Ah, NEW Instrument time... :)

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  • @ustaknow Mar 18

    I'm revisiting the - "Mouth Harp"
    (I think I even have the one I had at age 6 or so, but, it's probably time for a new one w/o the mouth funk on it. Man, what did they make them out of then?)

    Also, the Kalimba.
    - They sound allot/enough like a "Tank Drum", (at a fraction of the price), enough to hold my attention as percussive. And, so tunable too.

    You? Hue? Yew?

  • @fuzzy  Mar 18

    I have a harmonica around here somewhere.
    I should dig it out....

  • @ustaknow Mar 18

    @fuzzy - I was working on this Author Rossi Lyric re-write and wondering what else I could jam into it, and those came to mind, and then this thread idea came to mind.

    I'll have my harp and thumb piano by next week Amazon says... we'll Sea.

    - Go4it! It's always better to Suck, than to Blow, when it comes to the Harmonica, - "sucking" is always a good thing! πŸ˜‰

    Remember, every Harp has 2 Keys. I'll bet you $1M internet dollars you got one, and it's in the Key of C. If you Suck, it's "G" as well. Draw Key, or some say Cross Key.

    [Author/Harp player "Jon Gindick" pub'd a book in 1982 if can find that one, small paperback, used, 5 x 8 size, - I like for Reference. There's plenty out there and all good, and we all do learn *differently, so, heh, don't listen to me. I'm just very enthusiastic πŸ˜€ ]

  • @berni1954  Mar 18

    I need to revisit my Bouzouki. So long since I played it that I have forgotten most of the chords...

  • @fuzzy  Mar 18

    Yeah, @ustaknow, it's weird how it changes at the 4 hole. And yes, it is a C, so I guess I owe you $1000000 internet dollars.

  • @andygetch  Mar 18

    Still working on the cello, though I could use extra spare time to practice guitar more and everything else that I barely play (uke/banjo/mando/keys/melodica/harmonica/xylophone/percussions)

  • @ustaknow Mar 18

    @andygetch I did that one song with Cello this FAWM, and that was it.

    I used to play it 1-2 hours at a time (not any more). I forgot allot, - can't site read again - used read/play in time.
    - I may just go back to improve off the Triad notes and use it like a Bow'd Bass, - who'd know πŸ˜€ The thing is, the Bass then becomes so much more convenient and I think that's why it fell away, now that I think about it.

    But, I do love it as a featured Instrument in Rock, Metal music.

  • @andygetch  Mar 19

    @ustaknow oh yeah, I have only practiced cello in little spurts, bluffing my way thru the bits I recorded this past FAWM. But yeah, I'm still glad for the purchase and will be using it more.

    Also I need to practice singing. The last few nights I have finally played guitar for more than 15 minutes, mainly to entertain my wife. My voice is still weakened after last months bout with the flu.

  • @quork  Mar 19

    @ustaknow - Good on you for wrapping your lips around the harp. There are a couple of other useful keys. Three semitones down gives you a good harp for songs in a minor key. I.e. a C harp is good for Am songs. And if you really want to challenge yourself you can also use your C harp for Dm songs, which sounds really cool. But it’s tricky, because in order to play the lowest root note you not only need to suck, but also β€œbend” it - I.e. flatten the note with your breath.

  • @chipwithrow  Mar 19

    @quork - I discovered the use of a C harp for an A minor song in 50/90 last year. I'll have to try that D minor challenge!
    I like to strap on the harmonica for an acoustic guitar song every now and then. I have them in keys of C, D, E, and A. I had a G harp that finally broke after years of use, and I keep meaning to replace it, since I write so many songs in G.
    @andygetch - Good for you on cello! (And I think I know who influenced you.) I tried violin years ago when my daughter did Suzuki method. Bowed instruments are tough, but I learned Twinkle Twinkle!
    I've kept my uke within arm's reach the last few days - a new-ish instrument in that I've been playing it for less than three years and I'll be 54 in a couple weeks.
    I just noticed my guitar in its case - it will feel somewhat "new" next time I play it (hopefully today) since I haven't played it in almost 2 weeks and the world sure has changed a lot since then.

