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8 votes
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Making 12 bar blues more interesting

There are lots of ways to modify a 12-bar blues progression. I will narrow it down quite a bit because from your references to Led Zeppelin and Muddy Waters I gather that you're not so much interested ...
Matt L.'s user avatar
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8 votes
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Note designs on the 10 hole major diatonic harmonica

Both of the odd aspects of the tuning you've noted are caused by the same thing: Harmonicas are originally designed to play chords! It was basically built by 19'th century Germans to play polkas. And ...
EdvinW's user avatar
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7 votes

Am-Dm-Am-E songs (usually powerful folk songs) what key could they be in? What diatonic blues harp or penny whistle to use?

What key? A minor, see Richard's answer (and my comment) Which Harmonica to use Harmonica is a diatonic instrument designed to play simple major folk tunes, however that's often not the way it's ...
Some_Guy's user avatar
  • 5,089
7 votes
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Why does the blow/draw sequence reverse between B and C on the chromatic harmonica?

I went a bit down the rabbit hole with this one, I had some idea but in the end I ended up reading quite a lot about early chromatic harmonicas and diatonic harmonicas, so see if my ideas were in fact ...
Some_Guy's user avatar
  • 5,089
7 votes

Diatonic harmonica: How to play the draw bend with the three semitones down (effectively)?

The best method for teaching bends I know of is to imagine drinking through a straw. In normal play, you softly drink water. To bend, you don't need to draw much harder, but you change the drink to ...
EdvinW's user avatar
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6 votes

Can a 4-hole harmonica play more than the 8 diatonic notes?

For a guide to the 4 hole harmonica, I'd recommend you check out The Ultimate Miniature Harmonica Tunebook by Pat Missin. I haven't read it, but the author is very respected in the harmonica world. To ...
EdvinW's user avatar
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5 votes
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Should I learn guitar, harmonica, or violin first?

All of the below assumes whatever you do will involve daily practice (at least half an hour but an hour is better) and study (of resources on how to play). You don't need a teacher to learn harmonica ...
Todd Wilcox's user avatar
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5 votes

How to fix a not-working key on a Hohner Melodica

You can open up a melodica. There are screws holding the back on. Once you're inside the cure may be obvious. But they're still for sale, and cheap. So don't waste too much time on it. http://...
Laurence's user avatar
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5 votes
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Harmonica for pop music chords

Let's take a standard diatonic harmonica in C. By blowing, 3 notes are produced. C E and G. That gives us the C chord. Drawing will produce the other notes in that key - namely D F A and B. By ...
Tim's user avatar
  • 194k
5 votes

Harmonica on blues should be same Key as guitar?

Playing blues on a harp, drawing is the way to go. Blowing on, say, a C harp will give you the notes of that chord - C. So the blues notes, mainly, give the chord a fourth away - G. So, for a song in ...
Tim's user avatar
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5 votes
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Which harmonica to accompany guitar tuned 1/2 step down?

Ahh the Neil Young classic "Heart of Gold". That is the song that inspired me to learn to play harmonica and guitar at the same time. It's just not the same without the harp solo. Many folk songs ...
Rockin Cowboy's user avatar
5 votes

Why call a harmonica a harp?

Interesting question. Wikipedia on history of harmonica states, there was a development related to the Aeolina or Aeolian harp. Following the link for Aeolian harp reveals: that one had strings which ...
MS-SPO's user avatar
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4 votes

Should I get a 12 hole or 16 hole chromatic harmonica?

I think the confusion comes from the naming of the notes. In C major, the notes will be C,D,E,F,G,A,B and the next C. This gives all the notes you need diatonically to play in key C.With the button ...
Tim's user avatar
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4 votes

Help with notes of chromatic harmonica!! I have only 3 days to practise!

It's going to depend a lot on what key you play the piece in. It's Cm in the original, which will not be too bad for you, as it modulates to C maj. When you blow 4 or 5 notes simultaneously, button ...
Tim's user avatar
  • 194k
4 votes

Am-Dm-Am-E songs (usually powerful folk songs) what key could they be in? What diatonic blues harp or penny whistle to use?

