Complete beginners C harmonica lesson

Jan 10, 2012 | Rhythm, Technique

The Anatomy of the Harmonica

The harmonica is made up of three main components which are the cover plates, the reedplates and the comb. There are two reedplates which hold 10 reeds each. The top plate holds the blow reeds and bottom plate the draw reads

How to hold the harmonica

You hold the harmonica in your left hand between your thumb and index finger with the other fingers wrapped round the back of it. Bring the right-hand and wrap it round your left-hand to form a cup around the harmonica with your thumb clasped over the right-hand side.


To play your first note you want to relax your lips, make sure that your tongue is loose and sitting in the base of your mouth. Gently blow the four-hole with your mouth making a whistling shape (smaller than you expect it to be!). If you can hear other holes and it doesn’t sound clean then gently push the harmonica away with your mouth until you can hear a single clear note. If, on the other hand the note sounds thin then push the harmonica with your hands towards your mouth until you find the sweet spot.

Practice drawing the breath in on the four hole. You do not need to suck hard; the note will sound much cleaner with a gentle steady airflow.

Try and breathe from your diaphragm as it will make playing clean notes a lot easier!

Thank you

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See you again for the next harmonica video!

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