Posts Tagged ‘harmonica’

Okay, my abc2harp Perl script should be ready to face the world now. Licked some more bugs since the previous update. I’m sure there are yet more undiscovered bugs (there always are), but it’s pretty functional. Hope some of you will find it useful and let me know what you think of it.

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Another toy

For some unknown reason I was suddenly interested in (hmm, doesn’t that sound familiar?) picking up the harmonica (or ‘harp’ which is how the players call it). In particular, I wanted to learn the ‘blues’ harp, actually it’s your normal plain old 10-hole diatonic harp played from a different position and utilising the bending technique. Most harmonica players here play tremolo and chromatic harps, but apparently the diatonic harps are not as popular here. Maybe it’s an Asian thing, and also partly most players here play in ensemble settings.

As usual I did my research online. The Lee Oskars seemed to be highly recommended, but the local distributor told me they were out of stock except for the F# key (duh, that’s probably the most uncommon key ever). Too bad… Then I went down to Swee Lee during their year-end sale hoping to get a Hohner, and after seeing the long queues I decided what the heck, not worth my time to join the queue and go in to look for a $25-$30 harp, which may not be available anyway. Last stop was the Herings – I discovered there is a shop that brings them in – so I went down there and luckily they do have one last Hering Black Blues in stock (and in C key too) which I bought promptly. Was happy that it wasn’t a futile trip. Let’s see how long I can stick with this instrument. 😛 The learning curve is really high – I can’t get clear and clean single notes yet, and I want to at least learn how to do note bending… Fortunately there are lots of online resources for the blues harp.

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