  • @ustaknow Mar 19

    @quork Thanks for that. I'm going to look into that more formally now too. In how I "write" - I wind up sometimes in weird key changes and had to keep two harps in hand. One song I really was challenged and the harp I used was likely what you say here. They say you can play nearly anything on one harp, but I'll never live that long πŸ˜€

    I'm going to keep a cheat sheet, so list what you know if care to, or any "Formulas" so to speak like that, if have a Song in Key A what harp to use, count up 4 to [use D-harp]. So, likewise if have a D-harp in Hand, what key can I Draw-key play a song in ?, count up 5 to [A-key]. (Some say count "BACK" 4, but that confuses me to much, and as it is πŸ˜€ ) However one may keep it straight, do that, or check w/tuner. (That's what I do if have not played in a while, with lots of important stuff on my mind, not Harp related πŸ˜€ )

    I think I had a typo for "fuzzy" (was blurry eyed with Hayfever Migrane), no excuses, just a reason. If have a C-Harp in Hand, play in Draw Key-G [count 5 up]; or again, if told have a Song in Key-G, what Harp to use, [count 4 up]. Songs in Key-A, what Harp? D-harp [count 4 up]. If have a D-harp, [count up 5] Key-A.

    What happens for me, - so many instruments, then mung with Music Theory, relative keys and etc. is actually why I don't pay attention anymore, -- I just start grabbling stuff, and modulate πŸ˜€ and really jam myself up πŸ˜‰ No one should be taking advice from me!! πŸ˜€

  • @ustaknow Mar 19

    @berni1954 mentioned his Bouzouki.

    It makes me wonder why, if one can say so, the 6-String Guitar "won" ? so to speak, in terms of being the "the" go to Strumed String Instrument. If it is, it seems like it is.

    Probably no good answer to that.

    I thought about generic/ethnic sound, versatility, ease of use/learning, portability, volume and one could "argue" that for a Uke, or πŸ˜€ thumb-piano (coming in a few days, and no, not a stringed instrument).

  • @quork  Mar 19

    @ustaknow @chipwithrow - I love the harp as a solo or other accompanying instrument for guitar. Some people (not me) are so good they can play the diatonic harp (I.e. do re mi etc. with such precise bends that they turn it into a chromatic instrument (all the sharps/flats) so they can play in any key. If you want to check out that two steps down harp for minor key check out this song (not the most positive (I.e. Nazi Germany meets US politics) but the harp solo is at 2:21. Song in the key of Am using a G harp. https://soundcloud.com/richard_provan...

  • @ustaknow Mar 19

    @quork that's a great example, thank you.

    It's a great song too. It's great because it talks about the problem, not the interpretation of it. Problems are prima facie, the other, just compounds it. So, kudos to you.

    Now off topic a bit, - but on "this", maybe we fawmers can find a "tag" that deliniates songs that do "that" and not the other. Maybe that's what the Folk tag intended πŸ˜€ hahhh. Well, we don't need another Rule. I tend to not listend to ones tagged "political" because look allot like simply, intent to provoke or for their audience of 5 somewhere like their livingroom or something. Anyway...

    So, two steps down for a minor key: C for Dm...
    - not to get to technical but I will in sudo πŸ˜€ ...
    Dmin, to form this chord, combine root note D, with minor third F, and the perfect fifth, A, all of the/a major scale. Therefore a C-harp works; if you Blow. Or, need a G-Harp and use the Draw Key which is C.

    And for the Am Chord/Key - notes A, C and E, again all Major Notes, so to speak. So, again the G-Harp if stuck in Draw-keys like me, to play C.

    I comment that to air it out for "me", - is that correct?

    And, as with any instrument like a Harmonica, - witin it's limits and of the player is the Caviate.

    GREAT stuff folks, just love it.

    Now, I'm gonna do a jaw-harp, thumb piano track, in focus for sure, -- it'll be a hit! πŸ˜€ Top 4 in Budapest I'm sure!

