Updated: Oct 7, 2020
It's extremely easy to start playing harmonica. The instrument is set up to play melodies and harmonies without any effort. But it's difficult to master, like all instruments.
Top tips for learning harmonica quickly
Try to isolate clean single notes by making your mouth small
Split songs into bitesize chunks and take your time
Listen to top players and try to imimate their sound
Get an expert instructor to give you personalised lessons
Have fun. It's much easier when you enjoy it!
What makes harmonica easy to learn?
The harmonica is designed to play melodies very easily. The middle part of the harmonica (holes 4-7) contain the major scale, which is the basic building block of 1000s of folk tunes, nursery rhymes and famous songs.
To start playing songs, first try the C major scale as follows (positive numbers are blow/exhale, negative numbers are draw/inhale):
4 -4 5 -5 6 -6 -7 7
C D E F G A B C
What makes harmonica difficult to play?
There are some difficulties that come with learning harmonica. Techniques can be opaque as you can't see everything that's going on. The instrument's simplicity can also make more complex techniques even harder to master. That said, all instruments have their downsides. I may be biased but I think the harmonica has a lot more good about it than bad!
The harmonica is a great instrument for beginners. It's cheap, portable and lots of fun. However, you'll need to put some work in if you want to master the thing!
Thanks for reading this! Let me know how you're getting on in the comments below.
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.