Accuracy is the problem

I am a beginner, but I can play clear, single notes with no problem and can even bend notes reasonably well. My biggest problem is hitting the notes accurately when playing a melody. It can get very frustrating. Any suggestions?


For now John, all I can offer is what Howard Levy suggests: Take the tune slow note by note until it’s fully memorized; and then gradually increase your speed.

I know, I know, I’m the impatient type too there!

Will have some more to add later, but this is the place to begin.

Good luck!

Keep on harpin’!


I totally agree with SPD, totally slow that tune down till you can play it accurately and memorize the tab if your reading tab.
Then increase speed a little at a time. Even if you have to take the tune apart and learn it line by line that’s ok.

Just slow it down. Hopefully you have software that’ll do that for you. Are you playing along with a backing track or just playing the
tune by itself. If by itself put it to a metronome and start it at a slow reasonable speed that you can play it with.

Work it up to speed slowly day by day.

Make small improvements every day then you’ll have it learned and memorized in no time.

If your learning a tune with a backing track like a midi file. You can play the midi file in a software like Van Bosco midi player

here’s the link

It should be a free download.

Then you can easily speed up or slow down the tune and you can also change the key to it. And there’s also I believe a
link in there so you can search for midi files.

Let me know if you need help that has helped me alot.

Harp on!!

I read there is no such thing as cheating when trying to learn an instrument and I take that to heart, so here is my (cheat)!
Take a hot melt glue-gun and put a small dot on the bottom side ( so you can feel them with your bottom lip) on the even numbers. If you feel a lump in the center of your bottom lip your lined up to an even # hole, if you feel a lump on left and right side of your lip you can center the space and hit the odd #. When you are consistant the glue is easy to remove. It helped me alot.

That is really thinking out of the box, that may have saved me months learning single notes ;D

What ever works right. That’s the way I look at it.

Just another Idea on how to learn single notes never thought of that :-\

Kinda like braille harmonica no ;D

Harp on!!

Glad you liked my idea!
Now that I’ve shared all my knowledge, what am I gonna do with the rest of my life:)
I’m always gettin ragged bout reinventin the wheel!

You Mean other than playing the Harp.
We all know the harp is a lifetime learning process.

Harp on!!

In the discussion,“Accuracy is the problem” , Imade th suggestion to use hotmelt glue on the even numbers on the bottom side. that wrks fine on plastic covers but will only last an afternoon on metal. A small square of electrical tape holds just fine on the smooth metal and it really helps you line up in the beginning.

Two things that come to mind.

First off…have you begun to notice how you’re lips can sense the comb of the harmonica as you slide…as if they reading the harp like a blind person reads brail.

If you haven’t yet developed the sensitivity in your lips this will help you make a big jump and land on the note you want.

The other thing that might help is tons and tons of repetition.

Start with the easiest jump from 1 blow to 3 blow…repeat over an over

Next focus on jumping from 1 blow to 4 blow… repeat repeat repeat

1 to 5 blow, 1 blow to 6 blow, and so on…

If you can practice all of the intervals for 21 days straight by day 21 you’ll show huge progress…

Remember to slide so you can use the sensitivity in your lips to help you feel where you are…


One thing I might interject here if I may be so bold - from watching JP and Jason Ricci do these slides - I also like to go from 10 to 9; 10 to 8; etc. etc. down to 1.

And then too, I also turn my harmonica around (no, not with the comb facing up) with the numbers and/or covers in reverse.

So instead of going left to right on the lower up to higher registers; now I’m going right to left with them. Know what I mean?

And yes, your lips will feel the differences. And soon enough the next thing you know, you just might be like Howard Levy who can hit holes blind-folded and no-handed at that! Yay!

But I’ll settle for JP and Jason Ricci for now! Hehehe!


Keep On Harpin’!