  • @quork  Mar 19

    @ustaknow Top 4 in Budapest, I love it. There are great charts online for different harp modes. Some are easier to play than others. They give the root note and what notes you need to bend. Joan Osborne has a great song, Dracula Moon, that I haven’t been able to figure out what harp they’re using. Lots of bent notes. Happy exploring and playing!

  • @ustaknow Mar 19

    @quork I just realised, the jaw-harp I got coming is not a Harmonica πŸ˜€ called also, "jaw harp, mouth harp, Ozark harp, juice harp, murchunga, guimbarde". To get really technical for such a folk instrument πŸ˜€ Lamellophone. Seems it may be from China of all places. The most common name bugs me so I don't use it since has to do with the etymology, idiomatics and poor observation, - and how folks slaughter language, Uno! πŸ˜‰ haahahah.

  • @quork  Mar 19

    @ustaknow - details, details...

  • @ustaknow Mar 20

    @quork yes, that's a great song. Everyone loves here, "if God was one of us...". I do.

    So, I was not near an instrument, so pulled up/searched comments on "Dracula Moon" and was interesting and I thought, hmmm... they didn't look right to what I was hearing.

    So, I just got to a guitar now, like 10pm πŸ˜€, and copied the riff on guitar, in 4th position pentatonic box, which makes it Key E.

    Someone commented F, and well, I don't see how; then I saw Key D and was like, some of the notes are πŸ˜€ but not the Key πŸ˜€

    If I get a chance tomorrow, I'll find my B-Harmonica - if I can. Now that other commenter said Key F and use Bb Harp, (maybe a different track/recording release?), - so don't get where that comes from. To me it sounds like some really great playing and assume it's a plain Diatonic. I've seen those really souped up ones, who knows. I like simple.

    To me it sounds like he's mic'ing it with a "Shaker" Dynamic Mic, overdriven with slight reverb, well cupped. And, just guessing after a quick listen, it's a "Low key" harp. That makes it an expensive Harmonica of descent quality.

    I'm no cork sniffer with Harmonicas, but some do play a whole lot easier than others (and each are one-offs too it seems), - and as good as he is, well - now you got me interested. I'd hate to buy another Harmonica just to find out πŸ˜€ hahhh! (Man they are high priced now.)

  • @quork  Mar 20

    @ustaknow -the right man is on the job! I remember playing around with all kinds of keys (I have all but Gb). I found one or two that worked, but not with that same low end bendiness. To make things more tricky there are harps with different notes, I.e. flattened third, than standard. I look forward to hearing what you come up with.

  • @quork  Mar 22

    @ustaknow - I'm pretty sure it's a regular A harp with lots of low draw bending going on. That would make sense if it's in the key of E (just a regular cross harp). Whatever it is it's a very cool harp line. And yes, I too love What If God Was One of Us.

  • @ustaknow Mar 22

    @quork I hadn't had time to sit, (that hayfever and etc., tapering off) - and would only take a minute, just haven't.
    - I noticed I didn't have one in B-Hamonica, so that took time to research with price as big consideration, - so ones coming.
    - It's some new off brand πŸ˜‰ hahhh!, I couldn't resist. I remember, maybe 6 mo's ago, saw I didn't have on since had a song in E. So when get to it, I'll have the A and B. Anyway, there must have been a shortage on B-Harps, esp. Low-B because then, they were in Electric Guitar Price range... and I can't justify it since not a "harmonica" player.

    Yes, to me, that track (gotta listen off/on and again), -- it sounded like regular cross harp, - esp. with who they all are and the music. I think the "Shaker Mic" with Reverb, fully cupped, plus his great ability is going to be the sound.

    No, instead, you know what we did today (aside from cook great food πŸ˜€ )
    - you know that little Grill in front of the Refrigerator you're supposed to take off and clean (more than 1x in 10 years πŸ˜€ kidding). Well, we finally go to that πŸ˜€ and O M G... well, the Frig sounds allot better too, no more COPD sounds πŸ˜€

    I'm no harp player, but, I'd guess whether Draw or Blow bending and individual player ability and the Harp *itself it could be either A or B - I'm guessing.

