12 Harmonica

Wanting to learn the harmonica?

I'm wanting to learn how to play harmonica, and I have two questions. What key do most begginers start with? And what key are most songs played in, is it the same? I'm wanting to learn really simple, like Sweet Perfection by NeverShoutNever. Thanks!

Most beginners start with a harp in C. Partly because most tutorials are in C and partly because most very low priced harmonicas only come in C. It really doesn't matter much though unless you're playing along with a tutorial or with a teacher.

"Most songs" are in any of the 12 possible key signatures. There's probably some research somewhere to tell us what is the highest percentage but reality is that it doesn't matter much unless you're playing along with a recording - you can play it in any key you'd like and it's just in a different key but still the same song.

We do know that folk songs tend to be in C - because that's an easy key to record them in western notation in and because many folk instruments play in C and because it's the easiest key to transpose from at sight.

We know that guitar players like to play in G D E and A and fiddle players (therefor bluegrass) like E and A a lot.

Horn players like to play in F and Bb and so a lot of jazz music is in the simpler flat keys.

It seems to me that blues likes E and A a lot too. Though D isn't all that unheard of either.

Now, a kink in your decision process. We tend to play tunes/melodies like folksongs in straightharp (first position) so whatever the harp is marked is the key it's in. BUT we play blues, country, rock, etc... (three chord trick) in crossharp (second position) so whatever key your harp says we play a perfect fifth above that. ie: a C harp is used for playing in G crossharp and a D harp is used for playing in A crossharp.

So, if you want to play crossharp in E then you need a harp in A. If you want to play crossharp in C then you need a harp in F.

There are other positions too - we can play a relative natural minor for example such that a C harp gives us A minor. (the major sixth of the straight harp is the relative minor) and then there are modes... TMI at this point.

Bottom line (though many people won't agree for a variety of reasons) is to get a decent harp (Marine Band, Special 20, Blues Harp, Lee Oskar) in C to start and grow your set from there according to what you need for what you want to play. C plays G crossharp and guitar players like that key a lot - they can play along for you. You need 12 harmonicas (or a chromatic) to play in every key but some keys are pretty scarce indeed.

straight = cross (commonness of the crossharp key in performance)
G=D (very common)
Ab = Eb (not uncommon)
A=E (very common)
Bb=F (not uncommon)
B=F#/Gb (rare)
C=G (very common)
Db/C# = G#/Ab (fairly rare)
D=A (very common)
Eb=Bb (not uncommon)
E=B (uncommon)
F=C (very common)
F#/Gb = C#/Db (rare)

Notice that the C harp is in the middle of the range too - it's neither low and hard to blow or high and hard on the ears. But D is right there too and it has similar tone properties. Some people say it's easier to bend.

Discover 12 Harmonica On eBay Below:

