Dennis Gruenling

Lesson >

Moan A Chrome

First Chorus Breakdown

Hello - this is Dennis Gruenling and this week we start to dissect my chromatic harmonica piece “Moan-a-Chrome”. We will be utilizing many of the same techniques you should be used to if you have worked on my other study songs here, such as distorted notes, tongue-vamps, and split intervals. The two important things to remember now with this piece are 1) on chromatic we want to be sure to not play with too much pressure, so play softly since the reeds are more sensitive to air pressure, and 2) now that we are playing a different position (3rd position) the note patterns are different than 2nd position on diatonic, but they will be somewhat similar to 3rd position on diatonic in case you are familiar with that.

Take a breath, grab your harp, and have fun!






Topics and/or subjects covered in this lesson:
Chromatic Harmonica

Backing Track

Print Print Chords & Tab

C Chromatic Harmonica in the Key of D

Loop 0:20 First Chorus Run-Through

Loop 1:04 Musical Approach on the Chromatic Harmonica

Loop 6:27 Breakdown of First 4 Bars

Loop 10:03 Breakdown of IV Chord and Back to I (Bars 5 - 8)

Loop 11:20 Practice Loop of First 8 Bars

Loop 11:50 Breakdown of V Chord and Turnaround

Loop 12:52 Practice Loop of V Chord and Turnaround

Loop 13:08 Closing Thoughts and Practice Loop of First Chorus





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Gagi Jul 02, 2023

Mr. Dennis. 4 and 5 blow is the same note and why you hitting on 5 blow and wich is most common 4 or 5 blow? 

Dennis Gruenling
Dennis Gruenling Jul 03, 2023

If you use 5 draw a lot it makes ense to use 5 blow more often.

andre Loiselle
andre Loiselle Jan 10, 2019

Yeah !! I m sure you do !!


Tom Ferring
Tom Ferring Jan 10, 2019

Thanks for this lesson. Please post another chromatic lesson soon! 


Dennis Gruenling
Dennis Gruenling Jan 10, 2019

Thank you! I may post another, I have some cool new songs up my sleeve!

Douglas Avery
Douglas Avery Aug 28, 2018


Dennis Gruenling
Dennis Gruenling Aug 29, 2018

All chromatic harmonicas are tuned the same (unless it is a special-made custom tuning), so the patterns and riffs aree the same. Thanks!

andre Loiselle
andre Loiselle Jul 10, 2018

Hi Dennis !! i m not sure to understand ... but I  will watch "Buffle off to Shuffalo " ... I think that maybe I will get an answer there ... Thanks again 

Dennis Gruenling
Dennis Gruenling Jul 11, 2018

That is a good song to study to help understand what I mean...thanks! 

andre Loiselle
andre Loiselle Jul 09, 2018

Hi Dennis !! thanks again ... it make sense , but , when you say "the more you practice with a metronome just platying rhythm" ... maybe an akward question but ; what do you mean by "rhythm" ?? could you give me an exemple in this particular song , because when i play the song with metronome ... I play the "whole" song ... hope my question s clear enough ??

by the way , so far , I improved a lot and really love it !!

Dennis Gruenling
Dennis Gruenling Jul 10, 2018

Hi - what I meant was talking about practicing rhythm playing. Playing a shuffle rhythm on harmonica to entire jam tracks. Practicing playing rhyhtm harmonica, as one would practice playing rhythm guitar (as opposed to lead guitar and solos). Just playing solos, no licks, no riffs. 

andre Loiselle
andre Loiselle Jul 01, 2018

Hi Dennis !! when I watch you play ... you start with counting 1,2,3,and 4 ,like counting the beats ,  and when you play i can see your head and body still counting , are you able to ... even when you play , count in your head and know exacly on what beat you are ?? it would make sense to me if i m able to do that , i ll be able to do the chord progression 1,4,and 5 , on the 12 Bar and know exactly where I am during the whole song ...


Dennis Gruenling
Dennis Gruenling Jul 09, 2018

Yes!! That is totally the idea. I strongly recommend to practice sometimes counting the beats along to songs WITHOUT playing, just so you can always get the feel of where the beats and bars are. The more you do this, and the more you practice with a metronome just platying rhythm, the better your sense of timing becomes.

andre Loiselle
andre Loiselle Jun 30, 2018

Thank s a thousand time Mike !!


andre Loiselle
andre Loiselle Jun 29, 2018

Hi Dennis !! is it possible to have a Backing track ??


Mike Caren
Mike Caren Jun 29, 2018

Thanks for the reminder.  The track is up.

Bill Blatner
Bill Blatner May 13, 2018

Hi Dennis,

I wanted to say I really appreciate how you approached this first chromatic lesson. There is so much that is new and different, keeping it simple is really helping me get a feel for this beautiful instrument. The size and weight (I have a Chromonika III 16-hole), the feel of the mouthpiece, the round holes, avoiding the ingrained habit of bending and the need to keep a really light touch. The low octave on this thing sounds amazing! Thanks for doing this.


Dennis Gruenling
Dennis Gruenling May 13, 2018

Thanks Bill!! Glad you are enjoying it! Yes, there are many things to keep in mind as it is a different instrument, but so many similarities with technique for the most part. Once you learn some patterns, the chromatic is easier in a way since each octave is tuned the exact same way, but you just need to control your breathing and remember where you are! Have fun with this...

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