Electric guitar that sounds like a harmonica

Electro-harmonix launched a new blog series where they highlight ways their pedals are used on guitars to create very un-guitar sounds. For example, the blues harmonica you hear in the track above is actually a guitar. Effectology, Vol. 1: Electric Guitar plays Blues Harmonica


  1. Nice effect, but would be even better to SEE the guitar being played. White text on black background does not a video make.

  2. @CINEMAJAY — the background is that the musician only sent in audio clips (he doesn’t like to videotape himself).

    fwiw, he’s also active in the EHX forums (ie, right now), where he’ll be giving more details on what he’s doing.

    And now I actually think the simple presentation makes it easier (at least for me) to listen to what he’s playing, and follow the text.

  3. That is a killer sound; I wonder what voice sounds like using that rig?

    @cinemajay Would we expect any other opinion from a username like yours? ;)

  4. I mean, it is a cool sound, but to my ears still sounds more guitar than anything else.

    A harmonica-esque guitar sound…

  5. Funny, but quite guitarrish. Harmonica-like effects can be found in many rock songs, remember the final guitar solo on Led Zeppelin ‘When The Levee Breaks’? I think that the envelope in the effect is still in the guitar ground. This effect might not be very difficult to reproduce with a voltage-controlled filter (or series of filters) that responds to the amplitude of the guitar signal and models the spectral model of the harmonica. Maybe two or three filters and some distortion.

  6. I love Electro-Harmonix. Not only because they make some fantastic pedals, but recently they’ve been paying for demo videos from great artists like Jack Conte and Nataly Dawn (aka Pomplamoose) that are truly great entertainment as well as some of the best demos on Youtube.

  7. It didn’t really sounds like a harp (harmonica) to me. Harps don’t have vibrato although you can do some note bending based on how you blow. That thing you do with your hand to make it go wha-wha-wha changes the overtones (kinda like those filters you hear in trance music) but not the pitch. The tone itself of the notes when you just hold it though, sounds awesome! Instead of doing bends/vibrato, maybe some kind of auto-wah effect (and/or something that would oscillate the wah effect at a certain rate) would do the trick. I mean, if that’s what you’re going for.

  8. I agree with 4 anon and 9 driver. This is a sweet, sweet guitar sound with a nice harmonica-ish timbre especially on the sustained notes. But it’s not likely to be mistaken for a harmonica on close examination. He’s admirably trying for a harmonica playing style, but the phrasing is still very recognizably guitar (eg, the little run at :39). Still, I love the sound.

    I’m a little confused though. They say “No keyboards, samplers, or other instruments were used”, but then it turns out that the first pedal is a “Micro Synthesizer”.

  9. To me, it is completely a harmonica sound, but doing things a harmonica doesn’t do. It does have a little voice-box-vocoder flavour to it as well, though, so not perfect.

    It’s like an uber-harmonica, or something, that can pitch bend and do note combinations that are hard (or impossible) to do on a real harmonica.

    I suppose to someone who knows harmonicas intimately, as soon as it does something un-harmonica like, their fake-flag shoots up. But me, and most people, would probably accept at face value the harmonica sound, and the notes a harmonica can’t play, and think “nice harmonica” :)

  10. I went in and out of being able to tell it was a guitar (of course, I knew intellectually it was a guitar, because I was told so beforehand). But the fact that I could sometimes hear it was a guitar didn’t make it any less cool to me. I would listen to blues guitar and blues harmonica all day if I could. This was like a “with our powers combined!” moment. I liked it!

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