Reading Harmonica Tablature

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 67,553
    Harmonica player Matt Bradshaw demonstrates how to play the harmonica and how to read harmonica tabs.

    Matt Bradshaw: Hi, my name is Matt Bradshaw, and I am a musician in the Washington DC area, and right now I'm talking about Harmonica Tablature and when I say Tablature, I basically mean, sheet music or music that you read to play music on the harmonica.

    The good thing about the harmonica is that you don't necessarily need to know how to read traditional music on a score to be able to play it. A long time ago, someone came up with this really good idea of how to chart out music that is specifically designed for playing the harmonica and I have a picture of it here. Basically if you see a number in harmonica tablature that doesn't have a circle around it, it means that you are breathing out on that number and on the harmonica it's number one through ten on the whole, so you kind of go by that and if there is a number with a circle around it, that means you breathe in. The picture of the one that's with no circle, that's breathing out on whole number one, with the circle breathing in on whole number one.

    So basically you take this code and apply it to different songs and you can find these online and in harmonica books, and here is an example that I charted out of 'Mary Had a Little Lamb' a simple song but all written out in harmonica tablature, and I'll play it for your right now and you can watch along as I play.

    So that's harmonica tablature, and next I'm going to talk about a new technique on the harmonica that's slightly advanced but it's a lot of fun once you get it down, and that's called Bending, that's what I'm going to talk about next.