Folk Harmonica!

Hello Harmonica Lovers!

I’m going to be talking about folk harmonica which is played in what is called the first position on a harmonica. This style of playing the harmonica is called straight harp and the harmonica is in the same key as the guitar or the song being played.

So, for example if the guitar or song is in the key of G the harmonica is also in the key of G. In first position or straight harp as it called in the harmonica world you blow most of notes and your home note or root note is hole 4 blow which can also be played as a chord. Blow note hole 4 is your home note that you use on the major diatonic scale and play do, re, me starting with blow hole 4 then you work around the home note to give the music some flare then go back to the home note blow 4 as you’re playing the melody.

The ten hole diatonic harmonica is used the most in folk music in North America and also found in Celtic and English music.

Some of the well known harmonica players that use this style are “Bob Dylan” and “Neil Young” which I’m sure you have probably heard of before. These two harmonica players are the most well known for first position playing.

They are other harmonica players that use this style as well but not as well known as the two I mentioned above. I wrote an earlier post on Bob Dylan that you can check out here>More Famous Harmonica Players

I stated earlier that folk harmonica is mostly blow notes but there are some draw notes involved as well. Some of the draw notes are also called bent notes because you bend the tuning of the reed down to the lower pitched reed. This is done by lowering your jaw and relaxing your mouth which brings the pitch down and is usually done on what is called the  higher register of the harmonica holes 7-10 in first position playing.

I wrote an earlier post on bending which you can check out here>Harmonica Bending! WOW!

Here’s a video of Bob dylan in 1963′ he’s using a harmonica holder around his neck so he  can have his hands free to play the guitar and the harmonica at the same time this is used quite a bit in folk  music.

 

Here’s another video of “Neil Young” using the harmonica holder around his neck also like Bob dylan in the first video playing a folk song that’s called “She Rides a Harley Davidson” 1993′ on the Jay leno show.

 

Some of the harmonicas used in this style of playing are the suzuki folkmaster , Hohner Marine band, Hohner Special 20 and the hohner crossover are just a few of the harmonicas offered for folk harmonica.

Here’s a instruction video on playing in the first position on a harmonica for folk music.

t

I hope I’ve helped you to understand a little bit more about folk harmonica and straight harp or first position playing on the harmonica.

Have you ever heard of  folk harmonica?

Have you ever heard of straight harp?

Have you ever heard of first position on a harmonica?

Have you ever heard of Bob dylan?

Have you ever used a harmonica holder to play the guitar and the harmonica at the same time?

Have you ever heard of Neil Young?

Have you used this style of playing?

I would love to get your feedback on this please leave any comments or questions below and I will reply as soon as possible.

Thank you for visiting my website please come back in the future as I’m always adding new and exciting content!

larry@allaboutharmonicas.com

Have a blessed day!

Larry

 

 

Play Harmonica like the Greats!

Hello Harmonica Lovers!

I’m going to be talking about how to play harmonica like the greats like the title says. To play harmonica like a great harmonica player it takes time, patience and proper instructions to become a great harmonica player.

Every great harmonica player had to start from the beginning just like someone starting out to learn to play the harmonica for the first time. I wrote an earlier post on that subject that you can check out here>Learn Harmonica!

A lot of the earlier great harmonica players from the past didn’t have access to all the great harmonica teaching like they have now because of technology and the internet. Most of the harmonica players back then just learned from trial and error and imitating sounds that they heard on the radio.

Little Walter probably learned to play the harmonica by listening to vinyl records and imitating the other instruments that he heard on the record. Little Walter played a Hohner Marine Band Original 1896 Classic because that is what was available back then in the 1800’s.

Here’s an example of the harmonica he played back then click on the image for pricing! 

Today you can learn to play like the great harmonica players of the past and present by online instructions from professional harmonica instructor’s that can teach you the proper way to learn the harmonica,

You can also go online a bring up videos of great harmonica players and watch and play along with them. But of course to do this you would at least need to know the basics of playing the harmonica which I gave you in a link above in a highlighted text “learn harmonica”.

Here’s a video of Little Walter that you can watch and play to if you have the skills to.

 

This is one of Little Walter’s most famous songs “Juke”

Have you ever hear a great harmonica player?

Have you ever heard of Little Walter?

Have you ever played a Hohner Marine Band Original 1896?

What kind of harmonica do you play?

I would love to get your feedback on this please leave any comments or questions below and I will reply as soon as possible.

Thank you for visiting my website please come back in the future as I’m always adding  new and exciting content!

larry@allaboutharmonica.com

Have a blessed day!

Larry

Harmonica Bending! WOW!

