By Phyllis Pollack
Among other products promoted by Hohner, Inc. at the 2010 NAMM Show last week, was their first iPhone application for harp, How To Blow The Blues. Available at the iTunes app store, it demonstrates how to play three 12 bar blues licks, showing which notes to play, using the app’s audio visual demos. Users can play along and jam with eight included tracks. The app also has a faux harmonica, on which app users can “play” a virtual harp. The app, promoted at the NAMM Show in Anaheim, California last week, was released about three weeks ago.
The app also features has a long list of Hohner, Inc.’s top selling, most famous and noteworthy blues harmonica models, as well as the history of the company. Hohner, Inc. is the world largest manufacturer of harmonicas.
In an effort to reach out to a new generation of potential players, the company expects that after using the iPhone app, many of those who downloaded it will want to try their hand at a real harmonica.
Some of the artists included in the app’s Gallery of Greats section include Bob Dylan, Mick Jagger, Roger Daltrey, Robert Plant, Big Mama Thornton and Bruce Springsteen, John Lennon, Little Walter, Sonny Boy Williamson, Stevie Wonder and others. There is a brief history about each of the artists in the app, which cost $1.99.
At the NAMM Show, Scott Emmerman, Director of Sales and Marketing for Hohner, Inc., told aerochug.com that in early December, reps for Rolling Stone Mick Jagger contacted Hohner, expressing an interest in issuing a Mick Jagger Signature model harmonica. Whether or not it will come full circle, it is too soon to know, although Emmerman said one could be released as early as fall 2010.
Jagger has played harmonica live during Stones concerts during songs including “Midnight Rambler,” “Can’t You Hear Me Knockin,” Willie Dixon’s “Little Red Rooster” and other numbers.
Among its products, Hohner carries a selection of Bob Dylan signature harmonicas. The Bob Dylan Collection of Hand-Signed Harmonicas set contains five hand-signed harmonicas that Dylan played on various tours. They are in the (natural) keys of G, C, D, F, A and B. They are packaged in an ebony box with a certificate of authenticity, and the sets sell for $25,000.000 each. Only 25 sets are available worldwide.
The second item in the collection is one Marine Band harmonica in the key of C, also autographed by Bob Dylan. This single harmonica comes in an ornate ebony box, with a certificate of authenticity, signed by Hohner’s president, Clayman Edwards. One hundred of these single key harmonicas exist worldwide.
There is also the Bob Dylan Signature Series, a set of seven signature harmonicas that are not hand-signed by Dylan, available at a lower price. There is also the Dylan signature series individual model, in addition to a large number of non-Dylan related Hohner models.
Hohner, Inc., based in Glenn Allen, Georgia, manufactures other instruments, as well.
The NAMM (National Association of Music Merchandisers) trade show was held at the Anaheim Convention Center last week, ending this past weekend. NAMM is a non-profit organization that integrates relationships between companies and consumers, and strengthens the $17 billion international musical instruments and products industry. The convention this week marks the 108th trade show that has been held by NAMM. The event highlights a myriad of new products for musicians at the trade show held as a confab for music instrument and music product companies.
Watch a video of Dylan playing harmonica: