Tag Archives: Country Harmonica

Great harmonica players like “Charlie McCoy” known for Country Harp!

Hello Harmonica Lovers!

“Charlie McCoy”

I’m going to be talking about one of the great harmonica players  who is know for country harp but also plays a lot of different styles of harmonica in addition to that he also plays the guitar, Bass and trumpet his name is “Charlie McCoy” who was born Charles Ray “Charlie” McCoy on March 28 1941′ and is still performing today.

Early in Charlie McCoy’s childhood he lived in Miami, Florida with his family his mother bought him a harmonica for a gift for 50 cents Charlie started playing it at age 8 along with the guitar, Bass and trumpet he went on to pursue a career in music.

Charlie McCoy’s first band was a  rock band he played guitar and sang the name of the band was”Charlie McCoy and the Agendas.” When he was 16 years old a friend of his and him went to a Country barn dance radio show called the “Old South Jamboree” in Miami, Florida Charlie’s friend talked to the host of the show about Charlie McCoy performing that night which he did and it went so well Charlie and his rock band got signed to the “Old South Jamboree” the band then went on to enter a rock n roll contest and ended up coming in first place. When Charlie was 18 years old Mel Tillis invited him to Nashville Tennessee in 1959 to future his career he went  to recording companies and producers to promote his music but came up empty handed.

Charlie was devastated when he didn’t get a recording contract in Nashville so he went back to Miami, Florida an enrolled at Miami University and pursued music education as his major and decided to become a music teacher while he was still performing at the “Old South Jamboree.” Charlie McCoy still wanted to pursue a career in music so he went to work as a drummer for the John Ferguson band he had go out and buy a drum set to join them the band didn’t last long and before to long he found himself unemployed for a month until he joined the Stonewall Jackson band as a drummer.

Charlie received  a call from “Jim Denney” a booking agent and told him that Cadence Records had listen to his tape and wanted to sign him Charlie was ecstatic when he heard that Charlies’s first single was cut “Cherry Berry Wine” it reached 99 on the Billboard charts in Nashville.  Jim Denny told Charlie to keep playing the harmonica and do demo sessions.

In 1961 “Chet Atkins” heard Charlies MCcoy’s demo tape and hired him right away. Charlie’s first recorded harmonica song was “I Just Don’t Understand” by Ann Margret for RCA records then another lable heard about Charlie McCoy’s harmonica playing and he played harmonica for the “Roy Orbison band” on the song “Cand Man” it was a million dollar seller Charlie became very ppopular as a studio harmonica player and his album “Good Time Charlie” was No. 1 on the Billboard country charts in 1970’s.

Charlie McCoy did over 400 studio sessions a year he also won 2 CMA Awards  and 7 ACM Awards. Charlie went on to play for other acts such as Johnny Cash, Steve Miller band, Perry Como, Joan Baez, Elvis Presley, Ringo Starr and more.

Charlie McCoy started out playing the Marine Bands and the Hohner Old Standby harmonicas which you can see a description, pricing and purchase them right here through my website and Amazon.

Charlie McCoy’s Custom Harmonica                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Here’s a video of Charlie McCoy  playing 2 harmonicas on “Orange Blossom Special”

Have you ever seen Charlie McCoy?

Have you ever heard Charlie McCoy?

Did you know that Charlie played more than the harmonica?

Have you ever heard Orange Blossom Special by Charlie McCoy?

Did you know that he plays 2 harmonicas on the song Orange blossom Special?

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

If I can help you out in anyway please ask me.

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!


Blues harp players “Junior Wells” one of the greats!

Hello Harmonica Lovers!

“Junior Wells”

Junior Wells was born in Memphis Tennessee as (Amos Wells Blakemore Jr.) in 1934′ and died in 1998′ he was known for his Chicago style amplified blues harp and vocals that he had developed. Junior wells was known for a couple of very popular songs like (Hoodoo Man Blues) that was one of them but the most famous song was and still is today (Messin with the Kid.)

