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#423600 000000814

Lee Oskar Major Diatonic Harmonica G

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Well-suited for blues, rock, country, folk, and jazz. They're more airtight, easier to bend, and better sounding than many harps. Modular design.Buil...Click To Read More About This Product

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OVERVIEW

Designed by a master of the harp.

Well-suited for blues, rock, country, folk, and jazz. They're more airtight, easier to bend, and better sounding than many harps. Modular design.

Built in Japan to his exacting standards and incorporating new techniques and materials, it was in 1983 that Lee Oskar introduced his new harmonica. The radically different harp design grew out of Lee's frustration with the lack of quality and consistency in the mouth harps of the day. The design also benefited from Oskar's insights as a seasoned recording and touring pro.

The Dane's Design
Central to Oskar's design is a smooth plastic comb that doesn't swell like traditional wood combs. Aside from being easier to keep clean, the plastic comb is impervious to the swelling of conventional harmonica wood combs that can tear up the player's lips. By making affordable replacement reed plates available, Oskar's harps can be easily refurbished. You no longer need to toss out a harmonica because a reed or two has gone south. Replacement reed plates are available for every model in the Lee Oskar harmonica lineup and installation is easy since they mount to the comb with just three self-tapping screws. The reed plates have wide chambers and narrow dividers for faster, easier playing. A precision-molded, recessed bed holds the reed plate securely to prevent air leakage and project a bigger sound. The corrosion-proof, stainless steel cover plates are also engineered for excellent projection and tone. (Replacement cover plates are also available.) Lee Oskar harmonicas are tuned to 441-plus hertz for a brighter sound. With equal tuning by octaves, Lee Oskar harps have excellent intonation for blowing highly articulate, single-note leads.

More Keys and Modes
Lee's innovation didn't stop with a better-designed harp. Recognizing the need for harmonicas tuned in other than the major and natural minor diatonic scales, he introduced the Melody Maker and Harmonic Minor series that make it easier to play melodies difficult if not impossible to play with a standard diatonic harmonica. Another indication of Oskar's hard-won knowledge as a touring pro: Each harp is clearly marked in bright white on both ends with its first- and second-position (straight and cross-harp) keys. Each harmonica box is color-coded according to its series and also displays its key prominently. If you've ever struggled to find the right harp on a darkened stage, you will appreciate this simple yet essential touch.

About Lee Oskar
Even if you don't recognize Lee Oskar by name, if you've listened to pop radio much, you've probably heard his highly personal mouth harp style on War hits like "The Cisco Kid," "Low Rider," and "Why Can't We Be Friends." Oskar's staccato phrasing and uncanny tone-put to great use blowing horn-like unison riffs with saxman Charles Miller-gave War's funky stew of Latino, Caribbean, African, jazz, rock, and R&B elements a distinctive lead voice. This was especially true after the departure of vocalist Eric Burdon. The former Animals singer had been a focal point for War on early hits like "Spill The Wine." The band's eclectic and fluent mix of genres proved a rich fount leading to a string of '70s and '80s hits, usually with Oskar's distinctive harp riffs providing the signature sound.

FEATURES
Airtight
Easier second-position bending
All key components are replaceable
Durable and longer-lasting than other harps
Reviews
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Review Snapshot

by PowerReviews
Lee OskarMajor Diatonic Harmonica
 
4.5

(based on 191 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (141)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (32)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (4)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (4)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (10)

93%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Quality craftsmanship (68)
  • Easy to play (62)
  • Good audio (54)
  • Consistent (52)
  • Warm tone (42)

Cons

  • Poor quality (3)

Best Uses

  • Accompaniment (37)
  • Small venues (28)
  • Soundtracks (14)
  • Jazz clubs (8)
  • Practice (5)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Experienced (42), Novice (26), Professional musician (14)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

Excellent harmonica would buy again and recommend to anyone

Just did a gig with my son playing guitar,me the Lee Oskar and my 12 year old granddaughter her first keyboard in public.It lit up the whole affair and of the 4 acts we...Read complete review

