So you've decided to learn harmonica: you've got yourself a harp and you want to know how long it takes to learn. In this article, I'm going to tell you.
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If you're reading this, you must have made up your mind that you want to learn the harmonica. You may have looked at some YouTube harmonica lessons or read some articles on learning harmonica, and you're probably wondering, "How long does it take to learn the harmonica?". It's a very good question, and I'm going to do my best to answer it.
What do you bring to the table?
The time it takes to learn harmonica - or any skill, for that matter - depends partly on what you bring with you: your musical knowledge (theoretical, other instruments), your personal attitude and learning style, and your natural ability. But here's the big thing: no matter who you are, your learning will be impacted more than anything by one thing: your approach to practising.
So how long will it take me?
First off, you'll get a decent sound for a beginner from day one. With regular deliberate practice, you can expect to be playing simple pop tunes within around 3 months. Within 6 to 12 months, your technique will improve and you will probably be able to work on bending notes (a very important skill for getting the best out of a harmonica).
That said, it takes years to get to a good standard on any instrument, and the harmonica is no exception. Remember that it's about having fun, and also try not to compare yourself harshly with others. Keep in mind that we're all on the same journey: pursuing a love of music.
Taking it to the next level
If you are serious about improving, it's important to set clear goals and keep to a timetable. If you procrastinate or have vague ideas about what you want to achieve, you will struggle to improve much at all.
One thing's for sure, it's much easier with a clear, step-by-step method from an experienced teacher.
Want step-by-step lessons?
If you are keen to improve your playing, check out my Complete Beginner Course for weekly step-by-step lessons.