Hi folks, new player (well, just over a year) and new member here just saying hello and with a quick question. I currently have Special 20's in A and C and I'm after a lower harp. Is a standard G Harmonica a low one, ie 2 semitones below my A, or is it a high pitched squealer? I'm presuming it's a low one but I just wanted to make sure before I go out and buy one. Thanks in advance.
I love my High G - its fast, and it cuts through the mix when playing with an amped up band.
For sure, a new player should start on a standard G. But intermediate players can make good use of all 14 harps - a full set of 12, plus a Low F and a High G.
Last Edited by AppalachiaBlues on Jan 10, 2018 8:57 AM
I have two High G Lee Oskars that groyster gave to me. Nice gesture but they are a bit shrill. I just got an idea. I'll make one of them an F#. ---------- 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 .
@dougharps: I've recently rearranged my case so the default F is low, but I can switch to high where, as you pointed out, it's needed. Generally I prefer the low, and if too low, can often go to Bb in 3rd. So the high doesn't see much use anymore.
I understand you've been into harmonica about a year, so it's reasonable to conclude that you are into learning how to play at this stage in your career.
Here's an advanced learning concept that applies to beginners, too.
Get a Low AND a High G harmonica. When you start to develop different techniques, hone your skill on the low G. Then....work on that same skill on the high G. You'll notice it takes a subtle shift in mouth/tongue/breath to work that high harmonica. Once you "own" the technique on both the low and the high G, you will have it for life and will pretty much be able to adapt to any pitched harmonica in between with ease. ---------- The Iceman
Last Edited by The Iceman on Jan 11, 2018 12:36 PM
Iceman, I think that's very good advice, and I'd been sort of coming to the same conclusion myself.
At this point I even find it takes some adjustment of technique, particularly regarding breath, when changing between my C and A harps. I'm slowly getting the hang of it, but I do think it's a subject that's maybe a bit under emphasised - in all the stuff I've read and videos I've watched it isn't an aspect of harmonica playing that's talked about all that much.
Thanks for the advice - I bought my low G yesterday and maybe a high G will be next on the list. From one extreme to the other!
G is the lowest 'regular' harp. It's pretty common for people to play Low F (or Low F# harmonicas if they happen to have an oddball song in F#), but those harps are labeled Low. A normal F# harp is the highest 'regular' harmonica, so it goes:
G Ab A Bb B C Db(C#) Eb E F F#(Gb)
Anything lower than that G will be labeled 'Low' or something to that effect. Anything higher than that F# will be labeled 'High' or something to that effect.
(And of course, Db/C# are the same harmonica, as are F#/Gb. They label them differently in Asia though.
Iceman, just type the search in the search box on the Forum Search tab!
@garry I still use regular highish F for most of my playing except the slow and expressive stuff, though I use low F more and more often, sometimes switching in one song.
@AppalachiaBlues I use high G for fast bluegrass or jump blues, and low G for anything slower where expressiveness instead of speed is desired.
I see a set of 14 different Richter diatonics as my basic harp set. I use low F# as standard in that set, though I have a high F# in my gig case. I also carry low D, low Eb, and low E in my gig case, and 8 keys of chromatics. Low D is great for third position in Em. I am considering buying a low C, too!
Depending on the gig I may toss in some country tuned, paddy richter, and minor harps, too, though I only use them very occasionally. ----------
Last Edited by dougharps on Jan 12, 2018 1:30 PM
Post a Message
blues harmonica riffs - harmonica tabs - learn harmonica - play harmonica
play harmonica easily - harp tabs for beginners - blues harmonica lessons
ADAM GUSSOW is an official endorser for HOHNER HARMONICAS