Just did a gig with my son playing guitar,me the Lee Oskar and my 12 year old granddaughter her first keyboard in public.It lit up the whole affair and of the 4 acts we were thanked profusely as the best and energized the audience who up until that were politely listening but with no enthusiasm. The party was a Taiwanese-American Society Annual dinner.Afterwards some of the earler musicians who were Taiwanese students at a local University clamored to have their pics taken with "the Rock Stars". It was the first ever so clear note that I played on the Lee Oskar that set it all off.Thanks and I am 81 btw.heh

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

Not a strong harp

Though beyond novice, I'm still something of a harp newbie. This Oskar was my first venture outside the Hohners and I found it somewhat disappointingly "weak" - though others might...Read complete review

Though beyond novice, I'm still something of a harp newbie. This Oskar was my first venture outside the Hohners and I found it somewhat disappointingly "weak" - though others might say "mellow" - especially compared to my favored Special 20's -

Reviewed by 191 customers

Displaying reviews 1-20

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(5 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

So far...So good!

By Patrick James McKenna

from St.Marys, GA

See all my reviews

Ask me a question

Comments about Lee Oskar Major Diatonic Harmonica:

I'm impressed by both the sound quality and playing response of the Lee Oskar Major Diatonic Harmonica.

I have several of these harmonicas. When I practice or work on harmonica arrangements, I usually beat on the cheap harmonicas, but when I play harmonica in public, on recordings or whenever I want high quality sound, I usually reach for one my my Lee Oskar Major Diatonic Harmonicas.
So far...One of the features that set this harmonica, and all the other Lee Oskar harmonicas apart from others is the easy-to-replace reeds.
Lee Oskar also has a line of replacement reeds, which are user-friendly, along with a harmonica repair kit (instructions included).
When a reed goes bad, and you don't have the patience (or lack the skills) to tune it, it is so nice to be able replace the reed.
So far, I have had great experience playing the Lee Oskar Major Diatonic Harmonica.
Although I'm not at all happy with the rise in price of harmonicas, Lee Oskar harmonicas have lower prices than their German and Chinese competitors.

(4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Excellent harmonica would buy again and recommend to anyone

By Ron

from Albany,NY

About Me Experienced

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Consistent
  • Easy To Play
  • Quality Craftsmanship
  • Rich Sound
  • Warm Tone

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Accompaniment
    • Small Venues

    Comments about Lee Oskar Major Diatonic Harmonica:

    Just did a gig with my son playing guitar,me the Lee Oskar and my 12 year old granddaughter her first keyboard in public.It lit up the whole affair and of the 4 acts we were thanked profusely as the best and energized the audience who up until that were politely listening but with no enthusiasm. The party was a Taiwanese-American Society Annual dinner.Afterwards some of the earler musicians who were Taiwanese students at a local University clamored to have their pics taken with "the Rock Stars". It was the first ever so clear note that I played on the Lee Oskar that set it all off.Thanks and I am 81 btw.heh

    (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    Only harmonica for me (so far).

    By Zombiefolly

    from Toledo, OH

    About Me Experienced

    See all my reviews

    Verified Reviewer

    Pros

    • Easy To Play
    • Quality Craftsmanship
    • Rich Sound

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Accompaniment

      Comments about Lee Oskar Major Diatonic Harmonica:

      Okay, so I'm not a pro harmonica player. I can't even call myself all that experience on the harmonica. I got a Blues Harp in the 90's, and I hated the way the thing felt on my lips (hard wood comb and extended reedplates). I played it a hand full of times and quit it. Last year, I wanted to learn again to accompany guitar and vocals. I got another Blues Harp, thinking maybe it was just not the right time. Still hate it. Bought a bunch of cheaper harps. Hated them. Then I got a Lee Oskar in G. LOVED it! Felt good in my hand, and the reed plate thing isn't an issue. So I got an A also. Then, feeling perhaps I should keep experimenting I got a couple of Big Rivers, thinking that the plastic comb would be better than the Blue Harp's wooden one. It was better on my lips, but the danged corners are too sharp for the way I hold a harmonica. So, back to the Lee Oskars! I have a Golden Melody on the way as another trial, but honestly, I don't expect much. I can see me just having a case of Lee Oskars in every key...and calling it a day.

