Harmonicas/Mouth Organs

I was in Sale centre this morning and there was a busker there. I’ve seen him before playing a guitar but this time he was also playing a mouth organ.

When I was kid most of us at some time or other had a MO and I got to wondering why don’t kids play them these days.

Because they can’t figure out where to put the batteries?

There’s lots of stuff – harmonicas being one – that I remember being readily available in my childhood years but not always so available now.

Nowadays I think you have to go to a music store – and a good sized one at that – to find 'em.

Like many noisy things, a kid that gets one is bound to have it taken away from him, too. I always figured schoolteachers must have been the best harpoon players going because they always had so many. :slight_smile:

And while it’s a simple instrument it does take a bit of practice to get the hang of it, I do suspect kids don’t have the patience if there’s no instant gratification in it. Unless you’re unusually gifted you won’t be sounding like Little Walter (or Elwood Blues to most of the rest of you) right off the bat.

Just my WAG here. I could be wrong.

your humble TubaDiva
My life ain’t nothing but the blues.

I’m guessing it’s really hard to busk with a tuba.

Nah. Any decent dirty red bandana should contain one. Or at least that’s where I kept mine that time I found myself lacking funds in the capital of Louisiana. Good thing that 18-wheeler stopped and gave me a lift…

No one was lumping mouth harps and harmonicas together, but I just want to make it clear that a harmonica is a complex instrument. I remember having a kiddie version of one as well, but I think people might not realize how versatile they are.

While we’re on the subject of musical instruments what’s the name of the thingy Sideshow Mel plays?

Y’know, like a penny whistle but he pulls this doo-dah out the end and changes the pitch

That’s a Swannee Whistle, dude.

There were mouth organs about the place when I was a kid, but tho’ I’m quite musical I never took to them. They’re hard to get one single note out of, and hard to play a scale on too. What I wanted in those days was a Stylophone, which gives you some insight into what a sad thing it was to grow up in the 1960s/70s. :smiley: