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Lee Oskar Harmonicas
Lee Oskar Harmonicas has become a prominent name in the world of harmonicas, introducing a modular system of interchangeable harmonica parts that led competitors, such as Hohner, to update their range in response. Simple to maintain and to swap reed plates on, Lee Oskar harps also have a distinctive bright tone that works well across many genres of music.
12 Keys availableThe Lee Oskar Harmonic Minor tuning has a very soulful, Eastern European sound and was used for one entire side of Lee Oskar's highly acclaimed first solo album. This multi-cultural harmonica is designed to play Traditional Ethnic Music that is important to the heritage of many cultures. MINOR Eastern European, Gypsy, Yiddish, Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, Asian and European/American folk music, as well as various selections of jazz and classic show tunes, can be played easily with this harmonica. Model: 1910H - Yellow Label Available in 12 Keys (Listed low to high): Gm, Abm, Am, Bbm, Bm, Cm, Dbm, Dm, Ebm, Em, Fm, F#m Manufactured by Tombo in Japan About Lee Oskar Lee Oskar is widely regarded as one of the world's finest harmonica players, and since the 1980s has been collaborating with Tombo of Japan to produce a range of modular harmonicas, of which this model is one. Lee Oskar harmonicas are unique in that their modular design enables any set of reed plates to be used in any of the harps. Although this approach has been imitated by other manufacturers, such as Hohner, with its MS Series, none offer the range of tunings that Lee Oskar does.... Read more
12 Keys availableLee Oskar Harmonic Minor reed plates fit all 10 hole diatonic Lee Oskar harmonicas and are a cost effective way of breathing new life into your old harmonica. The modular nature of Lee Oskar harmonicas means they're easy to fit - your harp will be back to sounding as good as new in a few minutes and at a fraction of the price of buying a new one. Available in 12 Keys (Listed low to high): Gm, Abm, Am, Bbm, Cm, Dbm, Dm, Ebm, Em, Fm, F#m The Harmonic Minor has been in use for a long time, as the traditional tuning for playing a wide array of international music.The Harmonic Minor tuning has a very soulful, Eastern European sound and was used for one entire side of Lee Oskar’s highly acclaimed first solo album. This multi-cultural harmonica is intended to play traditional ethnic music that is important to the heritage of many cultures, such as: Minor Eastern European, Gypsy, Yiddish, Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, Asian and European/American Folk music, as well as various selections of Jazz and Classic Show Tunes. Find out more about Lee Oskar harmonicas here.... Read more
16 Keys availableLee Oskar Major Diatonic harmonicas are tuned to the most commonly used tuning for playing Blues, Rock, Country Folk & Jazz. Major Diatonic harps are produced by several manufacturers using various names such as Blues Harp, Marine Band, Golden Melody, Big River, Special 20, Pro Harp, Folk Master, Star Performer, etc. Although the cover plates are stamped with a variety of different names for marketing purposes, all of these harmonicas have the exact same notation layout as the Lee Oskar Major Diatonic. The most important difference is in the quality of materials, construction, design and sound. All over the world, professional players use Lee Oskar Harps as their first choice harmonica. "Standard" Richter tuning Available in 14 Keys (Listed low to high): Lo F, G, Ab, A, Bb, B, C, Db, D, Eb, E, F, F#, Hi G Model: 1910 - Orange Label Manufactured by Tombo in Japan ... Read more
14 Keys availableLee Oskar Major Diatonic Reed Plates are made by Tombo and fit any of the Lee Oskar range of diatonic harmonicas. By replacing your reed plates, which is a simple task requiring only basic tools, you can give your old harmonica a new lease of life at a significantly lower cost than replacing it. Includes upper and lower reed plates and the associated screws for attaching it to the comb and cover plates. Lee Oskar Harmonicas was founded in 1983 by leading harmonica player Lee Oskar, in collaboration with Japan's Tombo, a manufacturer known for excellence for over a century. Globally recognized for innovation, craftsmanship and attention to detail, Lee Oskar Harmonicas pioneered an interchangeable system of combs, reed plates and cover plates that has become the industry’s gold standard. Available in 14 keys.... Read more
6 Keys availableThe Lee Oskar Melody Maker Harmonica is incredible for playing melodies in 2nd position (cross harp). Melody Makers™ are one of the best harps available for playing standard, single-note melodies. They're great for playing COUNTRY, R&B, POP, WORLD BEAT, AFRICAN and REGGAE. This tuning makes it easier to play many songs...that can be difficult, or impossible, to play on a standard Major Diatonic...in 2nd Position (cross harp). All of the notes that Lee Oskar are missing on the Major Diatonic range are right there on the Melody Maker™! These harmonicas provide 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 2nd Position (Draw), not 1st Position(Blow). In 2nd Position, melodies can be played with an expressive, fluid style that is extremely difficult to achieve in 1st Position. Model: 1910MM - Blue Label Available in 6 Keys : Bb, C, D, E, G, A Manufactured by Tombo in Japan ... Read more
5 Keys availableLee Oskar Melody Maker reed plates fit all Lee Oskar 10 hole diatonic harmonicas and are available in five keys: (Listed low to high): C, D, E, G, A The Melody Maker makes it easier to play standards and many other songs that can be difficult to play on a Major Diatonic, while producing a very expressive sound. It is one of the best harps available for playing single-note melodies. Because Lee Oskar changed the reeds in draw/inhale and blow/exhale, you can also play beautiful chords on this harp. With its three altered notes, the Melody Maker is intended for playing major scale melodies in 2nd Position (Cross Harp). In 1st Position (Straight Harp), you can play: Irish, Clave/Afro music. In 2nd Position (Cross Harp), you can play: R&B, Country, Reggae, Pop, Jazz, Latin. (The Melody Maker is NOT recommended for Blues). You can find out more about the Lee Oskar range of harmonicas here... Read more