Hello Harmonica Lovers!

I’m going to be talking about harmonica bending which always seems to be a subject that beginning harmonica players are scared of. Bending notes on a harmonica gives you that bluesy sound out of the harmonica that you hear a lot in blues and rock music.

There are some other kinds of music that use the technique of bending also such as Country Blues, and Jazz which Stevie Wonder who was famous for bending the chromatic harmonica. Normally the diatonic harmonica is the one most used in bending but the chromatic harmonica can be bent also like I talked about earlier with Stevie Wonder I wrote an earlier post about him that you can check out here>More famous Harmonica Players

“Bending”

The technique of bending changes the pressure of the airflow which allows the harmonica player to bend the pitch of the higher tuned reed down towards the pitch of the lower tuned reed.

  • Diatonic Harmonica – holes 1-6 can be bent down by drawing in on the harmonica and holes 7-10 can be bent by blowing on the harmonica.
  • Chromatic Harmonica- holes 1-7 can be bent on draw & blow notes both. Holes 8-11 can only be bent on draw notes.  Hole 12 can only be bent  on blow notes.
  • Draw Bends: Lower your jaw while raising the back of your tongue keeping  the air flow at the back of the tongue.
  • Blow Bends: Lower your jaw while raising the front of the tongue slightly keeping the airflow slightly behind the teeth.  

The hole that can be  bent the most is hole 3 on a C harmonica you can draw bend the hole from an Ab down to a G# an in between those notes.

Here’s a video on harmonica bending so you can see and hear an example of bending.

 

 

Have you ever heard of bending on the harmonica?

Have you ever heard a harmonica player do bending on the harmonica?

I would love to get your feedback on this please leave any comments or questions below and I  will reply as soon as possible.

Thank you for visiting my website please come back in the future as I’m always adding new and exciting content!

Have a blessed day!

Larry

Learn Harmonica!

Hello Harmonica Lovers!

I’m going to be talking about what it takes to learn harmonica and different ways that are available for you to learn. The way that I learned to play the harmonica was by listening to cassettes by all the great harmonica players for hours and hours on end trying to figure out what key of harmonica I needed to play along with them. Then I bought a book called “How to Play Harmonica Instantly” that’s a link to an earlier page that I wrote about Harmonica Books.

To learn harmonica today it’s a lot easier and  faster but you still have to put in the time   effort and practice. But there are a lot of other ways to learn than the way that I had to because of how advanced everything is today with the internet and videos you can now learn from professionals harmonica instructor’s online for free.

Here’s a couple of examples of harmonica books that you can check out below.


How to Play Blues Harp Instantly! DVD, Book & Hohner Harmonica
Hohner Kids PL-106 Musical Toys Play and Learn Harmonica

 

 

 

 

 

 


These are just a few of the books you can purchase right here through my website.


Now I’m going to show you an a how to video on learning to play the harmonica!


type

This instructional video is just the first basic lesson in learning to play the harmonica.

I hope this post has helped you to better understand on what it takes to learn to play the harmonica.

Have you ever seen any of these way of learning to play the harmonica?

Have you ever seen either of the books above that I showed you?

Have you ever used any of these ways on learning to play the harmonica?

I would love to get your feedback on this please leave any comments or questions below and I will reply as soon as possible.

Thank you for visiting my website please come back in the future as I’m always adding new and  exciting content!

larry@allaboutharmoncas.com

Have a blessed day!

Larry

Diatonic Harmonica!

Diatonic harmonica is speaking about the different kinds of single-key harmonicas, that are available other than the chromatic harmonica. Like the Tremolo harmonica, Octave harmonica, and of course the most used diatonic harmonica the Blues harp!

Tremolo harmonica

The harmonica in the picture above is a harmonica with two reeds per note called  the Tremolo harmonica  this is referred to as the “Asia diatonic”

Octave harmonica

There’s the Octave harmonica with a curved look with two reeds per note just as the tremolo harmonica above and tuned with Weiner Octave tuning.

Blues harp

Then there’s the most popular diatonic harmonica the blues harp used in the United States and Europe. These harmonicas are Richter-tuned ten-hole harmonicas that are used in most music from Folk, Blues, Rock, Country, Jazz, and Beatbox.

Have you ever heard of a diatonic harmonica?

Have you ever seen a Tremolo harmonica?

Have you ever heard of the Tremolo harmonica called the “Asia diatonic”?

Have you ever seen, or heard of the Octave harmonica?

Have you ever heard of the term Blues harp?

I would love to get your feedback on this please leave any comments , or questions below, and I will reply as soon as possible.

