Yes it is! First, it’s the same basic idea as an harmonica – just hold your finger in front of your mouth, and the sound is inaudible. But the whole point of the harmonica is to be able to play the rhythm of the song with the exact same pitch as if you were playing a guitar. The best possible rhythm is what the ear hears as “natural” in the music, and the best possible note is what the listener hears at that pitch. So both of these approaches are fine for a harmonica: you can play a chord in the middle of a chord and make a very short note, and then play a long scale note at a different pitch to create tension in the chorus. You can also play a note that has a harmonic equivalent in your guitar tone – but in music that means something different to each player. The notes are the same, at least at first, but in the end you sound completely different. You do this in different ways, and your brain doesn’t process any of it the same way. Playing a high-frequency note in the guitar is different than in the harmonica – it sounds like a sine wave. Playing a high-pitch note on a harmonica is different than playing it in a high-quality harmonica – it feels like a series of tiny harmonics, a series of pitches, and each piece is one voice. What your brain hears is a whole different pitch that it feels like, and it may not be a tonal one.
So why use a harmonica?
When we were kids all those harmonica lessons used to keep us up at night, and it felt strange to use a stringed instrument – we would play with our fingers, sometimes moving our finger tips at a different way than with a guitar in order to play the notes. I’m sure we were taught that not all strings were the same – that a string is made of tiny vibrations which is harder to tune than the ones you hear on a stringed instrument. This may also have been the explanation for why many of our parents would refuse to allow us to practice on a guitar. If you listen to the recordings of harmonica music, you can hear the tone variations so close to those of the guitar. The harmonica is much more simple to play than the guitar. It’s really not that different – it just sounds like two different instruments.
Who uses harmonica more nowadays?
People of any age – you can play the songs
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