Learning To Play The Harmonica During Lockdown

A lot of people have been learning new skills during the lockdown, with many mastering a new instrument. If you are looking for something unique, why not try your hand at learning the harmonica? Read on to discover more.

How To Find The Right Harmonica For You
Online harmonica lessons are definitely an option worth considering if you are interested in learning this instrument. You can save yourself a bit of money too, which you can use to purchase a better harmonica. This is something we are going to assist you with first - choosing the right one. The first thing you need to do is decide what type of harmonica you are going to buy before you can take any online music lessons. The most common type of harmonica is the diatonic version. This is ideal for folk, blues, and pop music. They are designed to play in a specific key. You also have chromatic harmonicas, which are designed for those with a bit more experience. We will reveal more about those next. Another factor to consider is the material of the comb. Most people choose plastic, as this is inexpensive and easy to maintain. However, wood produces a warmer sound and is something a lot of harmonica players prefer.  Aside from this, make sure you purchase a harmonica that has received good feedback from those that have used it already. By reading reviews online you can get a great insight into the level of quality the instrument offers. Finally, the price is, of course, a vital factor. When you are starting out you may want to look for a cheap harmonica. While you shouldn’t spend a fortune, you still need to make sure the instrument is of a good quality so that it produces a lovely sound, otherwise, you could lose motivation quickly. 

What Is A Chromatic Harmonica?
Chromatic harmonica lessons aren’t for beginners. If you are just starting out with learning the harmonica, you should opt for a diatonic harmonica. Once you have mastered this, you can then move onto a chromatic harmonica. Read on to discover more about this. If you learn to play all positions on your diatonic harmonica, you will be able to transition to a chromatic harmonic with greater ease. Once you have taken enough harmonica lessons online to perfect your craft, you will be able to play just about any mode or scale using the ‘gearshift’ on a chromatic harmonica. What is the gearshift? Well, the harmonica has two separate reed plates. These plates incorporate all notes found on the 12-tone western scale. There is a button-activated lever, which we’ve referred to as the gearshift, that directs air into these two reed plates. When compared with diatonic counterparts, chromatic harmonicas can be harder to overblow and bend because of the bigger reeds contained within. This means that they can produce some very rich sounding effects and chords. You can also play the lighting fast melodic runs and complex jazz scales that are associated with this type of music. This is something that Toots Thielman mastered. Blues harp players like Rod Piazza and Littler Walter have also generated fat tones using chromatics. The options are endless and this is definitely the next step up once you have mastered the diatonic harmonica.

Basic Harmonica Technique
Learn to play the harmonica online and you will have a great deal of fun in the process. This is an instrument than many people seem to fall in love with, and the good news is that it is not too difficult to get to grips with either. With that being said, in this section of the post, we are going to take you through some basic harmonica technique. First and foremost, you should practice by making a note. To do this, pick a set of holes or just one hole on the mouthpiece and blow into them gently. One way to make a pleasing sound is to blow into three holes at once. This is because holes next to one and other are typically designed to harmonise automatically. After this, practice by switching between playing a single hole and then chords on multiple holes. As you have probably gathered, your lips partly control the number of holes you blow through. During your harmonica lessons online, you will learn about establishing greater control over the notes you play, and this will involve blocking holes using the blade of your tongue as well. In addition to this, in order to change notes, you are going to need to draw in breath. By breathing in and out, you will get access to the entire set of notes your harmonica is tuned for. Once you have mastered this, you should then attempt to play a scale. Keep practising and practising, it’s the only way to get better! Don’t forget about learning to read tablature either, which is essential to play music on this instrument. You can use tools like Memory to help you memorize this.

More Technique Tips
One thing you should do is focus on your airflow through the hole when playing the harmonica. This will help you to get better intonation, more volume, and better tone while you play. A lot of players simply focus on blowing into the harmonica. In addition to this, you need to stay away from over-single noting. What does this mean? Basically, when making single notes you should attempt to use the entire hole, as this will help to gain better tone and volume. This means you won’t need to use as much effort when you play. Another tip for boosting your technique is to not move your head when you play but instead move the harmonica. This will ensure you play more efficiently and faster. Look in the mirror if you are unsure whether you are moving your harmonica or your head more. Also, whenever you are playing a note, you should notice that your diaphragm moves. This is where you should be breathing from, as it creates the airflow that will make the harmonica make a sound.

Some Final Tips For Beginners
If you have no prior knowledge of playing the harmonica, or any other instrument for that matter, don’t fret. It is never too late to start learning! Below, we will provide you with some top tips on learning the harmonica for beginners.Firstly, make sure you listen to as much harmonica as you can. While you may want to dive straight in and practice on your harmonica throughout your entire online music lessons, it is important to do your theory and to seek inspiration from videos. It is also important to make sure you do not try and play music straight away. What we mean is that you should start out by establishing good habits on single notes and concentrating on other basic techniques, such as holding the harmonica correctly.  When enjoying your harmonica lessons online, don’t get stressed. It is important to be relaxed while you practice and play to ensure you don’t use your energy inefficiently, which will stop you from playing longer and faster. You should also try to practice every day, even if it is only 15 minutes. This is more effective than doing one large practice session per week. You should also lick your lips and the mouthpiece whenever you find that your lips stick to the harmonica when you move from hole to hole.

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