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"Tabs" or "tab" is a shortening of the word "tablature". Tablature is used in place of standard musical notation. Here are some of the most popular harmonica tabs...
Popular Harmonica Tabs
- Popular Holiday and Christmas Harmonica Songs Tabs
- These songs include videos for you to play along with:
- Some Songs No Longer Posted Due To Copyright Law:
More About Harmonica Tablature
By far, harmonica music is written and shared in tabs instead of in standard musical notation. Why?
The main reason is that for the beginning harmonica player, even if they already read standard musical notation, it won't do them much good - this is because when you are playing the harmonica you can't see what note you are playing. That is, you can't see what note hole you are on.
You can easily tell if you are inhaling ("draw" in harmonica language) or blowing on that hole, but not which note it is, unless you are very well trained in at least relative pitch, if not perfect pitch.
So, as a result, harmonica tabs dominate the harmonica world.
Of course, once you are really oriented toward harmonica playing you can then apply your music notation reading skills.
Another reason for the domination of harmonica tabs is the sort of oral tradition that harmonica playing has. Harmonicas are played by all sorts of people, all over the world. They carry harmonicas in their pockets, pouches, purses, backpacks, and play whenever they feel like it or whenever it feels like it would do them (or someone else) some good.
This sort of playing doesn't require reading notes, by any means. In fact, in the Blues tradition, very few players read music at all.
Our Harmonica Tabs system
On HARMONICA.COM the harmonica tabs system we are using is very simple:
If just a number is given, then it is a BLOW note
If there is a "-" sign in front of the number then it is a DRAW note
For example, with this sort of harmonica tab,
just the number 4 is a BLOW note
and -4 is a DRAW note
Now, there are lots of other harmonica tabs systems. There's even one that uses the opposite meaning for the minus sign. We use our system because it has been around the longest. You'll see lots of books with up and down arrows, or circled and non-circled numbers.
The main thing is that with all these harmonica tab systems they are giving you the note hole NUMBER, and are letting you know when to BLOW or DRAW.
In most cases, it really helps to either know the song, or else have a recording of the song using the harmonica tabs that are given.
On the following harmonica tab pages, that's exactly what we do for you. Enjoy!
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