Junior Wells performed and recorded with a lot of famous blues artist such as Buddy Guy which I show a picture with him below and other great blues harp players like Muddy Waters, Earl Hooker and even the Rock band the Rolling Stones.

Junior Wells learned to play the harmonica by the age of seven from his cousin “Junior Parker” and the famous Sonny Boy Williamson 11 as pictured here. He moved with his mother to Chicago in 1948′ and starting sitting in with local musicians to perfect his harmonica playing but he first performed with a band called “Aces” influenced by “Little Walter” he developed one of the first amplified style harmonica sound that so many harmonica players use today.

Junior Wells made his first recordings in 1952′ where he replaced Little Walter in the Muddy Waters Band. Wells told the following story, printed on the cover of Hoodoo Man Blues: “I went to this pawnshop downtown and the man had a harmonica priced at $2.00. I wanted that harmonica so bad but couldn’t afford it so I got a job on a soda truck played hooky from school  worked all week and on Saturday the man gave me a dollar and a half. A dollar and a half! For a whole week of work. I went to the pawnshop and the man said the price was two dollars. I told him I had to have that harp. He walked away from the counter and left the harp there. So I laid the dollar and a half on the counter and picked up the harp.

Later when my trial came up, the judge asked me why I did it. I told him I wanted that harp. The judge asked me to play it and when I did he gave the man the 50 cents and hollered “Case dismissed!” (1948)

Junior Wells played all different kinds of harmonicas like the Hohner Blues harp and Chromatic  and others but one of his favorite harmonicas was the Lee Oskar harmonicas.


Junior Wells was buried with a tray of Lee Oskar harmonicas
If the information on Wikipedia is reliable, the Hoodoo Man was buried in Chicago in 1998 with a tray of Lee Oskar harmonicas by his side.  Lee Oskar confirms that they were good friends and Junior used his harps. He also recalls hearing a story like this at the time, but he can’t remember any details. Then an email was received from Junior’s Family that stated this……

This is to verify that Jr Wells was buried with Lee Oskar harmonicas. I know this to be a fact because I was there at the funeral. Mr. Oskar also played the most beautiful song (solo). I have never heard a harp played that way before. I would like to thank him for being his friend and honoring us with his presence. The reason I know all of this is because Jr. was my dad. I miss him everyday but his fans and friends help keep him alive for our family. May God bless and keep all of you. Thanks Jr’s Family



Here’s a video of Junior Wells playing harmonica & Buddy Guy on guitar!

Have you ever heard of Junior Wells?

Did you know he was a great harmonica player?

Did you know that he was one of the first amplified harp players?

Did you know that he replaced the Great “Little Walter” in the Muddy Waters Band”?

Did you know that he played Lee Oskar harmonicas?

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

Please come back in the future and visit my website as I’m always adding new and exciting content!


Have a blessed day!


“Carey Bell” One of the best harmonica players!

Hello Harmonica Lovers!

“Carey Bell”

Carey bell was born in Macon, Mississippi as “Carey Bell Harrington” in 1936′ he died in 2007′ of heart failure he was one of the best harmonica players of all times and played a Hohner Super 64 chromatic harmonica.  When Carey Bell was growing up as a child he was very interested in the saxophone because of what he heard from a great saxophone player at that time named “Louis Jordan.” Carey Bell really wanted a saxophone but his families income wasn’t enough at the time to buy him a saxophone so they settled on a “Mississippi Saxophone” better known as the harmonica. It wasn’t long before Carey Bell was listing to the great blues harmonica players like Big Walter Horton, DeFord Baily, Sonny Boy Williamson 11 and Little Walter just to name a few. Carey Bell was already an accomplished harmonica player by the age of 8 he went on to join a blues band with his Godfather who played piano and Carey Bell played bass guitar and harmonica at the age of 13.

In 1956′ Carey Bells Godfather “Lovie Lee” asked him to go to Chicago with him. After being in Chicago for a short period of time he went to go see “Little Walter” perform and was blown away by his harmonica playing he stuck around after the concert just hoping that he might be able to even meet Little Walter which he did meet Little Walter and Walter gave him some playing tips on how to play the harmonica this really excited Carey Bell made him more determined to perfect his playing style to sound like the greats.

