No, we have not yet forgotten the mysterious harmonica playing gunman in Sergio Leone’s Spaghetti western epic 'Once upon a time in the west’. Harmonica music represents death and danger in the deserted landscapes in that movie but harmonica music is kind of a honey to the soul of those who have heard songs like ‘what a wonderful world’ and ‘heart of gold’. Harmonica is one of the essential instruments of Western music and culture. One specialty of the harmonica is that different kind of harmonica produce different sounds, which can be effectively used in different genres of music. Some of the different kind of harmonicas are chromatic, tremolo, diatonic and echo harmonicas. A diatonic harmonica with ten holes and the standard key as 'C' is the most suitable one for a beginner. It is easy to learn playing harmonica but it may take some time to learn the techniques and make some different sounds. If you are somebody who dreams of playing harmonica and walking with those Charles Bronson style lazy steps through the streets, you can stop dreaming and can make it a ‘reality’. Read on the article to know how to play harmonica.
How To Play Harmonica For Beginners
- Beginners should understand two very fundamental things of playing a harmonica. One is playing the single notes and the other is the holding technique. Holding the instrument covered by the left hand first, with only the thumb below and other fingers over the top is the usual technique of holding the harmonica.
- You can cover the left hands with the right hand, while using the same position. Your hands should cover the harmonica in such a way that they make a space between them. This will help in making sound fluctuations in the instrument by the flapping of right hand.
- According to the art of playing harmonica, each of its holes can produce two sounds, depending on whether the musician blow or suck the air out. It is good to play single notes on the instruments because single notes usually use one hole of the instruments to get the sound and it is easy to play it by blowing or drawing in the air from the harmonica. After you are familiar with single notes, you can go on to play chords which demand the use of multiple holes to produce the desired sound.
- It is believed that the best way to learn playing harmonica is to listen to the instrumental songs or theme music of the movies in which the harmonica or mouth organ plays an important role. You should listen to that music continuously to understand the rhythmic breathing patterns.
- Then you can try playing harmonica by your own using your own sensibilities and develop your harmonica playing techniques. The rhythmic patterns you practice will possibly produce the melody and the beats. You should make sure that you do not breathe very heavily and hurriedly. This kind of a continuous practice will shape the musician in you gradually.
- You can learn to play the harmonica faster if you already know how to play other musical instruments such as guitar or piano. The people who are trained in these musical instruments will be thorough about the musical notes and it would help them to understand the music notations on the harmonica very easily. If you do breathing exercise such as yoga, meditation, aerobics, it will increase your capacity to control the breath when you play harmonica notes.