The Suzuki Overdrive is both ingenious and beautiful.
One merely has to take a glance at its facade to appreciate that this is no ordinary Harmonica. Yet the real beauty of this instrument may well come as a surprise to you… for it is, the final frontier of authentic Blues Harp chromatics.
I have blogged regularly about the next evolution of the Blues Harp, or to be more technical, the Diatonic Ten Hole Richter Tuned Harmonica.
Most specifically I have addressed the argumentative concept of chromaticising its tonal range. This is the idea that by altering its tuning, installing valves, magnetic switches, spring loaded slides, or even extra hidden reeds, one might accomplish the seemingly impossible task of making an instrument which was born to weep, dance as if it had never cried.
And yet doing this doesn’t make any sense.
For whence it comes to the aspect of sacreligious change, I have always believed it to be imperative that a Blues Harp retains its original philosophy of design in order to be considered authentic and praiseworthy. Its music is about making the most out of what little you have and finding the fruition of a miracle within one’s own determination.
So, I feel many new designs aimed at “chromaticising” the Blues Harp, whilst revolutionary and ingenious, only find themselves eventually stripping the instrument of its ancestral belonging and in turn its very own appeal to be played.
Instead all that is accomplished, is a precision engineered technological monstrosity which only feels like you are cheating at life when you attempt to play it.
And so here, a paradox looms.