    I listened to other Tuned harps, and they were so "extreme" (so to speak), or distinctive, or ethnic, I thought, -- why do that. If even so, get close w/cross key. The Listeners won't care πŸ˜€ hahhh!

  • @quork  Mar 22

    @ustaknow - to your point from an earlier post, it's lots of fun to grab a harp and see what (if any) notes go. You can get some pretty cool sounds/fills that you wouldn't expect. Congratulations on your fridge work. In the last couple of days we've ploughed through the piles of dirty and clean but unfolded laundry, stocked up on essentials like beer, garbage bags and bird food (they're arriving in the Yukon from the south HUNGRY), reached out to faraway family and friends...all good. Take care.

  • @candle  Mar 22

    I have an ocarina that I've wanted to play around with for years. I sort of fell in love with it because of the original Captain Harlock Anime series that I remember from my childhood (dating myself, I know LOL). Also, two friends of mine (married couple) brought me back a Pan Flute from Peru that I keep saying I'm going to learn to play.

    See You In The Shadows…

  • @ustaknow Mar 22


    Jam with these guys then record something πŸ˜€


    The Pan flute 1:09 into it, is the best part. To play a "NAF" would be tough and I love those.

  • @ustaknow Mar 22

    I just, for no good reason really got an itch to play spoons. I remember, long time ago, picked'em up and thought what's the fuss. Well, not anymore πŸ˜€ man, could not get it. Weird aye!

    So, impatient as I am, my best trait, -- I grabbed a Wine-cork (plenty of those around lately πŸ˜‰ ) and two rubber bands, and VWAH - lah, expert spooner, of the metal kind.

    So, used a pair of Salad Fork and Spoon and like the "Ring-ing" the fork splines give, but not constantly. However, is a great option, - so little tap muted that.

    So we shall Sea... it feels like a ramp up for a track, but I never know. Then may just rip into my half stack, Peavey Butcher and crank it to 15. Well, with that as a note, - can't say I can complain about much else, if at all, -- aye! Oi!? πŸ˜€

  • @ustaknow Mar 24

    Ah, so, last night, noodled a track while fiddlling with the,
    - thumb piano
    - jaw harp (boing, boing, boing πŸ˜€ - gotta put against the teeth to work, forgot that).
    - acoustic guitar (needed a bit for some fullness)
    - Spoons, ~ my cheater Spoons (added a wine cork w/2bands, - look ma, no hands version πŸ˜€ )
    - Not yet arrived ~~ (way off brand/make, so will be interesting how much I have to suck, so to speak to make a bend), ... ... my new B harmonica so I can figure other spoke of above (good warm up for this here to do that first?! πŸ˜‰ )

    So, as noodling, the phone went off, - krappe, hate when that happens; tried to keep the ring in, but had to chop it out. So, is still "honestly", first-pass, one-pass, one-take while recording genre as I like to do and see what happens. I am more and more suprised just how good they come out πŸ˜‰ Uno!? πŸ˜€ hahhh! Any single track, - total krappe but in the Mix... mildly entertaining if not entirely grating, so "good" defined.

    So derUgo, and hue?

  • @candle  Mar 25

    You should post your results somewhere @ustaknow .

    See You In The Shadows…

  • @ustaknow Mar 25

    @candle yes, thank you. I, this afternoon hit record and got an initial mess πŸ˜€ hahhh! I was going to use that since I have a "thing" with doing one-take, first-pass, and record while writing. I don't know why, but all my tracks here since the last 5090 were that way too; including the overdubs which seem to somewhat "save" it. Any individual track is wretched, but mixed, somehow works (for me anyway πŸ˜€ ).

    Then, the tumb piano, had a book, sort of πŸ˜€ , and "You Are My Sunshine" was there to play C F G - you can Chord the prongs. It sounds like a "Tank Drum" (why I got it, - TD's are to expensive πŸ˜€ )

    So, I threw all of it at it, jaw harp, TP, harmonica, other. All but my cheater spoons. It's really to much πŸ˜€ Can sound, be gaudy? πŸ˜€ hahhh! It's gaudy. So, I wanted to overdub the Spoons and see, then put it up.

