Harmonica Tips For Beginners
Welcome to Harmonicas and Stuff online harmonica store. We have a large selection of harmonicas and blues harmonica assessories for you to choose from.
How To Hold a Harmonica
Hold the body of the harmonica in the left hand between the thumb and index finger. The three remaining fingers will then be curved slightly, to form a small resonating space.
Place the flat of your right hand over the harmonica (not the mouthpiece side!), and enclose it, forming a tight cup. Optimally, the cup should form a large resonating space.
What is a Chromatic Harmonica
The chromatic harmonica is a type of harmonica that uses a button-activated sliding bar to redirect air from the hole in the mouthpiece to the selected reed-plate desired. When the button is not pressed on the harp, an altered diatonic major scale of the key of the harmonica is available, while depressing the button accesses the same scale a semi-tone higher in each hole. Thus, the instrument is capable of playing the 12 notes of the Western chromatic scale. The chromatic harmonica can be contrasted with a standard harmonica, which can play only the notes in a given key
This picture is here to illustrate all possible bends on a harmonica.
When learning how to play the harmonica,beginners sometimes fined the blow bends on holes (8) & (10) more difficult.
Your harps should be stored so that they dry out thoroughly after being played. It is a good idea to tap the harmonica on your palm of your hand to get out as much moisture as you can before putting the harmonica away. Don't store your harps in unvented plastic boxes, which unfortunately some of them come in. This keeps them from drying out quickly and can lead to corrosion and reed fatigue. If you store them with the holes down the moisture will be able to run down out of the harp instead of drying inside it. Dried saliva is the primary culprit in gunked-up harps, and can keep the harp from playing right and sounding its best.
What Notes are on a Key (C) Harmonic
There are two notes in each harmonica hole, a blow note and a draw note. Study the diagrams below and you will notice that some notes are missing.
F" and "A" on the lower octave, and "B" on the upper octave are missing. These notes can be played by bending the higher pitched note in that hole, but don't worry about this technique for now.
How to Play a Single Note on a Harmonica
Put your mouth over the front of the harmonica covering holes 2 to 4. Then put your tongue on the separator bar between holes 2 and 3. This should block holes 2 and 3, leaving hole 4 open. Blow or inhale on hole number 4.
You should get a clear single note on your harmonica, no double notes. Practice this until you get clear single notes every time.
For all harmonicas, the lower number should be on your left. If your harmonica does not have numbering system (usually in the case of East Asia Tremolo), the lowest note should be on your left.
The Inside of a Harmonica blues harmonica
How The Harmonica is Made
What is a Diatonic Harmonica or blues harmonica
The diatonic harmonica is a harmonica that only has the notes in an ordinary diatonic scale directly available. A variation on the diatonic is the tremolo tuned model, where two reeds that are tuned slightly apart sound at the same time to produce a tremolo effect. Another variation is the octave tuned model where two reeds that are tuned exactly an octave apart are sounded at the same time. This produces more volume and another timbre. A singularly important type of diatonic is the kind that is used for blues music. This one usually has 10 holes, with a draw and a blow reed per hole. Its tuning is a variation on the diatonic scale called the Richter tuning:
What is a valved diatonic Harmonica?
Suzuki Harmonica markets the Promaster diatonic harmonicas with and without valves,also known as windsavers. By adding valves to certain holes it is possibleto obtain notes though bending that are not usually available on adiatonic.
Diatonic harmonica players interested in achieving chromatic tones usuallyfocus on the valved or overblow technique (but not both) since the noteplacement for the accidentals ends up at different holes. Also, the choiceis made between the techniques by timbre aesthetic preference — some likethe valve bent sound better than the overblow, others like the color or theoverblow go to our line of Suzuki to get a valved harmonica.
How a Harmonica Bends Work !
A normal bend on a diatonic harmonica, both reeds can participate in making the sound. Consider a draw bend (blow bends work the same only the reeds are the other way around). At first, the draw reed is doing most of the speaking. As the bend gets lower the blow reed starts taking over, and at the bottom of the bend the blow reed is producing almost all of the sound.
Bending harmonicas lowers the pitch of the natural note of the highest reed in the harmonica hole. However, since both reeds participate in producing the bent note, the natural note of the lower pitch reed in the hole actually raises while the higher pitch reed lowers in pitch. For example, for a draw bend the pitch of the draw reed gets lower while the pitch of the blow reed gets higher on the harmonica.
Thus, bends are induced by changing resonance characteristics in the vocal tract, and the reed vibration rate is coupled to the playing tract.
If one uses only mouth adjustments to the resonance chamber, the range of resonant frequencies is smaller than if adjustments to other parts of the airway are included. When the other airways in the vocal tract, e.g. the throat and below, are tuned to the same resonant frequency as the mouth, this will accentuate the frequency energy advantage, and the bending range and tone of the note will improve. This is why it is best to play "from the diaphragm", using as much of the vocal tract as possible.blues harmonica