      (4 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      Great Harp

      By emaletk

      from Bend, OR

      About Me Experienced

      See all my reviews

      Ask me a question

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Consistent
      • Easy To Play
      • Modular
      • Quality Craftsmanship
      • Rich Sound
      • Warm Tone

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Accompaniment
        • Jazz Clubs
        • School Bands
        • Small Venues
        • Studio

        Comments about Lee Oskar Major Diatonic Harmonica:

        I'm new to the harmonica, but have been playing guitar and other instruments for a little over ten years now. This was my second harp, following the Hohner Blues Band, and before making any comparisons, it's important to note that there is a significant price point difference between them. That being said, the Lee Oskar is markedly better in every way I've cared to measure.

        It has a bright, brassy sound to it that projects well, and it's significantly louder than the cheaper Hohner. It also works very consistently with no adjustments so far. I even checked it with a tuner and it's a tiny bit sharp (441+ like the ad says) but uniform. It also bends very easily. The holes in the comb are a bit larger and closer together, which makes pucker technique a little bit tougher, but my does it sound sweet.

        Being a new player, I don't really know what I'm doing and have had to learn a lot by trial and error. Even after repeated misguided "overblow" attempts none of my reeds have failed or gone out of tune enough that I've noticed.

        The reasons that I chose the Lee Oskar Major Diatonic are simple and I believe practical. I wanted a decent instrument that wouldn't put me in the poorhouse. I wanted to be able to maintain and repair the instrument to squeeze even more blood from the ol' money stone, and I was primarily interested in rock and blues. Given these factors, the rest makes sense.

        I've had this harmonica for about three weeks now, and I couldn't be more satisfied with my purchase. I don't have the experience to compare it to others in it's league, but I know that for my money I am very satisfied with my purchase. I would one hundred percent recommend this to anyone that has been curious enough to try the harp, and is looking to take it up a notch. Five stars.

        (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        Review

        By Anonymous

        from Undisclosed

        Comments about Lee Oskar Major Diatonic Harmonica:

        I am a guitar player. I decided last May to finally incorperate the harmonica into what I do. I decided to start off with a pro-level harp because I wanted a pro-quality instrument. I did some research and picked the Lee Oskar Major Diatonic. I knew I was getting a good harmonica, but I didn't know it would be this good. The Major Diatonic is a fantastic instrument. It is classy looking and has a no-nonsense design. I like the way the comb (where the holes are for those of you who may not know what that is) protrudes from the cover plates. It provides a nice roadmap for your tongue so you know where you are. The overall design makes playing and maneuvering from note to note much easier than other harps I?ve tried. The tone is great too, very big, bright and full bodied sound which is very much at home with warmer sounding guitars. Single notes sound great and bending is effortless making it great for learning on. You can get a ton of great sounds out of this thing. It?s one of those harps where if you play a wrong note it?s your fault, not the harp?s. The Major Diatonic is built like a tank too. The reeds have withstood some of my bad technique; it?s been dropped a few times in dust, and played next to a roaring fire. Other harps (if they have wood combs would have warped). The Major Diatonic keeps going in situations where other harps would bite the dust. It is also very easy and convenient to maintenance, which takes a load off my mind. I own two Hohners and they are not as easy to take apart and clean which makes me very reluctant to play them. Because of this feature I can bang away on this harp all I want and not worry about it getting dirty or skuzzy, because it is so easy to clean. Having the Lee Oskar Harmonica tool kit makes this process very hassle free. The website is also a super resource as well. This is a fantastic product. Give it I try, you really can?t go wrong.

        (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        My harmonica of choice since 1991

        By Gary

        from Norwalk, WI

        About Me Experienced

        Pros

        • Consistent
        • Easy To Play
        • Quality Craftsmanship
        • Rich Sound
        • Warm Tone

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Accompaniment
          • Small Venues

          Comments about Lee Oskar Major Diatonic Harmonica:

          I have been playing harmonicas since 1973. The first were Honer Marine Bands and Blues harps. Later I went to Special 20s. The problem was when they eventually failed I had no recourse but to replace them with new harps. I purchased my first Lee Oskar in 1991. I like the sound and how they hold up under hard playing. I also like the idea of replaceable reeds. As any harp I have used can get sticky, I keep 2 of each of the more common played keys available when on stage to avoid the dreaded missed note. I have all the diatonic keys, including the sharps and flats and some of the natural minor keys. I will continue to purchase the replacement reed sets as needed. They are a great workhorse for my style of playing.

