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Bob Dylan Profile
Date of birth: 24/05/1941
Musical Styles: Folk, Rock
Robert Allen Zimmerman, known to all as 'Bob Dylan' is, perhaps, the most influential singer songwriter in the history of popular music. He is also inextricably connected with the ten hole diatonic harmonica, having used it on many of his most popular hits.
Born and raised in Minnessota, Dylan emerged as a leading folk artist in the early 1960s. Initially focusing on interpretations of traditional folk tunes, Dylan quickly transitioned to writing songs that were more lyrically complex, and which tackled the major issues of the time, whilst maintaining some of the stylistic elements of older folk and country music.
His influence on the direction of popular music cannot be overstated: it was Dylan's poetic lyricism that inspired countless bands, including The Beatles, to move towards writing more lyrically mature and complex songs, and his move to electrification of his music in the mid 1960s kick-started the folk rock movement.
Some serious harp players - particularly those with a bias towards the blues - dismiss Dylan's harmonica playing as simplistic. Whilst it is true that Dylan's technical prowess is not up there with, say Little Walter, his musicality still shines through; complexity and virtuosity are not always marks of greatness! Most importantly, Dylan's harp breaks, usually between verses, always add something to his songs; they are not there to say 'Look at me! Look at how great I am!' but instead they convey emotion, building the song into more than the sum of its parts.
Like many of his contemporaries, Dylan played a Hohner Marine Band on many of his early recordings. In later years he could sometimes be seen playing a Hohner Special 20, and more recently a Hohner Blues Harp. Any of these harmonicas will enable a good approximation of Dylan's sound. Just add acoustic guitar, paired with a harmonica holder and you're halfway there!
Want to sound like Bob Dylan? We recommend:
3 Keys availableThis is the same harp as the Bob Dylan Signature edition, but has two important differences: first, it comes without the presentation case, which makes it considerably less expensive; second, it is available in the keys of D and F as well as C (the Signature harp is available only in C). The harp itself is identical to the Signature edition, and is based on Hohner's popular Blues Harp MS model. It features a sealed doussie comb, brass reeds and has a bright bluesie tone that is suitable for a range of music, from folk to blues and pop... Read more
13 Keys availableHohner Special 20 has reed plates which are recessed into the injection moulded durable plastic comb, creating a projecting mouthpiece which offers unparalleled playing comfort. The special 20 has recessed reed plates affixed with screws. Rounded covers with closed sides give a warm, powerful tone which has made the Special 20 a favourite among rock and country players as well as blues musicians. The stable construction and full sound make the Special 20 one of the most popular Richter models. Airtight, loud and reliable. A superb choice of harp! This was the first Hohner harmonica to be manufactured with a plastic comb, potentially making it more airtight and less prone to swelling than wooden combed harps. Many modern harmonicas from other manufacturers are based on the Special 20. They say it's the most copied harmonica in the world! Also available in a handy pro-pack Hohner History - The Hohner Special 20 Hohner are the German based manufacturer that make the Special 20 harmonica. The Hohner special 20 is part of their progressive series, and has become their flagship entry harmonica. Hohner were founded in 1857 by Matthias Hohner. According to How To Play The Hohner 10 Hole Diatonic Harmonica by David Harp 650 harmonicas were made in their first year of production, Matthias Hohner, originally a clock maker began crafting harmonicas in 1857, assisted by his wife and a single employee. The Hohner Special 20 is a diatonic harmonica, and it wasn't until the 1920s, Hohner began manufacturing chromatic harmonicas, which unlike the "standard" diatonic form can be played in any key. Worldwide Delivery The Harmonica Company provide competitive delivery rates, and time frames across the entire World. We hold huge stocks of all popular and less common models and ship daily using express couriers. The Hohner Special 20 is by far one of our most popular products which we are proud to sell all over the world. If you are looking for the best price for the Special 20 with super fast service then we can certainly help.... Read more
12 Keys availableThe brand name ”Blues Harp® “ has attained cult status in the contemporary music scene. The Hohner Blues Harp MS model features a functional design combining a wooden comb, high covers without side vents and high quality reed plates to give the instrument its typical bluesy sound, which has made it immensely popular with beginning and intermediate players alike. Every now and again, a branded article achieves such a high degree of success and widespread distribution that the brand name becomes synonymous with the generic product. This has certainly been the case with the Hohner Blues Harp®, now well into its fifth decade as one of Hohner‘s most popular diatonic model. Reeds: 20. Reed Plate: Brass, 0.9mm. Keys: C Major, Db Major, D Major, Eb Major, E Major, F Major, F# Major, G Major, Ab Major, A Major, Bb Major, B Major. Comb: Wood. Series: Modular System. Plastic snap box. ... Read more
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