Thank you for visiting my website, please come back in the future as I’m always adding new, and exciting content!

larry@allaboutharmonicas.com

Have a blessed day!

Larry

 

 

 

 

Harmonica Notes!

Hello Harmonica Lovers!

Harmonica Notes?

Many beginning players are confused about harmonica notes, particularly since some of them appear to be “missing”. This articles shows the notes on a harmonica and the “missing notes” found on a harmonica.

Harmonicas come in a variety of keys styles and colors. In the diagram below blow means the note when blowing into a hole, draw means the note when breathing in. This note layout is called the “Richter tuning.”

Hole 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Blow C E G C E G C E G C
Draw D G B D F A B D F A

Look at holes 4 to 7. The notes from these holes are C, D, E, F, G, A, C, B which make up a C major scale. Not surprising for a harmonica in the key of C.

However holes 1 to 4 are different starting from hole 1 the notes are C, D, E, G, G, B, C, D Very confusing. Unlike holes 4 to 7, these lower notes do not make up a major scale. However look at blow notes 1 to 4, which are C, E, G, and C. These notes make a C major “chord”you blow into the first 4 holes to get this chord.

Now look at holes 4 to 7 the blow notes are also C, E, G, and C another C chord. The blow notes for holes 7 to 10 are also C, E, G and C another C chord. So all the blow notes on a C harmonica come from the C chord.

The draw notes on holes 1 to 4 are D, G, B, and D. These notes all come from the G chord, which is a very important one when playing in the key of C. Blow and draw repeatedly on holes 1 to 4 and you can hear how the two chords seem to match each other?

The Missing Harmonica Notes?

As outlined above arranging the harmonica to provide chords means that some notes are “missing” particularly in the bottom holes. However a common harmonica technique called “bending” allows these missing notes to be found and played.

“Bending Notes”

Bending harmonica notes involves changing tongue position mouth shape and breath pressure and is often very challenging for harmonica players when first starting to bend notes. But with a lot of practice and proper instructions you’ll learn that bending a note lowers its pitch. Bending is done mostly on the draw holes 1, 2, 3, 4 and 6, and blow holes 8, 9 and 10. The diagram below shows the notes commonly obtained through bending on a C harmonica.

Hole 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Blow C E G C E G C E G C
Blow bend Eb F# Bb
Draw D G B D F A B D F A
Draw Db F# Bb Db Ab
Draw F A
Draw Ab

The regular blow and draw notes for the C harmonica are shown in bold. Looking at the draw bends notice that a single extra note is available from holes 1, 4 and 6. Some players also bend draw hole 5 a little, but it doesn’t give you an extra note.

The 2 hole draw allows two extra bent notes while the 3 hole draw allows 3 extra bent notes. Controlling all of these notes takes much practice but is a skill known to most advanced players and is worth the effort to learn properly bending is used in a lot of harmonica music.

             Advanced Technique for Harmonica Players!

A single extra bent note is available from blow holes 8, 9 and 10. A very small group of players can get two distinct bent notes from the 10 blow. Even more notes are available using an advanced technique called overblowing.

Did you know anything about harmonica notes?

Did you know about bending notes on the harmonica?

Do you know how to bend notes on a harmonica?

Have you ever heard of the technique overblowing?

Have you ever used the technique overblowing?

Has this article helped you out in any way?

I would love to get your feedback on this, please leave any comments or questions below and I will reply as soon as possible.

Thank you for visiting my website, please come back in the future as I’m always adding new and exciting content!

larry@allaboutharmonnicas.com

Have a blessed day!

Larry

 

Best Harmonica Players!

Hello Harmonica Lovers!

Best Harmonica Players!

Where do I start, that’s a pretty broad subject, I guess best harmonica players  would depend on the harmonica player, and the kind of music being played. Some of the best harmonica players are Blues players, Country players, Jazz players, and more, styles to come in another post. I’m going to be giving you some familiar names, and faces in all these styles, some you probably new, and some you probably haven’t.

“Blues Players”

“Little Walter” would be at the top of the list, harmonica players for centuries, have been trying to duplicate his sound, very few have been successful.  Little Walter was born 1930′ died 1968′ he was 37yrs old.  I wrote a post earlier on Little Walter, and the kind of harmonica he used, a (Hohner Marine Band) most of the earlier harmonica players used the same harmonica, because that’s what was available back then. I have a video of Little Walter that you can see here>Little Walter

“Sonny Boy Williamson 11” was also at the top of the list for blues players, he also as I stated above played a (Hohner Marine Band), several other Hohner harmonicas like the Big 364, and 365 Marine Band 12 and 14 hole harmonicas to get that big full sound! Sonny Boy Williamson 11 was born 1912′ died 1965 he was 52yrs old.

