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Old 11-28-2005, 07:43 AM   #1
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Question Playing Harmonica like Bob Dylan

OK, a while back I found an old harmonica it a draw that I had when I was a kid and lost years ago. As I fancy myself as a bit of a multi-instrumentalist I tried learning it properly instead of just blowing into it randomly like I used to. Now I want to play like Bob Dylan so I have a few questions which shouldn't be too challenging for anyone who can play harmonica.

1. Does the fact that I had this harmonica as a kid suggest to you that it is a piece of **** and if I want to take this even half seriously I should get a new harmonica?
2. How do you know what harmonica holder (is that even the right name? you know what I mean, the thing that goes around your neck so you can play guitar at the same time) to buy. There seems to be a bit of a variation in price so I was wondering how one could be better than the other.
3. I can play blowing in the wind without any real difficulty but find myself playing several notes rather than just one at a time, partly because it's easier and partly because it seems to sound better/fuller to me than playing single notes. Does Dylan do this when he plays? because I think I sound more like him when I do
4. Is Dylan actually any good? I mean, I like listening to him play guitar but most of his songs are just strumming three chords so I wouldn't say he needed to be a good guitarist. I was wondering if it was the same for his harmonica playing e.g. It sounds good but is actually not much more complicated than some kid blowing into it randomly.

That's for taking the time to read this. Please help.
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Old 11-28-2005, 09:26 AM   #2
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Hey, I do the dylan Thing from time to time (I just got the standard harmonica holder). First of all, you can go hardcore on the harmonica (like have a whole box of them and post ads in the paper saying "Harmonica Player for hire") but it DOES sound cool just making up a melody (if you have a few extra notes in the mix, no big deal, it's all "In Key" and it sound sweet. And it always blows people away ("He's singing and playing guitar and doing the harmonica thing, WOW") even though it's so freaking easy.

Does it sound good to you? Ask someone who knows nothing about music, good? Then it's good, maybe not ad in the paper good, but good.
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Old 11-29-2005, 12:34 PM   #3
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thanks for that. Anyone got anything to add?
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Old 12-01-2005, 01:04 PM   #4
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Old 12-02-2005, 09:30 PM   #5
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Dylan didn't actually know how to play harmonica 'properly' (or if he did, he didnt do it). He just blew into it. It sounded great, but it wasn't anything complicated with bends and stuff, it was just him blowing a lot.
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Old 12-03-2005, 12:46 AM   #6
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I'd suggest going out and picking up a Hohner Blues Harp or 2 in common major keys such as C, G, A, D, or E; pick however many you feel you'd need or you'd actually use- they're around 20 bucks a piece. Most of Dylan's harmonica stuff was in C, G, or E. Every half-way harmonica player used to play one of those guys- Neil Young, Dylan, I'm sure Daltrey and Plant as well, and they sound really good for the price. Then go out and pick up a standard harmonica holder. You can get lessons online for free I'm sure on how to actually play the thing properly. As long as you're playing in the same key as your harmonica, you'll have a hard time actually hitting a bad note.
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Old 12-03-2005, 09:57 AM   #7
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Thanks. Now I know what I want for Christmas.
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