# How To Play The Harmonica

## Step 3: How the Harmonica Works

If you were to blow into the holes of a harmonica, one by one from left to right, you would hear the 1, 3, and 5 notes of a major chord (C, E, G in the key of C) repeated repeated three times (as well as one high C at the end). Alone, this won't do you much good, as it's only one chord.
That's why playing the harmonica involves a combination of inhaling and exhaling (also called blowing and drawing). If you blow into hole 4 on a C harmonica, you'll hear a C. Now inhale–—the note moves up to a D. Blow into the next hole and it's an E. Inhale, F. Blowing into hole 6 produces a G, and inhaling makes an A. At this point you can probably guess what come next if you blow into hole 7: a B, right? Wrong! If you blow into hole 7, you will hear a C. You have to inhale to produce the B. As you can see, there isn't a set pattern to the blows and draws of a harmonica.
The three main oddities are holes 2, 7, and 10. In holes 7-9, the pattern mentioned above is changed so inhaling moves the note down instead of up.

Sound confusing? It is. The diagram above should make things much clearer.

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metalhaid says: 1 year ago
This is great! I just wanted to comment that I think the reason the harmonica goes to a C on 7 is because there is no sharp between B & C (at least there isn't on a piano...) thanks for the lessons!