New Member Intro - Kohan Mike

Hey all, I’m new to the forum and a fair blues harmonica player for a number of years. Here’s my extended harmonica story.

I actually tried to learn harmonica in 1965 when I started playing guitar, but for the life of me, couldn’t figure out the instructions to blow with the corner of my mouth, and pursing my lips just didn’t work.

Over the next 17 years I kept trying from time to time, until I was working as a propman on a TV pilot at Paramount starring Al Molinaro (from Happy Days) and Lyle Waggoner (from the Carol Burnett Show). A couple days into rehearsal, the producers announced that they have to do a major rewrite of the script for a couple of hours, so we all hung out.

Al brought out an ukulele, the casting director, an ex-dancer, did a soft shoe, and sitting in the audience bleachers, Lyle took out a harmonica and killed it.

When they stopped, I made a beeline to Lyle and told him my problem trying to learn. He said he’ll show me the same way his harmonica teacher showed him. He took my hand and put the fleshy side in his mouth like he was playing a harmonica. Wow, that was it, I got it in an instant.

I took out my harmonica and he taught me On Top of Old Smokey in just a minute. I worked on it for days after, until the next show I was assigned, another pilot that had a young guy in it. During a break, I was sitting in a corner playing my harmonica when he came over, took out a harmonica and started playing blues. How do you make that sound. I asked. He said it’s about cupping your tongue up and down to bend the notes. I tried it and very quickly made it happen.

When I was young, I started snapping my tongue to make a loud noise by cupping it to the roof of mouth, sucking in to snap it away. I got very good at it, and because of that, my tongue muscle was very strong, which lent itself to playing blues. Ever since then, I’ve improved my blues playing.

In mid 2013 I took up the ukulele, joined a group of about 30 members, and gave up guitar completely. A year later I also took up the bass uke. Another member also took up the bass uke. It’s now my primary instrument, with tenor uke and harmonica following. He and I would trade off bass playing from one session to the next, so when he plays bass, I play uke.

As the leader would bring in new songs, some would be blues oriented, so I started playing blues harmonica instead of uke for those songs. I know I can do a better job, probably overdoing it at times, but I’m happy to be able to include harmonica now.

I play Lee Oskar diatonic, have 7 basic keys, plus I have a Koch chromatic, but I never took the time to learn it. I’m also going to post in the Gear forum the new mic I got to be able to play wireless.


Like the other forums I’m in, I was expecting at least some welcome replies, but I guess this harmonica forum is not like my ukulele and bass forums, so I’ll just say, “welcome Michael, very interesting story of your harmonica journey.”

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Not a lot of members here, apparently. That’s a great story, though. I was just watching some clips on youtube last night from the Carol Burnett show. Now I can go back and watch again, and think of how your hand was in that guy’s mouth.

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Thanks Rob, interesting, I mentioned this to a friend, who said the same thing. He suggested a couple of other forums, but seems they don’t include upload of images.

I have mixed feelings on forums. If the forum is too big, keeping up with it is like a job. If it’s too small, it feels like you’re not really talking to anybody. I’ve never gotten in on the ground floor of a forum before, so maybe with this one we can be the grouchy old timers in a few years.


Hey, go back and look at your original post. It has five likes.


I guess that’s an indication for the size of this forum, my others will get 20+ likes.

This forum has 9200+ registered users. Of course not all are active on a regular basis. It’s been fairly quiet for about the last 10 days.

Many popular topics seem to involve getting tips on better playing techniques or sometimes music theory questions. Also harp adjustments & customization.

– Slim :sunglasses:


That’s good to know. It seemed really quiet.


Hi Kohan
Welcome. I hope you get the info you want. There is a dedicated topic in HARMONICA for your introduction and first post. As in all forums it pays to search around a bit. Lounge is for things not related to harmonica playing but the jokes usually are. You might want to repost your introduction in the HARMONICA cat under introduce yourself section. Usually the regulars will respond with a lot of hellos etc. They are a really friendly bunch.


Thanks. It’s not at all clear where to post a new member introduction. I got the impression it was in the Lounge. The other forums I’m in have a very specific New Member section.

I went there and like when I first looked, there’s no new post button. Wait, I guess I just use Reply, OK.

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I did post my intro in that thread for Introduce Yourself, but it includes anyone and everyone who has posted there, so when there is a reply by other people, it notifies me, but I prefer to have a thread just for my own intro.

I definitely prefer this way to introduce myself so that I don’t have to sift through replies for so many other people.

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Hey @anon35051871 on any thread you contribute too, you can manage notifications at the bottom, click on the button with the bell at the bottom, and choose your preference on hearing about it or not:

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