Originally posted August 6
Back when I was playing harp all the time, I migrated to Hohner’ “Pro Harps” because of their volume, rich tone, and reliability. Recently, I wanted to play harp-on-a-bracket on a song I’m working up on banjo. Since I’m now going back and forth between multiple banjos and guitars, I’m also considering getting a harp bracket and harps to go with each of the instruments I use most often. I need C, G, and D harps for my own repertoire. (I don’t mind having an A along if I have room for it, but you’d be surprised how infrequently folks are jamming on an E blues at places I’ve taken my banjo.)
The last “Pro Harp” I bought cost me $13, if that gives you any idea of how long I’ve had these. But now they are far too expensive to buy multiples at a time. .
I could buy Pro Harps in combos, with cases or whatever, but the combinations that had the harps I wanted included harmonicas in keys I didn’t need and accessories I couldn’t use, and consequently they cost too much.
When I started shopping, Musician’s friend has three-packs of Special 20s for $98, but they were C, G, and A. Yes, I know the A is thrown in for the E blues fans, but skipping D doesn’t work for me. Buying a D harp separately would add $35 to the mix.
They had a case of 5 (C,G,D,A, and E) for $130. (They don’t come up on searches any more but I found them here: http://www.musiciansfriend.com/folk-traditional-instruments/hohner-case-of-special-20s-harmonica-5-pack )
So I ordered that set. The case would hold 7, so I ordered F and Bb as well. Also an Eb, though it doesn’t fit in the case. Now 95% of the keys I’m EVER likely to encounter are covered.
I also ordered three more harp brackets, from Elderly because they had them cheap.
Today, I tried out a song I wanted to play on banjo and use a harp bracket for. It’s in the key of A but requires a D harp, so I dug out my first “Blues Harp,” a D I bought back in the 1970s. Turns out, it’s too far gone. I couldn’t lay my hands on my on D Pro harp, so I fished out the new D Special 20 that came with the set. Yes, I tested the Special 20s when they first came, but this is my first time using one to play actual music, so this is the first real test.
In the bracket it doesn’t seem to have quite as rich a tone as my old Pro Harps did. But most people probably don’t buy these to use that way. In my hands, it’s very responsive and loud, and I have no trouble coaching a good tone out of it. It also has all of the features that made my old Pro harps durable and low-maintenance, so I’ll give it 5 stars. Since I’m buying multiples, I’ll probably stay with these for my harmonica-bracket uses.
Of course that brings us to the ongoing conundrum – if I want a C,D, and G harp to put in the cases for my other most-used banjos and guitars, I’ll have to buy another set with another E harp I certainly won’t need.
Anybody have D pro harps or special twenties they have never played that they would like to trade for E harps I’ve never played?
Oh that’s right hardly ANYBODY ever plays E harp.