Here beginneth the harmonica pages.

My aim here is to give as much advice I can to budding harpists ("harp" being a vernacular for "harmonica" within the relavent circles) simply because I had to teach myself how to play, and I know how difficult it can be for people who sincerely want to learn. For a few short anecdotes and reading tips you can read my own personal introduction.

Learning to play the harmonica well is not as easy as people think, largely because anyone who tries to learn must inevitably endure ridicule from people who simply cannot appreciate the fact that being a good harmonica player means being better than Bob Dylan. So if I can help just one more person learn how to play well then I will die a much happier man. Though preferably not for a while.

Initially I thought I might be able to write my own set of harmonica lessons, but I am not a professional music teacher and, since I have not got that much time to dedicate to my website, I did not want to do the job half-heartedly. Plus there are other sites that offer more general advice and guidence than I could ever provide by myself.

So instead I decided the best thing to do was to find out which sites give the best advice, and concentrate on writing about a select few aspects of harmonica music that are very difficult and (hence) rarely talked about: namely harmonica theory and positions. I have also provided a page displaying the main scales used by harmonica players, and list of resources that I found most useful when I was teaching myself to play.

N.B. This tutorial is written specifically for the diatonic/blues variety of harmonica, i.e. the small ones with ten holes. However, there is plenty of theory that is also applicable to all the other styles of harmonica playing.

If you already know a little about music theory, then you will probably get through the early stages relatively quickly. But be warned that there may be some aspects with which you are not totally familiar.

If you have any suggestions for how this tutorial could be improved, please feel free to contact me or leave a comment and I will do my best to follow it up.

I hope this helps any budding harmonica players out there. Good luck!



I like this very much

I would pay (or donate) for one extra step on you scales page...if there was a button to push to HEAR the scales, so that I could learn and practice them correctly, it would be the best addition to online harmonica tools to come in a long time. Thanks for doing this - I'll p[ass along your site to my harmonica playing buddies!

best page for harmonica beginners!!!

Thanks for your information. I found it very helpful. I am trying to learn how to play the harp and guitar or bones together. It is really fun to add a new level of complexity to music.

Liked your Honesty.

Great leads and I found this very helpful. Thank You. c",)

Hi Riccardo,
I just want to say a big 'Thank You' for supplying all this info. I am a relatively new guitarist acoustic, but back in 'childhood' (when ?) I came across Harps... and now dearly wish to explore properly, with or without guitar-But -although I can play some songs easily but others would be impossible in spite of knowing song well !? Now I realise that there is so much to understand about Harp theory -i.e. what key to use , and then what position, straight or cross etc etc. No wonder I was struggling ! So by pure luck I have found your pages and now will embark on the journey...This looks like the potential to realise a long lost dream-tho' I know it will not be easy, so wish me well and thanks for providing a possibility.