I'm a beginner. I'm doing OK with having enough breath to play the notes. The problem I have is while play a song (currently I'm learning Danny Boy) I realize I haven't taking a breath and I'm running out of oxygen. In other words the song I'm playing doesn't allow me to either empty my lungs nor fill them up.  So essentially I'm playing both verses with only one lung full of air and can't do it. What am I missing?

The name of the song sounds familiar but I can’t remember the melody.

Seems to me that on most songs there are a series of blows and draws to make the melody. Take advantage on the draws to bring in your breath and the blows to let it out.

I find that if I don’t get all the way out of breath that it makes it easier to recover with slow, easy draws and blows.

That being said, the same thing happens to me on certain songs.

@Luke mentioned “gassing” in a recent post on LONG TONES, surely he and others can shed some light on breathing techniques… :wink:

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Hello @ingog ,
ich habe mir für dich gerade einmal den Song mit den passenden Tabs für eine C Harp angeschaut und nachgespielt.
Es ist neu für mich, aber ich finde es von der Atmung nicht schwierig?
Ich gase schnell zwischen dem Wechsel eines - auf + bzw. + auf - Ton ein oder aus. Das funktioniert recht gut. Am Ende merkt man, dass es etwas anstrengend ist, aber das ist auch bei anderen Songs der Fall.
Vor dem Song atme ich tief ein und aus zum Entspannen, genauso im Schulterbereich. Das ist viel wert.
Ich wünsche dir weiterhin viel Erfolg und gib bitte nicht auf.
Viele Grüße von Astrid

Ich finde den Song übrigens auch sehr schön und es lohnt sich, ihn auf der Harp zu lernen. Ein weltbekannter Song, danke für den Hinweis! :slight_smile:

I guess maybe of you have translators because I see responses to the German language. I don’t

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Hello @ingog,
I just looked at the song for you with the matching tabs for a C harp and played it back.
It’s new to me, but I’m not finding it difficult from breathing?
I gas quickly between switching a - to + or + to - tone on or off. That works pretty well. In the end you realize that it’s a bit exhausting, but that’s the case with other songs as well.
Before the song, I breathe in and out deeply to relax, also in the shoulder area. That’s worth a lot.
I wish you continued success and please don’t give up.
Many greetings from Astrid

By the way, I think the song is very beautiful and it’s worth learning to play on the harp. A world famous song, thanks for the hint!


Thank you. I “learned” German in High School 60 years ago, and my wife was fluent in it. She had fun trying to translate. The only phrases I could partially remember is Die (?) plattenspielen ist kaput, Ich heisse Anthony (wife helped me on these) . Es regnet es. Vas ist los Herr Meyer.
It’s cool traveling with her because was fluent in French also. It help when we visited Europe. Since retirement we have been there 12 times. My wife grandparents were from Bayern. Angermeier, Weinzierl, (Mine are from Sicily) . Walburge Haas, Seidl were some of the names. They migrated to America at different times starting in 1919 and had a great life but worked very hard. They said inflation was so bad in Germany that they would get paid every day and immediately purchase hard goods that they could sell in the future. I remember grandma saying one day she bought 20 brasiers.
What I love about Europe is that each country tries to stay true to their heritage, culture and language. But as boarders disappear the homogeneous nature will eventually get lost. Morally we all want to be inclusive but in my minds eye when I visualize someone from Norway, Germany, France and Sicily, see four distinctly different looking people with different cultures and beliefs. I’ve been told the EU is trying to maintain that concept but it appears impossible. I’m afraid Europe will turn into the “melting pot” like us 100 year from now.
When I grew up I would frequently visit “Little Italy” in Brooklyn NY. That is almost gone. Sadly, in the future, the only way we will be able to experience different cultures is to visit EPCOT center in Disneyworld in Florida.


For some reason I can’t see the original post here. Sounds like you’re asking about a specific song? LMK.