.
For twenty years now, fans of TurboHarp …

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[29 Jul 2011 | Comments Off | 10,834 views]
Review of 14-Hole Chromatics, Part 2 Chromatic for Diatonic Players

By Winslow Yerxa
In the last issue I got under the hoods of four mid-price 14-hole chromatics (try saying that fast several times). The harmonicas in question were the Hohner Chrometta 14, Suzuki Chromatix SCX-56, Hering Stan Harper 56, and the Bends Tonica 56. This time, I’m going to give you recorded samples of those instruments, together with my impressions from actually playing them.
Playing Impressions
After all the measuring and photographing, I was finally able to reassemble the instruments and actually play them. I resisted the temptation to adjust, alter, or otherwise …

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[29 Jul 2011 | Comments Off | 7,054 views]
No More Excuses – Part VI: 1st Position, Part 1

By David Barrett
We’ve finished 2nd and 3rd Positions, so it’s time to move to our last most common blues harmonica position—1st Position. Again, let’s start with the basics—which notes match the three blues chords for each hole on the harmonica in 1st Position. This is your first step in moving from being an intuitive player to a purposeful player. This knowledge is also imperative for accompaniment playing. Grab your C harmonica and let’s dig into blues in the key of C.
We’ll start by listing the notes in the Key of …