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Lee Oskar Melody Maker Harmonica  D

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Melody Makers are the best harps available for playing single-note melodies. They're great for playing country, pop, R&B, jazz, folk, & standards. Th...Read More

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OVERVIEW

Play melodies that are impossible on standard diatonics.

Melody Makers are the best harps available for playing single-note melodies. They're great for playing country, pop, R&B, jazz, folk, & standards. This tuning makes it easier to play many songs...that can be difficult, or impossible, to play on a standard major diatonic...in cross harp. All of the notes that are missing on the major diatonic are right there on the Melody Maker! It provides a complete major scale in cross harp for playing exact melody without bending. Yet, the draw notes can still be bent for that bluesy feeling! Melody Makers are designed to be played in cross harp (draw), not straight harp (blow). In cross harp, melodies can be played with an expressive, fluid style that is extremely difficult to achieve in straight harp.

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
  • Smooth plastic mouthpiece is easy on your lips
  • All key components are replaceable

Click or call to order all the keys you need.

Reviews
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Review Snapshot

by PowerReviews
Lee OskarMelody Maker Harmonica
 
4.9

(based on 12 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (11)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

100%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Quality craftsmanship (7)
  • Easy to play (6)
  • Good audio (6)
  • Consistent (4)
  • Warm tone (3)

Cons

No Cons

Best Uses

  • Accompaniment (4)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Experienced (4), Professional musician (3)

Reviewed by 12 customers

Displaying reviews 1-10

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5.0

Absolutely necessary in your harp box.

By Beachbuns.

from South West Florida

About Me Professional Musician

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Consistent
  • Easy To Play
  • Quality Craftsmanship
  • Rich Sound
  • They expand your horizon.
  • Warm Tone

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Accompaniment
    • Small Venues
    • Soundtracks

    Comments about Lee Oskar Melody Maker Harmonica:

    I am a singer/songwriter, guitar, floor bass, harp. Back before the Melody Makers came out when you would try to play a solo break with a cross harp it often just didn't sound right because the proper notes were not there. Everything came out sounding bluesy but that did not fit many songs. 1st position was usually a disaster. These Melody Makers opened a whole new world for me and allow me to do solos on many many songs that just did not work previously. My only complaint is they only come in five keys. I know that they are kind of aimed at country players who generally play in those five keys but sometimes they are not ideal for my voice. 'Cmon Tembo, expand the line to include more keys.

    Comment on this reviewHelp Icon

     
    4.0

    Nice blues harp

    By Keaton

    from San Antonio, TX

    About Me Experienced

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Easy To Play
    • Quality Craftsmanship
    • Rich Sound

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Accompaniment

      Comments about Lee Oskar Melody Maker Harmonica:

      Remember the key designation is for second position playing. This harmonica is light weight (less hefty than a Seydel, for example) but has a rich tone and is easy to bend notes on either end.

      Comment on this reviewHelp Icon

       
      5.0

      I love the lee Oskar harmonicas

      By Mike doc

      from York SC

      About Me Novice

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Quality Craftsmanship
      • Rich Sound

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Accompaniment

        Comments about Lee Oskar Melody Maker Harmonica:

        I play around friends and family ! I'm not a pro but I can play a tune on it though

        Comment on this reviewHelp Icon

        (1 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        Nice

        By Jg

        from Michigan

        Verified Buyer

        Comments about Lee Oskar Melody Maker Harmonica:

        The layout on this harp is different, takes some getting used to. Great quality and responsive.

        Comment on this reviewHelp Icon

        (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        Great Instrument Not for Blues

        By Rick

        from undisclosed

        About Me Professional Musician

        Ask me a question

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Easy To Play
        • Quality Craftsmanship

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Jazz Clubs
          • Soundtracks

          Comments about Lee Oskar Melody Maker Harmonica:

          These are great for single note playing. They make picking out songs a lot easier. I really like them for "American Standards" type of material.

          Comment on this reviewHelp Icon

          (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          Love This Melody Maker Harmonica

          By 9876ADKMtns4you

          from Up state UJ, NY

          About Me Novice

          Pros

          • Easy To Play
          • Easy To Play Love It

          Cons

            Best Uses

              Comments about Lee Oskar Melody Maker Harmonica:

              I would like to purchase a complete set GOL!

