Hohner Blues Harp vs. Golden Melody

I’m looking to get back into playing the harmonica in a band situation, and I need some new performance harps. I practice on Marine Bands, but have always used Blues Harps live and when recording due to the fact that they’re easier to play when I’m drunk and I like their dirtier sound. Like a dumbass, I let my A and my D sit under the front seat of my car for a year and a half, and now they sound like garbage.

So I’m perusing the Hohner site and notice these “Golden Melody” jobbies. Does anybody have any experience with them? They look a bit more ergonomically designed than the BH, which are friggin enormous, but what about tone? I like to make some pretty guttural noises… would I have to worry about busting up the reeds?

Any advice is appreciated.

Deffinately not what you want. The golden melody has a nice smooth sound, it bends well, but wont ever sound as dirty as a blues harp or a marine band. I have one, and I like for some stuff… Personally, I can get a nastier sound out of a marine band than a blues harp, but it is a little harder to play. My all time favorite are lee Oskers…Interchangeable reed plates, and more keys. But they are a bit expensive.

Of the subject, have you ever tried soaking your harps(wont work with lee oskers)? They dont last as long, but the sound is great.

Noooo… don’t use the Lee Oskar for hard core wailing, it will “work” but it’s not what you want. They have a real mellow, smooth sound, almost horn like, for a nice clean sound.

Oh, I can get a plenty nasty sound out of a lee Osker. not quite like a marine band, but I just like the sound of it. Maybe I will record a little of each tomorrow, and post a link. Its a bit late tonight.

I figured as much. Every GM description I’ve seen mentions Howard Levy, the Yngwie Malmsteen of harmonica virtuosos. Not really my bag.

Any suggestions on amps? I’m looking at something like an old Sun or a Silvertone, but the local vintage guitar place is a ripoff joint. They tried to sell a buddy of mine a 94 Epiphone LP for 500 bucks.

I have a harmonica I fool around with a bit, can’t remember which kind it is but I know it’s in the key of D and it cost around $50.

I like playing with it, but I can’t figure out how to bend notes - I can change the tone like a wah-wah pedal by changing the shape of my mouth but I can’t change the actual pitch. I’ve read descriptions of ‘overblowing’ but I can’t seem to make it work.

Do yourself a favor. Country and blues harmonica for the musically hopeless

It explains how to bend notes and other stuff better than any book I ever saw. I wish I had it when I was learning how to play. I no longer remember how I bend notes, I just do it, so I am afraid I cant be of much help. Its a klutz book, and IIRC it comes with a honer harp.

Well, I use a Shure bullet mc ,which gives me a good sound right through the PA. I am going to try it through my line6 pod pro one of these days…Much of the distortion the old blues players used to get was from using mics like that one, rather than through a gtr amp.

Don’t even try to overblow until you can do perfect bends.

To bend, start at 1 or 2 draw. Those should be the tow easiest to bend on a D harp. Drop your jaw while tilting the face of the harp slightly downward toward your lower lip and suck in hard through your diaphragm. That should allow you to make a really ugly sounding bend, and then refine your technique from there. Then practice practice practice practice practice practice…

What you’re actually doing is making the incoming air hit the reeds in a different place, making them vibrate in a different pitch. Think of it as directing the air though the body of the harp to get the sound you want rather than simply drawing or blowing in the correct hole.

Hope that makes sense.

If not, do what bdgr says. Hell, do it that way first.