          (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          Responsive

          By Waterman

          from Portland, Or

          About Me Experienced

          See all my reviews

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Consistent
          • Easy To Play
          • Quality Craftsmanship
          • Rich Sound
          • Warm Tone

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Accompaniment
            • Jazz Clubs
            • Pop Country Blues
            • Small Venues
            • Soundtracks

            Comments about Lee Oskar Major Diatonic Harmonica:

            If you are serious or not about playing harp, just try one of these out and compare it to the others. See? It's easier to play and it sounds better.
            I've been playing more or less for over thirty years, and this is the only brand I buy now. The best.

            (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

             
            3.0

            Not a strong harp

            By Cactus Jerry

            from Tucson

            About Me Experienced

            See all my reviews

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Consistent
            • Quality Craftsmanship
            • Warm Tone

            Cons

            • Flat Sound

            Best Uses

            • Accompaniment
            • Small Venues

            Comments about Lee Oskar Major Diatonic Harmonica:

            Though beyond novice, I'm still something of a harp newbie. This Oskar was my first venture outside the Hohners and I found it somewhat disappointingly "weak" - though others might say "mellow" - especially compared to my favored Special 20's -

            (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            best harp, best bang for your buck

            By Phrankzilla

            from Las Vegas, NV

            See all my reviews

            Comments about Lee Oskar Major Diatonic Harmonica:

            hhhhhhhjjjjhhlihj;lh;h
            These harps have a bright consistant tone. They feature a plastic comb (the middle part) rather than wood; it will never split or warp. The reed plates are replacable giving you a new harp when the wear out for 1/2 the price of replacement. I have played these for twenty years, and I love them. The cases slide together for easy use.
            2022

            (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            Super product

            By Harpy

            from Denver, Colorado

            About Me Novice

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Consistent
            • Quality Craftsmanship
            • Rich Sound
            • Warm Tone

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Accompaniment
              • Small Venues

              Comments about Lee Oskar Major Diatonic Harmonica:

              Learning the harp...never played an instrument in my life...65 yrs. old...I have a Hohner Special 20 also...must admit I do like my Oskar more...great product fair price, A-1 customer service on my purchase...will be getting more product.

              (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

               
              5.0

              Good Harp

              By Butch

              from Way over in the Minor Key

              About Me Novice

              See all my reviews

              Ask me a question

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Consistent
              • Easy To Play
              • Quality Craftsmanship

              Cons

                Best Uses

                  Comments about Lee Oskar Major Diatonic Harmonica:

                  It's a brand preference thing, I guess. I have a bag of mixed harps and have really liked Special 20s. These Lee Oskars are comparable to play, in price etc.... I have been told by players that the Lee Oskar diatonics are more durable and last longer than Special 20s. Time will tell. I do really like these Lee Oskars and will buy more when I add to my quiver or replace harps. Pay attention when buying the minor key Lee Oskars, they are labeled and sold in the 2nd position (cross harp) key.

                  (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                   
                  5.0

                  Best harmonicas around!

                  By Funky T

                  from Ooltewah, TN

                  About Me Experienced

                  See all my reviews

                  Ask me a question

                  Pros

                  • Consistent
                  • Easy To Play
                  • Quality Craftsmanship
                  • Rich Sound

                  Cons

                    Best Uses

                    • Accompaniment

                    Comments about Lee Oskar Major Diatonic Harmonica:

                    I own several of these harps. They hold up well and if you tweak a reed, just pop off the top, replace it and you're back in business in a few minutes. This is the only harp I use.

