Some tips to start learning the harmonica

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Yonberg would like to immerse you in the learning of this wonderful instrument by answering the questions that you certainly ask yourself!

 

How to take the instrument in your hands?

 

The usual practice simply requires keeping the harmonica horizontally with the lowest notes on the left.

 

Right-handers place the index finger of the left hand along the top cover and the thumb along the bottom cover so as to pick up the instrument. Left-handed people do the opposite of course.

 

The thumb of the right hand is then placed in the extension of the other thumb and the other fingers come to take the back of the harmonica forming a cup, thus creating a sound box. You can then smother the sounds by closing your fingers or getting clear sounds by opening your hand.

 

We invite you to watch the following video made by the renowned Yonberg artist, Beija Jeanzac: I discover the video

How to hold it in your mouth?

To avoid air loss, the harmonica should not be too close to the lips and should slide on the inside of the lips. A mouth relaxed enough will allow you to play without getting tired.

 

How to breath?

 

Be sure to use deep ventral breathing so your breathing capacity is optimal. Breathe through your harmonica and know that it is important to draw through both the nose and the mouth.

Very little air is enough to trigger the notes, so learn to control your flow to save it.

 


Where are the notes?

On your harmonica in C, the notes are those of the range of C major (C, D, E, F, G, A, B). The lowest C is in hole #1 when you blow. If you draw in this same hole # 1, you will get a D.

Hole # 2 gives you a E if you blow and a G if you draw and in the same logic, hole # 3 gives a G and a B, and so on.

The small diagram below will allow you to visualize the different notes:

 

How to read a partition?

 

Do not panic, you will not necessarily need to learn music theory!

 

Instead, refer to tablatures that specify the notes of a melody.

 

It's simple! The numbers from 1 to 10 indicate the holes in which it is necessary to draw or blow.

 

How to play only one note at a time?

 

Isolating the notes requires training and can take several months of practice. But do not be discouraged!

 

Make an "O" with your lips to encircle only one hole and make sure that a single note does not come out as well by blowing as by drawing. To go from one hole to another, let your harmonica slide with lightness. The practice will allow you to better appreciate the gaps and to be able to play without worrying about it.

 

We recommend that you train on the range of C major (C, D, E, F, G, A, B, C) until you obtain clear and distinct notes:


You now have the basics to tame your harmonica. It's time for us to let you practice. We will soon be pleased to unveil more and you discover some partitions, intervals, alterations and other techniques that make all the charm of this wonderful wind instrument that you can take with you everywhere!

 

The Yonberg Team