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What is the World’s Best-Selling Musical Instrument (and How Do You Play It?)

When the question, “What is the world’s best-selling musical instrument?” is asked, most people’s minds wander towards the guitar, piano, or drums. To them, these musical instruments are quite popular, meaning that they are played and sold out constantly.

What if we told you that those aren’t the answers to the question, “What is the world’s best-selling musical instrument?” It’s actually the harmonica! You read that right. Keep reading to learn more!

A Brief History of the Harmonica

You see, that tiny musical instrument called the harmonica happens to be the world’s best-selling musical instrument. It came into existence in Europe in the early 1800s. Its popularity shot through the roof in the U.S. during the 1920s. This was not far from the fact that this musical instrument was utilized in the recording of blues. From the time it was created to 1986, Hohner, the renowned harmonica maker had made a billion harmonicas. 

Types of Harmonicas

Like everything known to man, the harmonicas come in different types.

Diatonic: This type is quite common and simple to use. This is the type novices usually start with. It possesses 10 holes and can play the main diatonic scale. You can play extra notes if you wish by the art of bending. You could get different scales by playing the instrument in different positions.

Chromatic: This type of harmonica comes with a tiny button at the side. Immediately you touch this button, the note you are playing goes up by half a step. This permits the player to easily play different notes in the scale called a chromatic scale.

This is versatile, but it isn’t easy to play. You can’t bend with this, hence it isn’t great for blues.

Tremolo and Octave Harmonicas: This harmonica comes with two rolls of holes. When you are using the tremolo, you can tune the notes a bit differently, giving off the “tremolo” vibrating effect.

When you are playing the octave harmonica, you tune the notes an octave apart, giving off the fuller sound. 

Playing Techniques

If you want to play the harmonica, there are two methods out there that you can try.

Pucker method: Begin this method by keeping your lips in a relaxed state. When you inhale or exhale, you should be able to hear various notes. Move your lips to an outward manner like you are about to kiss someone. Repeat this process until you have a single, clear note.

Tongue method: Have your mouth relaxed in such a way that it covers various holes. Close the ones you won’t use with your tongue. Using this method splits the notes.