So you have been anticipating playing harmonica for a while.
And now that you’ve found the courage to take that bold step, you realize it isn’t as easy as you thought and even don’t know where to begin!
No worries, we got you some easiest secrets to help you learn, together with some tips on the best harmonica for beginners and best online harmonica lessons to try out.
I must confess it’s pretty exciting. Let’s jump right into it;
5 Easy Ways to Learn Harmonica Fast
1. Invest Quality Time In YouTube
The internet has almost everything we need in life.
It’s full of information and if you maximize it well, you can learn various skills on your own without ever entering a physical classroom.
So, if you want to learn harmonica, the best thing you can do is log into YouTube and learn from experts and fellow beginners.
The best part of this is that the information is often accompanied by videos/pictures, so you get to practice as you watch.
There’s even a comment section where you get to ask questions and get answers.
This is one of the best ways to learn especially if you don’t have enough money to get yourself a personal trainer or enroll in classes.
Most YouTube videos are free, you just need a good internet connection and you will be good to go.
Here’s a sample video;
2. Consistency is Key
In the beginning, you would want to try playing every song you come across, but it’s advisable to desist from that.
Instead, focus on a few songs you prefer and get to play them repeatedly until you get sick of them.
And even then, continue playing them some more.
Repeating brings familiarity.
This will help you master the art of playing, which will help identify a few useful things that will help you pick-up other songs with ease.
3. Make Noise
Yes, we said it!
Noise is good, some times. Especially when it comes to a harmonica.
There are a good number of melodies you can pick from your noise, and as you do so, you keep experimenting until you find your signature tune.
Also, go basic. Don’t even have to overthink, just go back to your nursery tunes and pick them up using your harmonica’s middle octave.
Think of Johny Johny, Twinkle twinkle and the like.
Watch this video for the simplest way to learn licks;
4. Partner with a Guitar Player
If you have a friend who plays guitar, then the better. But if you don’t you can look around, I am sure you will find someone willing within no time.
Having a guitar player jamming with you is the best asset you can ever have as a beginner harmonica player.
Finding someone more experienced than you are even better as they can help you through the challenges of learning, everyone goes through those.
To ensure you achieve your objectives, set personal and group objectives with your jamming partner. And set a specific day and time of practice.
Here are some tips on the best way to practice harmonica; a tutor’s point of view;
5. Find Someone to Give you Face-to-Face Harmonica Lessons
Some techniques are best learned through seeing.
Yes, audio calls and sounds might help you in some ways, but then there’s no way to compare that with face-to-face or one-on-one video lessons.
But, don’t just go to anyone, find someone who knows what they’re doing.
Finding yourself a good teacher is one of the best ways to develop yourself.
You not only get someone to teach you the tricks and ropes, but also a reliability partner who follows-up on your progress.
But whatever you do, ensure you enjoy every bit of it.
Don’t get someone who’s too serious to even take a joke.
You need to smile down those frustrating moments that pop from time to time, and the last thing you need at such a time is a teacher who makes you feel even worse.
Which Harmonica is Best for Beginners?
First, we would like to insist that a beginner, the best thing you can do for yourself is to get a 10-hole harmonica.
The most popular one is the Hohner, and you will need around $30 to get a new one.
If you settle for Hohner, we advise you to go for the special 20.
But you shouldn’t be tied down to one brand.
So you can still consider the Lee Oscar harmonicas as they’re equally amazing.
For high quality, search out Seydel.
Actually, we can’t say that this’s the ultimate list as there are various little-known brands with inexpensive harmonicas.
But, the down-side is that most individuals can’t vouch for their quality. So you should rather stick to known brands.
Remember, while investing in a quality harmonica might seem expensive at the beginning, it will serve you for long, so you get to save in terms of maintenance and replacement fee.
When you have quality, you can concentrate on learning, which makes things easy for you.
How Much Does a Decent Harmonica Cost?
Before we give you a straight answer, we would like you to know that the cheaper the harmonica’s price, the more easily it’s likely to leak or get out of tune.
That said, you shouldn’t also think of taking a loan to get the most expensive one, especially when starting out.
In most parts of the world, you can easily find a decent harmonica for around $30.
But it could be slightly lower or higher, so use the price as a guideline whenever you head out shopping or think of placing an order.
For instance, if you get one at$8, it would be sheer luck if you find a decent one. And as the price gets lower, the worse you can expect.
And if you get to pay over $30, then you can be sure to get a good harmonica. But then, it might have complex features that you might not need as a beginner.
So, it’s better to start economical and upgrade as you get better.
Something airtight, responsive and always in tune should be a good start.
Check out the following video for a better understanding;
Best Online Harmonica Lessons
- Harmonica Courses at Harmonica.com
This amazing site has some amazing harmonica lessons, most ideal for beginners.
The lessons are usually fun-filled and run for about 7-minutes.
And if you’re consistent, then you can be ready to play good harmonica in less than three months.
Some of the things you will learn include;
- 11-core essential harmonica techniques
- Bending techniques
- Single notes
- Breath control techniques
- Essential hand techniques
- Single notes.
Plus you receive a Hohner blues band harmonica at no extra cost.
Learners gain access to the lessons either online or on DVDs. And you can use a computer, mobile device or tablet.
- Harmonica Lessons at NY Harmonica School
Harmonica studio gives learners access to over 500 chromatic harmonica lessons, which are suitable for both beginners and pro learners.
The courses are split into various sections to help learners master various specialized fields of harmonica playing.
Here you can expect to learn;
- Fundamental harmonica techniques
- Jazz patterns
- Music styles
- Blues language
As a member, you gain full-access to various library lessons and a support community for harmonica players.
Also, learners get a chance to participate in the Monthly Transcription Challenge and get a personal response from Yvonnick Prene (a renowned French harmonica player)
The lessons are accessed via videos, audio examples, sheet music, and harmonica tabs.
The duration of study varies depending on your needs and how fast you’re at learning.
- Harmonica Lessons at Harmonica Lessons
When you join Harmonica Lessons, you gain access to either the beginner, intermediate and advanced harmonica lessons.
This is the best place, to begin with especially if you plan to stick around for a while for consistency purposes.
Remember, once you get used to a specific learning style, it might take a while to adjust to another site.
So, you would want a site such as this one, to take you through intermediate and pro levels as well.
The lessons are normally in video form and you get to learn various essential things such as;
- The single notes
- The hand effects
- Breathing techniques
- Bending techniques
- Jamming techniques
- Harmonica theory and terminology
- Chromatic harmonica
- Essential Chord changes
- Alternate-tuned diatonic
Additionally, learners get to participate in live online classes, which allows them to access instant feedback on their harmonica playing skills.
Also, each learner gets to benefit from an online 30-minute one-on-one harmonica lesson with Dave Gage (the famous American harmonica player and instructor).
The meeting is usually one-on-one and private. So, you can take the chance to ask questions and learn a few essential tricks from a pro player.
Conclusion: What Now?
If you want to make a name for yourself in the harmonica music industry, then you have to up your game.
And there’s no better way to achieve this than finding a few ways to learn to play your harmonica quickly and efficiently.
From watching YouTube videos, finding a face-to-face trainer to partnering with a guitarist, there’s so much you can do so long as you put your mind to it.
Also, remember to purchase the right harmonica for beginners and enroll yourself in some online courses.
Whatever you can do to succeed, do it wholeheartedly.
It’s time to go out there and be a winner!