Learning to play an instrument is not only impressive, but it also an excellent way to exercise the brain. The harmonica is a beautiful, bluesy-sounding instrument that stands perfectly on its own, or while accompanying other instruments. So, how long does it take to learn to play the harmonica?
It usually takes a few months to learn to play simple songs on the harmonica because you need to train your lips and tongue to build the proper muscle memory. However, the amount of time and effort you can put into learning the harmonica will have a large effect on how long it takes.
So, if practice is the key to learning to play the harmonica quicky, then it is important to know how often a person should practice for the best results. Continue reading the article to help make your harmonica-playing journey a breeze!
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How Long Does It Take to Learn to Play the Harmonica?
Whenever a person really gets a fire burning inside them to start something new, they typically want to be able to master the skill very quickly. It seems this especially true for instruments. So, how long does it take to learn the play the harmonica if you really push hard?
So long as a consistent practice schedule is kept, it will take only a few months to learn simple songs. Withing the first year, a person should be able to complete very important technical skill milestones that are required for playing the harmonica well.
What are exactly are those important skills that you will learn in the first year? We’ll discuss that next, so read on.
Which Skills Should You Learn in the First Year of Practicing the Harmonica?
There are many techniques that go into playing the harmonica, and they must be practiced often in order to master them and play the harmonica like a pro.
One of the very first things that you will learn when picking up the harmonica is the breathing technique. In order to make the correct note, you must breathe out into the harmonica rather than sucking air into the harmonica.
The breathing technique comes in when you learn how to properly take a breath in without playing any incorrect notes while doing so. Learning to control your breathing is the number one most important skill to learn when learning to play the harmonica.
This will typically only take about a month to start getting the hang of it considering you are practicing a good amount each week. Over the next 3 to 6 months after learning the proper breathing technique, you should be able to play simple songs with your harmonica.
The next skill you should be learning for the last 6 months of the year is bending notes. Bending notes is when you lower the pitch in the harmonica, which is a very important skill to master so that you can play the harmonica like a professional.
As you can see, practice is definitely the key to learning to play the harmonica well and quickly. So, how often should you practice?
How Often Should You Practice the Harmonica?
Practice makes perfect in just about any situation, as long as you are being careful to practice correctly. Being consistent with the proper practicing techniques will ensure that you are playing the harmonica beautifully in now time. So, how often should you practice the harmonica?
The best rule of thumb is to try to practice at least 15 minutes minimum every single day.
If practicing everyday is not an option for you, then you should be aiming for at least 30 minutes of practice a couple times a week. This is also a good option for those who do not care to learn quickly.
As long as you stay with a set practice schedule, you will easily be able to learn the necessary skills it takes to play the harmonica.
Is Learning to Play the Harmonica Difficult?
The harmonica is a great instrument for beginners, and it is also inexpensive and easily portable which are a couple of great pluses. But is learning to play the harmonica difficult?
Learning to play the harmonica is not especially difficult, especially compared to other wind instruments. The biggest advantage that comes with the harmonica is that a note can easily be made by someone who has never even touched a harmonica before.
So, if you are looking for an easy and beautiful-sounding instrument that you can literally carry in your pocket, look no further because the harmonica is perfect for you.
How Do You Learn to Play the Harmonica?
Once you have gained an interest in the harmonica and have possibly even bought yourself one, it is important to know how to learn.
Just like any other instrument, there are a few different ways that you can learn to play the harmonica:
- Search online for lessons. You can easily Google how to play the harmonica and an endless list of YouTube videos, blogs, and websites will show up that you give step-by-step instructions of how to learn to play the harmonica.
- Buy a lesson book. If you bought your harmonica in a music store, then you could easily find a book that can teach you to play the harmonica. Otherwise, you could search on websites like Amazon to find harmonica books that will help you out.
- Find a teacher. Whether you look for a teacher online that will do video calls with you or you search locally for an in-person teacher, it will not be hard to find someone to give you lessons on learning to play the harmonica.
Now that you know how to begin learning to play the harmonica, we will look into some useful tips that will help you in your journey.
Tips for Learning to Play the Harmonica
Practice is obviously the most important tip for learning to play the harmonica, but there are also a few other things that could help you along the way.
Here are some tips to help you learn to play the harmonica:
- Establish a schedule. Setting goals for practicing is the best way to keep them. Make a schedule and follow it, consistently, or else your progress will only happen in spurts and you will build that muscle memory much slower.
- Keep harmonicas everywhere in your home, vehicle, etc. Having harmonicas lying everywhere you go will encourage you to practice more.
- Focus on your breathing even when you do not have a harmonica handy. Since the breathing technique is highly important when playing the harmonica, pay attention to your breaths during the day and also practice breathing as though you have a harmonica, even if you do not have one at the moment.
Last, but not least, find others who are also learning! Having friends that are interested in learning to play the harmonica, like you, will encourage you to play and practice more, and it will also help you to practice if you have a partner that holds you accountable for your practice schedule.
How Long Does It Take to Learn to Play the Harmonica? Final Thoughts
In conclusion, the harmonica is one of the best starting instruments for any musician. It is somewhat easy to play, inexpensive, and portable.
With enough steady practice, it will take about 3 months to play easy songs, and by the end of the year, you will be bending notes like a pro. Just remember that consistent practice is key and don’t be afraid of seeking out a proper teacher for in-class lessons!