Author Topic: 48 Chord harmonica players: Sound off!  (Read 21230 times)

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Offline BeauKim

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48 Chord harmonica players: Sound off!
« on: October 09, 2019, 04:22:23 AM »
Hi everyone,
I'm just hoping to get the 48 chord harmonica players together and have a dedicated thread to sharing some techniques and experiences with the chord harmonica.  I've started playing it about over a year and a half ago and it has been a lot of fun! 

Please list something like this:

How long you have been playing the chord?
What is your reason for starting to play it? 
What brand/s do you play?
Favorite song/solo to play on it?
Any special techniques you would like to share? 
Anything else? 

I'll start: :)
I've been playing for about a year and a half.
My initial reason for playing the 48 chord was the rarity of it (at least in the US now). 
I started on a Hohner and now am awaiting an Easttop 48.
Favorite solo to play would be the Michael Burton version of Peg 'O My Heart, but I also want to learn more solos. 
For special techniques, I'd say imagining moving the chord straight out to your side while making big jumps.  This helps reduce hitting your lips or teeth. 
« Last Edit: October 09, 2019, 09:10:05 AM by Age »

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Re: 48 Chord harmonica players: Sound off!
« Reply #1 on: October 09, 2019, 03:47:50 PM »
Sadly, I don't have the breath to play chord--the SSCH is as close as I can come (it doesn't require much breath).
I have a 24 in storage, and every once in a while I dig it out to confirm the above.

Offline SlideMeister

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Re: 48 Chord harmonica players: Sound off!
« Reply #2 on: October 09, 2019, 07:12:32 PM »
My chord is fifty years old. My wife bought it for me as a birthday present along with bass. She paid $265 for the pair from the corner music store. I think CX Jazz covers are more than that nowadays.  Over the years, I've played the things now and then. Always fun!

Offline John Broecker

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Re: 48 Chord harmonica players: Sound off!
« Reply #3 on: October 10, 2019, 01:49:33 PM »
Hello, Beau Kim, Age & Gnarly.

I get real satisfaction playing the 48 chord harp,
and the Power slide bass harp (Hohner).

Beau- Your questions:

1. I've played the 48 chord harmonica for 22 years.
    I studied with Wally Peterman and Al Smith.

2. my reason for starting to play the 48 chord harp:
    It was a gift, from a French harmonica player.

3. What Brand? Hohner #267 Chromatica 48-chord harp.

4. Favorite song? they are all favorites, it's so much fun.

5. Any techniques to share? Know the music Circle of 5ths/4ths;
    know rhythms; use a wide embouchure, learn chord progressions.

6. Anything else? I also play the Huang Chordet 20; Suzuki 24-chord;
    Hohner Polyphonia #8, 36 chord, 3-deck chord harp; Tombo PC-1
    Pocket Chord harp (8 chords); and Hohner Polyphonia #4 Vineta,
    a 6-chord harp.

Best Regards

John Broecker
« Last Edit: April 27, 2020, 09:39:02 AM by John Broecker »
"Elton John is right up there with David Bowie."--Rick Harrison, "Pawn Stars" TV show, USA. Rick is discussing collectibles.

Offline SlideMeister

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Re: 48 Chord harmonica players: Sound off!
« Reply #4 on: October 13, 2019, 07:34:21 PM »
Here's my old bass and chord set that Budishka bought me for a birthday gift in about 1966? and a snipped of a backup I made back in 1983. These instruments are a lotta fun and I still take them places when I do a demonstration or something.
« Last Edit: October 13, 2019, 07:44:27 PM by Age »

Offline BeauKim

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Re: 48 Chord harmonica players: Sound off!
« Reply #5 on: October 21, 2019, 12:47:11 AM »
Thanks for sharing John, Gary, and Age!  Age, what was the track used for? 

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Re: 48 Chord harmonica players: Sound off!
« Reply #6 on: October 21, 2019, 12:59:16 AM »
That was the last part of gospel number where I faded out the regular backup and replaced it with "harmonica trio' I think I did that back in "79" ha ha !

