Tremolo diatonic harmonica combination

Tremolo diatonic harmonica combination

Hi everybody!

I got a request to explain this way I have to combine tremolo diatonic harmonicas and that is why I opened this discussion.

I could write a lot about this, but I will start with a couple of things and elaborate from there if someone get interested.

This is the YouTube playlist I keep with the tunes, I am always adding more tunes and I would love to add more videos of other harmonica players doing the same thing:

In many of these videos I give full explanation of what I’m doing in the description.

Basically, these are the reasons to do it:

- Tunes with accidentals that are missing in the harmonica.
- Tunes with notes outside the harmonica.
- Tunes with pedal notes that are harder to do (with long jumps).

I find myself playing harmonicas with 5 semitones difference, then it is G/C or D/G. I just hold them with my two hands and keep them together and many times I am putting them slightly deplaced always in the same position to make the harmonica changes easier.

For sure there are other ways to play these tunes doing another techniques (use of the slide button with chromatic harmonicas, use of bending, etc.). But I absolutely love the tremolo sound and that is why I came up with this.

I hope you like this and I will be pleased to discuss or answer any questions you may have.

All the best,


Re: Tremolo diatonic harmonica combination

Thanks for the explanation Fernando! Not many harmonica enthusiasts here though a couple of them lurk around.

Very interesting, you basically opt for playing a quint button box layout (G/C) (D/G). Makes a lot of sense for a harmonica because of the redundancy it offers. I’ve dabbled around with a semitone system for a chromatic harmonica in D/C# and while it worked I never came to grips with a chromatic harmonica in terms of airflow.

If you ever buy a button box it’ll be very easy for you to learn, while my harmonica days are behind me, I still huff and puff when making the motions as if I’m playing the harmonica.

Excellent playing and cool innovations, thanks for sharing!

Re: Tremolo diatonic harmonica combination

I’m glad you liked that Boyen!

Yes I need to play that system to do this harmonica combination and that is because I need the repeated notes for the phrasing. I cannot play one note of the other harmonica and come back, I always need to play a few notes at least.

To do this technique is really entertaining, you have to remember the combination of notes you are playing in each harmonica, because at some point you are always playing the same notes but in a different place in each harmonica.

Sometimes you have to do a little silent note to be able to do the change, that is the trade in in order to widen the repertoire of tunes. Think about it, the flutes will always have to do this kind of thing in order to breath in. It they do it quite a lot, we can do it a little bit.

Re: Tremolo diatonic harmonica combination

Impressive! (You, not Johnny Cash). I tried doing something similar once, but gave it up after about two minutes … !

Re: Tremolo diatonic harmonica combination

Yhaal House => thanks for the video! interesting to see Johnny Cash doing that!

Myself => thanks! give it s try again, you will see, it is really possible to do it.

And for sure I didn’t invent this, I’ve heard of people doing the same and I would like to meet them.