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Lee Oskar Melody Maker Harmonica  

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Product #423602
Top Rated

Overview

  • Smooth plastic mouthpiece is easy on your lips
  • All key components are replaceable
Description & Specs
  • MSRP:
    $55.95
  • Your Savings:
    - $17.96
  • Your Price:
    $3799
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    $37.99 Top Rated

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    In stock

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    $37.99 Top Rated

    In stock

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  • G

    $37.99 Top Rated

    Ships By 8/4/14

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See All Lee Oskar Harmonicas
Also Consider
Also consider
      Lee Oskar

      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.

       
      Customer Reviews
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      Review Snapshot®

      by PowerReviews
      Lee OskarMelody Maker Harmonica
       
      5.0

      (based on 6 reviews)

      Ratings Distribution

      • 5 Stars

         

        (6)

      • 4 Stars

         

        (0)

      • 3 Stars

         

        (0)

      • 2 Stars

         

        (0)

      • 1 Stars

         

        (0)

      100%

      of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

      Pros

      • Consistent (3)
      • Good audio (3)
      • Quality craftsmanship (3)

      Cons

        Best Uses

            • Reviewer Profile:
            • Experienced (3)

          Reviewed by 6 customers

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          Displaying reviews 1-6

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          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.

          Comment on this review

          (1 of 1 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 review

          (2 of 2 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 review

          (7 of 7 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.

              Comment on this review

              (10 of 10 customers found this review helpful)

               
              5.0

              MELODY MAKER FROM MUSICIANS FRIEND

              By Jimdave

              from W.Tennessee

              Ask me a question

              Comments about Lee Oskar Melody Maker Harmonica:

              Great harmonica made in Japan. Stainless side plates keep it looking nice but will pull your mustach on ocasion. More in tune than most.
              Now for the (Melody Maker Tunning). This is realy great for playing single notes like we all do but a little difficult to make chords. Over all it is easy to play and gives you a different tool for your arsenal. The tunning makes it easier to play and although the number of keys are limited, you realy don't need as many harmonicas because you can easily play in the 3 major keys and a minor or 2 without much practice on one harp. I didn't find it very good for blues but you might creat your own style.
              Picking which key to try is difficult as they are listed in cross harp key but are also stamped as other keys that they play in. Just remember, say you buy the G harp. It is also stamped with Dm and (d). It is realy a modified C harp and will play in all those keys.
              These are great harps and with price matching you can't beat the price. Just buy a set.
              stainless side plates and plastic comb work great for me except it pulls a hair now and then.
              Finish is fine. Tunning is right on. Don't wory about having to send it back like some.
              Great value. Equal to or better than others.

              Comment on this review

              (4 of 8 customers found this review helpful)

               
              5.0

              New to cross harp

              By Tuneful Tim

              from Paradise, California

              Comments about Lee Oskar Melody Maker Harmonica:

              I bought this harmonica because it said it was great for single-note melodies. I bought it in "A" and I can't play anything. I've always played major diatonic. I guess it's time to do my homework! I'm hoping I can switch the reed plates out as I want to keep the harmonica, it's well built. I'm not sure if I can return it.

              Comment on this review

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