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The Lesson Which Will Teach You How To Hold A Harmonica

By: Alexander Movila


Date Added : August 28, 2011 Views : 453
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To learn how to hold your harmonica, first of all, you should be wearing the correct clothing. For men, a luxurious tuxedo is required, while women have more choices like a bikini, a teddy, or nothing at all, which would be a preferred option in some circumstances. The dress code for a James Bond movie. Just kidding! When you're playing the harmonica you can wear anything you want, as long as you feel comfortable. When it comes to holding the harmonica, you can pretty much hold it any way that works. The legendary country blues artist Sonny Terry famously played his harmonica "upside down," with the high notes to the left, and he was pretty darned good. Some left handed people might also opted for this option.There is really no required way to hold your harmonica, but here's what you should do. First, you're going to have to put down your martini. Now, place the harp between your left hand thumb and your index and middle fingers, lightly pinching the harp between your thumb and the end of your two fingers around 8, 9, and 10, the three holes that make the highest notes number 1 is on your left and number 10 on your right.

Now you have a harmonica sandwich. Your pointer finger and thumb should be toward the back of the harp to allow your lips to go over it you're going to be putting the instrument deeper in your mouth than you think. Hold the four fingers on your left hand flat and together. The job of your left hand is to move the harmonica left and right to change notes. Your right hand's job is to help make a chamber to play into that makes the sound richer and warmer. Place the palm of your right hand against the back side of your left hand and pinkie to make a cup around the back of the harp. You want the back of your harmonica to be in a little pitch black room made by your hands, with no light coming in from the bottom or top or side. When you play you can pull your right hand away a little, breaking the seal of the cup, to make a "wah wah" sound. Also, the cupping itself, whether fully airtight or not, makes your tone warmer, much as the wooden body of a guitar makes the vibrating string sound richer.

Although most harmonicas are labeled in one key, such as major, it is possible to play any one harmonica in several keys by changing which notes you emphasize. Playing straight harp is like going to the grocery store and following your usual path and buying your usual groceries. Playing cross harp is like starting on the opposite side of the store and looking for new items that you've never tried before. Here's how it works. Your major diatonic harmonica is designed for playing simple folk music, and so the notes of the major scale do re mi fa so la ti do are laid out in a pattern designed to help you play those songs as you breathe in and out through the instrument. Playing songs based on the major scale, with the holes 1, 4, 7, and 10 blow as your home base note, is called straight harp, or first position.


By Alex Movila who plays harmonica for over 30 years.

Article Source: The Lesson Which Will Teach You How To Hold A Harmonica

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