No, Really Lets Just Burn It All Down

508parkavenueThe building where Robert Johnson had his second recording session is set to be torn down. I’m a big fan of Robert Johnson. Feel free to ask Eric Clapton, Keith Richards, Dan Aykroyd and just about anyone who really appreciates the blues, They’ll all tell you that he is the father of modern music.

Beethoven, Mozart, and Bach all have historical locations to commemorate their life and work. We have 2 pictures, 2 sets of recordings, and the buildings where he recorded, The Gunter Hotel, San Antonio, Texas and 508 Park Ave. in Dallas. We’re uncertain where he’s buried. The most important in the history of American music, has so little to remember him by. Now, there’s going to be a little less. A LOT less. I understand keeping history isn’t the easiest thing. Even the buildings that stand to remind us are temporary.

When I think about how hard people fought to save the Dr. Pepper factory, A SODA FACTORY, but there is so little work being done to protect our musical heritage, especially here in Dallas. Shame on us and our temporary attitudes about our world. In 600 years will there be anything to remember Robert Johnson by? J. S. Bach will have 1000 year old historical buildings.

Hey, Clapton, Richards, Aykroyd you get it, work with me. Lets save one of the few things we KNOW are connected to Robert Johnson. Is this what people mean when they say, “We are at a crossroads?”

I went down to the crossroad
fell down on my knees
I went down to the crossroad
fell down on my knees
Asked the lord above “Have mercy now
save poor Bob if you please”

Harmonica Notes Jams

Last night I hit the battle of the bands at my local bowling alley. They have a separated bar and pool hall where they host karaoke, open mic nights and local bands. I missed the first guy, who came from 50 something miles away to play his guitar. A buddy of mine played next and I caught most of his set. I even sat in on a few songs. I need to start organizing us so we can get something together. He’s as disorganized as I am. If I want to do something live, I’m going to have to take the bull by the horns I guess.

After that another buddy of mine backed me on a little harp jam. He played back up 12 bar acoustic. I wailed a bit and got some applause which surprised me a little. I guess I’m the only person that thinks I sound like crap. I need to tighten up my one hole and key switching. I definitely need to work on my licks. I feel like I have one lick. I jam better when I get going but I always seem to fall back to the same stuff.

Oh, I almost forgot. I blew out a reed on my A harp on stage last night too. My sound guy friend says he heard a ping and my harp lost sound. It’s the first harp that I played heavily so it was in bad shape to begin with. I guess I’m glad I bought the wrong harp from Musicians Friend a while back. I already have a replacement. I may Pick up a Hohner Hot Metal Harmonica in the Key of A as well. I’m thinking about getting a set of them as back up.

You Get Them Where You Find Them

I am looking for a band here at Harmonica Notes. I’m not picky. If I can find a band that I can sit in with or their looking for a harp player, that’s cool. If I can put something together, that’s cool too. I’m not too picky. I don’t want a super band or to be a rock star. I just think it would be fun to have some guys to jam with regularly. I run into guys all the time that are interested in getting something going, but we just can’t get it together.

Last Monday at the open mic night down the street, I got in on a really awesome jam with some really talented guys. We had the makings of a Grateful Dead style jam band right there. I tried to get everyones information and missed a few so no drummer or bass player but 3 guitarists, 2 singers and me on harp. I forgot to call one of the guitarists and haven’t heard back from the others. So I don’t know where it’s going.

This morning though, my new neighbors a few doors down decided to have a garage sale. I stopped in to see what they had. I noticed a set of drum pedals. I asked and he confirmed, he’s a drummer. He probably plays metal and is looking for a band with a name like Slagathor or something. That’s the way it is with most drummers these days, no subtlty. Anyway, I joked about him joining the band and invited him to come play at the monday night open mic. We’ll see how things turn out.

Harmonica Notes After One Year

It’s been just over a year since I started Harmonica Notes. I had just started playing harmonica after internet marketer, Ed Dale, during one of his broadcasts, had Adam Gussow’s Youtube page up during the broadcast. I was going to post up the stuff I found on the internet about learning harmonica. I didn’t, partially because there isn’t a lot of concise posts on any single subject regarding harmonica basics that I could find, partially because I got distracted as an internet marketer by what I thought people wanted to find out about the harmonica when searching the term “Harmonica Notes.” Mostly, I was distracted by other parts of my life. I hadn’t started Harmonica notes to make money. I had started the site because I wanted to talk about my new interest, the harmonica. That was why I chose the name Harmonica Notes.

What Have I been doing over the past year? I have been, learning and playing harmonica. Whenever I can, I get out to play the harmonica. I do Karaoke about 3 times a week and take my harmonicas with me, and I have an open mic night once a week that I really enjoy. The harmonica is becoming a more important part of my life. I now introduce myself as a musician as much as I do as an internet marketer. I probably spend as much time on harmonica as I do on learning more about web marketing, maybe more.

