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Instrument - The Harmonica

Instrument - The Harmonica - Reviewed by Kidzworld on Dec 27, 2006
( Rating: 1 Star Rating)

You may think the only people playing harmonicas are old farts - not true. Green Day, U2 and even the Chili Peppers use them. They're cheap and portable - so why not give one a try?

The harmonica is one of those great instruments anyone can have fun with, even if you aren't very musical. They don't cost a lot, they're easy to use and they can be carried in your pocket. You may think the only people playing harmonicas are old farts - not true. You hear the harmonica more often in blues and country music, but it's also used in rock, alternative and sometimes ska music. Green Day, Phish, The Blues Travelers, Stevie Wonder, U2 and even the Red Hot Chili Peppers have used harmonicas in a song or two.

So how does this mouth organ work? It's made up of two reed plates that are attached to a "comb" and covered with a top and bottom cover. Each reed plate has different slot lengths. When you blow into the harmonica the air stream passes over the reeds and in and out of the slots(or chambers) causing the reeds to vibrate. The vibrating reeds chop the air stream. It's the vibrating of the air stream that makes the sound. A siren works in the same way.

Harmonicas come in various sizes and colors and are made out of wood, metal and even plastic. They are also available with different numbers of holes and reeds - the more holes, the more notes you can play. Even if you have a simple harmonica, with only 16 holes, you can change the sound by covering and uncovering the outside of the harmonica with your hand.

Harmonicas have been around for a really long time - since 1821, but even with all the digital instruments available they're still going strong. Did you know that on Friends Monica's dad calls her his little "Harmonica?" So head to your nearest music, novelty or even toy store and start makin' some noise.

1 You can make some freaky sounds with a blade of grass too.

Kidz Submit by:

Nickname: ashes_1414
Age: 13

So what's your fave instrument? Do you know how to play the Harmonica? about your musical talents!

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