Carey Bells main harmonica instructor was “Big Walter Horton” having learned from some of the great blues harp players he pursued playing harmonica while in Chicago but not much of an opportunity for harmonica players at the time so he played the bass guitar and the harmonica in several bands on the West Side of Chicago with the likes of Eddie Taylor and Royal Johnson in 1960’s.

In 1969′ he toured Europe with the American Folk Blues Festivals and had an opportunity to perform at the Royal Albert Hall in London. Carey Bell went on to play with Muddy Waters inn 1970.’ He went on to played with the (Chicago Blues All Stars) led by Willie Dixon.

In the 1980’s Carey Bell continued to record for different labels. In !990′ Bell teamed up with Junior Wells, James Cotton and Billy Branch to record the album “Harp Attack” which I used to practice to first starting to learn to play the harmonica on cassette tapes. Now because of high tech you can pull “Harp Attack” up on YouTube one of the best harmonica recordings of some of the Greatest Blues harmonica Players of all time.

Here’s a video of “Harp Attack”

Have you ever seen Carey Bell?

Have you ever heard Carey Bell?

Did you know who Carey Bell was?

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

Please come back in the future an check out my website as I’m always adding new and exciting content!

If I can help you out in anyway please ask me.


Have a blessed day!


“James Cotton blues harmonica player”

Hello Harmonica Lovers!

“James Cotton”

Here’s another great blues harmonica player that you probably have heard of before.

“James Cotton” as most harmonica players knew him, was born James Henry Cotton. Born July 1st,  1935, died March 16, 2017 at the age of 81. James Cotton was originally a drummer but is famous for his blues harmonica playing.  James Cotton first started playing with a lot of great blues artists. In 1950 early in his career, he went on to professionally play the blues harp for the “Howlin Wolfs Band”. In 1955 he was asked to play harmonica for the “Muddy Waters Band”. James Cotton became the bandleader of the Muddy Waters Band and stayed with them until 1965. His career continued as he then formed the “Jimmy Cotton Blues Quartet”.  Between gigs with his quartet, he produced recordings for the Muddy Waters Band.  After the “Jimmy Cotton Blues Quartet” he formed a touring group named “Electric Flag”. James Cotton (called Cotton by his friends)  was the youngest of eight brothers and sisters who grew up in the cotton fields working beside their mother, Hattie, and their father, Mose. On Sundays Mose was the preacher in the area’s Baptist church. Cotton’s earliest memories include his mother playing chicken and train sounds on her harmonica and for a few years he thought those were the only two sounds the little instrument made. His Christmas present one year was a harmonica, it cost 15 cents, and it wasn’t long before he mastered the chicken and the train. King Biscuit Time, a 15-minute radio show, began broadcasting live on KFFA, a station just across the Mississippi River in Helena, Arkansas. The star of the show was the harmonica legend, Sonny Boy Williamson (Rice Miller). The young Cotton pressed his little ear to the old radio speaker. He recognized the harmonica sound AND discovered something – the harp did more! Realizing this, a profound change came over him, and since that moment, Cotton and his harp have been inseparable – the love affair had begun. Soon he was able to play Sonny Boy’s theme song from the radio show and, as he grew so did his repertoire of Sonny Boy’s other songs. Mississippi summers are ghastly, the heat is unrelenting. He was too young to actually work in the cotton fields, so little Cotton would bring water to those who did. When it was time for him to take a break from his job, he would sit in the shadow of the plantation foreman’s horse and play his harp. His music became a source of joy for his first audience. James Cotton’s star began to shine brightly at a very early age.

By his ninth year both of his parents had passed away and Cotton was taken to Sonny Boy Williamson by his uncle. When they met, the young fellow wasted no time – he began playing Sonny Boy’s theme song on his treasured harp. Cotton remembers that first meeting well and says, “I walked up and played it for him. And I played it note for note. And he looked at that. He had to pay attention.” The two harp players were like father and son from then on.

