The 2 hole draw is one of the most important notes on the harmonica, but it can also be one of the most difficult to play cleanly. Let me help you to play a great clean 2 draw in three easy steps.
Lots of people struggle to play a clean 2 hole draw on harmonica when they start out. So don't worry, you're not alone!
Even if you can play all the other holes easily, you might struggle with the 2 draw. This is because the 2 draw is a long and heavy reed that doesn’t take very much effort to play. This means that if you force it too much, you might choke the reed and hear nothing at all, or bend it myself and produce the wrong note.
So let's break the correct two draw technique down into three steps:
1. Mouth Shape
To get a great seal around the instrument, you need to put it deep into your mouth. This means placing the wet part of your lips on to the harp, not just the dry part of your lips. It will feel strange at first, but it will make it alot easier to get a great sounding note.
You also need to push the harmonica against your lips so there is a little pressure between the instrument and your lips.
2. Breath Control
If the 2 draw sounds wrong then it is likely you are pulling the air too much, or "sucking". Remember, if you suck, your playing sucks! The key thing is to breathe naturally. Take the harmonica out of your mouth and keep breathing in as if you're still playing the note. If you can hear the air rushing in, you're pulling too hard.
To make sure you are breathing rather than sucking, keep your tongue sitting relaxed at the bottom of your mouth. Don't push it down, just let it rest naturally. This will allow you to play a much cleaner note.
Tension in your jaw or face muscles can also affect the quality of the draw. Relax your facial muscles and let the air flow naturally through the harmonica. Avoid clenching your teeth or introducing tension into your cheeks.
3. Harmonica Placement
If you want experienced harmonica players, you may notice that the harmonica is tilted up slightly. This can help you to find a clean note. Experiment with a slight tilt to help isolate the note properly. However, don't tilt it too much as this can be a bad habit further down the line.
Great 2 Draw Practice Tips
To practice the 2 draw, start with a 123 draw chord then push the harmonica out with your lips. When you hear a clean note, stop pushing! The harmonica should still be pretty deep inside your mouth. If you push out too far, you will get a thin sound rather than a big rich sound.
Mastering the clean 2 hole draw on the harmonica is a crucial skill for any harmonica player. Remember to be patient with yourself, as developing proficiency in this foundational technique takes time and dedication.
I hope you enjoyed this harmonica lesson on playing a clean 2 draw note. See you again soon!
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