Blues Harp

Iman Rahimipour

Iman Rahimipour

Musicien, Composer, Instructor


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.

Why Blues Harp?

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.

Diatonic harmonica

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.

Diatonic harmonica top

Reed Plate:

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.

Diatonic harmonica comb


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