Jump to content

JJ Musics!

Will you get a harmonica now?  

1 member has voted

  1. 1. Will you get a harmonica now?

    • Yes
    • No
    • Tell me more!

Recommended Posts

Ask for requests! I'll try to learn!


So I've been playing the harmonica for a number of years, I think close to six? It's only been in the last two years since I graduated college and got a job with excess cash/time that I've been able to sink a lot of gil monies into it. Most of these up to "The Place I'll Return to Someday" (FFIX theme) are probably over a year old.. I've been lazy in recording for one reason or another...


I've been most interested in Irish traditional music and have a number of tunes learned to heart (including a cleaner version of Selbina.. which is a Irish-style jig). I am interested in all genres on the harmonica.. it is a rather versatile instrument and particularly the keys of D and G are in the right range for fiddle tunes.


A lot of these were recorded with a crappy microphone in a loud trailer on a gas drilling rig, so audiophiles, just start crying now.


-JJ Musics Links-

(more shall be added as they are done)


FF Fanfare on three different harmonicas

First half of Irish Washerwoman (traditional Irish jig)

Highlander Freestyle


~JJ Harmonicas~


The harmonica gets a bad rap as being "just a toy" or "grandpas instrument", but I would argue it is the most expressive instrument behind the human voice as that it is directly connected to the tongue and mouth, and you use them to make expressions. Hell, I ask that you all go out and buy a 2-10 dollar harmonica. They ain't that good for the long haul, but it's pretty simple to learn to play tunes like the Godfather theme, some Beatles stuff and so on. One of my favorites is the main music from Tetris (some traditional Russian tune). Sounds great slow as well as at any freaking tempo. I like to start it off slow then speed it up through a couple of runs.


(I don't know squat about proper music theory, if you want proper music theory of each harmonica, wikipedia this stuff and go from there! I might have a link or two as well)


There's four basic type of harmonicas, three I have. I must also note that there's different tunings in each type of harmonica. There's minor tunings, "Country-tunings" and so on. They're only tweeks to the reeds themselves not to the instrument in form and function.


1. 10-Hole/Blues Harmonica/Diatonic Harmonica = What anyone in most parts of the world think of when they hear the word "harmonica". Ten holes, 20 notes achieved without techniques. One full major scale between holes 4-7. The original harmonica type, originally made for polkas and whatnot. Adopted here in the US during and post Civil War for old standards like Oh Suzanna and the sort. Later used in spirituals -> blues formed by black folk here in the US, music's most profound thing since the days of Motzart and Stravinsky.


2. Chromatic Harmonica = capable of playing all 12 notes on a Western Chromatic Scale (All the sharps/flats). Pretty diverse an instrument as that it can play most any note you want. It's the harmonica with a button on it! The button pushes a metal plate that redirects air to other chambers. You see, just blowing or drawing air in a key of C chromatic will give you C-D-E-F-G-A-B-C, while when you push the button in, you get C#-D#-E#-F#-G#-A#-B#-C# (switch that around to whatever you want. C#=Bb, etc etc). BUT YOU CAN'T GET THAT "BLUESY" SOUND FROM A CHROMATIC! As in you can't really bend notes as well on a typical chromatic.


3. Double-Reed Harmonicas = harmonicas that have two holes per hole-area, as opposed to one hole per hole area in the two harmonicas above. Used mainly in Asian music and Irish/Scotish stuff. There are two subdivisions to consider:


3a. Tremolo Harmonicas = each hole has a note tuned like a semi-pitch above and below their assigned note, so when played together, they have a nice wavy sound. (see the second harmonica played in "JJ presents FF Fanfare on three different harmonicas").


3b. Octave Harmonicas = each hole has a note tuned an octave apart from one another, producing an octave sound per register played. (see the third harmonica played in "JJ presents FF Fanfare on three different harmonicas").


4. Orchestral Harmonicas = pretty much for ensemble playing. I've seen chromatic harmonicas as the centerpiece of orchestras. I don't have one of these.

Link to comment

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in

Sign In Now
  • Create New...