Making Music with Harmonica

In-Ear Monitor for Drummers and Other Music Makers
February 12, 2018

The harmonica is not only associated with the blues but also with jazz, country, rock, pop, and classic music. It is known to be a free reed that is why it is categorized as aerophone and unlike other wind instruments, the harmonica is handy, inexpensive and is easy to get started on.

To begin with, you must form the correct placing of your mouth to the holes of the instrument. Be sure that your lips are moist and that they seal around the holes. Furthermore, you must breathe through the instrument to play clean notes. The way to achieve it is that you should breathe through the instrument rather than suck it. And one of the techniques used in playing harmonica is called bending. The idea of it is simple, you are just changing the airflow pattern to produce a lower note. Tilting the harmonica also works in changing the airflow pattern, however, changing the shape of the mouth is more effective because the air can flow at an angle.

You should also know these concepts about harmonica like:

  1. Bending and cross harp
    If you are a beginner in playing the harmonica, you should know that it is common for you to have a hard time developing your mouth in its approach to the instrument. But, as long as you pass this phase, you can easily learn techniques in changing pitch. Thus, you can easily do bending notes since it involves changing the shape of the mouth to produce flats and sharps.
  1. From diatonic to octave
    Diatonic, chromatic, tremolo, and octave are the most common types of harmonica. Each of these plays a different range of notes and each has different styles of music it is suited to play.The diatonic harmonica has (mostly) 10 holes and is suited for blues and country music. The chromatic harmonica can have at most 16 holes and is suited for jazz and classical music. Tremolo harmonicas are under the diatonic models and have double holes which is suited for gospel, and international folk styles like Latin and Asian. The octave harmonicas also have double holes but the reeds are one octave apart. This kind of harmonicas is suited in old-time and Irish music.

As you become an expert player of harmonica, you will discover amazing techniques to force the instrument to produce notes beyond what is expected.

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