You are doing everything correctly and I did not intend to imply otherwise. In fact, many people do not hear the tuning differences between a Golden Melody and, for example, a Marine Band. But if you happen to be one of those who people who is able to hear the difference (mainly when playing chords) then (and if you decide that chord playing is important for your playing style) you might later consider adding a Marine Band Deluxe or a Hohner Crossover harp to your collection.
For what it is worth, I do notice the difference when playing melodies and prefer the Golden Melody since I really do not play chords that often. When playing chords I am not so able to hear the difference. So I guess that could explain my preference for the Golden Melody
I really appreciate your feedback. Every little nugget of wisdom is so helpful as I am just starting out. I’m not very musical and probably don’t hear a tuning difference (at least that I’m aware of at this point). I just like the way single notes sound and how they make me feel. As a beginner (a complete newbie) I decided to just dive in with what felt good. I was unsure if one Harmonica was technically different to play than another. I figured I had to start somewhere, and wherever I started, I would commit to the discipline of learning to play, regardless of what Harmonica I had.
What is your recommendation on using different Harmonicas while learning to play or should I focus on becoming reasonably proficient at one before using multiples? Do you have any advice that you could give me regarding a basic practice schedule? Are there any tips that you don’t mind sharing from your personal experience that you wish you knew about when you first started out?
My personal tip would be to stick with your current harp until you progress further into the program you have started. Absolute beginners should concentrate on the learning material and techniques that Luke @Luke will be showing/teaching. And the Golden Melody is an excellent harp!
Learning/practice schedules are very individual, so I will not give you any tips there.
As far as what I wish that I knew back when I started … well, basically everything that I now know! Not much help, I admit.
Maybe one thing, though: do not blow or draw too strongly! A good harp can be played and learned to be played using an amazingly light amount of pressure. You can always add more volume later by using an amp. Trying to force anything by simply blowing/drawing harder is like trying to learn to drive by going faster: it is not the way to do it.
Been a while since I first introduced myself. Progress has been slow mainly because I prefer to play when I’m home alone! Opportunities are pretty limited. But I’m ready to kickstart my learning and playing again. Also wwhat I realised is that I need structure so once my vacation is over I’ll be signing up for the Beginner’s course. Hopefully then I can make progress.
Hey James - welcome to the forum! So glad to have you here man, and congrats on your decision to pursue the harmonica, and congrats on getting a Golden Melody, one of my favorite harmonicas. Slim’s advice of “I wish that I knew what I know now, when I was younger” (in my best Rod Stewart impersonation) is right on the money:
I played WAY TOO HARD for the first, oh, I don’t know, 22 years or so? I would have saved myself a lot of money from blowing out harps if I had learned that lesson sooner!
Side note: I’m reminded of a bass instruction video I saw of Flea from the Red Hot Chili Peppers and he joked about how when your young and poor and can’t afford instruments you have to pay for them, and then when you famous and rich the companies just give them to you! I remember thinking back then “if only I could get a company to help me out with all these harps”. LOL. I could have just gotten better technique just as easily!
And on that subject (boy I’m just rambling all over the place here ) I just made this post on the subject of brands:
You’ve got a great harp, and a great teacher (and so humble too,) so you’re honestly good to go! If you have disposable income and it’s fun to try out different brands, by all means go for it! But the Golden Melody is one of the best harps, so you are good to go!
I, like @slim, don’t really hear the difference drastically between the Golden Melody’s chords versus the Special 20. Special 20 is maybe a little sweeter sounding on chords, but is sweeter even better? Depends on what you want I guess!
Also, Lee Oskars are actually tuned just like the Golden Melodies, better for single notes.
@jeffw good to hear you from you again buddy. I’m so excited that you’re gonna go for Beginner to Boss! See you inside the course!
All right, that’s enough rambling for now. Oh, and speaking of rambling… Nah, just kidding.
Hello, my name is John Reffitt, my friends call me “Creeper”…i bought your happy harpin course and fell in love! So i bought your beginner to boss and breakthrough blues! Im enjoying my journey so far! Im not really sure where to go next…any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!
I’m Alojz Peterle, former Prime Minister of Slovenia and former MEP. I got my first harmonica in 1955. In April 2019 my last speech in the EP was Ode of Joy. Europe and entire world need more music, more soul, more sense for community. Now I have more time for music and I’m still ready to learn.
Hi, appreciate the forum-awesome! I’m 55 with a disability for 25 of them so I’ll mostly be working one handed which comes with limitations on the sound I can produce. I’m sure I’ll be posting the most annoying questions as they come up related to following the course but really looking forward to bugging ya’ll. I had a gee-tar as a teen to impress the ladies but the only instrument I’ve mastered is the third grade ukulele. I’ve packed a budget harp for the last 25yrs and have no idea why I didn’t sit down and learn, having a blast!
Hey @RollyJoe so happy you posted here. You can still do plenty of awesome-sounding harmonica without hand wah. Joe Filisko recently told me he’s been trying to play one handed more because it’s more conducive to good posture.
Hey Uke is a great instrument too, but can’t beat harmonica for portability!
Everyone can always improve further when it comes to improvising. This is a skill that can be helped along by tips and tricks and more musical theory, but in the end it comes down to experience, emotion (in your playing), imagination and something magical that just cannot be taught Some might call it natural musical talent, but I do not think that anyone really knows the secret to improvisational mastery other than work, play, relax, dream and have fun. And those elements can certainly get you quite far in your quest.
Hi. Jack here from the mountains of Maine. Just signed up today and hopefully I can figure out how to play. My index finger on my left hand has been bandaged since May 22nd…straight. Doctors not sure if it will bend again without surgery, but it needs to heal first. Always in the way. Will have to hold the harmonica with my right hand I guess. Oh well. I am 68 years old with time to practice. Looking forward to getting started.