What are my plans about this site? I am, as a musician, looking at this site as a platform for me to talk about my views on music today. I will be posting up my recordings for free download. Original video is on the way, both of me doing performances and showing how to do a few basic things on the harmonica. For any regular readers out there (are there any? let me know), Sorry for not continuing to post up the different notes and chords for the harmonicas. I will continue doing that as I get back to the site. It’ still won’t be a regular feature, mostly because I’m not a “regular feature” kind of guy.

One thing I am working on for this site is a 30 day harmonica challenge. It’s a challenge for both you and me. Once a day for 30 days in January (I hope it’s ready by January) I will post up a program that will take a complete beginner through what I have learned over the past year. By the end of January, a complete beginner will hopefully be at the level I am at after a year. There are no guarantees. I am not doing this to create an army of harmonica players. I am doing this to put a free concise program that teaches the basics that I had to search the web for. I want to put the basics in one place so that new harmonica players don’t have to pick through pieces of information on the net to find out the harmonica basics.

I believe in learning through teaching. That’s what I want out of doing this. By putting what I have learned in one place, I will be reviewing what I have learned. I will be exploring what I have learned to cement it in my head. I will be refining my skill.

After January, I will be working on cleaning up my sound, learning new licks and, thanks to a guy I met at open mic night, I will be working on 3rd position. See you around Harmonica Notes.

Cross Harp Harmonica Notes

Cool Old Harmonica Set
Cool Old Harmonica Set

He said to me at the luau, “Cool so you play cross harp?” The guitarist of the band had me, I was about to fail the pop quiz. I had been playing harmonica for the better part of a month and had just bought my second harmonica, an A Diatonic. I knew enough that the 2 hole draw was bluesy but what in gods name was this cross harp I kept hearing about. I came back with, “For me, it’s all about the 2 hole draw.” He seemed satisfied.

I have been avoiding this post. I had an idea of what cross harp is, but to write a post about it is another thing. Here is the deal. I had answered correctly when I said, it’s all about the 2 hole draw. On a diatonic harmonica, the 2 hole draw is the first note in second position or “cross harp.” If you get nothing else from this post, remember that. If you, like me, want to play blues harmonica, we play cross harp by default. We start with the 2 hole draw. Here’s the deal though, when we play cross harp, the key we are playing in is not the key of the harmonica. That means, when someone says, “Lets play … in the key of G,” we don’t grab our G harp. Second position on G is D and we need to be playing in G. So what harp do we need? What harp has a 2 hole draw that plays a G? It’s the C harmonica.

That’s what got me. I thought to myself, “Crap, I’m going to have to learn every note on every harmonica.” (I know, the name of the site is harmonica notes but I meant my notes on learning to play the harmonica not the notes on the different harmonicas.) I don’t know if I am going to ever learn what notes every hole, blow, draw, bend, over blow, over draw, and chord on every harmonica plays. I probably will eventually know all the cross harp keys though, and probably the notes on my favorite harmonicas.

Here’s a cheat you can use. Take a sharpie and write an X (for cross harp) and the cross harp key on your harmonicas. As you play you will learn the cross harp keys. I got the ideas because the key labels are rubbing off of my harmonicas and I don’t want to get them confused.

I may as well tell you the cross harp keys for all 12 diatonic harmonica keys.

Ab=Eb, A=E, Bb=F, B=Gb, C=G, Db=Ab, D=A, Eb=Bb, E=B, F=C, Gb=Db, G=D

So there you have it, all the cross harp keys and the harmonicas they’re played on.

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


Learn C Harmonica Notes

We’re back with C harmonica notes. These are the basic notes for a Diatonic harmonica in the key of C. This is the basic harmonica most people start with. keep in mind that because this is THE “Basic” harmonica. There are lots of songs in the key of C. So without further ado, The Harmonica notes in the the Key of C.

C Harmonica Notes
C Harmonica Notes

Don’t you love posts that are short, Sweet and to the point? Now all you need is some C Harmonica Chords and C Harmonica Songs. Oh, and if you don’t have one, a Blues Harp in the Key of C.

Harmonicas Greats: Junior Wells


You can’t take two steps into the world of the blues harmonica without running into the name Junior Wells. His album Hoodoo Man Blues is considered required listening in the blues harmonica world. He’s played with Muddy Waters, The Rolling Stones and Van Morrison. Take a listen to him and tell me he doesn’t deserve to be considered one of the greats.

Learn G Harmonica Notes

Ok so you just got a G harmonica and you want to know what harmonica notes it has. Harmonica Notes feels your pain. You want to learn to play harmonica but how, oh god, how do you do it? I have an answer for you. I surfed around the internet, looked through books and bugged the guys at the harmonica store and got you guys a few things.

First comes the harmonica notes

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Having the harmonica notes doesn’t do much for you unless you can read music so I will also have a harmonica tab for you to.

Harmonica Tabs

Ok so Maybe I will dig up a few G harmonica tabs. Here we go.

