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David's Tip of the Day: Why is the C harmonica most often recommended by music stores and musicians?

David Barrett Admin's picture

Most new musicians start out by learning scales on their instrument, and the first scale that’s commonly taught is the C Major Scale. The C major scale does not contain any sharps or flats (those notes represented by the black keys on the piano). This makes it an easy scale to start with and to remember and understand. As I pointed out earlier, harmonicas already come in specific keys and the learning of one key over the other has no merit for us... we play each harmonica the same. 4+ 4 5+ (4 blow, 4 draw and 5 blow) for example creates the first three notes of the C major scale on the C major harmonica. Playing 4+ 4 5+ on the A harmonica creates the A major scale. It’s the same for each key of harmonica; this is why if you can play one harmonica, you can play them all. Due to the bias that comes from other instruments to start in the key of C, most harmonica companies manufacture their budget-priced introductory harmonicas in the key of C. This is not really a problem for us, the C harmonica is one of the common harmonicas you’ll use anyways, you just wont use it in your earlier lessons. If you were directed to purchase the C harmonica, and that’s all you have, I provide the C Harmonica Intro Lesson (http://www.bluesharmonica.com/lessons/c_harmonica_intro_lesson) so you can get started now while you wait for your A and G harmonicas to come in the mail.