Standard Harmonica Note Layouts

The following is a standard set of notes for each keyed harmonica that can assist as to which is the most appropriate choice. The keys have been arranged in the order of the Circle of 5th's to facilitate successively better selections as one gets closer to the appropriate keyed harmonica to choose for playing. This arrangement clearly shows the progression of an added sharp (#) or flat (b) for each key that is further away from the "natural" note set of the key of C. The key of Gb (vs. F#) was used to enable the flatted progression to be more obvious.

Also see the next section per available bends that expand the basic note set. 

Expanded Layouts (with bends)

As shown below, all intermediate notes between each of the standard notes for each hole can also be found by either: bending the draw notes from 1 to 6 or bending the blow notes from 7 to 0. As well, the 5 hole draw and the 7 hole blow can both be slightly bent. Furthermore, a note above the highest standard note within each hole is possible (but difficult) with overblows on holes 1 to 6 or with overdraws on holes 7 to 0. And yeah — BeatTab uses 0 for hole 10.


For a complete layout of notes for every key, see Appendix A of Harmonica for Dummies by Winslow Yerxa. As mentioned before, his descriptions of positions, including avoid notes, chord issues and tonality per each position are invaluable. It even comes with some decent humor. 

All the above (per the note sets of the diatonic harmonica) are included in each of the BeatTab books.

As well, some relevant assist is included for understanding of both, modes and harmonica positions.

Also check out the other 4 titles (Riffs of Ronnie Shellist, the Workbook, plus the two combo books).