Welcome to the Diatonic Harmonica Reference. These pages over almost everything about the diatonic harmonica, from beginning tips to advanced techniques, with harp-related music theory, in-depth discussions and sample sound clips of dozens of different techniques. There is a lot of text in many sections that puts together various techniques and ideas, so you can see more about how things work together as a whole, in addition to focusing on the specific topic or technique being addressed. Along with the text are lots of pictures and diagrams, charts, and tables, to summarize information and provide a quick reference to information in an easy to find, clear, and understandable way. There is advice to help you choose which harp to get, what keys to get first, and much much more.
Take a moment to look over the list of topics, and don't be reluctant to take a look at a section even though you think you already know what it will say based on its title. Many of the basic, most fundamental techniques are the most important areas to focus on, practice, and develop for as long as you play the harp. You've never "got it"... you're always just "getting it" better and better.
If you are serious about the harp, these pages are for you. Enjoy.
Choose a topic heading from the list to the left.
My name is Mike Will, alias MyQuill (can you guess why?). My nickname is Brassha'per . That's pronounced like "grasshopper", but also is a contraction for brass harper . Whether it's the harp that's brass or the harper who plays brass reeds, it fits just fine. I picked up the nickname from Howard Levy at his 1998 Harmonica Summit in response to a temporarily final pun. He said, playing the master in the old Kung Fu TV series, "Ahhh. Very good grasshopper.. no wait.. Brassha'per!" getting in the final lick. Coincidentally, my wife had ordered for me (for a Birthday Present) a full set of 12 custom brass round hole Filisko harps (complete with an individual hand-crafted lined hardwood box for each one) .. (yes, I'm braggin'... about my wife! (Hi sweetie ;-) so the nickname was doubly appropriate.. though even Howard couldn't have known that! So I had the last small smile after all. And a handle from Howard.
through the harmonica:
Our breath gives life to the music,
Without eyes or fingers
we search and probe its
With our mind and tongue,
We surround it
Embrace it with our lips;
from the world.
We are deceived by its simplicity;
Molded by its trickery;
Daunted by its complexity;
Joyful at its capacity
© Michael B. Will 1997-2014