Orchestra, Equal… not sure which way to go…

Hey everybody, new here, so I hope this works ok…
Not totally new to harmonica. I’d say an advanced beginner at many instruments. I’m starting to venture down a new path, hoping to get a little direction.
I play hymns, gospel, folk, Irish, etc. Love hearing the Blues, just no desire to play it at this time.

What I am starting to do is play the harmonica, on a rack, while playing ukulele or baritone ukulele, and am loving it. Again, just a solo act…

I am in need or replacing my old harmonicas, and also want to venture into some new keys. Been shopping around, and one of the things I stumbled upon was the Seydel Orchestra. Says the tuning is perfect for “Melody” players.
Have always heard that about Hohners Golden Melody as well.
Have also read where a “compromise” tuning is the way to go.

My plan is to play single note melodies almost exclusively, but I may also attempt to play a little backup on the harmonica, while picking a melody on the Uke. Don’t know about that part yet…

So, first thing I’m trying to figure out is…. Do I want to start learning Orchestra tuning, and get that in a few different tunings? Or, stay with Richter tuning? Or compromise with the Suzuki Manji that has caught my eye?
Really interested in playing Melodie’s without the need of any bends or overblows if that’s possible….

Backing up with single note playing, (just a long blow or draw) is something I’m just starting to experiment with, maybe there is a way to do some chords, not sure where I am going with this lol

2 Likes

Forgot to add, I recently started reading about the Pentaharp, which has only made my decision harder. Interesting, because I finally started making sense of and learning the pentatonics on string instruments. I know options are a good problem to have, just trying to figure out which tuning makes the most sense for me to focus on before I memorize a lot of tunes…

2 Likes

I wish I could afford a pentaharp!
It would make it so easy to play solos.
I don’t think you could just settle on that though, I think it would be limiting in many ways only having 5 notes.

1 Like

Hi Joe @Mojoevobo

That statement that I have quoted above can only be satisfied (in my opinion) by using the Seydel NONSLIDER Chromatic. I have one and it is quite interesting to be able to play any note without using a slide (as you do on normal chromatics), without using bends (althought you can use them if you wish to achieve a more bluesy effect) and without overblows. It is also ideal for playing in a rack if you need to keep your hands free to play some other instrument, such as ukelele, guitar, piano, etc.

Regards,
– Slim :sunglasses:

4 Likes

Ok Slim, thanks, but that is out of my price range at this point…

I guess what I am trying to figure out is if I would be better off with something like a Golden Melody (ET) or Suzuki Manji (CT) or would I be best going with the orchestra tuning and the Seydel Orchestra S?
I know my tabs won’t match the orchestra tuning, but would the benefit outweigh that? I just don’t know a whole lot about this other than playing tabs…

That’s all I have ever done. I am a good tab player on the harmonica, but I’m not a good harmonica player. I can play great on the mandolin, guitar, Uke, baritone Uke, and banjo as long as I have a good tab, but I am not a good mandolin, or guitar, or Uke, or baritone Uke player.
I’m making efforts to change all of that, studying the Circle of 5ths, memorizing the fretboard on the baritone Uke ( the string instrument that I am going to focus on) and I want to get really serious about harmonica as well. I just want to start this new journey with the harmonica that makes the most sense for a guy only playing sweet sounding melodies.
Again, I love the Blues, just not into playing the Blues at this time. That is why the normal Sp20 or LO recommendation doesn’t work for me.

If you read all of this, I appreciate it very much. Definitely interested in anybodys thoughts…

4 Likes

Hi Joe @Mojoevobo

Since you don’t seem to know that much about the differences in the various harps, I think that you will have to “bite the bullet” and simply buy at least one (but probably several so that you can make better comparisons). The differences are – to be honest – pretty much personal preference. And no one else can make that decision for you – only you can decide which type of harp hits your “sweet spot”.

I know that the Seydel NONSLIDER is expensive – but with the other types of harps you will end up needing to buy three or four different ones (at least) to be able to play really a lot of different songs without bending or overblowing, whereas you only need one NONSLIDER. The total expense comes out to be about the same (or possibly even less for the NONSLIDER if you need more than 4 or 5 of the others).

If money is the problem, then go for one of the less expensive harps and simply stop there until you really have improved sufficiently to make an intelligent decision based upon your experience with that one harp.

After reading your posts carefully, it actually sounds to me as if you are trying to bite off too much at one time, without the experience needed to make an intelligent decision that satisfies your personal needs and your preferences. :point_left:

Regards,
– Slim :sunglasses:

2 Likes

Hello @Mojoevobo,
@Slim writes exactly what I think after almost a year of experience with the harp.
A normal harp initially appears cheap in price. But you actually need a whole ensemble to be able to cover songs. THAT makes up the total price. You develop further and with it your own demands and experiences grow.

They want to stabilize and learn a lot at once. That’s a good goal at first, but too much for the moment! Focusing on one or two areas of focus will make better progress. They will then help you with the next stages.

Have fun!

Regards Astrid :woman_in_lotus_position:

2 Likes

Out of those 3, I’d personally recommend the Golden Melody, starting with the key of C. Also, in case you haven’t considered it, I think you’d be a great candidate to benefit greatly from my Beginner to Boss course.

Rock on,
Luke

2 Likes