The Diatonic Harmonica is a type of harmonica that has notes in a key. It can be used to play most of the songs. But some non-diatonic ones are not playable on single diatonic harmonicas. If you want to play all songs with diatonic harmonica, we will tell you how!
We can play the songs with diatonic harmonica, which has notes in a key, within the same diatonic harmonica.
As you may have already noticed, the Harmonica is a musical instrument that has only seven notes. There are different types of harmonica with different numbers of holes:
- 7-hole diatonic (the most common),
- 12-hole chromatic
- 13-hole chromatic/chromatic plus two octaves.
Each type has its own unique sound and feel, but for our purposes. Here we’ll focus on playing “diatonic” harmonicas—those with seven holes in each section.
Diatonic Harmonicas are all tuned to the same scale which means that if you play the same song on any of them it will sound the same because they all fit into one key (or tonality). You can also say this about any song written using this scale. It will sound good no matter what harmonica you’re playing!
We can also use a mixture of two or more diatonic harmonicas in different keys to play some non-diatonic songs.
For example, if you want to play “Pictures At An Exhibition” on your harmonica without having to change the key of the song you will need to use both an A minor (D) and an E major (E) harmonica. The first note played after changing from D major into E major is C♯ which corresponds with F♭ in A minor. Therefore this would be played on our second instrument instead of our first instrument. This works because we have altered one key signature at a time so that each note has its own fixed interval relative to its neighbors.
Most of the non-diatonic songs are not playable on single diatonic harmonica but we can use the bend technique and overblow to play them. If you want to play songs that do not have any notes in a key. Then it’s better to use a Chromatic Harmonica instrument like the Harmo Store or Hohner Marine Band.
In addition, we can also buy or DIY special Chromatic Harmonica to cover all notes. They are more expensive and bigger than diatonic harmonicas. Chromatic Harmonica is not necessary for beginners because it requires more practice than diatonic ones.
The diatonic harmonica is good for most people who just want to have fun!
You can play most songs with diatonic harmonica. But you can also use a mixture of two or more diatonic harmonicas in different keys to play some non-diatonic songs.
You can use the diatonic harmonica to play songs. You don’t need an expensive chromatic harmonica or a special tuning key. In addition, you can also use the bend technique and overblow to play some non-diatonic songs that are not playable on single diatonic harmonicas such as “Leap Year” by Lady Gaga, “That’s The Way (I Like It)” by KC & The Sunshine Band or “Let It Go” from Frozen soundtrack. But most of the non-diatonic songs are not playable on single diatonic harmonica but we can use the bend technique and overblow to play them.