Offline Jeromechosson

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Re: 48 Chord harmonica players: Sound off!
« Reply #7 on: December 27, 2019, 05:50:37 AM »
Hi guys. I play the chords harmonica sometimes i. Ensemble and most of the time with a loop station to do the harmony on jazz songs then i play the melody and impro on the chrom. The best way to progress is to play with either ireal pro with the chords and the drum and bass backtrack to get a good feel of the rythms. I find that gypsy jazz on the chord harmonica is good. The pompe 1 2 3 4 or at slower ythms and 1 2 and 3 4 is good. I got better at it mainly playing yousician.l ukulele version. The chords all fit well the chord 48 or sch56 suzuki. And the melody part is the first 2 octaves of the 12 holes chrom. So it is a very very good tool with new songs every week. I am struing most with chord invertions like c6 = a-7 or d—7 = f chord rootless. When playing in small ensemble it is good but in bigger jams i get the laser look from the pianos or guitarist asking me to bug off ... i don t know if you guys manage to blend it well with others. If yes what combo and what style ?

Offline John Broecker

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Re: 48 Chord harmonica players: Sound off!
« Reply #8 on: December 27, 2019, 11:17:14 PM »
Hello, Jerome.

I play in most USA popular music styles,
and a few Mexican, Caribbean island styles,
whatever is handed to me on a chord sheet.

For me, classical and baroque music styles
don't seem to fit, musically, on the chord harp.

When playing in a group, I ask the keyboard
or guitar player to name the key, and to give
me a chord sheet or lead sheet with the
proper chords.

If no such chord chart is given (the group plays
by ear), I ask for the key of the tune, and search
harp tabs.com and harpinanawhinin.com for the
chord sheet or lead sheet with chords.

On simple folk tunes, I can usually improvise on
the chords, but I lack the skills to improvise on
more advanced tunes or tunes in the jazz style.

I need a chord sheet, until I can play the chord
progression easily, without the sheet.

Best Regards

John Broecker
« Last Edit: December 28, 2019, 02:47:58 PM by John Broecker »
"Elton John is right up there with David Bowie."--Rick Harrison, "Pawn Stars" TV show, USA. Rick is discussing collectibles.

Offline BeauKim

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Re: 48 Chord harmonica players: Sound off!
« Reply #9 on: January 01, 2020, 01:41:50 PM »
Hi guys. I play the chords harmonica sometimes i. Ensemble and most of the time with a loop station to do the harmony on jazz songs then i play the melody and impro on the chrom. The best way to progress is to play with either ireal pro with the chords and the drum and bass backtrack to get a good feel of the rythms. I find that gypsy jazz on the chord harmonica is good. The pompe 1 2 3 4 or at slower ythms and 1 2 and 3 4 is good. I got better at it mainly playing yousician.l ukulele version. The chords all fit well the chord 48 or sch56 suzuki. And the melody part is the first 2 octaves of the 12 holes chrom. So it is a very very good tool with new songs every week. I am struing most with chord invertions like c6 = a-7 or d—7 = f chord rootless. When playing in small ensemble it is good but in bigger jams i get the laser look from the pianos or guitarist asking me to bug off ... i don t know if you guys manage to blend it well with others. If yes what combo and what style ?

That sounds great, Jerome.  I haven't played my 48 chord much in professional settings, yet, mostly the bass and diatonic.  I've brought it out to some great jam sessions and do some multi-tracking.  I think the 48 chord could blend pretty well in most ensembles assuming you have a good variety of rhythms and don't try to play very loudly.  It is different looking (novelty) to play a 2 foot long harmonica and making big jumps. 

Are you saying that you are playing split chords to substitute a C6 for an A-7?  I think that's fine as the standard layout 48 chord, which has all chords in root position, will give you different voicings and those chords are inversions of each other. 

I hope to hear more! 
-Boaz

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Re: 48 Chord harmonica players: Sound off!
« Reply #10 on: January 01, 2020, 01:49:51 PM »
It can be done, using the 48 chord as a modern, professional instrument.
But it requires some skills, as well as some knowledge of music and pop culture.
Not a lot of guys out there who can pull it off, sound off indeed!