FIrst a few Bob Dylan songs

It Takes a Lot to Laugh, It Takes a Train to Cry

6 6 6 6 6 6 4 4
Well, I ride on a mailtrain, babe,
5 5 -4 4
Can’t buy a thrill.
5 5 4 5 5 4 4
Well, I’ve been up all night, babe,
5 5 5 5 5 -4 4
Leanin’ on the window sill.
6 6 6 6
Well, if I die
-5 -5 -5 -5 6
On top of the hill
-5 5 5 5 5 4
And if I don’t make it,
5 5 5 5 -4 4
You know my baby will.

6 6 6 6 6 4 4
Don’t the moon look good, mama,
5 5 5 -4 4
Shinin’ through the trees?
5 5 4 5 5 4 4 4
Don’t the brakeman look good, mama,
5 5 5 5 5 -4 4
Flagging down the “Double E”?
6 6 6 6 6
Don’t the sun look good
-5 -5 -5 -5 -5 6
Goin’ down over the sea?
-5 5 5 5 4
Don’t my gal look fine
5 5 5 -4 5 -4 4
When she’s comin’ after me?

6 6 6 6 6 6 4 4
Now the wintertime is coming,
5 5 5 5 5 -4 4
The windows are filled with frost.
5 5 4 5 5 4 4 4
I went to tell everybody,
5 5 5 5 5 -4 4
But I could not get across.
6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6
Well, I wanna be your lover, baby,
-5 -5 -5 -5 -5 -5 6
I don’t wanna be your boss.
-5 5 5 5 5 5 4
Don’t say I never warned you
5 5 5 -4 4
When your train gets lost.

Song: Idiot Wind

-5 -5 -5 -5 6 -5 -5
Someone’s got it in for me,
6 6 6 6 6 6 5 6
they’re planting stories in the press
-5 -5 -5 -5 -5 -5 -5 -5 6 -5 -5
Whoever- it is I- wish they’d cut it out
-5 6 6 6 -5 5 -5 5 6 4
but when they will I can only guess.
-6 -6 -6 -7 -6 6 6 -7
They say I shot a man named Gray
5 -5 6 -6 -5 6 5 4
and took his wife to Italy,
-6 -6 -7 -6 6 6 -7 6 -7
She inherited- a million bucks
5 -5 6 -6 -5 6 4 4
and when she died it came to me.
5 5 6 5 5 4 4 -4
I can’t help it if I’m lucky.

-5 -5 -5 -5 6 -5 -5
People see me all the time
-5 6 6 6 6 6 6 -5 5 6 4
and they just can’t remember how to act
-5 -5 -5 -5 -5 6 -5 7
Their minds are filled with big ideas,
6 6 6 -5 5 -7 6 6 4
images and distorted facts.
-6 -6 7 -7 5 6
Even- you, yesterday
5 -5 6 -6 -5 6 4 4 4
you had to ask me where it was at,
6 -6 -6 -6 -7 6 6 6 6 -7
I couldn’t believe after all these years,
-5 -5 -5 6 5 6 5 4 4
you didn’t know me better than that
5 4 -4
Sweet lady.

6 5 4 4
Idiot wind,
-6 -6 -6 -6 -6 6 6 6 6 4
blowing every time you move your mouth,
-6 -6 -6 -6 -6 6 6 5 -4
Blowing down the backroads headin’ south.
6 5 4 4
Idiot wind,
-6 -6 -6 -6 -6 6 6 5 6 4
blowing every time you move your teeth,
5 -5 6 5 4 4
You’re an idiot, babe.
5 -5 6 6 6 6 6 -5 5 -4 4
It’s a wonder that you still know how to breathe.

And now Aint No Sunshine

-3′ 4 -4 -5 5 5 4 -4
Ain’t no sun-shine when she’s gone

-3′ 4 -4 -5 5 4 -4
It’s not warm when she’s a-way

-4 -4 -5 -6 6 -6 -6 6
Ain’t no sun-shine when she’s gone

-4 6 -5 -4 4 -4 -4 4
And she’s al-ways gone too long

-5 6 -5 -4 4 -4 -4
A-ny time she goes a-way

Won-der this time where she’s gone
Won-der if she’s gone to stay
Ain’t no sun-shine when she’s gone
And this house just ain’t no home
A-ny time she goes a-way

-3′ 4 -4 4 -4 4 -4 4 -4 -3′
And I know, I know, I know, I know

4 -4 4 -5 4 -4 -3′ 4 -4
I know, I know, I know, I know

4 -4 4 -4 4 -4 4 -5
I know, I know, I know, I know

4 -4 -3′ 4 -4 4 -4 4 -4
I know, I know, I know, I know

4 -4 4 -4 4 -4 4 -5
I know, I know, I know, I know

4 -4 4 -4 4 -4 4 -4 (or sumthin’… 🙂 )
I know, I know, I know, I know

-5 -6 -6 -6 -6 7 7 -6 6
Hey I’ll leave the young thing a-lone

-5 6 -5 -4 -6 6 6 -5 -4
But ain’t no sun-shine when she’s gone

Now go out and play

You have everything you need to get out there and play your new G Harmonica. If you happen to have forgot to buy one We can fix that too. Try a Nice Hohner Harmonica Blues Harp is my favorite.

Harmonica tabs from Harp Tabs. Great sites, thanks guys!