Traditional Harmonica


Traditional Harmonica

For everyone that enjoys Irish/Celtic/Bluegrass/Scottish music on mouth-organ type instruments, chromatic, diatonic, tremolo and all instruments alike are welcome! 

A place to discuss harmonicas share tabs and music. 

Members: 36
Latest Activity: Jan 31, 2019

Discussion Forum

New FB group for bluegrass, country, old-time, prewar Blues and Celtic harmonica

Started by Glenn Weiser. Last reply by Karlyne Deraney Jan 31, 2019. 2 Replies

Announcement- I have just launched a new FB group for bluegrass, country, old-time, prewar Blues and Celtic harmonica. If you like or play the harmonica in any of these styles, come on over and check…Continue

Tags: Book, Face, on, Harmonica, Celtic

Trad Harmonica lessons

Started by Boyen. Last reply by Bill McHale Dec 7, 2017. 3 Replies

Hello everyone;So the other day I made a channel for people that want to learn tradition folk music on the diatonic harmonica, it contains currently 14 lessons and I want to add to that as I…Continue

Tags: harmonica, lessons, music, folk, traditional

What song are you learning right now?

Started by Boyen. Last reply by malcolm nash Mar 19, 2017. 7 Replies

I thought this would be a nice topic, potentiall inspiring others for music to learn on our favourite instrument. Currently, I'm working on St. Annes Reel, a really nice reel from which Tony also put…Continue

Tags: learning, songs, practice, harmonica

Cape Clear

Started by Patrick O-Shaun Young Dec 23, 2014. 0 Replies

Haven't been posting of late. Here's another one I found. Really nice slow aire, played on my Seydel Steel, Low-D, diatonic reed harp.  B-minor.  Cape Clear or Oilean Cleire (Gaeltach).Looks like an…Continue

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Comment by Boyen on December 26, 2013 at 23:06

Loved your rendition of Christmas in Killarny Normand, you really nailed it.  I and my other half started dancing when we heard it!

Lovely accordion playing as well and overall it seemed like you had a great setting there to make awesome music, must've been great Normand, I wish I could find something like that around here.

I think he has a different one than me It seems like he has a D/G accordion as he's playing mostly on the outside row. I currently got a C#/D accordion which is more or less a chromatic instrument that can also play like a D mouth organ if you stay on the inside row. I have been greatly progressing on that one by the way, lovely thing. 

Chromatics are significantly different in the way you are thinking, thinking diatonic is relatively straightforward tunes in G (Emin/Ador,Dmyx etc..) are all played on the G harmonica, for a chromatic it's a little less straightforward. In theory, you could play all Irish tunes on a C chromatic, in practice not so much as the ornaments don't work well on a C chromatic at all. You would need a reversed slide G chromatic for that one I believe.. 

Try contacting Hilvert from this group, he knows a great deal about em. 

Comment by Normand Chouinard on December 26, 2013 at 18:33

I also introduced a small video from my friend Dave. He plays accordion, same type of music that Boyen wants to explore with his new accordion. I hope you enjoy. Music can also be fun.

Comment by Normand Chouinard on December 26, 2013 at 17:46

When I was fifteen years old, I delivered medications from a Drug store in Montreal so I could make some money to keep, up with my fiends. There was a lot of "second hand shops in Montreal in these days. I had bought this Koch Harmonica and it looked very sturday. It had a plastic comb and it came in the key of C. I stripped it down and cleaned it up with Isopropyl alcohol like the druggist I  worked for suggested. He also told me that Methyllic alcohol could be deadly if inhaled or ingested. After assembling it back, I tried to play it. It sounded good but required much more air than a normal diatonic. Pushing the slide it brought you to the key of G. I found that this wasn't for me and kept playing Diatonics. However, some harmonica players can swear by them. So although I wish I could help you, this is all I can say. They are hader to blow and draw. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Comment by Patrick O-Shaun Young on December 26, 2013 at 16:35

KelticDeadI tried my hand at chromatics, and it DOES take a different approach for handling the instrument. I still like the sounds of the diatonics, and I don't mind switching keys. Some folk refer to chromatics as putting a piano up to your mouth, and others swear by them. A lot more tongue action going on. Brendan Power is about the best resource I can suggest. He's a master at all types of harmonicas.

