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A Lesson on the Middle and Top Octave
In this lesson, we’ll work on playing in the high and middle register of the harmonica, and offer tips for how to work out the Beatles’ song Let It Be by ear.
Consider sitting down at a piano, also. The whole song lies on the white keys, just start on the phrase G G G G A E and match those notes on the harmonica starting on hole 6 blow.
I recommend aiming high on the harmonica because although you could play Let It Be in the low octave, that part of the harp requires bends which are difficult for beginners.
It’s such a familiar tune to many of us, that you can probably figure it out if you listen to the original recording and then pick up a harmonica in the key of C.
Major Scale Warmup
To build our reflexes, let’s warm up with the basic 1st position major scale:
4 -4 5 -5 6 -6 -7 7
7 -7 -6 6 -5 5 -4 4
Now let’s play some notes in the high octave:
7 -8 8 -9 9 -10 10
10 -10 9 -9 8 -8 7
It’s not quite the entire major scale, but it covers all the notes we’ll need to play Let It Be.
A Melody That Crosses The Octave Boundary
Let It Be is a melody that begins in the middle of the middle octave scale. It starts on 6 blow and draw, slides over to 5 blow, then for the rest of the song, we play higher notes, centered around 7 blow, but going as high as 8 and 9 blow and 10 draw. Here’s a short phrase to get you started
6 6 6 6, then -6 5
And you’re off to the races!
This file is the author’s own work and represents his interpretation of this song. It’s intended solely for private study, scholarship or research.