My first day with the amazing Harmonica


P.S. i am russian, so i am sorry for my mistakes in english.
Today in the morning I went to the music shop and bought this instrument, my first harmonica Hohner Bluesband international :yum: I am very inspired, and have a feeling that it will change my life :relaxed: Twenty years ago as a child i was playing piano, guitar, but harmonica very much different, and hope i will play it good!
And my first try on this instrument was today in the evening. It was so nice to sit in the park and try to make good sounds )) And the most surprising thing is that people didn’t run away from my first steps in studying:sweat_smile:
Actually i am so happy that there is such a community of harmonica lovers! i have a million of questions of how to play and about this instrument…
And there are so many lessons in the internet, but if there is some good program of studying?
If you can share how did you start to study playing harmonica, what lessons or programs the best? it will be really nice to have other’s experience.
Thank you!


Hello Marina, welcome to the world of harmonicas.
When I started with the harmonica I just bought an instrument as well as a book and learned by myself. After a while I found a teacher, who helped me improving my skills. After that I learned from jams and chats with other musicians and listening to harmonica music.
Best Richard


Hi Marina,

you may find my Youtube videos about fundamental harmonica technique a help, here a link to the first one:

Here’s the website of a great online school:

It’s very helpful to listen to music which features the harmonica. What kinds of music do you like to listen to? It’s also really good to hook up with other people where you live, who play themselves and who may be able to help you. Taking lessons from a teacher is very helpful and there are some great Russian harmonica players who also teach.

Have a great time playing your harmonica!


Thank you, Steve for this info, going to look this links right now!
I like to listen blues, folk, jazz… well now discovering harmonica, i like Indiara Sfair - she is amazing! And in Russia i founded one good teacher, he also has utube lessons - but of course you are right that better to look for the real players. Well, now i am not in Russia, i am living in Spain in a small town, jeje, so it’s a bit difficult to find harmonica players here. So i am hoping for the power of internet to study this))


Just watched the video about breathing and it really helpful! Now i have idea how it should be! Thanks so much!


There are some great harmonica players in Spain too :wink:
Indiara is very good, I’ve watched some of her videos. The internet has become an amazing resource for learning and I’m sure you’ll be able to find someone near you who can help you progress. Good luck!


Glad it helped :slight_smile: I have a bunch of live vids on my YT which may also interest you.


so good! going to watch it step by step!:smiley:
But breathing is my weak point, so will work on this first:wink:


Hello, Richard!
think i am in the same way, learning it with the help of internet. Don’t know now if i will find a teacher, may be in the future. But sure it’s good to connect with others harmonica players, because a lot questions coming about tecniques and not all answeres i can find in the internet.
best wishes, Marina


i’m a guitar player mostly but love blues harp, maybe for the future look for small practice amp and microphone older the better 1960’s to get more effects, and of course breathing and use of tonge.
my favourite band is nine below zero check them out and johnny mars from the states great mic effects. you and steve have got me searching for my old hohner harp:sunglasses:


Hello Grip353!
Actually this few days i am practicing breathing, trying to make the train effect)), and working with tonge (this is so difficult, but so fun!). And also i am doing the chord exercises, to get the one-note sounds.
My problem - my lips not wet ))) jeje that’s funny, but a problem for moving harmonica! UFffff… I know that i should put harmonica inside the lips into the wet part, but still it is not moving easilly… May be i just need more practice, i think.
And i will listen this bands with pleasure! Thank you so much for advice, i am always searching some new music and players!
Best wishes.


mark feltham is the harp player and they do the track riding on the L&N,
if that’s the train sound your after. if you have some cooking oil that you like the taste of a very small amount on lips then rub harp left and right see if smooth, i think lip balm be too thick can rub lips with kitchen towel like lipstick don’t want loads, have a look for some backing track you like drums
and i had a look at indiara thanks for that if you want something different 1955 slim harpo ne na noo, or my baby’s got it


now with olive oil i can play easilly:relaxed: but hope oil will not damage harmonica?:thinking: well it is really helpful anyway and i will use it ))
and i really enjoy slim harpo, very nice easy listening! thx!


If you use oil to lubricate your lips, it may get inside the harmonica and block the reeds. I recommend avoiding this if you can, saliva is the answer in the long run :smile:


Hello Steve!
I was just thinking about this, because as i’ve putted oil - now the holes sometimes are blocked on inhale breath (( ohhhh, i don’t have a lot saliva:tired_face: well… hope will find solution… may be to try with bublegum, or to eat candy while playing :sweat_smile: jejeje,
And also i don’t understand the articulation with tong - when i play and make ta-ta-ta with tong to separate notes - how to keep harmonica inside mouth? As i understand - the instrument we put deep inside, but then it’s difficult to make articulation with tong! may be the problem in my mouth( it is too small?


hi marina i should have said use very very small amount of oil.
on kitchen towel, it will stop metal plates from pitting shouldn’t be
any on the reeds? we have similar harp with plastic comb mine is
special 20 marine band in G found it saturday on sunday band was in
pub next to my garden so played along. wondering what key yours is in?
have bought hohner little lady for 1euro just for fun keyring.
here is somthing i tried and worked moving my jaw.


Hi! Very useful video thanks, and i like other lessons of this guy too. Well, he says that to have fast train effect need to practice months, let’s see )) And now without oil think it goes better, my mouth adapting to the instrument - and lips are more relaxed now. My harp is in C, now i have the most simple for beginners, but later i will buy Marine Band Deluxe or Crossover (thinking between this two). As i know Sunny Boy Williamson played on Marine Band Deluxe… so i think this is good choice. This simple cheap harp that i have now is also harp )) jeje, at least i can practice tecniques, like one-note, and this train effect. And then when i’ll take a better harp in my lips i will not damage it, and will be ready to play for enjoy. ))


Oh! I want to say Great thanks to Steve Baker and his book “Big River Harp, Step by step”! I like to practice with this book, it is well organising and having good structure! Thanks a lot, Steve! I watch different videos about techniques, but this book is like my teacher now))


Thanks Marina, glad if it’s a help! Regarding articulation with the tongue, it’s better not to rely on the tip of the tongue for this. As you say, it’s then more difficult to take the harp far enough into the mouth. I recommend accenting notes with a soft “kah” sound like in “car”. This is produced by the back part of the tongue and the soft palate and is quite easy to do when inhaling as well as exhaling. Then the tip of the tongue doesn’t get in the way :slight_smile:


yes, now i can only do like “kah”, but in the videos they teach to make ‘tata’, or “naka-taka”. well may be need more time of practice. Actually i already feel that some things are going better - for example i can do one-note, and soooo happy! )))