How to Play the Harmonica
How to Play the Harmonica
Learning how to play the harmonica is quick and easy. The harmonica is also a great instrument for people who feel they are not musical. It also makes a great first instrument. A common harmonica has ten holes. To make music you blow or draw through one or several of the holes. This is a whole lot easier than having to learn where to put your fingers on other instruments. Another reason learning how to play harmonica is great for beginners is that you do not have to learn to read music. Learning piano means you have to learn to read sheet music, read the notes, the sharps, the flats, etc. You don’t have to know any of that to learn to play a harmonica.
Music for harmonicas is called tabs. Harmonica tabs are very simple to read, understand, and follow. Tabs consist of a plus or minus sign, a number, and quote marks. A plus sign means to blow through the hole while a minus sign means to draw. The number tells you what hole. And the quote marks is there if you have to bend a note. More on bending notes later. A sample tab might look like +6. This means to blow through hole 6. Another one might be -8’. This one means to draw through hole 8 and bend the note.
There is a logical progression to follow when learning to play the harmonica. The first technique you need to learn is to blow through a single hole. This is more difficult than it sounds since you mouth will cover at least three holes. The most common technique is to use your tongue to block the holes you don’t want to use. Learning to do this lets you learn how to control the notes you play. Once you learn how to block holes, you can begin to play simple songs.
How to Play the Harmonica learning the skills
The next skill you need to learn is to draw through a hole. A draw is simply an inhale. The harmonica will play two different notes depending on whether you inhale or exhale through the hole. What this does is doubles the number of notes you can play. Once you learn this one, then you are ready to play chords. Playing a chord is blowing or drawing through more than one hole at a time. This third skill will really open up the number of songs you are able to play. At this point playing harmonica will become more fun.
The next skill is most likely the hardest to learn. This one is bending notes. On a standard harmonica there are certain notes you will not be able to play. The way the harmonica is designed means these notes are missing. Never fear, you can play these notes. You have to bend the notes. You do this by changing the size of your mouth. Most people do this by pressing their tongue down lower in their mouth. By changing the size of your mouth, the sound produced changes. This technique is probably the hardest one you will have to learn, and no kidding, it can take a while to get this one. But once you’ve got it, you will have learned everything you need to know to play the harmonica well.
How to Play the Harmonica and succeed!
Once you learn these skills, you will need to practice them and practice them a lot. This is where a harmonica is so great. They are so small and portable you can carry them with you everywhere and break it out when you have a few spare minutes. If you were learning how to play the harmonica using online lessons and you have a smartphone, you are on top of your game. You can open up the lessons on your smartphone and practice wherever you are. Try doing that with a piano.
Just like any other instrument, to get really good you have to practice. Be sure to carry your harmonica around with you so you can get in the practice you need. Chances are after just a few lessons, your friends will enjoy listening to you and never notice any mistakes you make. Go ahead and get a harmonica and find some online lessons like the “George Goodman Harmonica Lessons” and get started today.
When you learn how to play harmonica you can be impressing your friends with your new found skills in next to no time and maybe teach them how to play the harmonica too.