Dirty-South Blues Harp forum: wail on! > Eb and F# harps
Eb and F# harps
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Django
42 posts
Dec 25, 2017
3:54 PM
Merry Xmas everyone.
I was given both an Eb and F#(high) harp for Xmas and am having a hard time finding songs recorded using these harps. It was the only keys that I didn't have so my wife bought them for me.
Can anyone suggest some recordings where either or both of these harps are used?
kham
130 posts
Dec 25, 2017
4:30 PM
Ronnie Shellist's song Evil Woman is in Eb.
I find myself using Eb more and more. I also keep finding songs played in 2nd position. In 1st you can play a ton of horn lines.
Arrick
132 posts
Dec 25, 2017
4:32 PM
Eb Harp - Flip Flop and Fly (Blues Brothers version) song key of Bb

I use my Low F# in third position to play in Ab, but a high F# might be too high for comfortable third position playing.
Harp2swing
271 posts
Dec 25, 2017
4:34 PM
Jason uses an Eb harp in this one....

jbone
2426 posts
Dec 25, 2017
5:40 PM
I gave away my F#. Never liked the sound and nobody played in Ab or Db when I had it. Even now I doubt I could find a use for it.

Eb now, that's a decent key for a few things, in F as root, playing 3rd, or sometimes 2nd in Bb. I have both a middle and low Eb harp and they do see some use. And I like the sound. I specifically wrote the title song to one of our cd's in F so I could use Eb. But if anybody decided to play "stump the harp guy" I'd be in pretty good shape.
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SuperBee
5138 posts
Dec 25, 2017
6:13 PM
copy and paste the link below in your browser. youll find a lot for your Eb. Not so many for the F#

https://app.box.com/s/sx68ed49d8m4acntqqlyw1r4y2zdvlwe


youll have to open it in excel and then filter on the 'harp key' column for Eb and F#

Last Edited by SuperBee on Dec 25, 2017 6:16 PM
1847
4596 posts
Dec 25, 2017
7:08 PM


i have a low F# arriving, hopefully tomorrow, along with a bluemoon comb.
1847
4597 posts
Dec 25, 2017
7:42 PM
ok, fine... born under a bad sign... this seems to be a theme. hmm.

so does this pass adam's piss test?..... i believe it was recorded after 1965?
not sure i get the gist of that, however... not only is this quite similar to the song superstition, it is also unique in that the riff has to be played, and played correctly. to do so requires a certain modern technique.
Django
43 posts
Dec 25, 2017
8:38 PM
Hey wow. Thanks a lot for all the great responses and the links and videos guys.
I'll just have to write my own for the F#. Actually, these days I pretty much only record stuff in flat keys so maybe then my F# will get some kinda use. It is pretty high but so is F and Sonny Boy W. did some nice things with an F harp.
SuperBee
5142 posts
Dec 25, 2017
11:07 PM
I think chameleon (Herbie Hancock) can fit an Eb for much of it. At least, i used to play it with an Eb, insofar as I could manage it.

The Carey Bell treatment of ‘I’m Ready’ from Carey Bell’s Blues Harp album uses Eb. That one is transcribed in Glen Weiser’s masters of blues harp book too.

The Sonny Boy Williamson/Elmore James song ‘one way out’ as recorded by Elmore James is in Bb. There’s no harp on it but there are horns and iirc it’s a 1-6 thing which can be quite reasonably followed on an Eb harp

Those are the 3 that stand out in my memory but I know there are some others I’ve used the Eb for.

I have repaired a few LoF# harps recently but I’m not sure what they get used on. I think one of the Little Richard records of Lucille is in Db, I remember trying to cop the sax from that, and think I had to shift the pitch (I don’t own an F#)
dougharps
1657 posts
Dec 26, 2017
12:04 AM
When you play with guitarists who tune down 1/2 step (for easier string bending or to lower pitch for vocal range) and you want to play it in 2nd, then you will need an F# when they play in C#/Db due to using chord fingerings for the key of D. The low F# harp is more like the pitch of a regular G harp, so I use a low F# almost always these days. Capo players can also put you in Db.

If you don't plan on playing with a variety of musicians you can get by without. I play with a lot of people and don't want to ever say, "I can't play the song in that key"

Years ago I got my first studio gig and when I showed up I found out that the guitar player tuned down 1/2 step. I had just completed buying B, F#, Db, and Ab harps one week before, so I played the gig.

Eb is good for Bb horn songs.
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Doug S.

Last Edited by dougharps on Dec 26, 2017 12:05 AM
6SN7
761 posts
Dec 26, 2017
5:21 AM
the only song I know that requires a B harp (second position) is the tune "Give Me One Reason" by Tracy Chapman.
eebadeeb
112 posts
Dec 26, 2017
5:37 AM
F# for Gimme Shelter
groyster1
3051 posts
Dec 26, 2017
6:15 AM
Eb harp very useful for backing Fminor in 3rd position
dougharps
1658 posts
Dec 26, 2017
6:32 AM
@6SN7
Any song played in G in 2nd using a C harp will need a B harp if the guitar is tuned down 1/2 step.