                    (2 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

                     
                    5.0

                    A satisfied customer

                    By Beth

                    from Englewood, OH

                    About Me Novice

                    Verified Buyer

                    Pros

                    • Easy To Play
                    • Quality Craftsmanship
                    • Rich Sound

                    Cons

                      Best Uses

                      • Accompaniment
                      • Small Venues

                      Comments about Lee Oskar Major Diatonic Harmonica:

                      I'm new to the harmonica but very pleased with this brand and model. The sound is very bright and I am enjoying learning all about it. The portability of the harmonica and the neat little case it comes in all add to my pleasure. I'm looking forward to many happy hours both at home and out in nature with it. I would recommend it to anyone and everyone. I researched the product first and it was time well spent. I will definitely buy another Lee Oskar instrument in the future.

                      (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                       
                      5.0

                      Best buy for your buck!

                      By RoosterCaine

                      from Monterey, CA

                      About Me Experienced

                      Verified Buyer

                      Pros

                      • Consistent
                      • Easy To Play
                      • Quality Craftsmanship
                      • Rich Sound
                      • Warm Tone

                      Cons

                        Best Uses

                        • Contemporary Music

                        Comments about Lee Oskar Major Diatonic Harmonica:

                        Good tone, easy to bend and very dependable. The physical design is very nice for stacking when performing song's with multiple key changes. Good variety of special tuned harmonica's also.

                        (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                         
                        5.0

                        I love these harps

                        By Tom

                        from Oregon

                        About Me Novice

                        Verified Buyer

                        Pros

                        • Consistent
                        • Easy To Play
                        • Quality Craftsmanship
                        • Rich Sound
                        • Warm Tone

                        Cons

                          Best Uses

                          • Accompaniment

                          Comments about Lee Oskar Major Diatonic Harmonica:

                          I usually buy Special 20's, but lately have bought a few Lee Oskars. They are great and dependable.

                          (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                           
                          4.0

                          Great quality, poor performance

                          By Anonymous

                          from Undisclosed

                          Comments about Lee Oskar Major Diatonic Harmonica:

                          I have played all models of major diatonic on stage and in the studio. Although the construction and value are truly awesome, but when you go to bat they just don't swing. If you play offstage or a beginner, get Lee Oskar harps and accessories because they are very high quality. If you perform regularly, spend the money to have harps that wont let you down. The hohner special 20 is still my favorite, but still let me down. If you need to tongue block and overblow onstage, try the hohner crossharp for durability.

                          (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                           
                          5.0

                          Amazing!!

                          By Harpo

                          from India

                          See all my reviews

                          Comments about Lee Oskar Major Diatonic Harmonica:

                          Lee Oskars are awesome. They sound great and are excellent for learning. Lee Oskars have a knack to perform awesome bends. Its air tightness makes bending much easier too learn. These harmonicas are a bit on the expensive side, but well worth it. You may find it a bit difficult to play at first, but once you get the hang of it, you'll have a lot of fun!!

                          (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                           
                          5.0

                          The Germans got beat

                          By ptKjH.MWr

                          from Undisclosed

                          Comments about Lee Oskar Major Diatonic Harmonica:

                          I have player harp since college and had always bought the standard Honers and while they did the job and I learned to play. However as I started getting better and playing more often I found myself onstage with a bad note. Normally one that I really needed and had bent beyond repair.Not sure how I stumbled upon Lee Oscar but I am happy I did. I still break them but no as often and I like the fell and tone of these. They bend to the max right out of the box. These are the Best that I have found

                          (2 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

                           
                          5.0

                          slice through butter

                          By Acoustic Idiot

                          from San Francisco CA

                          See all my reviews

                          Comments about Lee Oskar Major Diatonic Harmonica:

                          I haven't actually played this product, but have collaborated with a buddy of mine who uses Lee Oskars, and it is the perfect accent to an acoustic guitar. I have played another brand, which i love, but the lee oskar just rips right through, making it's subtle presence rightly known. keep it up!

                          (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                           
                          5.0

                          Wow!!!

                          By BluesMan06

                          from Fayetteville, NC

                          See all my reviews

                          Comments about Lee Oskar Major Diatonic Harmonica:

                          All I really have to say is I'm very impressed with these harmonicas. I've been playing for about a year and the harps that I was using before were on the lower end. It was very hard to bend notes and learn how to play blues on them. But Lee Oskar I have to say was amazing right out of the box.

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