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The Hollies Forum Index » Searchin' » Harmonica on 'He Ain't Heavy' - what key?
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James Towill Post subject: Harmonica on 'He Ain't Heavy' - what key?
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Joined: 16 Jan 2004
Posts: 928
Location: Dunfermline, Fife

Is it in the key of 'C'? Question And can anybody easily play it?

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PostPosted:Sun Apr 23, 2006 19:06 pm
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DistantLight Post subject:
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Joined: 10 Apr 2004
Posts: 371
Location: Germany

Do you mean if a harmonica is generally in the key of "C" or the playing in this song?

I think normally harmonicas are in "C". I've got one but I can't really play it, I've tried it some times but somehow it doesn't work like I want it to. There must be some kind of tricks because lots of musicians can play it and I never heard that it took them that much practise. I'll find out someday...
PostPosted:Sun Apr 23, 2006 20:16 pm
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James Towill Post subject:
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Joined: 16 Jan 2004
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Location: Dunfermline, Fife

You seem to be able to purchase harmonicas in various keys. They seem quite an inexpensive musical instrument!

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The Last Wind... don't eat curries late at night
PostPosted:Mon Apr 24, 2006 6:16 am
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DistantLight Post subject:
Rythym Guitar


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Joined: 10 Apr 2004
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Location: Germany

Yes that's right, you can buy them in various keys but I think (not sure though) that most players use one in "C".
It's not that expensive, that's why I've bought one.
PostPosted:Mon Apr 24, 2006 7:42 am
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flavio Post subject:



Joined: 27 May 2004
Posts: 7
Location: Porto Alegre, Brasil

The key for the harmonica in He ainīt heavy is G.

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PostPosted:Mon May 01, 2006 20:46 pm
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James Towill Post subject:
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Joined: 16 Jan 2004
Posts: 928
Location: Dunfermline, Fife

What about Long Dark Road -- can you tell I'm going to try? Laughing

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PostPosted:Sun May 07, 2006 19:04 pm
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Knut Post subject: Harmonica playing
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Joined: 18 Jan 2004
Posts: 615
Location: Oslo, Norway

Good questions James!

I started out playing the blues harmonica some 5 years ago, at first since I wanted to do the intro and outro of He ain't heavy. I learnt this after a while, then I learnt playing the whole song, by writing down the holes to blow and inhale through. You know the order of the notes on the blues harps are a bit irregular and some tones miss at the low end. This has been done, to enable playing some chords (3 tones near each other).

Allan used to play blues harps in the old days, listen to Nobody, for instance, which is excellent. Use D harp, 2nd position, which means the song goes in A. During later years, I believe he used a chromatic harmonica on Heavy, Carl and Peter also has done that. Do I remember right about Allan here, by the way?

Long dark road is played with A harp, 2nd position, which gives E.

A Hollies harp favourite of mine is Writing on the wall, play it with A in 1st position (no blues sound).

Blues harp playing is highly recommended! It will give you hours of joy, and you can bring it anywhere, very nice to sing and play with gitar playing friends.
Good luck! Very Happy

Knut

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Would you believe the Hollies had power to stay by evolution of their style from Buddy Holly ? That's for certain because they follow what goes around, write on and go out on the road. They did it then, they do it now - please do it always.
PostPosted:Sun May 28, 2006 9:20 am
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