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Let’s play and practise harmonica

Updated on May 20, 2011


Playing Harmonica

Almost all harmonicas are in diatonic and can only play a single key. A Diatonic harmonica has ten holes. From these holes one can produce chords and notes. It’s easy to play harmonica, just blow draw. Blow and draw at a single hole will produce different notes. There are two notes available for each of these ten holes. Chords can be produced from the first four holes and notes from all the holes. Let’s see what notes come out from the holes; The harmonica blow notes on holes 1 through 10 are : C-E-G-C-E-G-C-E-G-C. The draw notes on holes 1 through 10 are: D-G-B-D-F-A-B-D-F-A.

Way to hold the harmonica

On topside of harmonica there are numbers facing upwards. It is used as a guidance when playing. Hold each side of the harmonica between your thumb and index fingers. The other three fingers on each hand should be free to move around. When one wiggle fingers while playing, it will create a vibrato sound. Vibrato is an effect that might be desirable for some songs. Don't cup your fingers and hands over the harmonica, although using this technique usually makes the harmonica sound richer and good.

Playing the notes

Take the harmonica, blow and draw it. When you breath in the harmonica, known as draw, you have make a sound, a note. Notice that the notes and chords on a harmonica are arranged in ascending order from left to right. Practice playing single note one by one; blow and draw. Practice making each of the note, begin with the first hole. Blow into each hole until you can make each of the 10 notes sound clearly. Then draw each hole to get other notes. When you inhale, the note in the first, fourth, and eighth holes is D. The note in the second hole is G. The note in the third and seventh holes is B. The note for the fifth and ninth holes is F. The note for the sixth and tenth holes is A. A little practice blowing and drawing will quickly allow you to make the notes needed to play the harmonica. Most standard diatonic harmonica allows 19 notes. Familiarize yourself with harmonica before you begin. Remember the notes on your harmonica. The blow notes are C-E-G-C-E-G-C-E-G-C. The draw notes are D-G-B-D-F-A-B-D-F-A. Knowing these notes, along with a few harmonica tablature notations, will let you play songs. Well.

Harmonica tablature

Learn harmonica tablature, it’s useful. Using this technique many harmonica players could learn new songs easily. Harmonica tablature is a simple form of music notation. In tablature, a vertical line represents the’ blow’ and ‘draw’ notes and numbers represent the holes. Above the line is blow notes and below the line is the draw notes. When you see number 3 written on top of the vertical line, it tells you to blow into the third hole which makes the note G. If the 3 were written below the vertical line, means you draw on the third hole to make the note B. Simpler harmonica tablature may only feature a hole number and an arrow; up for blow and down for draw.

Take a song or a piece of music and Play it. Many free harmonica tablatures available online. Choose a tune you familiar with and practice blowing and drawing until you memorize them well. Practice playing different songs on the Harmonica. Practice makes you perfect. You can also add some techniques to your songs or music to give it color.


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