There were dozens of juke joints in the South at the time and Sonny Boy played in nearly every one in Mississippi and Arkansas. Now he had an opening act! Because Cotton was too young to go inside he would “open” for Sonny Boy on the steps of these juke joints, sometimes making more money in tips outside than Sonny Boy did at the gig inside.

After a gig early one morning Sonny Boy split for Milwaukee, Wisconsin, to live with his estranged wife, leaving his band to Cotton who comments, “He just gave it to me. But I couldn’t hold it together ’cause I was too young and crazy in those days an’ everybody in the band was grown men, so much older than me.”

There was no one to care for the teenager – no real home to go to – but young Cotton had his harmonica. Beale Street in Memphis was alive with the blues and Cotton played on the street for tips. Also, he put a mean shine on any paying customer’s shoes. When he’d been with Sonny Boy, they had played a juke joint named “The Top Hat” in Black Fish, Arkansas. One night he heard Howlin’ Wolf was playing there and he decided it was time to meet him. He was still underage but the owner let him through the door this time. He liked the young musician plus he knew if Cotton sat in with Howlin’ Wolf the good times would roll even farther, deep into the night. Cotton got along well with Howlin’ Wolf from the moment they met and they began to play the juke joints as far north as Caruthersville, Missouri, and as far south as Nachez, Mississippi, with Cotton doing most of the driving down old Highway 61. He learned the ways of the road from a second blues legend.

At the ripe old age of 15 he cut four songs at Sun Records: “Straighten Up Baby,” “Hold Me In Your Arms,” “Oh, Baby,” and “Cotton Crop Blues.”

KWEM, a radio station in West Memphis, Arkansas, directly across the Mississippi River from Memphis, gave Cotton a 15-minute radio show in 1952. This was a great achievement for a bluesman who was only 17 years old. It gave him a wider audience; not everyone went to juke houses, but the radio was on everyday from 3-3:15 p.m. Mississippi and Arkansas held the very essence of the blues in their cotton fields. People wanted to hear their own music.

Cotton had gigs every weekend but to help support himself better he found a job in West Memphis driving an ice truck during the week. When he got off work one Friday afternoon in early December 1954, he walked to his regular Friday happy hour gig at the “Dinette Lounge” and played his first set. The club was getting crowded and he recognized many familiar faces but when the band took a break, a strange man approached and extended a handshake to Cotton saying, “Hello, I’m Muddy Waters.” He’d heard about the young James Cotton. “I didn’t know what Muddy looked like but I knew it was his voice ’cause I’d listened to his records,” says Cotton. Muddy needed a harp player. Junior Wells had abruptly left the band. He asked Cotton to play the Memphis gig with him. The answer is history. Cotton remained Muddy’s harp player for 12 years.

Chess Records kept Little Walter (Jacobs) playing harmonica on Muddy’s records until 1958. Before then Muddy asked Brother Cotton to “play it like Little Walter” – note for note live on stage every night. But that wasn’t Cotton’s aim in life and finally one day he said to Muddy, “Hey man, I never will be Little Walter. You’ve just got to give me a chance to be myself.” Cotton’s star shined even brighter in 1958 when he began recording at Chess Records with Muddy on “Sugar Sweet” and “Close To You.”

Cotton developed an arresting stage presence which Muddy recognized. As a sideman, Cotton always respected Muddy’s position of authority. But they both knew Cotton had his own full-blown brand of animated showmanship that no one had ever seen before and that, coupled with his own harmonica style, commanded attention from the audience. In 1961 at the Newport Jazz Festival one of the highlights of his career came when his wild harmonica exploded on stage during his solo of the song he arranged for Muddy, “Got My Mojo Working.” You be the judge! Fortunately, the tape was running and the recording belongs to all of us.

“Muddy was a very sweet guy. I loved and respected Muddy very much. But I did all I could there, an’ it was time to move on to something else,” Cotton explains why he left the band in the latter part of 1966.

