Q: What is a valved diatonic?

A: Suzuki markets the Promaster diatonic harmonica with and without valves, also known as windsavers. By adding valves to certain holes it is possible to obtain notes though bending that are not usually available on a diatonic. Diatonic players interested in achieving chromatic tones usually focus on the valved or overblow technique (but not both) since the note placement for the accidentals ends up at different holes. Also, the choice is made between the techniques by timbre aesthetic preference -- some like the valve bent sound better than the overblow, others like the color or the overblow.

(FMI: "Suzuki harps, chromatics" 27 Apr 94 WY)
(FMI: "Re; Purpose of Windsavers" 21 Jan 95 MC, JE)
(FMI: "Re: Valves/Windsavers and serious music" 22-23 Mar 95 TM, HM, SJ, MC)
(FMI: "Re: valved diatonics" 10 Feb 95 MC)
(FMI: "Re: Suzuki Pro-master valved" 15-17 Feb 95 PH,MC)
(FMI: "Re: Valved harps 21 Mar 95 MC)
(FMI: "where do windsavers go" 22 Mar 95 PH)
(FMI: "Re: Valves/Windsavers from Hohner" 22 Mar 95 JE)


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I cleaned up my tab for Sonny Boy's Help Me and made it into a short book. There's a Kindle version for 99 cents, and if you buy the paperback you get the Kindle free.

Playing "Help-Me" In the Style of Sonny Boy Williamson II: A step by step, note for note analysis of some of Sonny Boy's Signature Riffs

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The JT30 Page Popular links

I began collecting data about the microphones used by blue harp players before there was an internet. I began organizing it into JT30.com in the late 1990s. I accumulated more stuff than I remember. This is some of it.

Street Theory

A Harp Player’s Guide to Music Theory

Learning Harp

Picking Up Blues Harp

A guide to learning to play Blues Harp

Microphone Information

Usenet Articles

Harp Amps

I've been collecting Harp Amps for a while. This is the old Harpamps.com website. There is lots of information here. Here a coupld of links.

Harp Tab

A collection of songs and riffs that I’ve worked out over the years, plus some libraries of stuff I’ve converted to tablature. I’ve included most of the notes and instructions that helped me when I was learning to play blues harmonica.

Basic Riffs Simple harp tabs for songs Blues riffs and phrases.

Harp-L Archives 1992 to 2002


Harp Frequently Asked Questions