“Country Players”

“Charlie McCoy” would be at the top of the list, when it comes to country harmonica players. Charlie McCoy has been known as the Godfather of modern bluegrass, and country he has played on dozens of hit records, and has played with the likes of Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley, and many more. Charlie McCoy was born 1941′ and is still alive at age 74yrs old, and still performing today.

“Mickey Raphael” also known for his country style harmonica, he has been playing in the same band for over 30 yrs, in the Willie Nelson’s Band, Mickey likes to play Marine Bands,  Hohner Special 20’s, and a Big River harmonicas are some of his favorites. Mickey Raphael was born 1951′ and is alive currently, and still performing with the Willie Nelson Band.

“Jazz Players”

“Toots Thielemans” is one of the first choices, when it comes to Jazz harmonica players, Toots Thielemans was a belgian American jazz musician who was known for playing a Chromatic Harmonica , and performed with the Benny Goodman band in 1949′ touring Europe was known for playing  where he got his start playing harmonica. Toots Thielemans was born 1922′ died 2016′ he was 94 yrs. old

“Howard Levy” would be the next choice, of Jazz harmonica players at the top of the list. His style of playing, is Jazz fusion, Latin, Funk, Folk, Blues, Country, Classical Rock, and World Music. Howard Levy is an all around harmonica player, and can play multiple genres as you can see by the long list above. Howard Levy was born 1951′ and is still alive today, and performing, he plays a diatonic harmonica, and can play every note in the chromatic scale on it. Most harmonica players need a chromatic harmonica to play the chromatic scale.

Have you ever heard of Little Walter?

Have you ever heard of Sonny Boy Williamson 11?

Have you ever heard of Charlie McCoy?

Have you ever heard of Mickey Raphael?

Have you ever heard of Toots Thielemans?

Have you ever heard of Howard Levy?

Have you ever heard of any of these styles, on the harmonica?

I would love to get your feedback on this, please leave any comments, or questions below, and I will reply as soon as possible.

Thank you for visiting my website, and please come back in the future as I’m always adding new, and exciting content!

larry@allaboutharmonicas.com

Have a blessed day!

Larry

 

 

Harmonica Blues Legends!

Hello Harmonica Lovers!

One of the first, and one of the top harmonica blues legends is??

You guessed it (Little Walter) Jacobs, Birth name Marion Walter Jacobs, was born 1930′ in Marksville, Louisiana, and was one of the best blues harmonica players in his time, and still is considered one of the greats today,  He died in 1968′ at age (37) he played a Hohner Original Marine Band harmonica back then.

Here’s a video of “Little Walter” Playing one of his most famous songs “Juke” Man was he Amazing!

 

Sonny Boy Williamson (1) Birth name John Lee Curtis Williamson, born in 1914′ in Madison County, Tennessee, was one of the first blues harmonica legends of all times. he was often referred to as the pioneer of the blues harp.  He was the most recorded blues harmonica player, and musicians of the 1930’s, and 1940’s he died in 1948′ at age (34)

Here’s a video of “Sonny Boy Williamson 1 playing one of his most famous songs, “Good Morning, Little SchoolGirl”

 

Sonny Boy Williamson (11) Birth name Aleck Ford born in 1912′ in Glendora, Mississippi was another one of the most famous harmonica blues legends of all times. he died in 1965′ at age (52), but was around the blues scene long enough to be able to perform with other Greats like Eric Clapton, Robbie Robertson, Jimmy Page, and Robert Johnson.

Here’s a video of one of his most famous songs, “Keep it to Yourself”

This is a good start to a couple of the most well Known Harmonica Blues Legends! More to come in the future there’s a long list! These are just a couple of the earliest Harmonica Blues Legends!

Have you ever heard of any of these, Harmonica Blues Legends?

Have you ever heard any of these video’s that I posted?

Did you know who Little Walter was before my post?

Did you know who Sonny Boy Williamson 1 was before my post?

Did you know who Sonny Boy Williamson 11 was before my post?

Did you know the difference between Sonny Boy 1, and Sonny Boy 11 before my post?

I would love to get your feedback on this, please leave any comments , or questions below, and I will answer as soon as possible.

Thank you for visiting my website, please come back in the future as I’m always adding new, and exciting content.

larry@allaboutharmonicas.com

Have a blessed day!

Larry

Harmonica Tunes!

Hello Harmonica Lovers!

