I am a beginner harmonica player. I bought recently a C harmonica and subscribed to two online learning courses. After a few weeks, I noticed I would prefer to learn some Eastern European/gypsy melodies instead of those blues/campfire songs which they teach in my courses. Can somebody recommend an online course for that purpose? On which harp do people play Eastern European music? A minor harp?

I still will continue my subscribed courses. I noticed in one course the teacher uses an A harmonica. I play on a C harmonica. Does that matter?

  • 2
    I'm not able to play the harmonica but I'm pretty sure you need a harmonic minor harmonica (so not natural minor) to play in gypsy style
    – flappix
    May 18, 2019 at 20:09
  • 1
    Playing by yourself, it doesn't really matter what key your harmonica is in. Playing with others, if the song's in C, use a C harp, or for cross harp playing, use an F.
    – Tim
    May 19, 2019 at 6:59
  • @skymedium could you post some examples of eastern european or gypsy harmonica playing? I'm not an expert in this area of harmonica music, but if you post some videos or recordings, I will be able to tell you what type of harmonica it is, and in what key they're playing it.
    – Some_Guy
    Aug 9, 2019 at 15:58
  • it would be possible to play gypsy melodies on a 10 hole harmonica in cross harp (the flat 2 is available in that position, and there are some useful bends to play some of the necessary melodic inflections, just like fiddle and clarinet players in that style do). However, while I know that you could play gypsy/eastern European harmonica like that, I don't know if that's what those players actually do (because I've never heard a harmonica played like that)
    – Some_Guy
    Aug 9, 2019 at 16:01
  • @Some_Guy There is an example. Found out he is playing an A minor harmonica.
    – skymedium
    Aug 28, 2019 at 12:18

1 Answer 1


The harmonica keys should correspond to the key of the music, regardless of the genre in which you are playing... The "C", "A", "D", "F", and "G" keys are a good place to start for beginners. Here is a little chart:

Harmonica keys by position

This article gives a beginner's look at the harmonica positions, if you haven't already reached that in your lessons... A summarized description of the first 3 positions:

1st position starts on the 1 blow, 4 blow and is the same key as the harmonica

2nd position starts on 2 draw, 6 blow and is a fifth up from the key of the harmonica

3rd position starts on 1 draw, 4 draw and is one tone up from the key of the harmonica

As you play more with others and grow your abilities, you will likely also want to look into the various harmonica types.

Many harmonica players have lots and lots of harmonicas in various keys and of various types:

Sugar Blue

From there, playing in a specific genre will be based on the style you implement. Listen to a lot of eastern European music and practice in that style.

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