Links to Interesting Places and People
If you want to be included on this page, just send me your credit card number, that all-important number on the back, and, for good measure, your mother's maiden name, and I'll take care of it.
ONLINE HARMONICA FORUMSHarp On! THE BEST.
When I first started to annoy my neighbors with incessant harmonica playing, I looked online, and found there are a lot of harmonica-centric sites out there, and a few dedicated to chromatic harmonica. The one I used the most is HARP ON! , which covers diatonic and chromatic harmonicas, with repair tips, reviews and useful things. A nice, pre-blog, non-interactive, site with some really good information, however, you won't find out how magnets, fishing weights, or other re-purposed body piercings, removed and placed on your chromatic harmonica, will make you play better.....even if you somehow put them on your chromatic harmonica. This site cuts the neighborly-ness of the SlideMinister site, and just gives good, solid, information.
*****Slidemeister THE BIGGEST, and CHROMATIC-I-EST
Slidemeister is mostly a great place for mostly like-minded people to hang out online after what I assume has been a full day of practicing, where they can learn how to better place the body piercings mentioned in the HARP ON! paragraph above, so that the next day, their practice will be easier. You'll read posts from all over the world.
I've made some good friends (6) who are members of that forum.
There are some good repair tips, as well, and many people to helpfully tell you how to do something in the Repair Department. Some of them are correct.
Check out my page on Online Forums for more info about them BEFORE YOU ACT ON ANYTHING OF SUBSTANCE THAT YOU READ ON THE FORUMS.
And there's a lot of space devoted to TABS, which, for most, is just plain silly. For others, it's just Fancy Silly.
Here's some coherent writing about TABs... not my writing, but much better done....check out what Vern Smith wrote on that page.
"Whether you’re new to the harmonica, whether you’re hungry to advance your playing, or even if you just love the harmonica, you’ll find a wealth of information, tools, and entertaining lore in my books, articles, and blog."
So says Winslow, and he's right. His site is a great place to start the process of having a great time annoying your neighbors with your playing on various sizes and types of harmonicas. Go to his site and learn stuff, your neighbors will soon appreciate your playing, and you'll have to find other ways to annoy them. (Feel free to email me for suggestions.)
That said, the parts that I originally found most helpful were his articles on HarmonicaSessions.com, which he describes this way:
"From 2005 until 2012 I wrote chromatic harmonica articles for the bimonthly webzine harmonicasessions.com, produced by music instructional publisher Mel Bay and edited by David Barrett. Early installments take the reader through basics of playing the chromatic, while later ones review new models of chromatic, give introductions to playing blues in various keys, and present a progressive series on advanced tongue blocking techniques never written about before."
I encourage you to take a look and buy a book.
*****HARP-L THE DIATONIC-EST.
This is appears to be mostly for diatonic harmonica players, and there are a bunch of pretty good ones there. Not much on the chromatic, though., but there are a few players who respond kindly when I mention something about chromatics.
Probably the most recorded harmonica player in the Known World. A versatile fellow, my long-time partner-in-musical-crimes-for-,money, and, for the past ten years, my teacher, and somewhat of a legend. (Who knew?)
I was once approached by a misguided representative of Englebert Humperdink, asking if I'd play harmonica on one of his CD's. I said, and would still say, "no thanks, but you should call Tommy Morgan". They called Tommy and he called me and we went together to Engy's home studio here in Los Angeles. (We call him Engy now... it's on his towels, including the one I took.)
So when we got there, Engy started naming a dozen or so harmonica tracks that he'd heard and liked, and asking if Tommy can play like that. And the point of this, up until now, pointless, story, is that ALL the harmonica tracks that Engy liked had been done by Tommy. I was wise to not accept that gig, for sure. I had a long lesson that day, for sure.
**********Slim Heilperin (Slide Man Slim)
With a name like that, he kind of had no choice but to stay thin and play chromatic harmonica or trombone. After learning that The Trombones directly follow any elephants in parades, and that new shoes cost money, he made the right choice. He's a good guy and a good player. He's one of the guys who plays other instruments, like guitar, and proves the point, once again, that usually, the best jazz chromatic harmonica players started on Real Instruments.
He does concerts during the summer, bringing jazz harmonica to the people of Aptos, Ca. You can go to his site, and subscribe to his "Hey, here's where we're playing" ezine, and visit if you can. Alternatively, or Additionally, you can buy all his CDs and listen to them alone in the dark, cold, basement apartment that's all you can afford, because you spent all your money on harmonicas....or, perhaps I'm just projecting a bit....
Your choice, I suppose.
Q. Who in their Right Mind would want to play Bluegrass Music on a chromatic harmonica?
That said, David is the only guy I'm aware of, who does play Bluegrass Music on Chromatic Harmonica.
Recently, I was forced (his people asked my people) to play with David on one of his tracks. I've never heard Bluegrass before, or, it appears, since. I tried to fit in.
