Harmonica Lingo

I’m sure many beginners, especially me, haven’t learned some harmonica terms. I was hoping that you pros out there could define some terms, or even add some to this harmonica dictionary of thread. Thanks!


Just in case: I’m talking about terms like cross harp, 1st Position, 2nd Position, etc…

Howdy Ace [classified] <<<anybody still know why I use this? mwuahahaha! anywho…>>>

Well it’s a good question. However, I believe too this is one of those times where you’re going to really have to do your own homework on it.

Meaning, there are better writers, better words, better descriptions than I can personally give you on harmonica terms, lingo, etc.

I can suggest and guide you, as others here can and will, yet it’s up to you to decide where you want to go to get them.

My suggestions include going to Amazon and hunting down “The Harp Handbook” by Steve Baker. It’s considered by many, including JP Allen himself, to be the harmonica’s players bible. And yes, I do have my own copy as well.

The next one is “Harmonica For Dummies” by Winslow Yerxa. As others here, including myself will attest to, it’s a most valuable reference book and tool on the subject of anything and everything harmonica.

The great thing about both these harmonica players’/authors’ books is that they each come with CDs. There are plenty of exercises explained as well as demonstrated on both/each to keep you busy for quite awhile.

As far as simply going online goes, virtually nobody holds a candle to Pat Missin:


Teacher and historian to all, he’s definitely my hero and inspiration when it comes to writing about harmonica.

So again, Ace [classified], while you do ask a good, if not great question - It’s just one of those that are really too complex and too involved to be answered in simple terms other than guiding you to find them from whichever source(s) you choose. At least in my humble view here.

So on that fine note:

Good Luck!

Keep Us Posted!

Keep On Smiling!

Keep On Harpin’!

Peace & SPD Out!

PS: I don’t want to leave you with the impression that you can’t/shouldn’t ask about anything. Most certainly not; most certainly do!

As an example, this thread was started a while back:

While the responses were terrific by all those who offered them, well, believe me when I tell you for me - I myself am just learning to ‘crack’ the code on it.

I’m having a few little glimpses but not that one great Aha-Eureka Moment I’m expecting that will put all my various pieces together. Know what I mean?

Everything about this little instrument is little by little, day by day. I myself do a lot of reading, do a lot of researching - Because I know it’s in somebody’s words, somebody’s thoughts somewhere, along with my own attempts of understanding, where the answers to the questions of what I and many others like me, you, and us are looking for.

I believe too, that when I receive my own Aha-Eureka Moments, as you will receive your own Aha-Eureka Moments as well -

Then that’s the moment when everything concerning a particular technique, a specific method takes hold and adds strongly to the foundation I/you/we are builidng;

And it’s unshakeable as it is trustworthy because it gives us the knowledge and wisdom of that which is mastering harmonica!

Of course I could be wrong! Hehehehe!

I/You/We report; I/You/Us Decide!

Again Good Luck, eh?

Have fun always!

Keep us posted!

Keep on harpin’!

Peace & SPD Out!

Howdy Ace [classified] <<<anybody still know why I use this?

Me thinks Ace isn’t really Ace but maybe someone else ???

Gimme a Hint please.

Harp on!!

Here’s the story, JF – It started with Ace’s very first post, first line:


I just started writing Ace [classified] - 1) for his youthfulness; and 2) so as I wouldn’t confuse him with any other “Aces” that might show up! :wink:

Much the same way I do with Whiskat (formerly known as God) {or WfkG for short} - 1) somebody has the alias, but don’t know who; and 2) just in case another, y’know, Whiskat and/or God shows up also! :o

Always madness to my methods, eh?! ;D