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 Post subject: Harmonica Newby...
PostPosted: Sun Oct 25, 2009 5:59 pm 
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Joined: Wed Oct 21, 2009 5:34 pm
Posts: 30
Location: Plymouth, UK
I've had a harmonica that I was given as a present sitting on a shelf for too long. I already play piano and whistle and I know one or two v. basic principles for harmonica playing in theory, but I'd like to try my hand at playing it. :)

Are there any particularly good websites that I can use to help me learn?

Also, any generally good advice for a beginner at the harmonica?


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 Post subject: Re: Harmonica Newby...
PostPosted: Sun Oct 25, 2009 8:38 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 04, 2006 10:16 pm
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Location: kanawha county, west virginia
I learned how to play the harmonica as my breathing exercises following heart surgery. I think Jim's Giant Harmonica Songbook is a great resource for beginners. I happen to like folk songs and children's music. Here's the link. http://www.volcano.net/~jackmearl/songs/index.html
There are all kinds of free lessons and resources on line, including at youtube. Just do a search for harmonica lessons.

(And keep the harmonica in your pocket.)

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 Post subject: Re: Harmonica Newby...
PostPosted: Mon Oct 26, 2009 6:20 pm 
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Joined: Tue Apr 18, 2006 1:52 pm
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Location: Middlesbrough, UK
Search on You-tube for "harmonica lessons". You will get literally hundreds of hits. Mostly they focus on blues harmonica, but the basic techniques of playing the harmonica apply to all styles.

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 Post subject: Re: Harmonica Newby...
PostPosted: Sun Nov 01, 2009 9:30 am 
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Location: Beautiful, beautiful north Cornwall. The Doom Bar is on me.
When you play, play gently. Breathe from the diaphragm, relax the lips and jaw muscles and imagine that you're coaxing the air in and out. Forced breathing will result in a harsh sound and a short life for your harmonica. Coaxing with a big, open airway will give you a more powerful sound and richer tone anyway. That's the first step. It's relatively easy to play simple tunes almost from the word go. Tunes like Camptown Races, God Save the Queen, Happy Birthday and Twinkle,Twinkle. One you can knock off one or two of those, you're away! From the word go you should try to play just the note you intend to play and not the ones next to it as well! Find your way round the beast in this way then, in two shakes of a donkey's doodah, you'll be thinking of joining in with your favourite music. Unless it's a chromatic harmonica you have (with a button on one end) you'll find that lots of tunes have some notes you can't get. Try to find tunes which you have all the notes for. Playing along with a CD can be frustrating because the tunes probably won't be in the same key as your harmonica (they come in different keys). The answer is to learn the tune so that you can whistle it, then try to play it in the key you have got. Learn everything by ear, not from written music or (even worse), harmonica tablature. When you're playing music the thing that matters the very least is knowing which hole you're blowing down!

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