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Dirty-South Blues Harp forum: wail on! > What harmonica do I need for "Poor Boy"?
What harmonica do I need for "Poor Boy"?
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1 post
Jul 08, 2022
9:22 AM
Hello everybody,

I'd like to ask you a question, but I'm going to introduce myself first. My name is Colombo, I'm from Spain, and I don't consider myself a harmonica player... At least not yet. A couple of years ago I got a Hohner Bluesband harp, and shortly afterwards, seeing that I couldn't bend a note for all the jewels in the crown, I bought myself the book "Harmonica for Dummies". At some point I got the impression that the Bluesband was making things more difficult, so I got a Hohner Marine Band, and it made a huge difference. I'm still practising my bends (I can only play the simplest ones), but I'm having lots of fun in the process. Unluckily, I cannot devote much time to it, except during the summer holidays.

Now my question. There's a workmate of mine who's a great rockabilly singer / guitar player, and he has somehow persuaded me to play a few songs at a party there in a couple of months. I'll be playing electric bass. Anyway, one of the songs he'd like to do is Elvis's "Poor Boy". So we'll have to adapt it for guitar, bass and drums. But he says he would like to replace the accordion with a harmonica, to try and get closer to the real thing. He cannot play it, as he'll be singing, and since the drummer will be an outsider who will come only for the party, I'm afraid it's yours truly who will have to play the harp.

I've read somewhere that to play along with a song in D (I think that's the key of "Poor Boy") I'll need a harp in some other key. What key should it be in? Or do you think this song cannot be played reasonably well with a blues harp, and I'd need something else? Of course, I'd be playing just chords, not the melody. Something trying to mimick what the accordion plays in the original. Can it be done with a harmonica?

Thanks a lot in advance.
3059 posts
Jul 08, 2022
9:15 PM
Here's the song on YT.

I think a D harp in first position is a good choice.
Just be careful with the G chord, that will be a two note chord on holes 5 and 6.
2 posts
Jul 11, 2022
2:54 AM
Thank you very much. I'll buy a blues harp in D and have a go at it. The second part will be seeing whether I'm able to do the same while playing the bass. Not too sure about that, but I'm on the right track now.
405 posts
Jul 13, 2022
5:50 PM
Try it with a G harp (2nd position), too.

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