Amplified Harmonica Notes On the Cheap- A Last Minute Gift Idea

honeytonesWho knows how you got to this Harmonica Notes post. Maybe it was Santa. Do you have a harmonica player in your life (including you) who you absolutely MUST get a gift for, but you don’t have a bunch to spend? Say your limit is $20 plus tax or shipping. Well, let me tell you about what I just bought for myself for Chrismaquansika! (Sound it out, you’ll get it.)

I sound a little like an infomercial. The Danelectro Honeytone N-10 Guitar Mini Amp. I stumbled on it as I was surfing around the intertubes. It’s a little belt clip guitar amp that runs on a 9 volt battery.

Is it sturdy?  No

Does is feedback easy? yes

Is it loud? kinda

Is it compact? yup

Does it look good? hell yeah

Is it cheap? HELL YES

At $20, I’ve used pay toilets that cost more.

Look, the truth is, if you’re at an open mic night or blues jam, sometimes they amplify. Sometimes there are 3 people singing and you can’t  get a mic that’s hooked up to a PA. If you’re like me, 2 big reasons you got into playing harmonica, were cheap and compact. This amp fits the criteria. If you kill it, buy a new one. They don’t have the best sound but that gives your harp playing a bluesy edge. It will give you that little extra punch to be heard without counting on someone elses equipment.

So, what am I plugging into my new little amp? The Shure 57? The 58? The Green Bullet? Nope I went on the cheap for that too. I picked up a Samson R31S Hyper-cardioid  Dynamic Mic. Yup, I went cheap on that too. $20-$30 anywhere you go. I bought mine off the shelf at Best Buy. It’s a pretty good mic for $25. It comes with its own cable that plugs in to it. The mic has the standard 3 prong XLR mic connector on the end so it takes the standard mic cable. the cable that comes with it has that on one side and a 1/4 inch phone jack on the other end so right out of the box it hooks up to an amp. The Samson and the Honeytone sound pretty good together and pump out the sound when I’m walking around the house. I’ll give It a proper try tonight night at open Mic.

I will say this, $50 for both mic and amp sure beats the hell out of  $119 for a Green Bullet and $80 for the Fender Champion 30. This does NOT mean I won’t be blowing $200 some odd bucks on the Green Bullet/ Champ Combo at some point. I just don’t think the expense is warranted for my skill level. I just want autonomous amplification sometimes.

One more thing, I would have put a package deal together fo both of them but you can only get the amps at music stores and no self respecting music store, online or otherwise will stock anything Samson. It might be that Samson doesn’t sell to them… I don’t know.

Harmonica Notes Magic Garageband Blues Backup Tracks

Hey, this is Erik here at Harmonica Notes, I have a tutorial here for you on how to make backup tracks using Magic Garageband in Garageband 09. It’s a great way to have custom backup music for practicing on your own! Also, everyone remember to sign up for my news letter and get ready for the Learn Blues Harmonica Basics in 30 Days, coming in January. This is all the stuff I learned in my first year all together for you in one place. Will it make you an expert? HELL NO! It’s just the stuff I learned and my philosophy on learning blues harmonica. I might think totally differently in a year but that’s then not now. Did I mention it’s free? Yup, nothing, no cost, nada, zip, zero! What do you have to loose (except a month of your life you can never get back…ever).

But I’m rambling. Here’s the video.

Harmonica Notes Stories

Harmonica Notes wants to hear your story. I have a story about how I decided to learn harmonica. I was a teen when I first picked up a harmonica but that didn’t last long. It didn’t last a day. I didn’t think about it again until I found Adam Gussows videos on Youtube. My friend had just broken up with his wife and he got into blues guitar. I started playing the bass when that happened to support him. We would play together. I just didn’t get into it. It wasn’t my instrument.

After I saw the Adam Gussow videos, I decided to try harmonica again. I bought the harmonica key he was using and watched his videos and learned. I have been playing ever since.

So, what’s your story? I want to hear how you got interested in harmonica. Please leave a comment with your story and let me know. I want to hear where you’re coming from and what you want to get out of this site.