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 noble savage on October 7, 2013 at 20:33

I have Tom ball's book aswell as Ben hewlett's first sonny terry book. great information, but one really needs to make a study of it to get the rhythm and sound correct. I guess there is no magic button, just practice practice practice. "the harp styles of sonny terry" is a great book that has a lost john tabbed out..aswell as the beginning and some whole tunes..though the tab is kinda convoluted, and it's impossible to find one with the vinyl audio still in it :/

Comment by Rick Epping on October 7, 2013 at 8:42

Sorry, I've no such tabs.  Tom Ball has written a book of Sonny Terry licks, available online, which might have what you're looking for.  

Comment by noble savage on October 5, 2013 at 12:30

you wouldn't, by any chance, have  any examples of these rhythms in tab or short hand?  i've been using 'the amazing slow downer' to get some by ear, but it's like a balloon on an anchor..going nowhere

Comment by Rick Epping on October 4, 2013 at 18:52

Well, not a lot of difference I guess, considering there're so many versions of fox chase, train songs and lost john types that have similar rhythms.  Along with the chordal rhythm, mostly mimicking fox and hounds or train whistle and steam?  When I played Rowsome's Fox Chase at the first Willie Clancy concert, I used a Sonny Terry style rhythm for the sound of the galloping horses and running dogs, and it seemed to go over well.

Comment by noble savage on October 4, 2013 at 13:03

Excellent examples Rick. What makes a fox chase a 'fox chase'? i don't mean inwhich the sound makes the listener feel raced or the speed inwhich the tune is played. Is it a repetitive chordal rhythm broken by a few single notes? is it a chugging rhythm with lot of blues third thrown in (in reference to harmonica chases) or what's the difference between a 'foxchase' and a 'lost john' besides the animal imitations?

Comment by Rick Epping on October 4, 2013 at 12:09

One of my favourite Fox Chase versions is Micky Doherty's "The Hounds and the Hare", recorded in 1951 by Alan Lomax in Convoy, Co. Donegal:

The Hounds And The Hare

Perhaps the wildest Blues version is Peg Leg Sam's "Dog Chase" (also called "Fox Chase" in some of his recorded versions):

At the first Willie Clancy Festival in 1973 I performed a blues harp interpretation of Leo Rowsome's version.  The Lament for the Dying Fox section at 2:21 in Rowsome's Fox Chase on the Claddagh LP, King of the Pipers,  has for me a similar feel to the brief, slow section of Peg Leg Sam's version at 2:09 in the above link.

Comment by Normand Chouinard on October 2, 2013 at 23:54

Beautiful harmonica playing. The harmonica sounds good with the concertina, doesn't it? I sure  don't have enough coordination to play the two at the same time...lolll

Comment by Boyen on October 2, 2013 at 7:13

Youtube playlist with performance of the harmonica masters of this time;

Comment by noble savage on September 18, 2013 at 4:47

Since the fox chase or fox hunt is a trad song for fiddles or pipes..anyone have any favs? Of course defied Bailey  has a good one and sonny terry..his rhythm there almost sounds like the rhythm in lost john. In fact what makes a " fox chase"? Is it a high paced repetitive pattern? I know some imitate the sounds of dogs..bugle horns..even chickens "as the dogs get distracted through a farm". A Russian guy named "eugene viitman" has a youtube vid of a fox rhythm I've been working well as "lostharp" who has a youtube vid of  defords with a little tutorial..any thoughts or suggestions?

Comment by Normand Chouinard on August 20, 2013 at 12:47

Hi again,

                 With Boyen's help, I finally figured out how to post a picture of myself in the group. This one was taken while we were playing outside at the "SS Atlantic" memorial park as mentioned in one of our conversations. However, this doesn't  show us being eaten alive by mosquitoes. The peoples listening to the performance stayed with us until the very end. I  would like to raise my beer to them. We were very well received and it would be a pleasure to play there again.The music stand seems to be in the way but this is the way I like it. It shows my concentration while playing. For this performance, I was using my old "Tremolo Quartet" from Hohner.It didn't deceive me as usual. The performance was flawless and everybody seemed to appreciate it. This is good souvenirs. I'm now reminiscing but at my age, I'm allowed to do this. Best of the day to you all.


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