Shaun - that KelticDead guy

Comment by noble savage on December 26, 2013 at 15:15

hey guys, my father plays trad music and knows i've been giving an attempt to get more involved in the music myself. He gave me a chromatic (hohner educator) for xmas, but i have no idea how to go about the thing? any suggestions (websites, books) on playing chromatic for trad irish music?


happy new year!

Comment by Patrick O-Shaun Young on December 26, 2013 at 3:59

Normand. You really nailed that "Christmas in Kellarney" tune. Great job.

Comment by Normand Chouinard on December 25, 2013 at 23:36

I hope this last video I posted will complement your Christmas. It is Christmas in Killarney, a good Irish Trad Christmas song. This was played in company of the Prospect Jammers during their Christmas party. Since we last commented on this Christmas song, Boyen, I thought you might enjoy. Best of the day to you and your family.

Comment by Normand Chouinard on December 18, 2013 at 22:00

Hi Boyen, This Irish accordion is a beautiful machine and it is an excellent choice. Here, when undisturbed, I play Irish Concertina, a small accordion with no base notes. Sometimes, I get with one of my accordion player friends and we play a duo together. I also play it during performances in  retirement homes.This is a nice Christmas gift, Boyen and welcome in the world of accordion.

Comment by Boyen on December 18, 2013 at 17:28

Great story Normand, good to hear that you're keeping the tradition alive, I wish I had such a lively trad scene over here! The mummers sound like halloween and also similar to a Dutch tradition called "Sint Maarten". I'm afraid my Christmas won't have so much trad music in it, unless Christmas songs are trad music as well... I'll be playing together with my mother and girlfriend during christmas: piano, ukelele and harmonica. 

Actually something I am really excited about is that my Castagnari DINN 3 will be arriving any day now! I've waited a little bit more than 3 months for it to be made in Italy so I can't wait. I'll be teaching meself the button box this holliday season. 

Best wishes to everyone, happy hollidays! 

Comment by Normand Chouinard on December 18, 2013 at 17:10

Hi everybody, as we're getting closer to Christmas, the parties are now happening. I was to our Christmas party with the Bedford Fiddlers. There were forty five peoples in attendance, twenty of whom were musicians. Being part of the Fiddlers opened up a whole world of jigs and reels.  Music was flowing at a good pace. The format for playing was that we had to form into smaller groups and play two songs. So with my two partners, an accordion player and an "ugly stick player and me on harmonica, we played "The Mummers song".  Mummers  are  disturbed spirits  that roam Newfoundland in groups, wearing old clothes and a pillow case on their head.The legend mention that they don't realise they are dead. During Christmas, they go from door to door, offering their best wishes to the peoples celebrating Christmas. Sometimes they play some music in exchange for a shot of Whiskey or some food. Then they go away to the next house. If you go on utube you might find more on this tradition and this song. The next song was "The rose in her hair". This was well received by the invited  guests. Some performers were wearing costumes, some groups were songs accompanied by instruments, some others were instrumental. A good variety. The whole thing starts at seven thirty at night and lasts until ten. At around nine o'clock, lunch gets served. Each one brings in sandwiches or pastries.Tea and coffee are available. Meanwhile, names get drawn out of a hat for single performance. My name was called and I played "Christmas in Killarney. I had a good response with this one.After the party, everybody pitches in to clean up the local, putting the tables and chairs away and after wishing each others Merry Christmas and happy new year, we all go our separate way.I wrote about this thinking that it might interest you. This is how we keep traditional folklore music alive around here. I also wanted to wish you Merry Christmas and Happy New year full of health and happiness. Best of the day to you all.


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