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Author Topic: One-handed Instrument  (Read 19776 times)
Laurent
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« Reply #15 on: February 08, 2010, 10:20:48 pm »

Hello there,

old thread, but since I'm beginning to learn playing the harmonica, I wanted to add my 2 cents. In fact, the diatonic harmonica is a chromatic instrument! Yes, it is! OK, there's a trick: you must learn to do alterations. And this is done with a correct position of the tongue inside the mouth, thus creating a resonant chamber that will allow to create more notes. This (+ overbends, another kind of alterations) allows to play a full 3 octave chromatic range on a simple diatonic harmonica!!! Want to hear how this is possible, take a look to this video of Howard Levy (one of the masters of our time): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3MtRHq8ERCE

In this video (advertising for a harmonica method), he demonstrate 12 songs of (12) different keys, all played on a C harmonica.

OK, like someone already told, it's much more difficult to learn than the ocarina, but when you're able to play all the bends, you get a very expressive portable one-hand-playable 3-octave chromatic instrument!!

Musically,
Laurent


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ubizmo
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I couldn't fail to disagree with you less.


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« Reply #16 on: February 08, 2010, 10:57:08 pm »

I hope you're getting his DVD!

I think you need both hands to get most of that music out of the harp, but I agree that in the hands of a good player, you can't beat a harmonica for a combination of range and portability.  They're fairly durable, too.  I never had much luck with them, but I suppose I didn't stick with it long enough.

Ubizmo


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Laurent
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« Reply #17 on: February 15, 2010, 08:04:03 am »

In fact, you can play very good with just one hand (which is not the case of the "chromatic" harmonica for which you need both because of the slider). See this "Chicago tonight":

http://www.wttw.com/main.taf?p=42,8,80&player=Chicago-Tonight&pid=aBGmfPFcQ_vjErjvlu7SfnNof2V9JfNu

The musical part starts at 6:45. In this wonderful tune, Howard Levy plays the piano with his left hand, and the harmonica with the right one. A splendid jazz moment.


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FredDooolie
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« Reply #18 on: April 23, 2010, 08:09:01 pm »

if you tape the left thumb hole and top three left-hand toneholes...

Is there a way to tape the MO into an English-system four-holer just for fun? Two ocarinas in one.



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... There is too much sax and violins on TV these days. Whatever happened to ukuleles and ocarinas?
Fingtam
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« Reply #19 on: March 20, 2011, 01:22:16 am »

The nose whistle is certainly cheap, and it only requires one hand.
(or no hands like this guy...)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UxEDrdoKRcE

and believe it or not, you can actually make it sound pretty good with a little practice.


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Harp Player
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« Reply #20 on: May 23, 2011, 02:54:34 am »

I know that this thread is a bit old but as a harmonica player I would say stick with the better harmonicas. I Like Lee Oskar and Bushmans best but the Hohner also makes some good ones like the Special 20.  As for the learning curve it is like a lot of instruments, you can simple tunes fairly quick, and you can keep learning for as long as you want to keep at it.

It is possible to play it with one had but your tone will suffer and you need 2 hands to get the wah wah effect.


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