One band I have subbed with likes Stevie Ray Vaughn's "Mary Had a Little Lamb" in F#.
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Doug S.

Last Edited by dougharps on Dec 26, 2017 6:34 AM
hvyj
3508 posts
Dec 26, 2017
8:27 AM
An Eb harp on is also good for G minor in 5fh position ("I'll
Play the Blues for You" "Hesitation Blues") and C minor in 4th position ("Equinox"). And, of course, Bb in 2d
Martin
1347 posts
Dec 26, 2017
8:33 AM
Butterfield, "Driftin´ and driftin´", several versions, all key of Bb, played on Eb harp.
Halffast
61 posts
Dec 26, 2017
10:03 AM
I sometimes play with a band that tunes down a half step and end up using those harps a fair amount and Ab and Db a ton .
WinslowYerxa
1499 posts
Dec 26, 2017
10:27 AM
I'm surprised nobody has mentioned John Mayall's Room to Move, which was recorded with an F# harp.


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snowman
298 posts
Dec 26, 2017
5:12 PM
Cant think of any songs at the moment but;
If u download "Audacity" free ---drag n drop song and push "effect "upper right of audacity----scroll down to "change pitch" u can change songs in B or C or whatever down to Bb etc---
U can change pitch of any songs about 3-5 half steps b4 its starts to sound weird
I do this for my C chromatic---I drag songs in and change pitch to key of D for my C chromatic
Adam Pritchard
127 posts
Dec 27, 2017
12:07 AM
Paul deLay uses an Eb harp in 2nd position (Bb) in his version of All My Money Gone. He switches to an Ab harp in 3rd position at the end. For some reason I can't get to the embed code on the device I'm using but the YouTube link is https://youtu.be/xSvdnmhLkss

A lot of old jump blues numbers where in Bb because it's a favoured key of saxophone players. Flip Flop Fly is an example. I'm pretty sure Wynonie Harris' Lovin' Machine is in Bb, although I haven't checked to be certain.
GamblersHand
671 posts
Dec 27, 2017
5:53 AM
She Caught the Katy uses an Eb. One or two others on The Natchl Blues also used that key, but can't recall

Last Edited by GamblersHand on Dec 27, 2017 6:31 AM
MP
3528 posts
Dec 27, 2017
3:06 PM
@ Winslow.
I was just going to mention Room to Move. As an aside; On the back cover of the album after the song titles, Mayall or someone saw fit to indicate the keys of each song. Of course Room to Move was Db which is obviously 2nd pos on an F# harmonica.

Once in a great while I get asked to play Room to Move. Since I never carry my regular F# w/ me (it lives in a box with my Low F# I built out of a G in a fit of madness), I use an F harp and no one knows the difference.
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'Making the world a better place, one harmonica at a time.
Click MP for more info. Aloha Mark
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Last Edited by MP on Dec 27, 2017 3:10 PM
SuperBee
5147 posts
Dec 27, 2017
4:54 PM
Gamblers reminded me: Leavin’ trunk off the first Taj Mahal album uses an Eb.

Also Cajun Tune from De Ol’ Folks ...

Taj Mahal does a few things in Db, but I haven’t found one that also uses harp
hot4blues
88 posts
Dec 27, 2017
6:48 PM
I was just overwhelmed with a case of Zen. Since the above song 'Born Under A Bad Sign' performed by Albert King and Jimi Hendrix did an awesome electric blues version of it, just grab the respective harp and join in with Jimi. I can bet it'll sound killer. In fact, I'm gonna give it a whirl with everything plugged into my Fender amp. And from what I read, the song's played in Bb. Jam on!

Last Edited by hot4blues on Dec 27, 2017 7:04 PM
groyster1
3052 posts
Dec 28, 2017
6:39 AM
@MP.....use an F instead of F# and no one knows the difference......Ill remember that little tip....thanks!!!!!!!!!!
Jim Rumbaugh
1279 posts
Dec 28, 2017
8:24 AM
@groyster1

When MP said "use an F instead of F# ", I have to "assume" he means when playing unaccompanied. He's saying the F is just as high and shrill as a F#.

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Gnarly
2398 posts
Dec 28, 2017
9:01 AM
So I am going thru inventory for NAMM (same demo harps we use for SPAH), and there's a set of Folkmasters. I have been checking and cleaning them, and am surprised at how much I can get out of these leaky bastards.
Anyway, there is an F#, so I try the big bend on draw three that Mick plays here. It works!
Click me

Last Edited by Gnarly on Dec 28, 2017 9:03 AM
groyster1
3054 posts
Dec 28, 2017
11:09 AM
I would think that the difference between key of Db and C is very subtle
SuperBee
5150 posts
Dec 28, 2017
4:34 PM
It’s not very subtle if you’re playing in C and the band is in Db
MP
3529 posts
Dec 28, 2017
5:33 PM
Well, W/ my own bands Db is the key I used. I've played that song hundreds of times. It's not a very hard song and it's repetious, so we try make it a bit more interesting. If jamming, and the band doesn't know the song anyway, I call key of C and say that the rhythm is similar to The Champs song 'Tequila'. C is easier than Db for the other players to navigate on the fly. Harps pretty much all work the same unless they have certain tunings.... like a maj7th for example. Room to Move on a Lee Oskar Melody Maker wouldn't work.

