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Jack, I’m not the best person to respond because now I mainly play solo tuned chromatic harmonicas but I’d suggest sticking with the Easttop C it’s the key almost all teachers use. Jay1

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Hope this goes where it should…
I’m Mac and I’m in Louisiana, a pinch North of New Orleans… I’m getting into learning harmonica, and things seem to be going well… I’ve taken piano lessons as a child, but quit… I can somewhat read sheet music and understand the scales… I do have a C diatonic that I recently obtained… I have an old Hohner Marine band 12 hole in C and it and the diatonic have some very different notes… Or perhaps the old Marine band has seen better days… Anyway…
In anticipation of progressing I’ve been trying to get another harp here and there, in the other keys I will eventually need for playing blues and possibly some other things… Somewhere I was told I would need an E harp, which I got, and it is higher than my C… I thought it would have been lower… So, is the E going to be of any use, or is it just going to sit around and gather dust?..
So, look forward to absorbing knowledge and making music…
CHEERS!!!..
MAC

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Welcome Mac
Beginners play mostly in second position. You need to look it up in other topics on this. Your harp will be useful for something. But a C harp for playing in G is best for starting especially if your using free YouTube lessons

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Hi Mac, If you can play all notes in the diatonic scale on your old harp it sounds as if you may have a 12 hole Hohner 364/24 soloist. It’s easy to check this as the blow holes will follow a pattern of C,E,G,C,C,E,G,C and draw holes D,F,A,B,D,F,A.B the really simple way to check is on a soloist blow 4 & 5 are the same note as are 8 & 9. It’s the same tuning as a C chromatic with the slide out. Blues can be played on solo tuned harps but you’d be better sticking to Richter tuned, it will save a lot of confusion. Another thought, rather than buying individual harps consider a set of 7 like the Fender Blues Deluxe that comes with a carrying case, it’ll work out less expensive and they are on the recommendation list by Luke as a starter set. Jay1

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Hi there,
I’m Quentin from Sydney.
I love all things Harmonica whether it is watching, reading, learning or playing. I have just completed Luke’s course over the last 8 months and have learnt a lot of stuff. Am just going through it again to improve my skills. It has been a great journey so far and I have had a lot of fun.
It is good to be part of the harmonica community here and learn from everyone. Cheers.

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ok, I’m torn up! The Richter scale is beyond me trying to grasp with my geriatric old mind. So, I found a sale with a Hohner PentaHarp and could play a song straight out of the box! It’s in Em and I’m having fun. I may never be a “real PLAYER” and stunted my eventual proficiency, but “Oh well!”

Thanks to all y’all’s answers and consideration.
J4xMc

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Hi Damian, I am a counsellor from Wells, England’s smallest city. After I finished my PhD, my wife ‘suggested’ that I take up a hobby, so I picked up two: growing cacti and playing the harmonica (not sure of the relationship, but hey ho!)—both of which raised eyebrows as I have zero knowledge of either. But having no experience with harmonicas besides having heard the sound, which I find fascinating, I start with no preconceptions or experience and a fair amount of excitement and curiosity.

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Welcome. I’m sure you’re going to grow more and more in love with the little instrument. Heaps in other topics about the obvious mental health benefits of controlled breathing and distraction gained from harmonica playing that might interest you.
Are you doing the btb course?
Toog

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Thank you. The health benefits are one of the issues that I am particularly interested in, but don’t tell my wife, as the idea of picking up a new hobby was her way of getting my head out of my books! Yes, I am doing the btb course. I will be starting this afternoon after my last client.

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Greetings. I have been playing for a long time. I can bend and do just about all the pieces. I just can’t figure out how to put it all together.

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Hey @Jay1 - that’s fascinating that you prefer the Forerunners to the CX12! Thanks for sharing this. I’ve never played either, I have a huge Yamaha SCX64 and a Hohner Deluxe 270( and I just picked up a couple Bushman Game Changers, but those aren’t really “true” chromatics, though I prefer them personally since I’m a diatonic player.)

@Coffeebean welcome to the forum! Can’t wait to hear about your journey with the harmonica. Rock on! :sunglasses:

@J4xMc what kind of recommendation are you asking for? Harmonica brand? What style of music are you playing and singing?