I have gotten pretty good at using the SSCH56, but it's not as useful as a 48 in the right hands (I'm looking at you, Wally Peterman).

pyro_fire60099

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Re: 48 Chord harmonica players: Sound off!
« Reply #11 on: January 02, 2020, 03:36:18 PM »
Yeah Gary I'm reading this now
I like to look at 6th and minor 7th looking for the same sound but just wrapped in a different package.The 48 chord is very limited to the inversions you can get..have fun with them.




pyro_fire60099

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Re: 48 Chord harmonica players: Sound off!
« Reply #12 on: January 03, 2020, 02:46:53 PM »
Gary I've got time now to explain in some detail.

A true C6 layout is
       C-E-G-A
And on the 48 chord harmonica using the F and C chords
                F              C
          F-A-C-F // C-E-G -C
  You play the A-C with the left side of you mouth and  Tongue block the F note and on the right side of you mouth you play C-E-C

Am7 is easy
 
       Am.      Em
  A-C-E-A  E-G-B-E
  Am7 : C-E-A-E-G

Because of many years of playing split chords I can play the full Am chord and shape my jaw / mouth to play the E-G in the Em chord. And what's good to know is you can play a C6 between C7 - F7 chords that way you have a choice to keep your air supply in check because playing split  and over lapping chords take a lot more air.


         Wally
« Last Edit: January 04, 2020, 04:43:16 AM by pyro_fire60099 »

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Re: 48 Chord harmonica players: Sound off!
« Reply #13 on: January 04, 2020, 02:32:09 AM »
Thanks for sharing, you make it sound easy!

Offline BeauKim

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Re: 48 Chord harmonica players: Sound off!
« Reply #14 on: January 07, 2020, 08:56:20 PM »
Gary I've got time now to explain in some detail.

A true C6 layout is
       C-E-G-A
And on the 48 chord harmonica using the F and C chords
                F              C
          F-A-C-F // C-E-G -C
  You play the A-C with the left side of you mouth and  Tongue block the F note and on the right side of you mouth you play C-E-C

Am7 is easy
 
       Am.      Em
  A-C-E-A  E-G-B-E
  Am7 : C-E-A-E-G

Because of many years of playing split chords I can play the full Am chord and shape my jaw / mouth to play the E-G in the Em chord. And what's good to know is you can play a C6 between C7 - F7 chords that way you have a choice to keep your air supply in check because playing split  and over lapping chords take a lot more air.


         Wally

Nice Wally!  Your descriptions of how to play splits is really clear and would've saved me months of figuring it out before I actually bought my chord and understood the note layout.  That's really cool that you've widened your split range.  That must mean you're able to get a nice clear Bmaj7 chord (splitting between the E and the B major chord drawing in).  I can barely get it and it mostly sounds like a Ebm chord because I'm not quite reaching the root.  Thanks for chiming in! 

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Re: 48 Chord harmonica players: Sound off!
« Reply #15 on: January 08, 2020, 12:41:19 AM »
Wally is Tha Man—fo’ sho!

pyro_fire60099

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Re: 48 Chord harmonica players: Sound off!
« Reply #16 on: January 08, 2020, 01:10:06 AM »
I will layout the notes to play a Maj7 as the tongue block  shifted differently blow example: C and G chord and tongue block notes and get a G6 or CMaj7 or you can
draw a G7 & C7 and tongue block and also get a G6 or CMaj7

      Wally
« Last Edit: January 08, 2020, 01:12:11 AM by pyro_fire60099 »

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Re: 48 Chord harmonica players: Sound off!
« Reply #17 on: January 08, 2020, 02:34:31 AM »
So Beau, did you get your Easttop yet?

Offline BeauKim

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Re: 48 Chord harmonica players: Sound off!
« Reply #18 on: January 10, 2020, 02:29:51 PM »
I will layout the notes to play a Maj7 as the tongue block  shifted differently blow example: C and G chord and tongue block notes and get a G6 or CMaj7 or you can
draw a G7 & C7 and tongue block and also get a G6 or CMaj7

      Wally

I know of those.  I was talking about the Bmaj7 chord which there is only on possibility (I think) which is splitting between the B7 and F#7 chords.  Something like:
B7.               F#7.    (Tongue block marked with X's)
             X  (X)       (not played)
B D# F# A   F# A# C# E

I'm still working on trying to reach it as it's quite a wide split.  Not totally necessary but it would be nice.  Are you able to get a clean Bmaj7 chord while playing the root and major 7th, Pyro? 

