A Major Scale Diatonic Harmonica notes

A Harmonica Notes, or is it AN Harmonica Notes? Well it’s Harmonica Notes in A Major anyway. So what are the notes for an A Major Scale Diatonic Harmonica? Well the blow notes are: A, Db, C, A, Db, E, A, Db, C, and A.

A Harmonica Notes
A Harmonica Notes

The Draw Notes are B, E, Ab, B, D, F#, Ab, B, D and F#. Cross Harp is the Key of E. This is the second Harmonica I ever bought, the first of course being my beloved Bb Blues Harp.

The A harp is one of the more common harps for blues playing because of its mellow sound and the commonality of blues songs for it. Looking back on it now, I think I would have held out and bought a set of Major key harmonicas all at once. You always pay more when you buy one at a time. I can’t blame myself though, I didn’t know what I do know about which harmonicas to get.

Hohner 532/20 Blues Harp Harmonica Pack with Case and Belt


15 Replies to “A Major Scale Diatonic Harmonica notes”

  1. Oops, you are right! those are supposed to be E! I can’t believe I missed that (I can’t believe I did that ;P) I will have that fixed as soon as I have recovered from my HD crash. Thanks for noticing!

  2. Hey Seth, Have you signed up for the mailing list? It’s in the side bar to the left! In stead of sending you notes for the different keys via e-mail, think of it this way, every harp is a different key so if a song is in A and you want to play an A harp (or a D Harp if you are playing cross harp).

    One of the cool things about being a harp player is looking like you are a good musician because you because when you sit in on a jam you either call the key or ask what key a song’s in. I have my next 3 harps and a mic stand on order so I will be able to play in almost any key. Notes aren’t as important as the harp key.

  3. Hey, im a guitar player. Normally im used to notes being in a special order, like E, F, F#, G, G#, and so on. Is there some sort of system on a harmonica?

    Also, i was wonderin if i got this right. Is it if i want to learn a song thats in A minor, i have(or should) to use a A harmonica? If i then want to learn something thats in C major, do i have(or should) switch harmonica to a C harmonica?

    1. Hey Heine, thanks for commenting! I’m picking up a little Guitar too these days, Just enough to get by when hanging out with other players I’m still a harmonica player first.

      To answer your question about keys, Picture harmonicas as scales on a guitar. An A harmonica plays the A scale and the Bb harmonica plays the Bb scale etc. Now as far as what key to use to play a song, on the surface it is that easy, If you want to play “Darling Clementine,” in C, you use a C harmonica. When it comes to Blues, Rock or most other genres, it is not quite so easy. Those genres use the blue note. In order to get that note you need to play Cross Harp. So if you want to play “She Caught The Katy,” in Bb you need an Eb harmonica, played in second position or cross harp as it is usually called. In fact, most of the songs you would want to play would be cross harp. Really, the only songs I have found that aren’t cross harp are folk songs.

  4. Thanks for the response. Its a bit funny that you mention folk songs, because thats really what im thinking about when i want to learn to play the harmonica.
    I want to learn songs like “Drunken Sailor” and “Raggle Taggle Gypsy” both songs are in A minor. Would i have to get an A minor harmonica, or a C harmonica?
    And would an A minor harp be what you call a Cross Harp?
    Thanks again.

  5. Raggle Taggle Gypsy is a great song! Folk songs are usually played straight harp or on a chromatic harmonica. As far as the songs you are talking about, I would recommend a chromatic harmonica for what you want to play. If you wanted to play blues or rock, Diatonic harmonicas are the way to go because of the way they are played. For folk music, note bending and all that are unnecessary.

    A chromatica harmonica will be able to play any folk song you want, (from what I understand, I don’t own one.) They are also cheaper in the long run. $200 for a chromatic is still cheaper than 8 out of 12 diatonic harmonicas at $30 a go.

    As far as the songs, I will look around for a book of folk songs to recommend I know I have one with Drunken Sailor, I just don’t know where it is or what the name is off hand. I know it has both tabs and standard notation, it also has a cd with the songs on it.

    If you want to know about chromatic harmonicas, I am working up an article on it and I’ll have it posted when I finish it.

  6. Hey, thanks again.
    I actually went and bought myself a chromatic harmonica yesterday. A Hohner Chrometta 10 hole. Not the most expensive one, but i think it will do the job for now. Im glad you told me about the chromatic harmonica, because i find it easier to relate to the guitar, which i usualy play.
    If you find the book you were talking about i would love to know what the name is, so i can look for it.

    1. The Big Valley is a Tremolo harmonica in C. It has 24 holes and 48 reeds. I I’m pretty sure the notes look like this:

      (capital letters indicate blow, non-capital letters denote draw)
      1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24
      | C | d | E | f | G | a | C | b | C | d | E | f | G | a | C | b | C | d | E | f | G | a | C | b |
      | C | d | E | f | G | a | C | b | C | d | E | f | G | a | C | b | C | d | E | f | G | a | C | b |

      I got that from the wikipedia on Tremolo harmonicas. I hope that helps.

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