hi everyone, im new to the fourm need some info. i’ve been playing harmonica for a little while and desided to buy a better harp. i have had alot of harps but never had a quality harp. i thought this was going to be easy but the more harps i look at the more confused i get. heres my problem. should i buy a straight harp or a cross harp. at first i thought i wanted a lee oskar melody maker but what i’ve read about them leads me to believe that the holes play different from a regular harmonica. can someone tell me the differents between a melody maker and regular diatonic harp. thanks.
Yeah, the Melody Maker is a Cross Harp.
If you are starting out, I would go with just the standard diatonic, unless you want the blues, in which case a cross harp might be better.
But I’d go with a standard! Maybe a Special 20, a Lee Oskar, a Marine Band, a Golden Melody…something along those lines! Sometime in the $35 -$55 range.
Welcome, I hope I can clarify the differences. The “Melody Maker” by Lee Oscar is designed to be played in SECOND POSITION, a major scale is available on the lower register much like the Hohner country tuned Special 20 with one minor difference the Melody maker requires no bends to complete the scale whereas the Hohner does. These harps are good for folk and country playing but don’t really lend themselves to blues. As these harmonicas are made to play in second positioin the key stamped on the harp is the key you want to play along with. In other words if the tune is in A you want to play an A Melody Maker. These harmonicas aren’t recommended for beginners.
A standard “Richter” tuned diatonic is what I believe you to be looking for. The note layout allows for a complete major scale without any bends as well as scales related more to blues that do require bends. They can also be played in more than one position. Until you get some time under your belt I would advise that you concentrate on first and second position. I would recommend to you a Hohner Special 20 key of C. Dollar for dollar maybe the finest harmonica on the market, and readily available at most music stores.
Eh…there are people out there that use the Cross tuned harp for blues…some say its easier!
IMHO, the only way to really figure out what is going to work and what won’t is to try it out! I have quite a few harmonicas! It takes time, lots of time, and I’ve been doing this for a while!
To start out though, stick with the C diatonic, like SP said. And eventually, start branching out and exploring!