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My name is Ian Boyle and I am a diatonic harmonica player based in the UK. I am The harmonica player in Aethelred’s Bluesmen band based in the Wirral.

People know me for playing blues music, but firstly and foremost it’s all about the harmonica. I am always trying to find new tunes in whatever genre and although I love playing in a band, the harmonica is at its purest on it’s own. Sitting on a railway station, at the beach , at the side of the road, wherever you happen to be, you can just produce a harmonica and start playing.

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 The harmonica is a fun and versatile instrument. You can play it anywhere, anytime, and any style of music. It’s like having a mini band at your fingertips. The harmonica is awesome as it’s very expressive and connects with people. Enjoy learning new songs and techniques, and you’ll find an appreciative and supportive audience when you share them with friends and family.

For many people the  harmonica is more than just a hobby or a passion, it’s a way of life.

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Harmonica is a musical instrument that produces sound by blowing or drawing air through reeds that vibrate in different pitches. Harmonica is also known as French harp, mouth organ, or blues harp. Harmonica is used in many genres of music, such as blues, folk, rock, country, jazz, and classical.

There are many types of harmonica, but the most common ones are diatonic, chromatic, and tremolo.


Diatonic harmonica is the simplest and most popular type of harmonica. It has 10 holes and 20 reeds, and it is tuned to a single key. Diatonic harmonica is often used for playing blues, folk, and rock music. Diatonic harmonica can produce different notes by bending the reeds with the tongue and lips. Bending can lower or raise the pitch of the reeds, creating a bluesy sound.

Some examples of diatonic harmonica players are Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Willie Nelson, and Little Walter.


Chromatic harmonica is more complex and versatile than diatonic harmonica. It has 10 or more holes and 40 or more reeds, and it can play all 12 notes of the chromatic scale. Chromatic harmonica has a button on the side that slides a bar to change the airflow from one set of reeds to another. This allows the player to switch between two different keys with a single harmonica.

Chromatic harmonica is often used for playing jazz, classical, and pop music. Chromatic harmonica can produce a smooth and rich sound.

Some examples of chromatic harmonica players are Stevie Wonder, Toots Thielemans, Larry Adler, and Jean-Baptiste “Toots” Thielemans.


Tremolo harmonica is a type of harmonica that has two reeds for each note, tuned slightly apart. This creates a wavering or trembling sound effect. Tremolo harmonica has more holes than diatonic or chromatic harmonica, usually 16 to 24. Tremolo harmonica is tuned to a single key, but it can play chords as well as melodies.

Tremolo harmonica is often used for playing folk, country, and Asian music. Tremolo harmonica can produce a bright and cheerful sound.