Playing Along with Recordings
One excellent way to practice your improvisation and your ensemble playing at the same time is to play along with recordings. But before you begin to do that you'll need to know what key the song you're listing to is in so that you can select the right key harmonica to use. Here are a couple of tricks you can use to do that.
First, listen carefully to the opening chord of the song — way more often than not, that first chord will be the root chord of the key the song is in.
Second, pull out your C harmonica and check the sound of the opening chord against every note in the C major scale (holes 4, 5, 6, and 7) to see which one matches the key. If the chord doesn't exactly match one of those notes the song is probably in a flatted or sharped key, which will be a half step above or below one of the harmonica notes.
The next chapter will focus on the microphones, amplifiers, and effects boxes that you'll need to create the big, electric harmonica sound.