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Chromatic Harmonica



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Chromatic Harmonica
Chromatic Harmonica?

Hi, thanks for reading my question. I have been playing blues/country diatonic harmonica for 18 years now. Lately (on and off for the past 5 years or so) I have been listening to William Clarke, and George 'Harmonica' Smith. I am completely facinated by this style of playing. From the multituda of things that attract my ear the "ornamentations" used by Clarke and Smith on chromatic harmonica are particularly interesting! I have gone and bought four chromatic harmonicas. And to be honest, I find them frustrating. A much different beast for sure, compared to diatonics.

I am interested in knowing the "mechanics" of these ornamentations. Anyone who plays harmonica will know what I mean. Those sounds that pepper the song, from simply shouting woah! between chops, worbling awsome effects, and something I can only describe as dissonance of two notes. I am yet to understand how to acomplish these. Any help will be appreciated - frustrated new player of chromatic harmonica

Bill Clarke was my favorite. He and George were as close as father - son. I used to remember when Bill's brother played drums for him. George was the founder and King of the Chromatic if you ask me. Get a copy of "Blues in the Dark" and listen to the licks. Short, sweet, simple - perfection! Rod Piazza was also a protege' of George. I was introduced to George by another blues legend Doug MacLeod. Got to open the gig with Doug and his band, play 3 tunes while George observed and had a couple J.D.'s. He then got up on stage and said "That Boy is dangerous" I was elated, best and most valued compliment I have ever received. George then proceeded to play "Blues in the Dark". I had never in all my days heard anything like it. Dripping and then sizzling with emotion and soul. I don't think any George's best work was never captured on tape, you had to be there. My advice - STUDY AND PRACTICE THAT SONG UNTIL YOU CAN COPY EVERY NOTE. You will then discover some of the secrets. Lots of it is adjusting your breathing as well as putting in the time. You know what I mean. Take care - you have good music taste! ;->

Harmonica--diatonic versus chromatic

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