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1  All Things Harmonica / Other announcements, gigs and whatnot / Re: Is David Payne dead?? on: January 26, 2010, 10:17:36 am
Hello, Dave.

The report of your demise was misconstrued. We are all grateful.

I also was the victim of mistaken identity as a teen-ager. At the high school that I attended, a John Bruecker passed away. He was a second-year high school student as I was, but I didn't know him very well.

When I attended his funeral, I got the craziest looks from those who thought I was dead.

Dave, keep living as long as you can. There would be no Elk River Forum or Elk River Harmonicas without you.

John Broecker

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2  All Things Harmonica / Other announcements, gigs and whatnot / Re: Is David Payne dead?? on: January 22, 2010, 05:41:13 pm
Christelle and other Elk River Forum readers.

It would certainly be a shock to hear that Dave is dead, but I doubt it.

Who ever is administering this forum, Dave or other person, please answer Christelle's question.

The rest of us haven't heard anything, and we are hoping and praying that the answer is "no."

Dave replied to a post at 8:52:19 a.m. today, in the Elk River Forum.

Go to the category, "Feel Free to Ask Your Questions Here," and click "Loved Your Youtube posts on harp-L."

John Broecker
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3  All Things Harmonica / The chord board / Re: Am I only a bass player? ....or am I a chord player too? on: January 21, 2010, 10:07:53 am
Hello, George.

You are a professional multi-instrumentalist. You play chord, bass, chromatic and diatonic harmonicas. Do you play other instrumenrs, also?

When I was a member of the Milwaukee Harmonica Club's harmonica band (1997-2008), I was the club's best amateur chord and bass player. I was the only chord and bass player.

Except for Wally Peterman, the pro player, who was a club member for about a year.

We had 3 other bass harmonica owners who were too shy to attempt bass playing, and we had 2 other chord harp owners who were too shy to play the chord harp. We also had a Chromatica #263 owner who didn't use it.

It's my opinion that if you own the instrument, you should use it.  Why spend that money on an instrument, and then let it sit on a shelf? That made me angry at times.

I'm a pro percussionist, playing in 2 symphonies and 2 swing bands, a wedding band and a German folk music band. Playing chord, bass chromatic and diatonic harmonicas is a hobby for me, although I've been paid a few times to play and transcribe harmonica music.

John Broecker

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4  All Things Harmonica / The chord board / Re: Chord Harp Tuning on: January 01, 2010, 01:24:47 pm
Hello, Wally Peterman and others.

I had Seydel maike a chromatic chord harp for me in 2007, from the Chromatic Deluxe Baritone, with circular system note placement. It's similar to Jim's True Chromatic in that it's from the Baritone, and has a circular tuning system.

From what Jim has written, he has all chords available, starting anywhere on the harp. Mine is the same, going through 13th chords starting on every note. But Jim's is apparently tuned better. Mine is based on a C major tuning, while Jim's is based on a C minor tuning.  If this is over-simplified, Jim, please let us know.

Also, Jim's tuning system is more chord-like (more harmonious), as he spent a lot of time in audio research.

Both harps are slide chord chromatic harps, with a large number of chords available. And they can be played as slide chromatic  12-hole harps, after the new note placement system is mastered.

These are slide chromatic harps, with one big drawback. Where the Hohner and Suzuki 48 chord harps are octave-tuned, these 12-hole slide chord chromatics have single reed per note setup.

Two reeds per note would be very expensive, hard to tune, and weigh almost 2X as much as the single reed setup.

Although the Seydel Chromatic Deluxe Baritone slide chord-chromatic harps are very versatile, and have more than 48 chords available, the sound output is less than on an octave tuned 48 chord.

When using a microphone, the slide chromatic's smaller size and weight is a benefit, and the tonal balance is achieved on the mixing board.

John Broecker
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5  All Things Harmonica / The chord board / Re: Chord Harp Tuning on: December 28, 2009, 04:08:08 pm
Hello, Wally (48Chord) Peterman.

It's an honor and a priviledge seeing your words in print.

