The "Key of A" harmonica is a lot deeper than the C harmonica which makes it feel quite different play. The lower keyed harmonicas feel slower to resonate and like they require more air. They will definitely build up your stamina.

The A harmonica will let you play in the key of E (this is the easiest key for guitarists to play).

D harmonica

This is a higher harmonica and it will feel like it responds much quicker. They need less air to resonate then the lower key harmonicas.

The harmonica will let you play in the key of A (also an easy key for guitarists).

Bb harmonica

This means you can play in the key of F. The Bb is a lovely in between harmonica. It is not too high and screechy or too low and slow. Instead, most techniques will feel relatively easy on it. Indeed, traditionally Bb is the harmonica you start on to learn playing overblows.

G harmonica

This is suitable for playing in the key of D. It is a very low harmonica and sounds best when you are playing rhythmic chugging and slow melodic phrases.

F harmonica

The F harmonica allows you to play in the key of C in 2nd position. It is a very high harmonica and when you are practicing by yourself it might feel like it is screechy and strident. Do not worry about this. When you play with a band, the high pitch of this harmonica will sound sweet because it is different to the lower instruments playing with you.

How do you remember all these keys?

To remember what you are playing in 2nd position just count up 4 letters up from the key of the harmonica. A, B, C, D, E, F, G so a C harmonica in 2nd position is played in key of G. This works for all keys except B and Bb. B in 2nd position is F# and Bb is F.

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Comment by jose garcia paredes on July 17, 2017 at 7:25pm

thanks! C harmonica is more easy for a beginner? yeah?

Comment by jose garcia paredes on July 16, 2017 at 6:41pm

Hello! for play whit cbg in GDG... what is the best choice harmonica? C?  Thanks!

Comment by smilingdog1 on February 26, 2017 at 8:21pm
Comment by smilingdog1 on February 11, 2017 at 11:05pm

Good advice Roy. I think every band has it's way to communicate and that's why some fellas fit together better than with others but learning to pick up on subtle signals and timing definitely help especially when sitting in.

Comment by Roy Jones on February 10, 2017 at 9:42am
Best thing I ever learnt is when not to play. Keep your eyes and ears open and feel, sometimes sense what is going on around you in the band. Good musos will open up that space that you can fill, do your thing then back off
Comment by smilingdog1 on February 2, 2017 at 2:31am

Rick, I like your enthusiasm.  

Comment by Rick Alexander on February 1, 2017 at 6:16pm

I was reading your post the other day, and it reminded me to take another stab at overblows. I was able to produce a noise finally.  I can only do it on the 6 hole of a Bb harp, and it sounds like a cross between a goose and the front brake of an old bicycle, but it's a giant step from not being able to get anything to happen. 

Comment by smilingdog1 on February 1, 2017 at 1:59pm

I must still be a corn dog! LOL OK, I will get me a video up soon and see what honest feedback I can generate from you all. No worries, I can take the heat!

Comment by Ron "Oily" Sprague on February 1, 2017 at 8:05am
Not quite, dog.

The example you show below is actually crossharp:Band in G, play harp in C.

Straight harp would be Band in G, play harp in G.
Comment by smilingdog1 on February 1, 2017 at 12:51am

Willey, Erasmo Coco had it right with the Lee Oskar harp I pictured below. Here is the example given me. Lets say the band is playing the key of G. You count up 4 meaning - G A B and then you have your C harp. As said below this step is straight harp but when you get into cross harp the position changes like in my 2nd position C harp which actually works if the band is playing in F.

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