I can't speak for what blues harp or penny whistle to use, but I can address the question of key: Pieces with progressions like Am--Dm--Am--E are unequivocally in the key of A minor. If you've ever ...
Richard's user avatar
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4 votes

C Minor Chord on a Chromatic Harmonica in the key of C

Is there perhaps a technique I can use to lower the pitch of the E to Eb while blowing a C triad? No there isn't. For minor key chord stuff people tend to play chromatic harmonicas in D minor or Eb ...
Some_Guy's user avatar
  • 5,089
4 votes

Only one key possible to play in for harmonicas?

Diatonic harmonicas are capable of playing in multiple keys. This is done a few of different ways. The most common type of blues playing is called "cross harp," which involves using a harmonica in ...
Peter's user avatar
  • 6,506
4 votes

Choosing the right harmonica and key

If it's for a bluesy sound, the harp is usually a fourth above the played key. So, he plays a song in G, the harp needed will be a C harp. However, since he tunes down a semitone, the harp needs to ...
Tim's user avatar
  • 194k
4 votes

Harmonica on blues should be same Key as guitar?

Generally, for blues, if guitar plays in C you would use an F harp. This is to get the Bb ("blue 7th"), otherwise known as Mixolydian mode. In general, you want the harp whose key is a perfect 4th ...
danmcb's user avatar
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4 votes
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How to hit the right hole on the harmonica

caveat: I'm not an expert, but I've learned a little bit from my grandfather. You can get the effect you want by puckering up to produce a really small hole, but you'll probably be better off in the ...
Sonja Johnson-Yu's user avatar
4 votes

Why call a harmonica a harp?

The harmonica has gone under many names, including mouth harp and French harp. The connection to Aeolian harps @MS-SPO mentions is possible, but in any case the names alluding to harps are very old, ...
EdvinW's user avatar
  • 643
3 votes

Advice for first harmonica

I would recommend starting with a more beginner-friendly harmonica (that is, with fewer holes) for now, just to get the basics down. I've always heard great things about the Hohner 20, but of course ...
Richard's user avatar
  • 84.6k
3 votes

Should I learn guitar, harmonica, or violin first?

You should really base your choice of what to learn based on which one you most like rather than which one is easiest. In truth, no instrument is easier than any other when played at the highest level ...
Dave Halsall's user avatar
3 votes
Accepted

Is it possible to Overblow in Hohner Silverstar Harmonica?

It's quite possible that a harp like that may well have 1 or 2 overblows out of the box, if you're not unlucky (probably on hole 6 or 5). However, to get them to come out cleanly (or sometimes to ...
Some_Guy's user avatar
  • 5,089
3 votes

Is it possible to play all melody songs on 10 hole diatonic harmonica?

Yes, you can play all the half notes (black keys on the piano) for the whole range, but as mentioned above, a LOT of practice is needed. I'd guess a couple hundred plus hours of experimenting to get ...
David Harris's user avatar
3 votes

How do I clean my harmonica without taking it apart?

Don’t take apart a marine band. They're put together with nails, not screws. After playing take a dry soft cloth and carefully dry it then let it air dry. Don’t close it up in the box. Mine only gets ...
Gerì's user avatar
  • 31
3 votes

Am-Dm-Am-E songs (usually powerful folk songs) what key could they be in? What diatonic blues harp or penny whistle to use?

Playing on a blues harp necessitates using a harp that is a fourth above the key everyone else is playing in. So, in Am, the sequence quoted, a Dm will be best. Not a common beast, though. You could ...
Tim's user avatar
  • 194k
3 votes

Harmonica key advice sought

Yes, you're correct. Drawing on a harp gives the dominant chord notes of the harp key, so with an F# harp, you'll be drawing to make a C#9 chord. F# harps aren't the most common. Might be time for ...
Tim's user avatar
  • 194k
3 votes
Accepted

Chromonica (chromatic harmonica) notes relating to holes

So it's blow/draw for C/D E/F G/A, and draw/blow for B/C. This seems to fit with the standard tuning for a chromatic, "solo" tuning, which is the following repeated pattern: 1 2 3 4 5 6 ...
Some_Guy's user avatar
  • 5,089
3 votes
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Harmonica : what is a bend -4''?

That is explained in the tab guide (section 3), but a negative hole number typically stands for a draw note, and each single-quote next to it means a half-step bend, so -4" would be draw 4, bent two ...
Mathieu Guindon's user avatar

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