Styles of playing the Harmonica

Hello Harmonica Lovers!

I’m going to be talking about playing the harmonica in different styles!

The most common styles are Blues, Rock and Country: played with a  Diatonic 12 key harmonica is used in most of these styles played in the 2nd position or cross harp as it’s known in the harmonica world. The main keys used for this style are A,C,D,E,B,G,Bb and F. I wrote a post earlier about the Lee Oskar harmonica the “Melody Maker” which is specially designed for cross harp playing but they only come in the keys A,C,E and G. The cross harp position allows you to ben and overblow notes for the proper sound that you want for the music you’re playing. Blues and Rock are used alot in the cross harp position to get the bends and wails! These keys can also be used for melodies which changes your style of playing from cross harp to straight harp playing mostly blow notes when playing melodies.

Folk,Celtic and Old Time Music: played completely different from Blues or Rock playing. These styles are primarily played in the 1st position called the straight harp position used in melodies mostly blow notes.

Bluegrass: In bluegrass playing the harmonica has the same role as the fiddle played with a C-Major diatonic harmonica using overblows it can actually sound like a fiddle. Bluegrass is a complicated music so a Chromatic harmonica is best used for most of the playing but you can use a 12 key diatonic with overblows like I stated in this post.

Jazz: The harmonica best used for this kind of music is a harmonica XB-40xb40harmonica XB-40  but again you can also use a 12 key diatonic harmonica if you use bends & overblows where there needed in the music. The most common keys used in Jazz are Bb,Eb and Ab.

Classical: The best harmonica used for this style is the Chromatic harmonica playing mostly chords. Playing fast runs like Flight of the Bumblebee you can use a Polyphonia  harmonica. Chord  Harmonica is used to play most chord parts in the song. Horn Harmonica are used in certain songs that require that special sound. Bass Harmonica are used when you want to get a low range sound. Classical Music is about technique and understanding the actual music.

Please let me know what you think about these different styles and the post I wrote?

Have you ever used any of these styles before?

Which style do you prefer?

Why do you prefer that style?

I would love to get your feedback and know what you think about these different styles 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 & exciting content.

Have a blessed day!



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