    I'll link it here from BandCamp.

  • @candle  Mar 25

    I'm looking forward to hearing it, @ustaknow It sounds like the crazy type of experimentations I love to do 😁

    See You In The Shadows…

  • @ustaknow Mar 25


    Well, all righty then πŸ˜€ The much anticipated, cheater-spoons, jaw-harp (boing) and et alia orchestrations, for this thread "Ah, NEW instrument time". (And Hew?!? πŸ˜‰ )

    I find it very interesting, well, I wood πŸ˜€ that in 20 sec intervals as I watch the track, +- you can see/hear the "progressing" in learning an instrument, - the Thumb Piano, Jaw Harp and other half learned 'till now.
    - For an Ai like myself, I think 10 sec chunks of time translates into a 5-7 day weak in human-ish tyme terms; - so two weeks if not so shinny, in yout time (though not a Cylon), more of a "Skin Job" as you humans like to say:

    (But we don't get offended, we just outlive you and laugh πŸ˜‰ )

    Visuals, always enhance a presentation, yes!?! I'm not quite so blonde, but close.

    - So, anyway, back to this track, --- in the first 20 sec, - it's a tad tentative, then opens up, and at 40 secs, end of track, more of a "Metal" treat. I love metal, it's so hard and cold and cut's like a nife.

    So, please don't take my sunshine away with virtual quarantine wishes to you:
    "Cheater Spoons - You Are My Sunshine"

    Or, what I did on my first government sponsored vacation, - no, not Panama City, FL, -- but as sunnie anyway!


  • @ustaknow Mar 26

    OK, @quork - I know you been waiting at the computer for this πŸ˜€ so, across this great country straight to you (you said Yukon, Alaska?...)


    A little visual aid, - helps a bit, don't ya think!? πŸ˜€

  • @ustaknow Mar 26



    Top row, possibly the most relevant:

    And, this ones been around for a long time:

    I had a moment, so, posted them. It still comes down to, you and the instrument πŸ˜€ overbending, blow-bending and etc.

    Well, - back to my jaw harp, "boing..., boing..., boing..." πŸ˜€

  • @quork  Mar 27

    @ustaknow , very nice, including the song art. But I was a little taken aback at having to pay $100. πŸ˜‰

    Nice harp. I like how you broke down the various parts. I’ll do the same this weekend, also no effects into a clean mic. I’ll see if I can get similar notes with my A harp. Fun times. P.S. Great laugh!

  • @ustaknow Mar 27

    @quork thanks! πŸ˜€ hahhh! I got lucky on the song art, - the crunched harp image was already a transparent layer... so, it may look like it took time, - not at all. I love when that happens.

    Anyway, I'm sure you'll get it with an A. You're a harmonica player;
    - me, like I'm not a drummer, - but I do play'em πŸ˜‰ hahhh!

  • @ustaknow Mar 29

    @quork that $100 is for a very good cause πŸ˜€ hahhh!

    -- fyi, not that you "need" a new harp, or anything, - but musiciansfriend had/has a 20% coupon on certain items. So, by accident πŸ˜€ a Low-A Key Hohner Rocket popped up. I had not seen a "$71.00" price on one of those for, I'd guess 2 years, shipping included (had to pay tax though, - they started that for my St. it seems).

    So, while it's still to high, I figured, what the heck, the .gov's sending $1200 bucks, and I'd just as soon skip two dinners @$35/ea and went for it!

    So, if you do a good job πŸ˜‰ - I can then steal your good work on this as well πŸ˜€ (kidding).

    So, those birds that came hungry, - food or pets? πŸ˜€
    (I been watching "Northen Exposure", old TV series, and see folks up there eat a tad diff 'rently.)

    I think I have to visit that area. That Island off the coast looks interesting, - well on the map. I'll bet Russia wishes that had all that back! My wife seems to be very interested, - those mountain views get to her it seems.

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