Sorry, I didn't know that you are "48Chord."

The reed tunings listed on your 1983 tuning sheet are understandable, but doing them is quite another thing. It would take me 10 lifetimes to retune my Hohner 48 chord harp, but you could do the work probably in about a month (maybe less?).

I'm  not asking you to repair my chord harp at this time, but maybe in the distant future. The Suzuki SCH-24 is my present chord harp. I like the plastic combs and separate bass notes.

You've said in the past to shelf the Suzuki and use the Hohner 48, and I'm ready to do that now, after achieving success with the SCH-24. I upgraded to the SCH-24 after playing the Huang Chordet 20 for a few years.

Thanks for your help. You are a great harp player and friend.

Happy Holidays

John Broecker
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6  All Things Harmonica / Elk River Main Forum / Re: Suzuki harmonicas on: December 27, 2009, 11:10:12 am
Hello, Jim and Other Suzuki Fans.

I'm not connected in any way to the Suzuki Musical Instrument Manufacturing Company, Ltd., of Hamamatsu, Japan, except through purchases of their products.

I own an MR-350 Suzuki Promaster un-valved; PH-20 Pipe-Humming Tremolo; SCH-24 Ensemble chord harp; AS-37 Alto Single; MR-250 Blues Master; MR-300 Overdrive; and did at one time own a SU-24 2-Timer Tremolo;and the Mini-harps Metal Major and Metal Minor.

I haven't tried any of their slide chromatics yet.

The Suzuki products are superior in every category. You'd have trouble finding anything bad about them (except the mini-harps, which are breathy (leak air).

John Broecker
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7  All Things Harmonica / The chord board / Re: Chord Harp Tuning on: December 27, 2009, 10:44:49 am
Hello, 48 Chord.

Thanks for your information about the just intonation system in the Hohner 48 Chrord Harmonica.

Wally Peterman gave me a tuning chart listing all of the Hohner 48's reeds' tunings, including - cent and + cent descriptions. I think that he said the chart was from a Hohner repair technician.

I could have looked on the chart, but I just remembered it now.

The tuning process for a 48 chord octave-system harp is way beyond my limited knowledge of reed tunings, and I wouldn't consider doing the work myself, but someday I may find the time to learn proper maintenance and repairs of my many harmonicas.

If you'd like a free copy of the Hohner 48 chord tuning chart, please send an e-mail request off-list. This offer is for "48chord" only, I can't afford to send copies to other Elk River 4M members.

The chart is hand-written, and is not legible in spots, but with your 48 chord tuning experience you'll be able to "fill in the blanks."

Thanks again. Happy Holidays.

John Broecker
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8  All Things Harmonica / The chord board / Chord Harp Tuning on: December 26, 2009, 03:20:49 pm
Hello Harpers of Chords.

About 11 years ago, I asled Rick Epping at Hohner USA (via phone) about the tuning system used for the Hohner 48 Chord Harmonica. Which system, Equal Temperament or Just Intonation?

I think he told me that it's tuned in equal temperament, but I can't remember for sure.

Does any Elk River Forum chord harp player know the answer?

Thanks for your help. If no one replies, I can call Hohner again for the answer.

Happy Holidays

John Broecker
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9  All Things Harmonica / Elk River Main Forum / Re: Old Hohner MB Question on: December 03, 2009, 05:38:24 pm
Hello, Virgmck and Jim.

The Hohner #364 Marine Band harp is 5 and 1/4ths inches right to left.  It has 12 holes, is Richter system note placement, and is currently available in the keys of C, D, and G.

The Hohner #364S has 12 holes and same left to right length, but has the solo system note placement, like the slide out on a slide chromatic. It's only available in C.

The Hohner #365 Marine Band is 6 and 1/4ths inches from left to right, has 14 holes, and is available in C and G keys.

The Hohner #365SBS (Steve Baker System) has the same amount of holes and length of the #365, Richter System, but the first 3 holes are an octave lower than a standard #1896 Marine Band. It's currently available in C, G, F, D, and A.

