Chugging speed??

How long did it take you to get a good speed on your chugging?
I just started a couple weeks ago. Once I get up to a certain speed, which is not even remotely as fast as JP, I start to lose my rhythm and my breathing gets messed up to the point I’m just drawing and blowing randomly.

Chugging is a daily exercice I do… not for hours, but 5 to 10 minutes at the biggining, and 5 to 10 minutes at the end of a session, with a train imitation… I do so every day, and I still find it hard at great speed

I had the same problem with speed. Try using a metronome, its helping me. You can find several on-line for free, there is also one included with JP’s bundle.

On any instrument, slow repetitive practice builds speed. Speed comes when you get to a point where you don’t have to concentrate on the task. It is “natural” because you have built muscle memory in all your systems, and they synch easily.


Hi, I always planned to get a Metronome, but never did. Well, last week I finally got one. A taktell piccolo by Wittner and it works nicely. (windup type) I’m an older person who has a history of breathing problems. I just run out of air on the long / fast chugs. :slight_smile: I found that my air supply does get better with practice. The lungs do get stronger.

A friend of mine told me to remember that a - Metronome - is not a “drummer” and not to use it while playing along with music / songs. She said to use it when I practice playing on my own. Just me, my harmonica and the metronome. Hmm … So where do I set the Metronome for just playing songs on my own … as you would play them with others? Just for example … Chicken Reel, Oh Suzanna, Star of the county down, Coming round the mountain, I never will marry, Arkansas traveller, Wayfarin’ stranger, Three Drunken Maidens, Old Joe Clark and so on.


There are also several free metronome apps for iOS for anyone that might not want to invest in a real one. I imagine there are some for android and PC, too.

If you mean where to set the tempo, never choose a tempo quicker than you can play the passage perfectly. Don’t make the mistake of getting it almost right and continuing through. Each time you repeat a passage, you have trained yourself a little more to include the bad techniques, making them that much harder to “unlearn.” It is easier to learn a new task than to correct a bad habit. Slowing down your practice will pay huge dividends.


Hi, Yes and Thanks for your reply. Your right … I’m already (now) trying to unlearn some bad habits. The other day (on youtube) I seen a video of someone saying that they had downloaded a metronome application for their Iphone and they needed to know what bpm setting they should use for the song - “You are my sunshine.” I think those who replied settled on a metronome setting of 81 or 82.

I never just listen to a song anymore. I’m always thinking about keys, notes, tempo and so on. :slight_smile:

Tempo is subjective. How do you like it? That tempo setting is for “performance,” not practice, remember? That’s nearly 1 1/2 per second.
I don’t like rushing a tune unless it really helps the piece…like “Flight of the Bumblebee.” I’d only attempt that anymore on a brass instrument…the ones that I spent years with in slow deliberate studies.


I generally (now) try to practice pretty slow. I just got a metronome. I’m using a setting of 50-54 for practice. I like it.

{{ That tempo setting is for “performance,” not practice, remember? }}
Yes … true.

A lady friend of mine. “Do not ever learn songs wrong. You learn them wrong, you play them wrong. Take it slow and learn to play them right.”

Back to lessons and practice … Thank You!

If I miss one bad habit, I notice.
If I miss two bad habits, my critics notice.
If I miss more, everyone notices.

Kinda paraphrased from an old quote about missing 1, 2, and 3 days practice.


Yes :slight_smile:

I Google [sup]tm[/sup] the name of the song and add tempo to the end.
I then set my metronome accordingly.

Ahhh OK, I’ll have to try that. Thanks … taswulf