Probably not the best harmonica to start with, but this is the one that I used to play around with when I was a kid. So, I just picked it up at the store and thought it might be easy to learn. And later that I found out that it's called a tremolo. It has 2 rows of holes, each with 24 holes. So it's 48 holes in total.

I'm probably not creative enough in searching for tutorials. But it seems that the more common tutorials are on the diatonic 10 hole blues harps. So, please advise me on how I should get started with the 48-hole tremolo harmonica.

3 Answers 3


The kind you have chosen is certainly not the most common... I am myself biased toward the push button chromatic harmonica.

There are several models of harmonica with two rows of 24 holes. This can be a tremolo but also a chord harmonica or a (tremolo) octave harmonica.

Makers propose them in one, two or several tonalities. Would be great if you tell us exactly what model it is as the placement of reeds and a few other things differ.

The most common are in C, starting with a C, a G or even a E.

There is a published method for tremolo by a Phil Duncan. This could be worth if it covers with examples the kind of music you like.

I have found these sites thanks to Google:



Hope it helps. If you can read german or french, there are many resources on harmonica in these languages. I know that there is also a bunch of passionates in Korea and Japan, and I have been impressed by the proficiency of the most famous japan harmonicists.

About awe's remark on kissing, cross training with harmonica playing could definitely be a good idea :-)

  • The kind @Phelios has is more like a cheap instrument common to use for kids, more as to play around with. But they often have decent sound qualities, so it is a very good starting point. I myself started out with something similar, and trained my basic skills on it. Then later I decided to advance to a chromatic with push button to be able to play more advanced stuff.
    – awe
    Jun 27, 2011 at 6:19

It depends what kind of music you will want to play.
If you are playing blues, you really should get hold of a blues harp.

As a first step, I advice you to practice on hitting one note at the time (not chords). This is acheived by narrowing your mouth as if you were to kiss someone. It is said that good harmonica players are also good kissers...

Then make sure you get familiar with how the notes are played. I guess it's a C major tuning on your harmonica (which is most common for non-blues).
So playing the C major scale will be:

    C    D    E    F    G    A    B    C  
    out  in   out  in   out  in   in   out

When you have control on the scale, find some easy melodies you can play - and you are on the way. Playing the harmonica is mostly learned by just playing songs. It is a bit tricky to blay by sheet music, but it is quite easy to pick up melodies by ear.


I have here a tune to play with tremolo harmonica. Its the most basic, common and important tune "HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU". Here, the minus (-) sign indicates drawing or inhaling and plus (+) or no sign indicates blowing. Be careful, you should start with high sound side. The numbers represent the number of the hole you should draw or blow. Using the above information,this would be the way to play the tune: 6 6 -6 6 7 -7 Hap-py Birth-Day To You 6 6 -6 6 -8 7 Hap-py Birth-Day To You 6 6 9 8 7 -6 Hap-py Birth Day Dear __- ____ -9 -9 8 7 -8 7 Hap-py Birthday To you

  • 1
    This only gives advice about how to play one melody, rather than general advice about playing this instrument. Oct 14, 2014 at 12:57

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