12 Keys availableThe Lee Oskar Natural Minor harps have a very bluesy, soulful sound that's perfect for playing MINOR Blues, Rock, Country, Reggae, Pop & Jazz. This fabulous tuning is set up to play MINOR MUSIC easily, without straining the lips, the lungs or the mind! All of the notes and chords that were missing on the Major Diatonic, for playing minor blues, are right there on the Natural Minor. Natural Minors are designed to be played in 2nd Position (cross harp), not 1st Position (straight harp). In 2nd Position, many of the draw notes can be bent and this allows for a much more expressive, fluid style of playing. 2nd Position is a very popular style used by most players for today's music. Model: 1910N - Green Label Natural Minor Tuning Available in 12 Keys (Listed low to high): Dm, Ebm, Em, Fm, F#m, Gm, Abm, Am, Bbm, Bm, Cm, Dbm ... Read more
12 Keys availableLee Oskar Natural Minor Reed Plates are made by Tombo and fit any of the Lee Oskar range of diatonic harmonicas. By replacing your reed plates, which is a simple task requiring only basic tools, you can give your old harmonica a new lease of life at a significantly lower cost than replacing it. Includes upper and lower reed plates and the associated screws for attaching it to the comb and cover plates. Available in 12 keys. Lee Oskar Harmonicas was founded in 1983 by renowned harp player Lee Oskar, in collaboration with Japan's Tombo, a manufacturer of harmonicas with decades of experience. Today, Lee Oskar harmonicas are recognized for craftsmanship, innovation and amazing attention to detail. They pioneered an interchangeable system of reed plates, combs and cover plates that is still revolutionary today.... Read more
Lee Oskar - From Musician to Harmonica Company OwnerFounded by the legendary harmonica virtuoso Lee Oskar, who was a member of the rock funk fusion group, War, the company was established to produce diatonic harmonicas that could be used for a range of musical styles, from jazz to reggae, funk and rock
Frustrated with the limitations of available harmonicas at the time, Oskar set out to create an instrument that would meet his exacting standards.
Lee Oskar Harmonicas - Major Diatonic to Harmonic Minor
One of the key innovations of Lee Oskar Harmonicas is the company's commitment to a modular design. Unlike traditional harmonicas, which were often nailed together, with reed plates that were not interchangeable with other models, Lee Oskar Harmonicas can be disassembled and reassembled with ease. This modular design allows players to customize and fine-tune their harmonicas, making changes to reed plates, and, therefore, tunings simple and intuitive.
The harmonicas, and reed plates are available in multiple tunings, including major, natural minor, harmonic minor, and melody maker. These alternative tunings open up new melodic possibilities and allow players to explore different musical styles and genres with ease.
As a guide, the major diatonic tuning is suitable for traditional harmonica tunes, including rock, folk and blues. The natural minor tuning works well for minor key blues and rock, whilst Melody Maker is particularly suited to country tunes and harmonic minor lends itself to Eastern music.
Manufactured by Tombo in JapanIn addition to their innovative design, Lee Oskar Harmonicas are renowned for their exceptional craftsmanship. Each harmonica is hand-assembled in Japan by renowned harmonica manufacturer, Tombo. The reeds are precision-cut and riveted, resulting in excellent response and extended playing life.
The harmonicas feature durable, moisture-resistant ABS plastic combs, which not only offer exceptional durability but also contribute to a comfortable playing experience. The precision-molded combs ensure airtightness, allowing players to achieve optimal control and tonal expression.
Lee Oskar Harmonicas - Suitable for Beginners and Experts
The popularity of Lee Oskar Harmonicas extends far beyond the professional musician community. The company's commitment to accessibility and education has made their harmonicas a favorite choice among beginners and enthusiasts as well. Lee Oskar Harmonicas offers comprehensive instructional materials, including books, videos, and online resources, to help players of all skill levels develop their technique and explore the instrument's possibilities.
Lee Oskar Harmonicas have earned the respect and endorsement of numerous professional harmonica players worldwide. Renowned musicians in various genres, from blues and rock to country and folk, have embraced the instruments for their exceptional tonal range, responsiveness, and reliability. The harmonicas have been featured in countless recordings, live performances, and music videos, solidifying their reputation as a go-to choice for discerning harmonica players.
Lee Oskar Vs Hohner
Unlike Hohner, which has a massive range of diatonics, chromatics and tremolo harps, Lee Oskar is focused on just 10 hole harps in four tunings. The most direct comparison between the two brands' harps is Hohner's MS Series, whose modular design was a direct response to the Lee Oskar range. However, although they share some similarities, such as the interchangeable parts, Hohner do not currently offer the same tuning options in the MS Series. For harmonic and natural minors from Hohner, you would need to look at the Marine Band Classic, which is a more traditional nailed together wood combed harmonica, which is quite different from the modern design of the Lee Oskar
In terms of tone, construction and playability, the Hohner Special 20 is closest to a Lee Oskar, although it should be noted that the German harp features a compromised tuning (rather than Lee Oskar's equal temperament) and is slightly harder to bend notes on.
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