As with any extreme sport it is a good idea to warm yourself up when you start each session of playing.
Ok, harmonica is not an extreme sport but the principal still applies. So, this week I decided it would be useful to give you the exact warm up routine I use each time I pick up the instrument. It will really solidify your blues scale knowledge and will also build up your speed and stamina.
I’m using a harmonica in C.
Play the blues scale
We are playing in 2nd position for this using the blues scale played with different rhythms but you can apply the same idea to any scale you happen to be working on at the moment.
Playing with a metronome at 60 bpm
- 1/4 notes – we will start off with these. This means playing on the beat. Try playing up and down the scale five or six times.
- 1/8 notes – this means playing notes which last half a beat so you are going to play on the beat and off the beat
- triplets – this means playing 3 notes per beat. Make sure you are accenting the note which lands on the beat
- hole-skipping – come back to the 2 hole draw between each of notes of the scale
Keep the metronome at a speed you can maintain
The key is to try and keep the metronome speed the same all the way through. So, if you can’t play triplets at 60bpm slow everything down to 50bpm. Eventually after playing this every time you pick up the instrument you will be able to speed up the metronome.
Thanks for taking this lesson!
I hope you found it useful – please feel free to ask any questions you have. Also, I would really appreciate you sharing this on any social media sites you use.