 

This post is going to be on harmonica tunes for beginners, first of all you need a C harmonica, as most songs are in that key to start off with, when playing Straight Harp for simply melodies like “Mary had a little Lamb” and “Row, Row, Row your Boat.” Some of the easiest song to learn are these below. I have an example of a couple of the songs below, “Row, Row, Row your Boat” and “Mary had a Little Lamb”

 

  • Amazing Grace
  • Home On The Range
  • Oh Susanna
  • Heart Of Gold
  • Hey Jude
  • Piano Man
  • Somewhere Over The Rainbow
  • Happy Birthday

“Row, Row, Row your Boat”  key of C Harmonica (B-Blow)  (D-Draw)

4B 4B 4B 4D 5B                                                                                                                                                       5B 4D 5B 5D 6B                                                                                                                                                       7B 7B 7B 6B 6B 6B                                                                                                                                                   5B 5B 5B 4B 4B 4B                                                                                                                                                   6B 5D 5B 4D 4B

As you can see from the example above, this is what they call First Position Playing, which is also referred to as Straight Harp Playing, which is mostly blow notes when played on the harmonica. Here’s another example of a beginners song “Mary had a Little Lamb” (B-Blow) (D-Draw)

5B 4D 4B 4B 5B 5B 5B                                                                                                                                           4D 4D 4D 5B 6B 6B                                                                                                                                                 5B 4D 4B 4D 5B 5B 5B                                                                                                                                           4D 4D 5B 4D 4B

 

As you can see, there are a lot of similarity of the song above this one “Row,Row,Row your Boat” has basically the same pattern of Blow,and Draw for First position Playing. This is also a lot of Melody Songs, to learn the basics on the harmonica, everyone starts  here when they start, learning to play the harmonica.  I did when I first started to learn the harmonica, you have to start from somewhere. I would suggest to purchase a quality harmonica to start off with, the Hohner Special 20 key of C is a really good harmonica from beginners to professionals.   It’s better to spend a little more money, to get a quality harmonica,  which will make it a lot easier, and more pleasurable to learn on, than a cheaper harmonica that is not airtight. You can purchase a quality harmonica from my website Here>Quality Harmonica!

I hope this post helps someone out, that may be thinking about learning to play the harmonica!

Have you ever wanted to learn the harmonica?

Have you ever tried to play the harmonica?

Have you heard other people play the harmonica?

Would you purchase a harmonica from my website?

Do you need help finding the right harmonica?

I would love to get your feedback on this, please leave any comments, or questions below, and I will reply as soon as possible.

Thank you for visiting my website, and please come back in the future as I’m always adding new ,and exciting content!

larry@allaboutharmonicas.com

Have a blessed day!

Larry

Harmonica Lessons!

Hello Harmonica Lovers!

This post is going to be on harmonica lessons. I wrote a post earlier on harmonica lessons, which I talked about the difference between, when I first started to play the harmonica there was no internet, or free online courses like they offer now. The way that I learned how to play the harmonica, was from a book, with lot’s of practice, patience, and time with my own motivation.

Now because of technology, and the internet it’s a lot easier to learn faster with less bad habits, and professional instructors teaching online for Free! Yes I said Free! There is a lot of free professional instructor courses online, that also offer the ability to purchase online courses with CD Packs so you can practice over, and over at you own pace.

One of my earlier post talks about what’s Hot, and what’s Not! You can check that out right here>harmonica lessons     

The harmonica book that I learned from is called “How to play the Harmonica Instantly” which I paid $10 for it in the 60’s  the same book is offered now, but comes with a blues harmonica, and a blues CD Pack for $27.99 more money but more value.

The best way to get harmonica lessons if you can afford it, would be with a professional Instructor one, on one, lesson which are usually $100 an hour. That is why most people learn from books, CD’s, or online courses. Some of the lessons that they offer are for beginners to professionals from A-Z they teach you everything from the basics, of  learning simple melodies to playing single notes.

Some of the online instructors are David Barrett, Ronnie Shellist, Jason Ricci, Adam Gussow, Howard Levy, and J.P. Allen which is an instructor that I suggest I purchased a CD lesson Pack thru J.P. Allen that has helped me become a better harmonica player, even after playing for 25yrs.

You can always learn something new, you’re never too old, I’m 65, and still learning new skills on the harmonica.

Have you ever taken harmonica lessons?

Did you know about free online lessons?

Have you ever hear of, any of these harmonica instructor’s?

I would love to get your feedback on this, please leave any comments, or questions below, and I will reply as soon as possible.

Thank you for visiting my website, and please com back in the future, as I’m always adding new, and exciting content!

larry@allaboutharmonicas.com

Have a blessed day!

Larry