The year 1967 is well-documented as Cotton’s first year as a bandleader with the two CD’s “Seems Like Yesterday” and “Late Night Blues” recorded live in Montreal at the “New Penelope” club and unreleased until 1998 on the Justin Time label. It was the first gig on the first tour of the first James Cotton Blues Band. From that night forward Cotton embarked on tours all across the country. He had crossed over into the blues-rock genre because of his reputation as Muddy Waters’ harp player. During the last half of the 60’s decade Cotton made four records. “Cut You Loose” was released on Vanguard, “Pure Cotton,” “Cotton In Your Ears,” and “The James Cotton Blues Band” were released on the Verve label.


Have you ever seen James Cotton?

Have you ever heard James Cotton?

Did you know he was taught by Sonny Boy Williams?

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 Night!



Country Blues Harmonica!

Hello Harmonica Lovers!

I’m going to be talking about country blues harmonica and when it’s used and who uses it. Country Blues is acoustic guitar driven blues accompanied by the harmonica became called (folk blues) and targeted the audience of the white college age population. Then in the 1960s soul, rhythm and blues came on the scene and blues harmonica players like Sonny Boy Williams 11 now became known as folk blues artist. Another country blues harmonica player named “Sonny Terry” performed with a guitar player named “Brownie McGhee” and toured the folk festival circuit calling themselves (Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee).

There are a lot of different styles of country blues harmonica just to a name a few would-be Memphis blues, Texas blues, West Coast blues, Swamp blues, Delta blues, Kansas City blues, and hill country blues and more.

Country Blues Harmonica is different from Country Harmonica the difference between the two are that in Country Blues Harmonica you are playing in the “Cross Harp Position” using a lot of lower end bend on the harmonica drawing with your breath on holes 1-6 and in Country Harmonica you’re playing in the “Straight Harp Position” using a lot of melodies and blow notes and your bends are usually at the  upper end of the harmonica holes 7-10 drawing in with your breath I wrote an earlier post on different positions on the harmonica that you can access here>Harmonica Beginners!

Here is a list of a couple of Country Blues harmonica players!

    • Deford Bailey (born December 14th 1899 – July 2nd 1982) he was an early blues country harmonica player from Tennessee.
    • John Cephas (born September 4th 1930- March 4th 2009) He was a singer, guitar player and harmonica player in the Piedmont blues style.
    • Little Buddy Doyle (March 20 1911- ?) he was a Memphis blues style and country blues harmonica player who was a singer, harmonica and guitar player.
    • Sonny Boy nelson (born December 23rd 1908- November 4th 1998) he played a lot of different instruments like the banjo, harmonica, guitar, mandolin and the violin.
  • Here’s a video of “Country Blues Harmonica” that you can hear and see below.

The harmonica being used in this video is a Hohner Marine Band Crossover that you can purchase and see here>Hohner Crossover 

Have you ever heard Country Harmonica?

Have you ever heard of Country Blues Harmonica?

Have ever heard any of the Country Blues Harmonica players I listed?

Have you ever played Country Blues 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!



Famous Harmonica Player?

Hello Harmonica Lovers!

I’m going to be talking about a very famous harmonica player in the harmonica world that you may have heard of or possibly not heard of he is famous for his unique style of playing the Richter tuned diatonic harmonica playing the chromatic scale I explain more about his style of playing below.

“Howard Levy” Harmonica Master

Howard Levy is known for his chromatic playing style on a diatonic harmonica in 1970′ he discovered  techniques on the harmonica called overblow and overdraw which allows him to play the chromatic scale on a Richter tuned diatonic harmonica and play all the missing chromatic notes because of theses techniques.

Howard Levy can plays in a lot of different styles because of his skills such a Classical, Folk, Rock,Jazz, Blues, Latin and World music.  As you can see he covers about every style there is to play the diatonic harmonicawhich most other harmonica players stick to one style or the other like Blues or Country.

Here’s a video interview on Howard Levy the Master of the Harmonica!



Have you ever heard of  Howard Levy?

Have you ever seen Howard Levy?

Have you ever heard of the  overblow technique?

Have you ever heard of the overdraw technique?

Have you ever used these techniques?

I would love to get you feedback on this please leave any comments or question 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!