If your harp is an antique, it may be set in another key than those listed above. The Steve Baker model is relatively new, introduced probably less than 20 years ago.

John Broecker
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10  All Things Harmonica / The chord board / Re: Different ways to get started on: November 29, 2009, 04:33:07 pm
Hello, Cored Harpers.

My first chord harmonica was a set of 6 diatonic 10-holers, attached by velcro strips to a flat masonite board. The board was a 9" diameter board cut with 6 sides, and a large hole in the middle, for the Green Bullet microphone.

The unit was attached to a mic stand, and plugged into an amp. The unit rotated by spinning, for playing from one harp to another. It allowed for a total 36 total chords, major, minor and diminished.

That was all the chords that I needed, when asked to play the broadway musical, Big River. Most of the tunes required only one diatonic playing in one key, but one of the last tunes had many fast chord changes.

Other types of harmonicas were also needed: a bass harp and a slide chromatic in C. I used a four-octave Hohner Super 64 to cover the bass notes and chromatic tunes.

I couldn't afford either the Hohner double bass harp, or the Hohner 48 chord harp, so these were acceptable substitutes.

Since then, I've played Big River twice, once on percussion, and once on harmonicas. The second time on harmonicas, I had both bass harp and 48 chord harp, and new how to play them.

John Broecker
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11  All Things Harmonica / Harmonica History and Harmonica Collectors International / Re: "Private label" harmonicas ?? on: October 31, 2009, 08:20:10 am
Hello, Dddeon & The Searchers.

The Pioneer Brand harmonicas were found in a 1922 Montgomery Ward (Chicago) products catalog, on the same page with Hohner harmonicas.

The Pioneer 10-hole diatonic had rounded comb corners (|"Pioneer"|). There's a good chance that Hohner made these harmonicas.

The #102 and #103 Huang Silvertone and Star Performer clones shipped from Shanghai are products of the Shanghai General Harmonica Plant:

http://beijing.ndodo.com/detailed/30612.html

That's the most recent web address that I have.

John Broecker
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12  All Things Harmonica / Harmonica History and Harmonica Collectors International / Re: "Private label" harmonicas ?? on: October 24, 2009, 10:56:49 am
Hello, Dddeon.

Many major harmonica companies have made second brands (less expensive models of their main products) for sale, under another company name, to compete with the smaller companies' less expensive products.

It's a business strategy used world-wide by most manufacturers, as an attempt to crowd the low price competitors out of the business, to get a higher percentage of the low-priced market sales, or for other reasons.

Today's "Hohnica" Educator valveless slide chromatic harmonica is an example of this business practice. The Hohnica is made in China for Hohner, to compete with the low-price chromatic harmonica companies of China and Korea.

According to Lindenmuller and Haffner's book, "Harmonica Makers of Germany and Austria," published by the Deutsches Harmonika Museum, Trossingen, Germany, the Beaver Brand and Spear Brand harmonicas were made by Hohner. The Beaver Brand was featured in the 1927 Sears catalog, pg. 677.

After a quick page-through of many harmonica books, catalogs and magazine ads, the Pioneer Brand was not found, but I think it's another Hohner brand. A more in-depth investigation is needed.

The Regulation Band, another Hohner product, was a Hohner product (1905-1920), posibly in co-operation with the F.A. Bohm company; and the Registration Band, possibly made by Seydel, was a copy of the Hohner-Bohm product, according to the Haffner-Lindenmuller book.

F.A. Bohm also made the Steamer Brand harmonicas, as listed in a mid-1930s F.A. Bohm catalog.

Seydel might be responsible for the "Savoy Band" harmonicas, but that's a guess.

Sears Silvertone harmonicas were made from the 1950s to about 1970(?), using the name of the Sears Silvertone phonographs (record players) and musical instruments of the day. The Huang Silvertone is a company model made by Huang, not a second brand.

John Broecker



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13  All Things Harmonica / Elk River Main Forum / Re: Added Special Feature! on: October 12, 2009, 02:07:27 pm
Hello, Bird Dog.

