Harmonica, mouth organ, harp, Mississippi saxophone—by any name this tiny instrument package a wallop. The sounds great with a guitar, and somewhere along the way guitarists figured out that the was feasible to beat both instruments at once. Bob Dylan popularized the idea of utilizing the harmonica in a neck rack, but it has been supplied before and since through bluesmen such as Jimmy Reed, Slim Harpo, and also John Hammond Jr., and also rockers Neil Young, Bruce Springsteen, and also Jeff Tweedy. In this article, I’ll present you part harmonica basics the will assist you blow harp while you save your etc chords pulsing.

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Choosing a Harmonica


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Draw bends are especially useful in “cross harp” position, i beg your pardon is renowned for playing blues. In cross harp girlfriend play in the vital that is a fifth above the harp’s key. For example, you will do it play in the key of G with your C harp. The G chord played by drawing on holes one, two, and three is currently the i chord. Blow the exact same holes for the C chord, i m sorry now features as the IV chord. The V chord is the elusive one in this key, yet drawing on the 4 hole functions well if you’re play a D etc chord. Try blowing a an easy shuffle valuation on every of this chords when pounding out a four-to-the-floor 12-bar blues rhythm making use of G7, C7, and also D7 on her guitar. Any straightforward rhythm you can sing will analyze well come the harp.


You deserve to play a partial G-Mixolydian scale (the same notes as the C-major scale, beginning on G) by blowing and also drawing the three, four, and five holes successively and also then blowing feet six. The missing second scale note deserve to be made with the reduced of the two possible bends on hole three. Nothing worry, girlfriend can acquire plenty of mileage play blues in overcome harp there is no bending. Practice over a 12-bar blues development on your guitar through the same chords together before.

Minor Keys

The secrets of Em and also Am can likewise be played on your C harp, however with much more severe keep in mind limitations. Lee Oskar has occurred harps with changed tunings, 2 of which, the organic Minor and also Harmonic boy harps, allow you to play in minor keys.


The scales and chords i have discussed carry out a structure to get started. Use them as an underlying framework for looking out melodies to songs you currently sing. Be certain to improvise over the chord progressions. As soon as you can’t uncover or bend to the keep in mind you’re spring for, find one more note the works, or friend may discover the note you desire by play in an additional register. The harmonica is a wonderfully intuitive instrument.

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Playing it v the etc is as natural as singing and offers a lucrative new human being of music to explore.