Reading Music

Could you possibly teach how to read music. I’m a senior so take it slowly. Thanks .

Hey Billb, if your plan is to play the harmonica in a orchestra then learn to read music by all means. But, if your plan is to just play the harmonica don’t bog yourself down with learning to read music, just play the harmonica. I’m 72 years old and I don’t have time to fool around with formal music training because I use my time playing and really enjoying the harmonica.

Barry

Morning billb

You asked about learning to read music. Not necessary for learning to play the harmonica. It is so much easier to use tabs. They will tell you what hole to play and whether to blow or draw. They will even tell tell if you need to bend. here is a sight with harmonica tabs

harptabs.com

I think you will find this much easier than trying to read music. I can read music, but I would much rather use a tab. That way you can play a harp in just about any key and still get the results your looking for.

just my two cents.

Flip

hi bill,

WHY?
Read music umm I started learning on line with this guy he’s got like 28 or so 10 minute video’s
if you really want to learn. After about 2 videos I got bored and gave up.

Definitely don’t need to know how to read music to play harmonica …Thank you God.

but here’s the link anyways you may have different plans.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6gHEIF0rT2w&feature=channel
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6gHEIF0rT2w&feature=channel

Harp on!!

Howdy Bill!

I’m where you’re at too!

Meaning, I want to learn to read and understand music for music’s sake because harmonica tab, while quite instructive, isn’t always available. But sheet music is!

Howard Levy, in so many words, virtually abhors tabulature. He uses it very lightly if that, and doesn’t use it all in most of his online classroom lessons. Rather, he talks about learning by ear as well as reading music. A musician, which a harmonica player is to him, should know something about music itself!

But have no fear, Bill!

I want to learn all about music too!

So here are some easy sites for you to use on your journey in the music and harmonica universe:

http://www.musictheory.net/index.html

http://datadragon.com/education/reading/

http://library.thinkquest.org/15413/theory/theory.htm

http://www.musictheory.halifax.ns.ca/

Read/study one, read/study them all! The choice is entirely up to you!

Enjoy and keep us posted!

Smiles!

Keep on harpin’!

You’re quite welcome!

I’m also adding “Papa” Bajan Piedpiper to my list as well!

I’m starting you out here with his first Youtube lesson on harmonica, as he has over 100 music video lessons posted:

Hoping you find him as enjoyable, endearing, heartwarming and fun as I do!

See ya!! Keep on harpin’!

Thanks. Rather not learn to read if not needed. May try tab thing. Still at beginner stage. Don’t understand KEYS but will start new post regarding. I have 3 harmonicas in 3 dif keys and I know there are many but couldn’t tell you one from the other.

I am gonna attempt to explain why we need different keys. I play in cross harp and that is known as second position. When a band is playin a blues tune in the key of E, the chord progression would be E as the root note and the 4th note is A and the 5th is B. This is a typical chord progression for blues… 1, 4, 5 . Doesn’t always hold true, but this is typical.

Now 1st position, you would play a harp in the same key as the song. in this case you would play an E and you would blow your notes. If you draw in first position, it doesn’t sound correct.

I play second position for the most part, called cross harp and most of your notes are draws. Second position if the song is in key of E, play a harp in the key of A which is the 4th note in the scale of E.

This holds true for any key you play for Blues.
Song in G, play a C harp
Song in C, play an F harp
and so on

I know this is simplified and doesn’t work on every song, but for the most part, it will work with the Blues…

I know I will get blasted for this simplified statement, but it works for me. Thanks

Flip

That’s why I really need to study music, Flip!

Everything is little bit by little bit with lil ole me! But I’m getting there! :slight_smile:

So even while I don’t know music on the larger scales yet, still, as far as the “Keys” on the harps themselves go, Bill -

Look on the covers, or sides of the harps and you’ll see a letter. Like C, A, D and so on. That’s the Key of the harp itself.

And if you find you have different keys, well then while you’re learning the music behind it, and you still just want to play for the fun of it, here’s a nice post to help you along the way:

http://www.harmonica.com/forums/harmonica-talk/getting-these-keys-to-the-highway-to-release-the-soul(s)-within/

Good luck!