Offline BeauKim

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Re: 48 Chord harmonica players: Sound off!
« Reply #19 on: January 10, 2020, 02:30:37 PM »
So Beau, did you get your Easttop yet?

I will soon, I think.  Have you ever worked on any Suzuki chords, Gary? 


pyro_fire60099

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Re: 48 Chord harmonica players: Sound off!
« Reply #20 on: January 10, 2020, 03:26:57 PM »
Or you can tongue block Abm & Ebm to play a BMaj7

                x  x
  Ab( Cb E Ab//Eb GB Bb)Eb

Cover with your mouth on the left side play
Cb tongue block E -Ab and on the right side of your tongue play Eb-Gb-Bb

This BMaj7 is lower and works very well
BeauKim all my splits and over lap chords are clean and dead on when I use them because I've been playing this style of chords for over 30 years and I've made my share of mistakes to get them right..lots of practice.

I'm able to spread my mouth to play root (B)  well you've got to but it takes a lot cuts in the corners of your mouth and learning how to mis-shape your mouth
     Wally
« Last Edit: January 10, 2020, 04:10:37 PM by pyro_fire60099 »

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Re: 48 Chord harmonica players: Sound off!
« Reply #21 on: January 10, 2020, 07:42:29 PM »
So Beau, did you get your Easttop yet?

I will soon, I think.  Have you ever worked on any Suzuki chords, Gary?
Not much . . .
I am working on a SDB-39 to get it ready to sell. Tuning . . .

Offline Jeromechosson

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Re: 48 Chord harmonica players: Sound off!
« Reply #22 on: January 16, 2020, 11:01:34 AM »
 Wally. How about Gb6 !?!? :P

pyro_fire60099

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Re: 48 Chord harmonica players: Sound off!
« Reply #23 on: January 16, 2020, 02:15:56 PM »
You tongue block between a Gb7 and B7 chord

Offline Jeromechosson

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Re: 48 Chord harmonica players: Sound off!
« Reply #24 on: January 16, 2020, 06:39:20 PM »
Ah ah. I was pulling your leg thinking there is nothing left to F# to tongue block on the blow upler sider just to realize that the draw on F#7 does have some thing left ! I did not read the draw part. Got it. Holes x23x/123x on blow or draw with the right chord being the one i want to make a 6 chord. Can also play Am on c6 knowing thAt the bass player  shall take care of the C right !?

Offline BeauKim

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Re: 48 Chord harmonica players: Sound off!
« Reply #25 on: January 28, 2020, 02:29:13 AM »
Ah ah. I was pulling your leg thinking there is nothing left to F# to tongue block on the blow upler sider just to realize that the draw on F#7 does have some thing left ! I did not read the draw part. Got it. Holes x23x/123x on blow or draw with the right chord being the one i want to make a 6 chord. Can also play Am on c6 knowing thAt the bass player  shall take care of the C right !?

Yes, you have the tongue block position correct for an F#7.  C6 and Am7 are inversions of each other when in root position and function in different way depending on the key and harmonies.  Because of the fixed layout of almost all of the Hohner chords made (all in root position) the C chords are the lowest and the B chords are the highest in pitch.  So when playing split chords, sometimes the intended chord is in an inversion.  Example: to play an FM7 between F and C majors, it would technically be in 3rd position which would be EFAC pitches listed lowest to highest.   If you wanted to play an FM7 with F being the lowest note, you could split between Dm and Am carefully blocking the D. 

Disclaimer: I've read some people on this board describe the lowest note in the chord as the type of inversion, but in Classical (and Jazz) Music Theory this wouldn't be called, "7th inversion."  It is called 3rd inversion as the it is the b7th as the lowest note)

Boaz

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Re: 48 Chord harmonica players: Sound off!
« Reply #26 on: May 15, 2020, 07:10:13 AM »
(This is about a chord harmonica but not a continuation of the thread as it has developed.)

What is the recommended procedure to clean the wood comb on my Hohner 48? I do plan to send it to a specialist for windsaver replacement (the original leather valves are still there most of which are in good shape) but for now I am happy to play it as is but I would like to clean the comb.

