The Internet is filled with websites claiming to offer harmonica lessons for free. However, many of them provide only a few tips before requiring you to buy lesson books or DVDs. If you are interested in teaching yourself how to play harmonica, consider visiting Jack's Harmonica Songbook online, which offers 10 lessons for free. Blues Harp provides five starter lessons for free along with links to other websites that offer free lessons and tips. Harmonica.com also provides some excellent tips and lessons for beginning players.
Playing a Single Note
The first step in learning how to play the harmonica is learning how to position your lips to play single notes. Harmonica.com offers simple directions on puckering your lips, as if you are "imitating a fish," to produce a single note rather than a chord. If you blow or suck air through more than one hole on the harmonica, you will play a chord.
Practicing the Scale
After you are able to correctly position your lips to play single notes, you should practice playing the scale. The first lesson by Blues Harp lists the eight-note scale and recommends playing it up and down as an exercise to help you learn.
Playing a Simple Song
Next you should begin practicing simple songs. You should pick a song you know well, and it should be relatively short and fairly simple. Choose "Mary Had a Little Lamb," "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star," "Oh Susanna" or something similar. Jack's Harmonica Songbook offers easy-to-follow harmonica music sheets for many popular folk songs and hymns.
Playing Bend Notes
Learning how to play bend notes comes only after you've accomplished playing songs using the single-note method. Bend notes are often heard in blues music and are an effective way of making flat or sharp notes on the harmonica. Harmonica.com and lesson seven of Jack's Harmonica Songbook both give very effective methods for dropping the jaw while playing to create a bend note.
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