@MacETAC welcome to the forum my friend. What brand C diatonic did you recently attain? Yeah, the E harp will probably collect a bit of dust, unless you’re playing folksy kinda style music in E, or Blues in B. But as you noticed, it’s a pretty high. I’d recommend picking up an A harmonica to play Blues in E. PentaHarp is a bit of a one-trick pony. If you’re happy, I’m happy. But I hope you’ll continue to explore the standard 10-hole harmonica and all the amazing sounds it can make.

@satchqw Welcome Quentin! Big congrats on completing the course, and even bigger congrats on going through it again. Many say they’ve gotten much more out of it 2nd time. So glad you’ve joined the forum.

@dacswells congrats on finishing your PhD wow! Welcome to the forum. I love your story. I’m SO glad to hear that you’re doing BTB and can’t wait to hear how it goes for ya. Hope you have a blast with the cacti and harmonicas, and don’t get too pricked by either. :wink: If you have any patients suffering from trauma/illness, I made an album of healing music that could be helpful for them.

Hey @Robpicou. Welcome to the forum. When you say “put it all together” what is your dream/goal with the harmonica?

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Hi Luke, well it’s just down to personal choice. Never did get on with CX12s, thought I should like them but didn’t and still don’t. I have an EAST:TOP 16 hole with valves and I don’t like that much either. Perhaps when as a cadet at sea I couldn’t afford anything better I got used to low cost harp like my original Hohner GLH now I can afford what are supposed to be the top of the range hand built instruments I still go back to basics. Possibly it’s what I got used to; it could be I enjoy playing basic instruments more or it could be I enjoy making silk purses out of sow’s ears. Early players could make the most basic harp sing, I suspect you could as well! Jay1

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I bought a Hohner PentaHarp and could make satisfying music in the first minute out of the box! Holes 9 and 10 don’t work, and since I bought through EBay, I don’t expect them to make it right. I bought another from Sweetwater and expect great customer service if something is wrong. I haven’t received the 2nd one yet.
I haven’t figured how to make the diatonic Richter scale work. Maybe my expectations are off.
J4xMc

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Hi Luke an everyone! Im Bob, 75 started out blowing on my Dads Chromonica as a child, that never went anywhere however i have always loved the sound. Recently picked up a desire to learn and am using Marine Band Delux, also have some older chromaticas which sound great, but kill my tongue! I play guitar and do a bit of looping. Just a retirement hobby really.
I want to get into the mechanics, and learn some repairs and tuning skills. Just for fun. Of course theory stuff is interesting to me as well.

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Hi Hobo34 What older chromatics do you have and why do they kill your tongue? I normally only play chromatic these days and do all of my own repairs, tuning etc. so may be able to help. A word of warning, once you get into mechanics it’ll take over your life! Question for LUKE how are you doing with the Bushman Game Changers? I’d quite like to try their solo tuned models, which tuning did you go for?. Jay1

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Hi this is ingrid and i am from colfax, wisconsin. colfax is by eau claire, wisconsin.

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I have a C64 and 260 40. The 260 40 is a bit rough, due to the square holes and compatrd to my Marine deluxes.
What files do you recommend?

First off I’m probably biased because I only play chromatic with rounded mouthpieces and round holes so I’ve not played trapezoid mouthpieces and square holes for some time other than very occasionally my Chordomonica II . Secondly what do you want files for? I use watchmaker files and tools and pinch fine nail boards from my wife but knowing what you want to file is the question? Are you tongue blocking? Are the mouthpieces smooth, are there any sharp edges or rough areas? What about a Kettlewell Frictionless Mouthpiece (Slider) Google it if you’ve not come across it before. Let’s see if between us we can get your chromatics playable so you can enjoy them Jay1

I was thinking more for reed adjustment/tuning…

I use a VERY fine engraving tool plus eye magnifying googles with focused light and use it with extreme care. I use feeler gauges to support the reeds and have been known to use tiny bits of blue tack or even raid my wife’s nail varnish as added weight. For combs I start with 400 and finish off with 2,000 wet & dry, using the 2,000 for slides always on a bed of glass. I know this is controversial but I have used a light smear of Vaseline after flattening slides. Tuning won’t help your tongue and I suspect that needs sorting out to be comfortable first. Jay1