It's here, and don't say I didn't warn you:
Oh heck, you're right....I really didn't warn you, sorry, it's probably too late.
As long as you're there, listen to some of his other, non-with-me, tracks.
David has more technique than most chromatic players... I have pretty good technique also, but in my own defense, he's got an edge on me, since he's better at it.
He also practices only in his car, or so he claims. I've been to his house, and I've seen all the dents in his car. Yeah, he practices in the car, all right. (YEAH, but you should have seen the OTHER guy's car...etc)
If you want to be really impressed, check out his version of Beer Barrel Polka, no, wait, that's not it, I meant...hang on while I look it up.......
It's called "Blackberry Blossom", and it's here. When you follow that link, you'll see some of the 3,412 tracks David has done, just look for the album "Bluegrass Harmonica" and it's the first tune. Very impressive technique. Clean. Honest, God-Fearing, Diligent, and all the other Boy Scout stuff.
Tom's a friend from OnLiine, a fellow flute player and a good, and even Schooled, musician. I envy his education but not his winter time heating bills. He's in one of those Eastern States that has weather, with a capital "C" (for Cold). He works for the flute company that made my flute. Long, Long, ago, not to mention, reasonably far away. A master craftsman he is. Also plays lots of interesting and, for me, unusual, instruments. I forget what they are, but if he reads this, I'm sure he'll tell me.
Here, Tom, here's an email link to me.
He's done some transcribing of Real Music for easy access to Chromatic Harmonica players. Here's the intro to his transcriptions.
Classical music repertoire for chromatic harmonica seems to consist of virtuosic original or transcribed showpieces with orchestral accompaniment, or dumbed-down arrangements of classical themes. Not that players won't find usable material if they search for original or transcribed music for other instruments; there are print sources for flute, oboe and violin repertoire playable on chromatic harmonica, available for purchase or free download from several websites.
These Harmonica Transcriptions are unlikely to be found elsewhere; the selections are transcribed from solo piano scores, with a solo cello piece, a string orchestra transcription and two guitar solos as well. The selections range from easy to challenging, 17th to 21st Centuries, familiar tunes and tuneful strangers.
His transcriptions are here. harmonicatranscriptions.weebly.com/
Horn-smasher. to the Stars.....Fine Fellow, see my "thankable people" page for more about him,.
Chris does lots of harmonica stuff. Check out his site at BlowYourBrassOff.com . Chris recently worked with me to make acrylic combs for the Hohner Deluxe 270's that I play. No longer do I have to turn down those Outside Gigs in the snow for fear of being arrested for Instrument Abuse. The acrylic combs are Guaranteed to be rust-proof as well, which is good. Not that my wooden combs ever rusted all that much, but some of them tended to change shape and size at inopportune times. If you want acrylic combs for your Deluxe 270, Chris now has a set of plates, kindly donated by a retired Oboe player in Los Angeles, who was glad to be part of The Experiment. Whereas an acrylic Oboe, albeit crack-proof for sure, would be a disaster, there's something to be said for having at least some chromatic harmonicas that you can trust. And Abuse, of course.
Chris also took over Vern Smith's Hands Free Chromatic Harmonica business. While I'm not sure what that means, I'd love to have one of the ten Deluxes sitting in front of me play without my having to be involved.
I may not totally understand what "Hands Free" means.
Burke Trieschmann (Open Door Harmonicas)
Burke T. has his fingers in a lot of pies, none of which ever end up on my dining room table in time for dinner, but, if you can ignore the fact that he has at least one banjo in his horn-smashing shop, he knows stuff about both chromatic and diatonic harmonicas.
He has a nice amount of curiousity as regards harmonicas, which is a very good quality for a horn-tweaker.
We recently spent time together at the graveside of a Hohner Deluxe 270, and a miraculous healing took place, and the patient seems to have been revived quite nicely.
He's up in The Bay Area, in Albany, CA... in a house that I want.
His site is: OpenDoorHarmonicas.com.
Roger Trobridge -The Archivist
The Archivist - A growing collection of harmonica music of all styles played on chromatic, diatonic, tremolo, bass and chord. It features recordings from the 1920s to the current time with information to put it in context from artists who understand it.
"A lot has happened during the last 100 years but it is not very well documented or understood. Some individuals collected and exchanged harmonicas and harmonica media – music, images and publications – over this time. Most of the major collectors have died, and it is important to preserve what they have saved, before it gets lost or destroyed. I have managed to bring some of these collections together but it is difficult to find a suitable home for them. A solution might be near.
The recordings and other information on this site can be read and followed in the Archivist’s Blog."
Sounds like a good idea to me, so go and check it out!
And again, if you want to be included on this page, just send me your credit card number, that all-important number on the back, and, for good measure, your mother's maiden name, and I'll take care of it.