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Author Topic: Any serious harmonica players here? (BB related, yes)  (Read 498 times)
aeijtzsche
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« on: May 16, 2020, 05:25:38 PM »

I play harmonica, but I would not say I'm super savvy about the intricacies of them.

Harmonica appears all over Beach Biys records, perhaps most famously in its orchestral bass form, but I'd like to do a quick survey of all notable Harmonica parts.  Where I could use input is, A) reminding me which tracks one's on; and B) lending an ear to the different types.

Eventually, I want to do a video or two on harmonicas in Beach Boys music, so it should be constructive.

Also, it could be fun to talk about the early session harmonica players, Cappy Lewis and Billy Riley, as well as the stalwart Tommy Morgan.

Right now I'm concerned with When I grow up and (Today's) Ronda.  The harp on When I grow up sounds like it could be a tremolo in Ab, and Ronda seems likely to be Diatonic in Ab so as to play on the draw in Db/C#? 

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Aum Bop Diddit
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« Reply #1 on: May 16, 2020, 06:48:32 PM »

I play harmonica, but I would not say I'm super savvy about the intricacies of them.

Harmonica appears all over Beach Biys records, perhaps most famously in its orchestral bass form, but I'd like to do a quick survey of all notable Harmonica parts.  Where I could use input is, A) reminding me which tracks one's on; and B) lending an ear to the different types.

Eventually, I want to do a video or two on harmonicas in Beach Boys music, so it should be constructive.

Also, it could be fun to talk about the early session harmonica players, Cappy Lewis and Billy Riley, as well as the stalwart Tommy Morgan.

Right now I'm concerned with When I grow up and (Today's) Ronda.  The harp on When I grow up sounds like it could be a tremolo in Ab, and Ronda seems likely to be Diatonic in Ab so as to play on the draw in Db/C#?  

THOUGHTS!

I am a pretty decent harp player, played in various bands (and as a vocalist/songwriter) over many years but in a rock/blues/country style pretty much.  So I don't have a lot to offer on what you put out there other than you are obviously aware of "cross harp" and yes D flat would be the subtonic "draw" harp to A flat.  And I certainly love Brian's use of harmonica, particularly the bass harmonica.

Side note -- I recall Rod Stewart once cracking "the harmonica, the cheapest instrument you can buy."  Recently I did an inventory on my harps and realized I owned close to a hundred (mostly regular harps).  At $35 - 45 (or more) a pop I figured that would be in the neighborhood of $4000!  Could get a fair guitar for that I imagine.....
« Last Edit: May 16, 2020, 06:56:37 PM by Aum Bop Diddit » Logged

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aeijtzsche
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« Reply #2 on: May 16, 2020, 07:07:43 PM »

Cool!

Yeah I could see how getting an odd harp here and there over the years could really add up. 
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aeijtzsche
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« Reply #3 on: May 17, 2020, 10:28:44 AM »

Can anybody think of any Harmonica on Summer Days??
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Aum Bop Diddit
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« Reply #4 on: May 17, 2020, 03:27:56 PM »

Cool!

Yeah I could see how getting an odd harp here and there over the years could really add up. 

I have bought dozens of A harps alone -- as A is the  subtonic/draw harp for E which so many rock/blues songs are in and I was not gentle with them.

In the opening scenes (not the opening credits) of "Green Acres" an instrumental version of the theme songs plays and for years I couldn't figure out the buzzy instrument until I was reading a discussion on some BB board where they were discussing the bass harmonica then bingo!

The Beach Boys tune with prominent harmonica that is sticking in my brain at the moment is "Cabinessence."  Not a bass harmonica -- sounds as if it is being played straight/tonic, probably on some larger fancier harmonica.  I used to have a chromatic which I never learned to play and a few bigger ones -- in particular I recall a Hohner "Echo" that I would play straight with a flange/delay where it would sound like an organ.
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aeijtzsche
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« Reply #5 on: May 17, 2020, 07:04:02 PM »

Cool!

Yeah I could see how getting an odd harp here and there over the years could really add up.  

I have bought dozens of A harps alone -- as A is the  subtonic/draw harp for E which so many rock/blues songs are in and I was not gentle with them.

In the opening scenes (not the opening credits) of "Green Acres" an instrumental version of the theme songs plays and for years I couldn't figure out the buzzy instrument until I was reading a discussion on some BB board where they were discussing the bass harmonica then bingo!

The Beach Boys tune with prominent harmonica that is sticking in my brain at the moment is "Cabinessence."  Not a bass harmonica -- sounds as if it is being played straight/tonic, probably on some larger fancier harmonica.  I used to have a chromatic which I never learned to play and a few bigger ones -- in particular I recall a Hohner "Echo" that I would play straight with a flange/delay where it would sound like an organ.

Tommy Morgan, who plays on Cabinessence, is a pretty dyed-in-the-wool chromatic guy.
« Last Edit: May 17, 2020, 07:04:30 PM by aeijtzsche » Logged
Lonely Summer
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« Reply #6 on: May 18, 2020, 06:40:49 PM »

I've been playing harmonica in the Bob Dylan style for many years - neck brace with harmonica while I strum the guitar. Only recently have I dabbled in blues harp. I don't have a clue about the kind of harmonica playing used on Beach Boys records.
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