My mind won’t wrap itself around reading tab and then reading music notes.
I did a boot camp note reading coarse to memorize the note to play sax.
I can read the tab to play harmonica .
But I can’t connect the notes to play on harmonica.
Is there a boot camp for harmonica to embed the notes on the page to the note on the harmonica?
Note recognition skills?
Don’t want to convert to tab just want to read and play the notes.


Hi @waddje

The difficulty is that for each harp tuning (e.g. C, A, F etc.) the notes played for each hole are specific to that tuning.

To make things (only slightly) easier, learn the relationships for just one tuning. The best would probably be for a C harp. You can eventually move on to other tunings as needed.

– Slim :sunglasses:


Thanks for the prompt reply
Yes just working out the c harp notes on staff paper would be a great start.


@waddje I’m not aware of any such resource. In fact, I don’t even know any professional harmonica players who read music.

On the other hand, it’s VERY common for chromatic players to read music. But I think maybe because of @Slim’s point each harmonica is different notes it’s a little tricky with the diatonic.

If you’re REALLY wanting to play from sheet music, I think your best bet is probably just take a pencil and write the tabs above the notation.

The way I do it, is thinking about the interval number of the notes. So if I look at a piece of music, I look at the key signature and then in my mind I translate the notes into numbers relative to the root, and I’ve trained myself to know where those numbers are on the harmonica in various positions, so I can kinda get thru it that way.

Sorry there’s no easier answer to your question!


Thanks for the reply Luke
I started to learn music because I was diagnosed with ms.
To keep my cognitive skills and dexterity. I thought learning (teaching myself) saxophone would be good. Unfortunately what I put into my mind doesn’t stick. So reading the written
Notes helps. You are all right . I have done 2 of the coarses harmonica.com offers and have started the 3rd. Wish I had a memory. I do know repetition in small doses building to complete command of the notes required be they tabs or notes is the answer to progress. I’m just in limbo at the moment. Sure it will work itself out.
Thanks again for you time