What took me over 6 months to learn, you've learned instantly: The blow bend technique on your 10-hole Old Standby. I envy you. Bend notes are notes that are flattened in pitch.

You probably already know that only holes 7-10 have blow bends available. And, only holes 1-4 and 6 have draw bend notes available with the bending technique, on a Richter system diatonic harmonica.

Holes 5 (on a C harp, E and F notes) and 7 (on a C harp, B and C notes) have no bends possible.  These holes 5 and 7 have two reeds in a hole, but the two reeds are only a half step (semitone) interval apart.

But there is another harmonica technique that allows us to play chromatically on our 10-hole diatonics, if played melodically, in addition to the bending technique: The overblow/overdraw technique.

Overblows and overdraw notes are achieved by raising the pitch of a reed (sharped note). I have not mastered that technique, but maybe you have.

Best Regards

John Broecker


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14  All Things Harmonica / The chord board / Re: Chord patents on: October 08, 2009, 04:59:06 pm
Hello, Dave.

Thanks for the correction.

I mistakenly wrote 20 reeds per side of a double tremolo or octave harp (Matt.Hohner in Knittlingen harps), instead of 20 holes per side (40 reeds). The corrected listing is like the Richter model in the same catalog, but with different construction materials.

These are 10-hole double-sided tremolo or octave harps. A tremolo's or octave's holes are numbered to compare with a Richter diatonic 10-hole harp. In the tremolo/octave harps, each reed has a separate cell, and each reed pair  is vertically stacked and spelled alike.

The tremolo harp has 2 like reeds vertically stacked, but one is slightly de-tuned, for the tremolo effect. The octave harp has 2 like reeds vertically stacked, but one of the 2 reeds is tuned an octave lower than the other reed, for more resonance.

Vienna system note placement, Tremolo and Octave Harps, C major

(may start on "mi" of the scale, or "do" of the scale. Large letters are blow notes, small letters are draw notes):

   "Do" Scale:
             Hole:      1      2       3       4      5      6       7       8      9     10
     Top Plate: ||C |d |E |g |G |b |C |d |E |f |G |a |C |b |E |d |G |f |C |a||
Bottom Plate: ||C |d |E |g |G |b |C |d |E |f |G |a |C |b |E |d |G |f |C |a||

    "Mi" Scale:
             Hole:               2      3       4      5      6       7       8      9     10    11
     Top Plate:          ||E |g |G |b |C |d |E |f |G |a |C |b |E |d |G |f |C |a|E |b ||
Bottom Plate:          ||E |g |G |b |C |d |E |f |G |a |C |b |E |d |G |f |C |a|E |b ||

The above charts are for the 10-hole tremolos and 10-hole octave harps of the 1885 Pollman catalog. The 11-hole Japanese-Korean variety would lose hole #8 on both harps, adding another hole on the right side of the mouthpiece.

John Broecker




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15  All Things Harmonica / The chord board / Re: Chord patents on: October 08, 2009, 11:19:32 am
Hello, Tremolo Troopers.

This should probably be listed in the Harmonica History section.

It's only a guess, but the two-sided tremolo or octave harps probably first appeared in catalogs of the 1880s.

In the 1885 August Pollman catalog:

Richter sold a"Double" #3620 (20 holes per side, double reeds per note), and a #3624 (24 holes, etc), with brass reed plates, nickel covers, for $2.10 per dozen #3620, and $2.52 per dozen, #3624.

Matt. Hohner in Knittlingen sold a #3894 "Double," 20 reeds per side (40 reeds), with zinc reed plates and tin covers, for $6.30 per dozen. Hohner also sold a double-sided octave harp, "M. Hohner Concert," #31, 20 reeds per side, nickel plated covers, for $11 per dozen; and #32, with tin covers, for $8.40 per dozen.

Another curiosity. The original, un-patented Hohner Marine Band 10-hole Richter diatonic was first displayed in the 1885 Pollman catalog, listed as #96.

These are the earliest records that I have, about the double-sided tremolos and octave harps, but they may have been published in other catalogs before that 1885 date.

John Broecker



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