I keep several Ebs. My main reason is for Maceo Parkers version of "The Chicken'. It's Bb so Eb in 2nd works very well but the #6 OB at the end of every phrase is sooooo effective. It fit's like a glove with horns or w/out. Also Fm is the key of Girl who Radiates that Charm...well the Primich version. Primich slays that tune w/ his 3rd pos. solo work.

@ Bee- Love Mahals "Leavin' Trunk'.
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Reasonably priced Reed Replacement and tech support on Hand Made Series Hohner Diatonic Harmonicas.

'Making the world a better place, one harmonica at a time.
Click MP for more info. Aloha Mark
.

Last Edited by MP on Dec 28, 2017 5:45 PM
SuperBee
5152 posts
Dec 28, 2017
9:51 PM
MP, it may have been the very first thing I heard from Taj Mahal. And when I had harps around I would sometimes try to cop what he was doing. Always frustrating. I still remember the feeling when I caught on. It was like I’d been frustrated by that for years, one of those things I just couldn’t get hold of. It was kind of hard to believe at first. I must have found a note which matched and then worked out it needed an Eb. For some reason that seemed unlikely to me. But very satisfying when I found itvwas true
Dragonbreath
97 posts
Dec 29, 2017
2:14 AM
Well I bought an Eb marine band after seeing Adam's videos on this song here. Song is great fun to play and my Eb marine band plays and sounds fantastic.





SuperBee
5154 posts
Dec 29, 2017
4:22 AM
You’re right, that is fun.
Redneck
2 posts
Dec 29, 2017
4:57 AM
I came to post about Diggin My Potato for Eb. It's the reason I bought a Crossover in Eb. Haha never did learn the whole song.
GamblersHand
672 posts
Dec 29, 2017
11:21 AM
@SuperBee - likewise, it was Taj Mahal's Katy & Leavin Trunk that convinced me to get me my first Eb
MP
3530 posts
Dec 29, 2017
6:24 PM
Yeah Bee. I remember I thought replacing a reed was very unlikely and pop! in it went. I was very, very, happy. I was even happier when I learned how to adjust them properly. No-a-days I rarely burnish a slot. As long as everything is flat, is gapped properly, and in tune, I'm good.

But back on topic. To me a set of harps for beginers should include, A, Bb, C, D, Eb, F, and G. One can do w/out an F#. For me,the F# can be very handy but I only own two of them. A regular and a low.
----------
Reasonably priced Reed Replacement and tech support on Hand Made Series Hohner Diatonic Harmonicas.

'Making the world a better place, one harmonica at a time.
Click MP for more info. Aloha Mark
.

Last Edited by MP on Dec 29, 2017 6:31 PM
1847
4606 posts
Dec 29, 2017
9:56 PM
You’re right, that is fun.

Reasonably priced Reed Replacement and tech support on Hand
Made Series Hohner Diatonic Harmonicas.

that convinced me to get me my first Eb..

after seeing Adam's videos

I find myself using Eb more and more
not sure i get the gist of that, however.t’s not very subtle

Eb Harp - Flip Flop and Fly Fminor in 3rd position

But back on topic....

You’re right, that is fun. I came to post about Diggin My Potato




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jason campbell
103 posts
Dec 30, 2017
4:09 AM
Annie Raines' "Got To Fly" is played in cross on an F#
Raven
127 posts
Jan 01, 2018
8:30 AM
If you play any first position country, Zac Brown tunes down a half step and records many of his songs in Eb and F#.
MP
3531 posts
Jan 02, 2018
3:35 PM
Raven- Now there is a good reason for F# harmonicas.
If the band tunes down a 1/2 step and calls the key of D it's really Db/C# so an F# harp in 2nd position works. I've run into this situation at least twice.

But back to Mayalls Room to Move. I've seen him about 10 times and my band opened for him once. He still plays Room to Move but always w/ drums. I think it sounds better w/out drums like on the original Turning Point Album. I just like it better that way. I play it w/ the drummer using only a snare w/ brushes. It sounds hip to my ears played that way.
----------
Reasonably priced Reed Replacement and tech support on Hand Made Series Hohner Diatonic Harmonicas.

'Making the world a better place, one harmonica at a time.
Click MP for more info. Aloha Mark
.

Last Edited by MP on Jan 02, 2018 3:43 PM
GamblersHand
673 posts
Jan 02, 2018
9:35 PM
The solo to Way Down in the Hole (Blind Boys of Alabama cover) uses a low F# in 5th position
1847
4616 posts
Jan 02, 2018
10:50 PM
if you walk thru the garden... better watch your back... i beg your pardon...
walk the straight and narrow track... if you walk with with Jesus he's gonna save your soul... got to keep the devil... way down in the hole.
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