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HOHNER Golden Melody, Big River, Special Twenty, Meisterklasse, CX12 chromatic, Auto Valve.

BUSHMAN Delta Frost, Souls Voice, Bush master.

SUZUKI Manji, Chromatix smx48

Probably my most expensive instrument. But how can that be you say? Such a little thing.Yes little, but many in number and they are always wearing out. So, at any where from 20 to 40 bucks a pop, and when on tour i use about 15 different keys and tunings plus at least one spare for each, better to have more than one spare... well you do the math.

I have tried many different makes, Hohner of course is a good start. The Big river model is probably the best value in harps out there. I often get custom tunings made by Jeff Wilson, the Hohner repair guy for Canada, at Wilson music services in Aurora Ontario Canada. One tuning i use a fair bit is kind of half major half minor. Major chord on all the blows and minor on all the draws.

I also use the double reed Auto Valve harp which has a huge sound due to the octave reeds for each hole

Another make I quite like is Bushman Harmonicas out of Ohio. John Hall and company teamed up with a harmonica factory in eastern Germany to create the Bushman line of harmonicas. They make a fine selection of harmonicas but my particular favorite is the Delta Frost line. These harmonicas use phosphor bronze reeds instead of the usual brass. They are very durable and have a very gritty sound.

lots more harmonica info



Plug a microphone into a tube amp, turn it up and play your harmonica through it and a whole new world opens up. Loud and proud. Early bluesmen used to play through movie projector amplifiers. With that in mind a good friend of mine, harmonica wizard Mike Stevens, teamed up with HOMEWRECKER amps out of Sarnia Canada and created a small amp based on those old projector amps. It is surprisingly loud for a small package. Not long after I started using it for harps I discovered that it worked well for the electric mando I play as well (see mandolins). The microphone I am using is an old AKG D1000. The combination of mic and amp is what gives each player their distinctive sound. I also use delay's samplers and tremelo pedals to expand the pallet even further. Check out these sites for more info.


check out harmonica links for more harmonica info than you will know what to do with



The cromatic harmonica is a bit of a differeint beast. Well you are still sucking and blowing but the hole arrangement is a bit different. And then there is the slide that takes each note up a semitone. A very beautiful sound and all those extra notes.

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