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!


Have a blessed day!


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


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!


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!


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!


Have a blessed day!


Country Harmonica!

Hello Harmonica Lovers!

This post is going to be on country harmonica, which is a whole different tuning than standard Richter tuning.  The 5th draw hole is raised a 1/2 step to create a country sound on the harmonica.

The standard Richter 10 hole harmonica tuning was devised in the early 19th century and is still used by most. Intended for “first position” chord/melody playing, it has been widely adapted to “second position” blues. That is, a harmonica in C for songs in G. As harmonica players know.

Despite the ubiquity of Richter tuning, the common second position style lacks an important note. Hence Country Tuning, the topic for this article.

First, a word on tuning reeds. Unscrew the cover plates from an instrument. An old one if you’ve not done it before. Look closely at the reeds. You’ll see small diagonal scratches on some, where they’ve been tuned in the factory. Tuning reeds, or changing their pitch is commonly done. Scraping the top of the reed with a small file removes metal, the pitch rises. The same at the bottom of a reed lowers the pitch.

The scratches you see on the reeds of your instrument provide fine tuning. However it is generally possible to raise (or lower) the pitch of a reed by a tone or more with this technique.

Country tuning is the same as Richter tuning except that the 5 draw reed is raised a semitone.

If you’re not  confident, and haven’t tuned your harmonicas this way.

Country tuned harmonicas, are available from Hohner, the special 20 is the only one they  offer currently. Ok you’ve got a country tuned harmonica, in the key of C, and a standard Richter tuned one in the key of C.

First, take the standard harmonica and play “The First Note”, in 2nd position. The opening notes are:

D, for draw!, and B, for  blow!

3D 3D” 2D 3D” 3D 4B 4D 5B 5D 6B

Assuming you can do the big 3D” bend, which means that you can bend, a draw note 3 times down on your harmonica.  The second to last note, the 5th Draw In second position, this note is the flat seventh. Great for blues, often not so for melodies.

Now try with the country tuned harmonica.

Hear the difference?

The tune sounds right the raised 5th Draw is a major 7th.

This note occurs rarely in blues solos, so you probably haven’t missed it so far.

However the major 7th, occurs everywhere in other music types, particularly pop, and folk melodies.

Ok, now try the entire major scale, first take a standard G harmonica, and  play the first position major scale. That is:

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

Now repeat this G Major scale on the country tuned C harmonica. Sound Different huh?

2D 3D” 3D 4B 4D 5B 5D 6B

Try the scale up, and down a few times. Now extend to the low notes, namely:

2D 2D’ 2B 1D 1B

Notice how the 2D’ is the same note as the 5D, just an octave lower. If you’re fumbling these scales, stick at them until they are smooth.

Now try some second position folk melodies.

However, gaining the major 7th (by tuning up the 5D) means losing the flat 7th, the original note.

Bend the 5D down, the original flat 7th returns. Try this exercise:

With the standard Richter tuned C harmonica, play 2D 3D 4D 5D

Now with the country tuned C harmonica, play 2D 3D 4D 5D’

The last note of each phrase should match. Of course the bent note doesn’t sound as smooth as the 5D on the Richter tuned harmonica.

For this reason standard Richter tuned harmonicas are generally better for blues.

Except perhaps for this riff. Take the country tuned harmonica, play the following 12 bar:

2D 3D 4D 5B 6B 5B 4D 3D
2D 3D 4D 5B 6B 5B 4D 3D
4B 5B 6B 6D 7B 6D 6B 5B
2D 3D 4D 5B 6B 5B 4D 3D
4D 5D 6D 7D 8D 7D 6D 5D
2D 3D 4D 5B 6B 5B 4D 3D

Sound familiar? It’s the essence of many blues, and rockabilly guitar backing lines.

Sounds good on the harmonica, the country tuned raised 5th Draw makes it possible.

Here’s a video so you can hear some Country Licks!

Have you ever heard of Country harmonica?

Have you ever used country tuning?

Do you own any country tuned harmonicas?

Do you have the need for country harmonica?

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