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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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  • A

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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
Reviews
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Review Snapshot

by PowerReviews
Lee OskarMajor Diatonic Harmonica
 
4.6

(based on 184 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (139)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (30)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (4)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (3)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (8)

95%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Quality craftsmanship (67)
  • Easy to play (61)
  • Good audio (53)
  • Consistent (51)
  • Warm tone (41)

Cons

No Cons

Best Uses

  • Accompaniment (37)
  • Small venues (28)
  • Soundtracks (14)
  • Jazz clubs (8)
  • School bands (4)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Experienced (39), Novice (24), Professional musician (12)

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 184 customers

Displaying reviews 1-10

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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

    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

      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.

        (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 4 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.

            (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.

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