Harmonica solos--like 'em, hate 'em, it depends (on what)?

Discussion in 'Music to Your Ears' started by RoscoeElegante, Aug 19, 2019.

Harmonica solos--like 'em, hate 'em, it depends (on what)?

  1. Like 'em

    27.5%
  2. Hate 'em

    3.8%
  3. It depends on whether they're artfully done

    36.3%
  4. It depends on whether they're brief

    6.3%
  5. It depends on someone other than Dylan is doing them

    8.8%
  6. It depends on their purpose/context in the song

    31.3%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. Michael A.

    Michael A. Tele-Afflicted Ad Free Member

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    Brian Jones in this one kills.

     
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  2. jimash

    jimash Friend of Leo's

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    Roger Daltry gets off some really good licks here.
     
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  3. Stringbanger

    Stringbanger Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I play so, uh huh! I never thought Neil Young was that good on harp, yet he doesn’t overdo it when he plays one. The harmonica fits many of his melancholic songs though. I play a few Neil songs with the rack.

    I even like some of Bob’s harp songs, but Kim Wilson is my favorite. Jerry Portnoy is right up there too, although I never saw him.

    Some other top players I have seen:

    Charles Musselwhite
    Mark Hummel
    James Cotton

    Whole-heartedly agree with the general consensus here that less is best. I was once that guy who played too many notes where I wasn’t suppose to. Another guitar player told me in a roundabout way that I was stepping on other people’s toes. I fixed that problem right away. I couldn’t believe how much better I sounded when I became more of a minimalist.

    To answer the OP’s question, yes of course I like harmonica solos, and although I lean towards the chromatic guys, I like diatonic too.

     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2019
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  4. ASATKat

    ASATKat Friend of Leo's

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    No one has brought up Howard Levy.
    I first heard Levy in early Bele Fleck and the Flecktones along with Victor Wooten. Howard played mostly keys but he would whip out the blues harp and blow everyone's minds.

    Howard could do something I've never seen/heard before, he could play bebop with all its chromaticism on a blues harp. I have no idea how he did it but it's a very rare thing to hear from a harp.

     
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  5. ASATKat

    ASATKat Friend of Leo's

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    There's no doubt that the Fords brothers are ultra talented, but most people only know of Robben Ford, but if there was a "Robben Ford" of harp it would be his brother Mark Ford, the youngest of the brothers, Pat Ford on drums, these guys just always killed it.

    Here's Mark and his bros, slow blues,,

     
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  6. KyAnne

    KyAnne Tele-Afflicted

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    Like a tiny drop of oil for the fretboard............a little goes a long long way.
     
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  7. teleforumnoob

    teleforumnoob Friend of Leo's

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    If the player can play decent backup without stepping all over everyone else, then I don’t begrudge a well played harp solo. Howard Levy is awesome. He can bend on the blow as well as the draw, that’s how he gets the chromatics on a diatonic harp.

    Magic Dick Whammer Jammer! All time classic harp solo.
     
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  8. Blue

    Blue Tele-Holic

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    Can't.
     
  9. Chicago Matt

    Chicago Matt Friend of Leo's

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    I was going to pretty much post this ^^^, and then saw Brookdalebill already posted it. I like little-walter-style for sure, but it gets old very fast. I couldn't agree more about Stevie Wonder and his use of the chromatic. The one that immediately comes to mind is this one. (starts at 1:37). And a big ditto on the vocal - so great!
     
  10. alnico357

    alnico357 Tele-Holic

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    I play some harmonica in addition to guitar and vocals. Audiences seem to really like a little harmonica. I consider it to be like the sprinkles on the icing on the cake. You don't need a lot.
     
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  11. EllroyJames

    EllroyJames Friend of Leo's

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    Today I like ’em nice & simple like this :cool:

     
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  12. bangcaster

    bangcaster Tele-Meister

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    Can't beat this!!!!! ever
     
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  13. aux8

    aux8 Tele-Meister

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    Yeah, what about When the Levee Breaks? Not a solo but the fabric of the song
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2019
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  14. aux8

    aux8 Tele-Meister

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    Johnny Marr has recorded a couple of killer non-blues harmonica song intros

    Still Ill


    Slow Emotion Replay
     
  15. hotpot

    hotpot Tele-Afflicted

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    I loved them from listening to the Beatles back in the day with one of their first hits 'Love Love me do'.

    Being a lifelong Beatles fan I tried to emulate John Lennon playing harmonica, I bought an Harmonica in the key of 'C' and proceeded to learn the piece....Badly. :oops:

    The only trouble was our cats went absolutely mental as soon as I started :eek: I had to retreat to the garage to practice :D

    I have an admiration for these musicians who can play a Harmonica, play guitar & also sing, It took a great deal of practice to get the breathing right.

     
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  16. Georox

    Georox Friend of Leo's

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    I'll take Neil Young, Bob Dylan or almost anyone over that hideous harp shredding John Popper.
     
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  17. ASATKat

    ASATKat Friend of Leo's

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    Can!

    Dylan plays the harp perfect for his style, he has good timing and hits the pitch he wants.

    I'm sure he spent time thinking of how he wanted to play. I would imagine Dylan had heard Muddy and Little Walter, and Bloomfield. I wouldn't be surprised if Dylan learned some signature harp licks. But he didn't use them in his shows, he had a "product" and a job to give the people his raggedy style.
     
  18. ASATKat

    ASATKat Friend of Leo's

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    She sounds a bit like Mark Ford. Similar phrasing. I'd like to hear something more uptempo. But Mark Ford couldn't even get close to Indiara's shoulders, I mean the image will not upload in my brain, but that's a good thing.

    She's very good. Thanks
     
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  19. ASATKat

    ASATKat Friend of Leo's

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    One of a kind Howard Levy plays
    Amazing Grace.

    He's definitely amazing. Single notes, two notes in counterpoint, three voices, and add his percussive hits and you get one of the finest virtuosos on the instrument. And he keeps it pretty much in the country blues, I'm sure he could start playing Jimi on the harp if he wanted. You should hear him play his bread and butter instrument, the piano.

    Enjoy, swim in his virtuosity,

     
  20. codamedia

    codamedia Friend of Leo's

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    Harmonic itself is fine... sadly too many people think it's easy and believe they can play it.

    I am not a fan of straight harp (Dylan and most folk artists).
    I like cross harp, played well. Suits many styles of music...
     
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2019
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