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David's Tip of the Day: Singing in Key - Harmonica Pitch Reference

David Barrett Admin's picture

Harmonica players who like to perform find that if they sing, they get to choose the song and lead the band at jam sessions. Singing is approached like the study of any instrument. There are exercises, such as scales to built range and intonation, and each song needs to be studied for its rhythm, melody and phrasing. Most new singers don't realize this and just start to sing the words and unknowingly start singing either on the wrong note of the chord or commonly in the wrong key.

There's an easy way to fix this...

Working with the original vocal recording, find which note the vocals start on (where it is on your harmonica) and make a point to play that note before you start the song, or make it the last note in your harp intro... both for the purpose of giving you a starting pitch reference for your vocals. This is analogous to the choir directory using their pitch pipe (which has reeds, just like a harmonica) and playing the note associated with the key of the song.