How to Play the Harmonica. The harmonica is called the easiest instrument to play and the most difficult to master. It is also known as the most versatile of the wind instruments. There are different types of harmonicas you can buy and practice with. The Diatonic harmonica is the most popular one in the west, the other ones are chromatic harmonicas, Tremolo and Echo harmonicas and Orchestral harmonicas. This eHow will show you the first steps on your way to mastery and maybe one day you’ll master it the way legendary musician Stevie Wonder can.
Hold the harmonica properly. In order to learn to play the harmonica, you need to understand how to hold it. Hold the harmonica with your left thumb at the bottom, and your index finger at the top. Then, put your right hand at the back of the harmonica.
Know the location of the notes. The harmonica typically has ten holes. When you exhale or inhale, a different note is produced. When you exhale, the note in the first, fourth, seventh, and tenth holes is C. The note in the second, fifth, and eighth holes is E. The note in the third, sixth, and ninth holes is G. When you inhale, the note in the first, fourth, and eighth holes is D. The note in the second hole is G. The note in the third and seventh holes is B. The note for the fifth and ninth holes is F. The note for the sixth and tenth holes is A.
Understand the harmonica notation. When you read sheet music for the harmonica, you will see down arrows and up arrows. You will also see numbers within the arrows. The down arrows mean to inhale, and the up arrows mean to exhale. The numbers indicate the hole you have to do this for. For example, if you see an up arrow with a 2 in it, this means you have to exhale over the second hole of the harmonica.
Try playing some notes on the harmonica. To play the harmonica, you have to feel comfortable playing the different notes. For example, if you want to play an A in the sixth hole, then place your lips over the fourth, fifth, and sixth holes. Put your tongue over the fourth and fifth holes. Then, inhale. This will enable you to play an A. Try this technique for the other notes until you feel comfortable.
Play scales. You can use a scale book. Start with the C major scale. Go up and down the notes of the scale until you have smooth transitions from note to note.
Play a songs on the harmonica. Scales books usually have songs that correspond to each scale. Play these songs in order to work on your technique.