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© David Rae Morris/Reuters/Corbis
Aside from building yourself a diddley-bow from scraps or singing, which is free, a harmonica is probably the cheapest way to get into playing the blues.
Kick off with a Hohner 1896/20 Marine Band harmonica in the key of C and take it from there. You’ll find one in most music shops. Many of the blues harmonica legends started out on a Marine Band. For inspiration, listen to Little Walter romp through Wild About You Baby with Hound Dog Taylor and the Houserockers. That should do the trick.
While Seth Lover designed the humbucking pickup for Gibson in 1955, the company wouldn’t be granted the patent until 1959. In the meantime they put ‘Patent Applied For’ stickers on the underside of each pickup and created a tonal legend.