Articulation and the coughing technique

Hello everyone.
I’ve just started the Beginner to Boss course and hit my first stumbling block at module 2, lesson 6 dealing with articulation. Specifically the coughing technique. I think I understand the process to create this but the lesson asks me to draw in using this technique which seems counter-intuitive and almost impossible. The actual ‘coughing’ action expels air , it doesnt draw air in. I noticed in the lesson comments someone else mentioned how impossible
they were finding this and Luke responded that he recognised it was really
difficult but just heeded a lot of practice. I just dont even know how to start practicing this, i can’t create a coughing action whilst drawing air in. Can
anyone share any tips if they’ve managed to achieve this?


I don’t worry too much about a lot of those types of techniques. You can eventually master them or use your own. Mouths are different. I see that particular one as a kind of hiccup. Alex does a kissing sound thing I can’t do. Don’t get too hung up but the posts under the lesson will probably get you the best responses.


An outward normal cough actually begins with vocal cords closed. Same with inward. Try: 1. Breathe out a little. 2. Close vocal cords. 3. Try to breath in while cords closed. Haha can’t do it. So, 4. While creating in breath pressure against the cords release open the cords and notice what happens. That should point you in the right direction.


Like gulping with force or aghast at a surprise.


@chris3 Great post here!

I think @GreenStamps of gasping like you’re really surprised is brilliant!

AWAY from the harmonica. Try alternating gasping in surprise with a soft cough on an exhale (like a whisper volume.) As you alternate these, see if you can notice how they both come from those throat muscles that the venerable @Corky_Music mentioned in his advice.

This should hopefully get you pointed in the right direction.

Another idea is to try and whisper the kind of sound when kids imitate a machine gun or the braying of sheep and see if you can do that on an inhale as well as an exhale.

It’s just more awkward on inhale than exhale cuz we never do it naturally in life before harmonica. I still can’t do it as fast or consistent as I wish I could on inhale. :see_no_evil:

Always room for growth! Gotta enjoy the journey!

Rock on! :sunglasses:


May I respond by showing my age, Sweetleaf by Black Sabbath, replace beginning with harp.

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If you take JP‘s course, you will practice that a lot in your warm-up exercises. Like anything else, just gets better with practice. So don’t stress over it. It is a journey! :slight_smile: