Notation Guide

Tablature posted on this site or provided in private sessions follow the same format as David Barrett uses on bluesharmonica.com. Briefly summarised it goes like this.

  • A number with a + sign following means blow that number hole. For example 4+ means blow hole 4, 6+ means blow hole 6 and so on.
  • A number without a + sign means draw that hole.
  • For illustration, the tablature for the major scale in the middle octave looks like this: 4+ 4 5+ 5 6+ 6 7 7+
  • A ' indicates a note should be bent a half step. '' indicates a whole step bend, and ''' indicates a three semi-tone bend. For example:
    • 4' = a 4 draw half step bend.
    • 2'' = a 2 draw whole step bend
    • 3''' = a one and a half step draw bend on the three hole.

There’s more to it but that’s enough to get going with the Music Theory for Harmonica Players series.