In this article, I am going through the diatonic harmonica, and I will explain to you whatever you need to start playing this incredible instrument.
First thing first, you need to know the different parts of the diatonic harmonica.
It’s a part of the diatonic harmonica family, and it was invented to play the folk tunes. Later it got popular in blues music and became a part of that. That’s why we call it Blues Harp. We use the Richter tune on this instrument that makes us able to play chords and melodies simultaneously.
As you can see in the picture below, we have the upper cover plate, blow reed plate, comb, draw reed plate and the lower cover plate.
The cover plate is usually made of metal and covers the reed plate. The top cover plate has numbers 1 through 10 on it so you can find the right hole by using those numbers.
Also, there is a curve at the end of the cover plate where you can fix your finger to hold the harmonica.
On the reed plate, we have ten slots, and a reed lays over each slot. The reeds are riveted or screwed from the end to the reed plate.
It’s the main body of harmonica, and it can be made of plastic, wood or aluminum. There are chambers on the comb and covers the reeds. These chambers direct the air through the reeds to produce the sound. The top reeds make the sound when you blow the air through the harmonica, and the bottom reeds are producing the sound when you draw the air through the harmonica. That is how you can make sounds on harmonica.
Maybe you've heard the twelve-bar blues term in many songs, performances, YouTube videos, and so on. The twelve-bar blues are the most popular chord progression in the blues genre, consisting of 12 bars that follow a chord's specific order.
The most frequent question that I've got asked about blues harp: How do I have to learn and play the blues harp? Is it hard to learn blues harp, or it's easy? How much daily time do I need to practice? Is blues harp take too much breath, or is it a breathtaking instrument? Can I learn blues harp by myself, or I need to take classes? Is blues harp a powerful instrument to start? And many similar questions. The point is that you need to start playing this instrument to have a sense of it and what you can do with it. So, the first step is to make your decision and start learning.