Free Online Harmonica Instruction from Jump For Joy Music!
Download free sheet music and instruction sheets:
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Play Along With Your Own Harmonica!
(Click the audio clips below and play along!)
This should be a 10-hole (diatonic) harmonica, often generically called a “blues harp, ” in the key of C.
NOTE: You’ll hear 4 “clicks” – then you can play along!
Twinkle Twinkle Little Star
Ode to Joy
Instructions for Hand Position
- Hold harmonica (“harp”) in your left hand* between the index finger and thumb. You should see the numbers 1-10 on the top of the harmonica and the letter C on the far right of the harmonica.
- Keep your index finger and thumb towards the back of the harp, so that there is plenty of room for your lips.
- Purse your lips (as if you are whistling) and cover hole #1. Your lips should actually cover the written number for each hole. Check this in a mirror. Make sure you have enough “lip” on the harp.
- Blow into hole # 1. This is called a blow note.
- Inhale on #1. This is called a draw note.
- Continue this exercise (blow & draw) on holes 1-10. Try to get each note “by itself” if you can. If you hit 2 notes at a time, no problem!
*If you are left-handed, I suggest you first try instruction #1 as written. If that is uncomfortable, then try holding the harp in your right hand. Choose the option that is more comfortable.
Instructions for Reading Harmonica Notation
↑ = Blow
↓ = Draw
Reading the following harmonica notation is very simple. When you see an arrow pointing up ( ↑) , you exhale (blow) into the harmonica. When you see an arrow pointing down ( ↓) , you inhale (draw) through the harmonica. Have fun reading your first harmonica songs, and playing along with the accompaniment!