There are so many instruments you can play using song patterns from Up-a-do Unlimited Popular 8 Note Songs! Currently on this website there are instructional pages for the xylophone, recorder and piano. Today we are going to learn how to play the harmonica!
It is best to start with a simple diatonic harmonica in the key of C. The instrument will have ten holes and play twenty different notes. Because we are going to focus on songs with only eight notes, we will just be using the middle section of the harmonica.
For each hole, you change the note by either blowing out or drawing in. (Exhaling and inhaling) See the color and letter coded harmonic chart for the letters of the notes you can play and the colors that will match the patterns in Popular 8 Note Songs.
Hold the harmonica in your right hand. The numbers should face you and the lowest sounding note should be on your left. There are several ways to focus your blowing and drawing through just one hole including the pucker method and the tongue method. For new musicians, it is often easier to begin with the pucker method.
To use the Pucker Method, begin with your mouth relaxed and your lips moistened. Place the harmonica in your mouth with your lips pursed as though you were whistling. Blow and draw (exhale and inhale) slowly, trying to play just one note. If you are having trouble, try blowing more gently. Keep trying until you can get a single clear sound.
Play a Scale
You can play a C Scale by using holes 4, 5, 6 and 7. Start by blowing through hole 4, then drawing to get the C and D notes. Skip to the hole 5 and blow and draw again to get notes E and F. Skip to hole 6 and blow and draw for notes G and A.
Next it gets a little tricky. In hole 7 you will draw first for the B note and then blow for the C.
To play the songs, eventually you will need to practice skipping over some holes to reach others. To skip to new holes, pull the harmonica slightly away from your mouth and then returning it to the appropriate position. While you are skipping to new holes and new notes, stop your airflow.
Using Song Patterns
A color and letter coded harmonica note chart can help you play songs, even if you cannot read musical notation. Because your instrument is not color coded, you will
Caring for Your Instrument
A harmonica is a reed instrument that uses brass reeds. The reeds split the air you blow or draw to create the correct notes. The reeds are on a reed plate which is then mounted on a “comb” made of plastic or metal. The reeds are delicate and will wear out over time, so gentle playing and cleaning is important.
After each use, tap the harmonica on your hand, leg, or a towel to knock out any loose saliva and let the instrument dry after playing. Make sure you have a clean mouth before you begin. Rinsing your mouth with water before playing can help.
If you would like a FREE PDF of the Color Coded Harmonica Note Chart above, just email us and we will get it right out to you!