M Hohner Marine Band Harmonica No 364 G 12 Hole Wood Chrome W Box Germany
M Hohner Marine Band Harmonica No 364 G 12 Hole Wood Chrome W Box Germany
$19.99
Vintage Hohner Chrometta 12 Harmonica Germany 255 with Case
Vintage Hohner Chrometta 12 Harmonica Germany 255 with Case
$45.00
VINTAGE HOHNER CHROMETTA 12 HARMONICA on C NO 255 WITH CASE MADE IN GERMANY
VINTAGE HOHNER CHROMETTA 12 HARMONICA on C NO 255 WITH CASE MADE IN GERMANY
$61.87
Vintage Musical Instrument Harmonica MARINE BAND M Hohner GESH 12 Keys Germany
Vintage Musical Instrument Harmonica MARINE BAND M Hohner GESH 12 Keys Germany
$29.00
HOHNER CHROMETTA 12 CHROMATIC HARMONICA G ORIGINAL CASE GERMANY FROM DAD
HOHNER CHROMETTA 12 CHROMATIC HARMONICA G ORIGINAL CASE GERMANY FROM DAD
$42.00
Vintage M Hohner Marine Band HARMONICA No 364 Key C 12 in box
Vintage M Hohner Marine Band HARMONICA No 364 Key C 12 in box
$50.00
M HOHNER CHROMETTA 12 G  C HARMONICA IN ORIGINAL CASE MADE IN GERMANY
M HOHNER CHROMETTA 12 G C HARMONICA IN ORIGINAL CASE MADE IN GERMANY
$39.99
Hohner Super Chromonica Harmonica 12 hole C made in Germany
Hohner Super Chromonica Harmonica 12 hole C made in Germany
$15.00
Hohner Super Chromonica Harmonica 270 12 hole C made in Germany
Hohner Super Chromonica Harmonica 270 12 hole C made in Germany
$60.00
Borrah Minevitch Chromatic 12 Hole Harmonica
Borrah Minevitch Chromatic 12 Hole Harmonica
$40.00
M HOHNER CHROMETTA 12 C HARMONICA IN ORIGINAL CASE MADE IN GERMANY No255
M HOHNER CHROMETTA 12 C HARMONICA IN ORIGINAL CASE MADE IN GERMANY No255
$25.00
Chrometta 12 M Hohner Vintage German Harmonica
Chrometta 12 M Hohner Vintage German Harmonica
$18.00
VINTAGE 1937 CHROMONIKA II HARMONICA 12 HOLE CHROMATIC HARMONICA in the KEY OF C
VINTAGE 1937 CHROMONIKA II HARMONICA 12 HOLE CHROMATIC HARMONICA in the KEY OF C
$49.94
M HOHNER SUPER CHROMONICA 270 Key C Harmonica 12 Hole Metal Wood Antique Vintage
M HOHNER SUPER CHROMONICA 270 Key C Harmonica 12 Hole Metal Wood Antique Vintage
$49.99
Tremelo harmonica vintage chrometta 12 germany Hohner key of C
Tremelo harmonica vintage chrometta 12 germany Hohner key of C
$49.99
Supreme x Hohner Harmonica SS12 Box Logo C
Supreme x Hohner Harmonica SS12 Box Logo C
$198.95
VINTAGE CHROMETTA 12 CROSS TUNED HARMONICA IN C WITH HARD CASE BY M HOHNER
VINTAGE CHROMETTA 12 CROSS TUNED HARMONICA IN C WITH HARD CASE BY M HOHNER
$70.00
M HOHNER SUPER CHROMONICA Harmonica 12 Hole Metal Wood Antique Vintage
M HOHNER SUPER CHROMONICA Harmonica 12 Hole Metal Wood Antique Vintage
$49.99
Tremelo harmonica vintage chrometta 12 germany Hohner key of C
Tremelo harmonica vintage chrometta 12 germany Hohner key of C
$125.00
VINTAGE M HOHNER CHROMETTA 12 HARMONICA w CASE Pre Owned Working C
VINTAGE M HOHNER CHROMETTA 12 HARMONICA w CASE Pre Owned Working C
$40.00
M Hohner Marine Band Harmonica No 364 24 M Key G 12 Hole Wood Chrome In Box
M Hohner Marine Band Harmonica No 364 24 M Key G 12 Hole Wood Chrome In Box
$24.95
Chrometta 12 Harmonica M Hohner Key C
Chrometta 12 Harmonica M Hohner Key C
$50.00
VINTAGE BIG BOY CHILDS HARMONICA JAPAN 12 HOLE
VINTAGE BIG BOY CHILDS HARMONICA JAPAN 12 HOLE
$7.99
Hohner 364 C Marine Band 12 Harmonica Key of C
Hohner 364 C Marine Band 12 Harmonica Key of C
$59.99
MARINE BAND HARMONICA BY M HOHNER GERMANY 12 HOLES KEY C
MARINE BAND HARMONICA BY M HOHNER GERMANY 12 HOLES KEY C
$19.99
M Hohner Marine Band HARMONICA No 364 24 M key G 12 hole wood chrrome in box vtg
M Hohner Marine Band HARMONICA No 364 24 M key G 12 hole wood chrrome in box vtg
$47.99
M Hohner Marine Band Harmonica Trade Mark M Hohner Key C 12 keys
M Hohner Marine Band Harmonica Trade Mark M Hohner Key C 12 keys
$30.00
M Hohner THE SUPER CHROMONICA Harmonica Key D 12 Keys
M Hohner THE SUPER CHROMONICA Harmonica Key D 12 Keys
$35.00
VINTAGE MUSIC HOHNER HARMONICA CHROMETTA 12 C IN CASE
VINTAGE MUSIC HOHNER HARMONICA CHROMETTA 12 C IN CASE
$223.99
VINTAGE MUSIC HOHNER HARMONICA CHROMETTA 12 G IN CASE
VINTAGE MUSIC HOHNER HARMONICA CHROMETTA 12 G IN CASE
$223.99
VINTAGE MUSIC HOHNER HARMONICA CHROMETTA 12 G IN CASE
VINTAGE MUSIC HOHNER HARMONICA CHROMETTA 12 G IN CASE
$223.99
Hohner  364 Marine Band 12 Harmonica Key of C
Hohner 364 Marine Band 12 Harmonica Key of C
$49.99


Recently Purchased 12 Harmonica:


chrometta 12 m hohner vintage german harmonica, hohner super chromonica harmonica 270 12hole c made in germany, hohner super chromonica harmonica 12hole c made in germany, hohner chrometta 12 chromatic harmonica g original case germany from dad, vintage hero harmonica with box m 1202 shanghai china 12 holes, borrah minevitch chromatic 12 hole harmonica, vintage hohner chrometta 12 harmonica germany 255 with case, hohner 364 marine band 12 harmonica key of c, vintage musical instrument harmonica marine band m hohner gesh 12 keys germany, m hohner the super chromonica harmonica key d 12 keys , m hohner marine band harmonica trade mark m hohner key c 12 keys, m hohner marine band harmonica no 364 24 m key g 12 hole wood chrrome in box vtg, m hohner marine band harmonica no 364 g 12 hole wood chrome w box germany, vintage big boy childs harmonica japan 12 hole, m hohner marine band harmonica no 364 24 m key g 12 hole wood chrome in box, vintage m hohner chrometta 12 harmonica wcase preowned working c , tremelo harmonica vintage chrometta 12 germany hohner key of c, m hohner chrometta 12 c harmonica in original case made in germany no255, vintage hohner chrometta 12 harmonica on c no255 with case made in germany, chrometta 12 harmonica m hohner key c, m hohner chrometta 12 g amp; c harmonica in original case made in germany, vtg german mhohner 255 chrometta 12 chromatic harmonica chromonica mouth organ, marine band harmonica by m hohner germany 12 holes key c, m hohner super chromonica harmonica 12 hole metal wood antique vintage, m hohner super chromonica 270 key c harmonica 12 hole metal wood antique vintage, hohner 364c marine band 12 harmonica key of c, supreme x hohner harmonica ss12 box logo c, vintage music hohner harmonica chrometta 12 g in case, vintage music hohner harmonica chrometta 12 c in case, vintage m hohner marine band harmonica no 364 key c 12 in box, vintage chrometta 12 cross tuned harmonica in c with hard case by m hohner, vintage 1937 chromonika ii harmonica 12 hole chromatic harmonica in the key of c, nos vintage 70s hero harmonica 1 dozen 12 case new in box old store find



Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.