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Harmonica Lessons: Notes on the Harmonica

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Up till now, I've only been mentioning
the notes that I have
been playing in context
with the music that I've been doing and
if I have shown you a hole for bending.
I say well, the second hole,
you bend the G down to just above the E.
And I've let you know what notes
are on what holes in a natural way.
But now I would like to just tell
what notes are on what holes.
Just verbally tell you
because you can look this up.
You can there are diagrams you can find.
Here's the notes who are in this holes and
but I want to tell you in words.
So I'm gonna do it this way.
I'm gonna tell you where all the Cs are,
where all the Ds are, etc.
C is the only note that happens four
times on the diatonic richter harmonica.
It's holes one, four,
seven, and ten [SOUND].
See, I missed.
[SOUND] I play better when I hold
it with both hands.
[LAUGH] D happens three times,
holes one, four, and eight.
[SOUND] One in four, are only
separated by two holes, two and three.
Four and eight,
are separated by three holes,
because in the middle of the harmonica,
that's where the scheme changes,
to having four drawn notes per octave.
The Es, are two, five,
and eight [SOUND].
They're separated by the same amount
of notes cuz they're the blows.
The blows are the same.
C E G, C E G, C E G, C.
Then the F's.
Now we can bend.
And get that F on the second
hole draw bend [SOUND].
Five whole draw [SOUND].
And nine hole draw [SOUND].
The Gs, on the bottom of the harmonica,
we have two next door to each other.
Two draw and three blow [SOUND].
You can do some nice effects with that.
So two draw or three blow [SOUND].
Six blow [SOUND].
And nine blow [SOUND].
The A's.
We have three A's now that we can bend.
So [SOUND] three draw bend.
[SOUND] six draw and ten draw.
The B's we have
three B's.
The third one is a little hard to get
because it's three draw [SOUND] seven
draw [SOUND] and ten blow bend [SOUND].
It's like a tiny insect.
[SOUND] So you should practice
going to all these up and down.
You know, like here for
example, here it is [SOUND].
You notice I try to make it smooth.
Jumping [SOUND].
I can slide over the harmonica [SOUND].
But I'm holding my breath back,
while I'm sliding [SOUND].
I'm not going [SOUND] or
if you wanna jump [SOUND].
My bottom lip is still on
the harmonica and take my top lip off.
[SOUND] So that the wet part of my
lip is always sliding on the instrument.
Some people ask me,
don't your lips ever get tired?
No [LAUGH] is the answer.
So now, we'll find out where some
of these other notes are,
now that we can bend,
cuz we have a few C sharps as well.
[SOUND] C sharp,
[SOUND] is the first hole draw bend and
the fourth hole draw bend.
And, this involves a little bit
of an embouchure to get this,
[SOUND] because these bends take place
in different parts of the mouth.
So, this is a good thing to practice,
and also to get this thing in tune.
And, you might want to use the piano as
a pitch reference to getting that in tune.
You might want to hit,
[SOUND] because otherwise
you might be going [SOUND]
really out of tune.
The next note that we can get
on a harmonic is F sharp.
An F sharp is found on the second hole
draw bend and the ninth hole blow bend,
because we don't know how to
get the one in the middle yet,
which we will learn later.
So, if I hit F sharp here,
[SOUND] and then.
[SOUND] It's kinda hard, but just try it.
It'll give you a sense
of where the note is.
And then, we have G sharp or A flat.
[SOUND] It's the third hole draw bent down
all the way and the sixth hole draw bend.
[SOUND] The third one
we can't get yet.
We'll be able to.
And then, the B flat, and
that one we can get by bending B.
[SOUND] And then, bending nine,
ten blow down from C.
[SOUND] We don't know how to
get the one in the middle yet.
[SOUND] So, those are where all
the notes are on the harmonica, and
it's good to know.
You can practice.
Practice playing all the Es.
Learn all the holes they're on.
Practice playing all the Fs, all the As,
the B flats that you can get,
the G sharps, A flats that you can get.
And, learn what holes these things are on,
because later on,
maybe you might even start to
read music on the harmonica,
and if someone puts written
music in front of you,
it's much easier to do it on
an instrument where you can see it.
It's like, Here's an F, okay.
On the harmonica, you can't see it.
So, you have to memorize
where these notes are.
You have to really get
this invisible instrument
into your head as actual notes,
instead of just numbers and arrows.
Like two draw, bend with a little
squiggle on the side of it.
So, it's an actual note, it's an actual F.
So, if someone says, let's play a tune
in F, and all you have is a C harp,
you have to know where that F is.
[SOUND] There it is.
[SOUND] There it is again.
[SOUND] There's three of them.
Okay, so, it's very useful to know this to
learning the harmonica as an instrument.