Темрява—Temryava (pronounced “tem-ye-vah,” meaning “darkness” in Ukrainian) is an intermediate level piece that features one-hand harmonics. If you’re new to the technique or need to develop better coordination, begin with the R.H. study, Harmonica.

Temryava was written as a response to the current world tradegy.  At this time, we also offer the Ukrainian National Anthem available as either a solo or for ensmeble (as a trio, quartet, quintet, or sextet—with contrabass).


Guitar harmonics are most frequently played with two hands—L.H. finger touches a node (a point on the string where a harmonic will sound) and R.H. plays the string.  Nodes naturally occur at specific string locations such as frets XII, VII, V, XIX, which correspond to different fractional segments of the entire string length.  Each harmonic produces a different higher tone (called overtone) from the original open string.  These are the practical natural harmonics:

Fret (node)
String length
1/2 of string
1/3 of string
octave + 5th
V and XVII
1/4 of string
2 octaves
IV, IX, and XVI
1/5 of string
2 octaves + majord 3rd

Thus, the series of harmonics on (6) would be:

One-hand harmonics

One-handed harmonics are sometimes necessary and a better fingering option since they only involve the right hand.  To play , i touches a node and either p or a strike the string.  The choice to use one fingering or the other has much to do with musical context, but frequently i-p is used for bass-note harmonics, and i-a for melody harmonics. Most all of the harmonics in both Temryava and Harmonic  should be played with i-p.

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one handed harmonic—i-p

one handed harmonic—i-a


Harmonica is mostly a study for the right hand, with only one left-hand note—A on (1) with 4.  The focus is on alternating one-hand harmonics with other strings.   A practical fingering is i-p, a.    To prepare, practice the examples below.  In Ex. 1 you may initially want to keep i on the string, since each harmonic is repeated, but when comfortable, try to release it, allowing the harmonic to sound fully.

Playing i-p harmonics slightly alters your right-hand postion and nail contact of a.  Adjusting a to its optimal position is possible, but may not be practical when playing continuous alternation with i-p.  Remember, harmonics are shown with diamond-head noteheads.

Ex. 1

Practice i-p, a with string crossings:

Ex. 2


The first challenging passage with one-hand harmonics occurs at m. 9:

To learn, begin by understanding and practicing R.H. alone:

The second half of this section (m. 16)  is also challenging:

Again, begin by understanding and practicing the R.H. alone:

The 4th beat of m. 25 presents another technical challenge—playing the “A” harmonic on (4) after the 32nd note arpeggio.


To execute, the right hand should be centered over the sound hole, so that when i extends to touch (4) on XIX, the hand position is somewhat stationary,

For more on harmonics, see the Shearer Method Book One online supplement.


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