Am I too old to learn harmonica?

I have a Hohner Blues Harp and a Lee Oskar Diatonic both in C. I have been playing (I use that term very loosely LOL) for yonks but my fingers are not what they were. I am 81 years old, does that mean I am too old for learning the harp? My main favourite music is blues and always has been. I must admit that I am struggling with the theory a bit so might (will) need some assistance.



Hi Brian,
it’s never too late to learn harmonica, even for Spike Milligan fans. And your fingers play a fairly limited role, as long as you can cup the instrument with your hands while leaving the mouthpiece free for your lips to enclose, you should be fine. There are lots of great online resources which offer serious guidance for the aspiring blues harmonica player. Adam Gussow or Ronnie Shellist have many great Youtube videos and David Barrett’s online school is excellent. You may want to check out these introductory videos on my YT channel, starting with learning to breathe correctly:

Hope this helps

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I’m with you. I just started myself about a month ago @ 74 .
I have a Special 20 in C
I love blues and Gospel

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Hi Brian. As a fellow senior citizen I’d encourage you too. I recently took up the chromatic harmonica in my late 60s. Though I already read music having played violin, it’s certainly a new challenge. Learning a new skill is great for the brain. Got to keep that stimulated!

I was encouraged to learn that harmonica doesn’t really require that much use of hands (mine are child sized). Though most players use them very effectively for vibrato I was relieved to learn this can be done using my throat. No, we can’t expect to ever become great players but we can all benefit from the sense of a new achievement. As Steve says, nowadays there is also a lot of help online. So go for it!

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