              Comment on this reviewHelp Icon

              (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

               
              5.0

              Thanks Lee.

              By Repete

              from Andover, Mn

              About Me Experienced

              Pros

              • Crisp Sound
              • Durable
              • Reasonable Price
              • Replaceable Reed Plates

              Cons

              • Cover Plates
              • Not Good For Blues Riffs

              Best Uses

              • Playing At Jams

              Comments about Lee Oskar Melody Maker Harmonica:

              I used to play harp 20 to 30 years ago, and recently took it up again when I discovered the Melody Maker.
              Most of the jams in my area are more country, folk, or blue grass, and that is also the kind of music I grew up with. I am in harmonica heaven with these harps. I end up working the low reeds a lot, so it would be nice if Lee would put out some more ergonomic cover plates, but I get around it by playing at a slight angle to avoid the ridge at the low end of the harp.

              These harps take in a lot of air (can't blow on 3 for root note), so I put valves on the 4 lowest blow reeds (top plate). This cuts my air intake down considerably, but limits how much I can bend those notes, but with this tuning, there is no need to bend more than a semi.

              Also, there are a few blues riffs that just don't work. I keep a few standard diatonic harps just for blues if I need them.

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              (1 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

               
              5.0

              a different take on the harmonica

              By jimmy

              from east machias ME

              About Me Experienced

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Consistent
              • Easy To Play
              • Not A Traditional Harp
              • Quality Craftsmanship

              Cons

              • Not A Traditional Harp

              Best Uses

              • Accompaniment
              • Pseudo Grateful Dead Jams
              • Rock And Roll
              • Small Venues

              Comments about Lee Oskar Melody Maker Harmonica:

              The note layout on this harmonica makes it easier to play a major pentatonic scale.

              Comment on this reviewHelp Icon

              (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

               
              5.0

              no other harp comes close in performance

              By harp man

              from smithville mississippi

              About Me Experienced

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

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

              Cons

              • Cannot Find A Fault
              • No Falts Noted
              • Quality Is Top Notch

              Best Uses

              • Great For All Music

              Comments about Lee Oskar Melody Maker Harmonica:

              i now have a full set of m.m. and play entirely in the five keys that comprise the set. i have a chromatic harp but with the m.m. tuneing you dont need a chromatic for most music. they are easy to bend notes and are a joy to play.

              Comment on this reviewHelp Icon

              (10 of 11 customers found this review helpful)

               
              5.0

              Great addition to harmonica collection

              By James Strickland

              from New York

              About Me Professional Musician

              Pros

              • Consistent
              • Quality Craftsmanship
              • Rich Sound
              • Warm Tone

              Cons

                Best Uses

                  Comments about Lee Oskar Melody Maker Harmonica:

                  I just ordered my forth melody maker harmonica (I have a complete set of Lee Oskar major diatonics) and want to share my experience with these harps. Like all Lee Oskars, the quality is superb and the concept of the Melody Maker is cool: played in 2nd position (draw) like a blues harp these give you a full two octaves, all notes, of range in the labeled key, unlike a standard major diatonic in which only the high octave is complete. This make them great for melody playing (thus the name! duh!). What I like about them is that the tuning provides a first position minor key which is also complete for two octaves. For example the Key of C Melody Maker plays in C on the draw (and if you play blues harp you'll get the hang of that in no time). In first position it plays in Dm(d). That little 'd' deserves some explanation: it stands for 'dorian mode', not really a minor key but rather a mode that has a "minor feel" to it (google it! modes are fun). It differs from the "natural minor" in having the 6th step raised a half tone. Lots of traditional music as well as contemporary uses dorian mode, like Greensleeves, Scarborough Fair, Shady Grove, Eleanor Rigby and many more. Just as a major diatonic allows you to play blues in the 5th of the first position key (e.g. C harmonica plays blues in G), the Melody Maker allows you to play in the minor 5th (e.g. C Melody Maker plays Dm (d) and the minor 5th, Am, which is the relative minor of C). Finally it plays the relative major of the first position minor (sticking with the C harp, the relative major of Dm is G) with a "bluesy" F natural. There are great chord combinations available as well and tongueing extends those possibilities. All in all a remarkably versatile instrument if you spend the time to get used to it.
                  If you're a long-time harmonica player, some of the note positions may seem counterintuitive, but a bit of practice will get you by that and you will be richly rewarded.

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