Thanks for any advice. I do get looks of surprise and wonder when I pull it out to play during the Zoom session. If I was forced to choose only one harmonica to play it might very well be this one.

Ken

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Re: 48 Chord harmonica players: Sound off!
« Reply #27 on: May 15, 2020, 08:53:46 AM »
Hello, Ken (Malarz).

There are many ways to clean a wood-combed harmonica.
When cleaning any wood-combed harmonica, cleaning
liquids should NOT be used.

Water and other liquids may cause the comb to warp, crack,
split or peel.

On the factory-installed Hohner 48 chord Chromatica, #267,
nails hold the reed plates to the comb. DON'T remove the reed
plates from the comb.

Here's one way to clean the Hohner Chromatica #267:

1. Remove the covers and hinges, store the screws in a cup
or other small container. Note the lengths of the bolts and nuts, for
the covers; and shorter length screws for the hinges.

2. Clean the covers and hinges with a silver paste and a soft cloth.
Set the covers and screws aside.

3. Using a dry, clean toothbrush, brush into the reed chambers,
loosening and removing dried particles. Tap the comb into your
hand, with the chambers' holes down, and drop the particles into a
waste basket.

4. If the chamber walls need cleaning, use a jeweler's small, slotted
screw driver. LIGHTLY scrape the walls to remove particles. Tap the
comb, holes down, into your hand, then drop the particles into a
waste basket.

5. To clean the outside of the reed plates: This step is not mandatory,
and may be skipped. Check around the valves and reeds, to see that
they are free to move. If not free, remove the obstructions: 

(DON'T remove the plates from the comb). Use a Q-Tip (or or other
cotton-tipped applicator), dipped in 70% isopropyl alcohol, and wipe
around the reeds and valves. DON'T touch the reeds or valves.

Don't worry about the inside chambers' reed plate. Do only the outer
side reed plates. DON'T try to clean the reeds. You might snag them,
or worse. Reeds don't normally require cleaning.

6. To clean/repair the leather valves: DON'T. Replace them with Mylar
plastic valves, or other synthetic (water-proof) valves. Or, hire a harp
repair-maintenance technician to do the work for you. SlideMeister
George Miklas is a certified Hohner harmonicas repair technician. Or.
contact Hohner USA for repairs.

SlideMeister Gary Lehmann (Gnarly) is also a pro harp technician.

7. Your Hohner 48-chord harp has leather valves, so it probably has
an expired warranty. Leather valves were installed on all Hohner valved
products from circa 1902 until after World War 2, when Mylar valves
were introduced on all valved Hohner harmonicas.

8. Cleaning-restoring-retuning a 48-chord harmonica can be extremely
time-consuming and risky work, even for a pro repair technician.  If it
was my 48-chord harp, I'd hire a professional repair tech to do the work.

Best Regards, Stay Healthy

John Broecker
« Last Edit: May 16, 2020, 07:53:26 PM by John Broecker »
"Elton John is right up there with David Bowie."--Rick Harrison, "Pawn Stars" TV show, USA. Rick is discussing collectibles.

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Re: 48 Chord harmonica players: Sound off!
« Reply #28 on: May 15, 2020, 02:07:26 PM »
Thanks for the recommendation.
I recently reconditioned a Suzuki chord harp, a 24 chord. However, I have no experience with a Hohner chord.
I would be willing to work on this one, but there are others here who have experience (George and Boaz come to mind, and there is always Wally Peterman if he has the time and inclination).
Thanks again to John for his support.

Offline BeauKim

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Re: 48 Chord harmonica players: Sound off!
« Reply #29 on: May 15, 2020, 04:23:42 PM »
Thanks for the recommendation.
I recently reconditioned a Suzuki chord harp, a 24 chord. However, I have no experience with a Hohner chord.
I would be willing to work on this one, but there are others here who have experience (George and Boaz come to mind, and there is always Wally Peterman if he has the time and inclination).
Thanks again to John for his support.

Thanks for including me on the list, Gary!  While I do have experience with the Hohner chord, I will have to take a pass on it at this time.  One other person to add on this list is Bill Morris.  Malarz, I hope you choose one of these listed people to get your Hohner 48 chord in shape!