Keep on smiling!

Keep on harpin’!

For anyone wanting to learn how to read music I recommend they get Music Theory for Dummies. I just got it, and it really goes in detail of things! I’ve all ready read Harmonica for Dummies, and if this one is only half of what that book is, well then it’s one hell of a good book.

You may also want to look up the rule of fifths.

Will probably take God’s suggestion and check out the Music Theory book. :wink:

As far as fifths go, Gman - I just drink mine for now. :-*

Bottle of scotch is almost gone and the pizza hasn’t arrived yet! :stuck_out_tongue:

Laters…

I’ve never learned a harmonica song by reading sheet music.

I know how to read sheet music, but the problem is that when you change a harmonica, all the notes change. And unless you know the name of every single note on a harmonica, it’s very difficult to figure out a tune by reading sheet music. Tabs are easier, they just tell you to blow on hole 6, or draw on hole 5, but they don’t tell you how long you’re supposed to play a note…or how long you should rest between two notes (do they?) This makes it difficult to figure out an unfamiliar tune just by reading tablature.

If you know all the notes on a C harmonica (or any key for that matter), then you can sight-read any sheet music. I don’t think it’s worth memorizing them unless you want to play in an orchestra.

Ashish

I have been reading music for nearly 50 years (I know, I look way to young for that to be true). I agree with many of the posts regarding “you don’t need to read music to play the harp”. While that is true, a basic understanding of timing and rhythm, while not essential, will definitely help you be a more proficient musician. While I learn most of my stuff by ear, I do resort to the sheet sometimes to ferret out some of the timing issues, especially on quick passages and on interesting harmonies. While I may get there eventually without the sheet, being able to read the sheet speeds the process. This is more important on tunes than blues, but the effort is well worth the time. It will make you a more accurate musician and will speed up the process of learning tunes…so, you will have more time to play what you have learned.

As for reading the notes, I tab most tunes out in the original key. If I want to change keys, all I have to do is pick up a different harp. (If only the piano was that easy) See the attached (at least I hope it is attached.) The tune is in C. If I want to play it in Bb or F or D, I just use the appropriate harp. After I learn the tune (this one took about 10 minutes), I put the sheet away. and then put my own touch on the tune. I do refer back to more complex sheets every so often because I like to stay somewhat true to the tune. Each player makes this choice for themselves. It is more important when you play in a group or a track than if you are out doodling on your own.


Wildwood Flower C.pdf (17.1 KB)

Good post! Nice responce, Ed. I used to know how to read music in bass cleft, (hey we need a symbol chart)! Now I don’t remember notes and keys, but I do remember how to count out the measures. That’s what Ed was talking about, timing etc. So, if you can learn whole notes, half notes, quarter notes, eighth notes and rest. It will help you alot when learning new tunes.
Just my two cents…

See the attached (at least I hope it is attached.)

Not yet, Doc! This site is a buggy sort; took me some time to navigate around and still don’t know what’s all what around here! :o

Try again and see what happens! ::slight_smile:

Good luck!

Enjoyable post too by the way! :wink:

Keep on Harpin’!

Hi SPD It’s there I didn’t notice it at first really tiny attatchment underneath, Wildwood flower in C, see it there underneath the black line.

Harp on!!

see it there underneath the black line.

Not even with my beer googles on! :o

What am I missing? ???

As for reading the notes, I tab most tunes out in the original key. If I want to change keys, all I have to do is pick up a different harp. (If only the piano was that easy) See the attached (at least I hope it is attached.) The tune is in C. If I want to play it in Bb or F or D, I just use the appropriate harp. After I learn the tune (this one took about 10 minutes), I put the sheet away. and then put my own touch on the tune. I do refer back to more complex sheets every so often because I like to stay somewhat true to the tune. Each player makes this choice for themselves. It is more important when you play in a group or a track than if you are out doodling on your own.

Wildwood Flower C.pdf (17.1 KB - downloaded 3 times.)

Report to moderator Logged

I copied and pasted it here but you have to go up to the original post and click on Wildwood Flower at the bottom between report to moderator and the black line on let hand side of page.

Harp on!!