Greetings from a newbie in Brisbane, Australia

Hi All,
I’ve just begun a journey. I hope that it will lead me to places I didn’t believe would be possible.
I am 57 years and besides 2 failed brief attempts at guitar playing have never played a musical instrument.
I got the bug to play music again recently and looked around YouTube for inspiration.

The Harmonica stood out by a mile to me. Not sure why, but I guess it may have found me rather than me finding it.

I also found JP on the net and found his enthusiasm and love of his chosen instrument unmatched. I ordered his DVD set. It arrived in double quick time, and now I have absolutely no excuses for not knowing what to practice. ;D

I purchased the Hohner Special 20 in C as suggested by many as a good harp to begin with.

So I set about trying the DVD ‘Getting Campfire Ready 1’ Shock, horror… I found that I couldn’t even hold the blow note for more than 2 seconds, never mind the 3 that JP was asking me to do :o
All of the problems with the 2 hole draw I’d read about were real… mine sounded like I’d just deflated the cat by reversing over him !

So I checked out the breathing exercises JP shows (I’m a slight asthmatic and slightly overweight to boot) and tried them over the next week, whenever I thought of it. Breathing in from my diaphragm through my nose and out slowly through my mouth - from the belly, not the chest.
Now a few days later, i can keep up with the timing without running out of breath.

So just in this short time I can see that if I really practice regularly I’ll get the results. Heres hoping that this is an instrument that I will be able to enjoy for a very long time.

I hope I can count on you all for advice and then in time I’ll be able to help out others also.


Welcome Pestmaster! Maybe you’ll be able to help SPuD clear out some pest we have here! ;D
It’s was amasing to me how poorly my breathing was at the beginning also. But in short time you will start seeing improvement. I don’t have JP’s stuff, I do Harmonica Academy. Fast fiddle tunes. Look around the forum and you’ll see and hear examples.
Most important thing to remember! Have FUN and watch out for ‘GAS’!
Happy Harpin’ and look forward to hearing your progress! ;D

Hi Pestmaster,
Welcome to the forum! We will be glad to offer advice (rite or rong, you decide!)
Something JP suggested to me that helped my breathing was to practice train rhythms while lying down. This makes you breathe through the diaphram and exercises the correct muscles.
GOOD LUCK and start harpin!

Welcome Pestmaster! Stay with JP’s program, and remember to never look at it as practice, it’s playing! Always have that Special 20 with you and play, play, play,play…


Maybe you'll be able to help SPuD clear out some pest we have here! Grin

We do our best to keep/clear out the idiot a-hole spammers and such…

Gotta have something else to do besides moderating/reading/posting around here, eh?! Hehehehe!!

Inre: Breath Control et al

Along with chugging and all the other fine tips/suggestions made –

For me, perhaps the best lesson I learned on the subject comes from Jon Gindick. He recommends just placing the harp in your mouth and blowing/drawing on the 1-3 hole chords for at least 10 seconds each.

Unless you’re going to be doing some super draw and/or overblow riffing, 10 seconds is about all you’ll ever really need for being able to draw/blow over a couple of bars before your air direction changes.

'Course too, if you have difficulty managing 10 seconds, start with 5 seconds, and build up from there. Thing is, it really works in helping build up the “lung power.”

Plus, unless you’re playing some Howard Levy concerto at Carnegie Hall or elsewhere…you don’t have to play every note in a melody to make it sound good and recognizable.

And another ‘secret’ the masters use is being able to sub the 2-draw for a 3-blow to quickly regain their air.

Bottom line: Eventually, with anything, it all comes with time.


Have fun!

Keep on Harpin’!

Thank you for your king words of encouragement.
Just one thing about ‘GAS’… I am also into photography, so I’m well aware of the acquisition syndrome.

Funny thing is that the last thing i thought I’d need to do is to learn to breathe again, after all, I’ve been doing it all my life - well, almost anyway.
I’ve taken all of your comments and will learn be learning something new each day ~ just as in life in general i suppose !

Thanks again

Well according to our Global Poll - We have at least 4-5 members from your neck of the woods.

Sure, Down Under may be a little spread out – However, it’s still a small world after all; and you never know who you can/might run into! That’s with or without a car!! Hehehe!

Rock on, yo!!

Hi Pestmaster welcome to the forum.

As where (here in the Eastern U.S.) are in the midst of a blizzard
your enjoying summer down there.

Good luck to you and see ya around the forum.

Harp On!!

Hi Pestmaster.

I also live in Brisbane for half my time and half at the Sunshine Coast. Am presently in Brisbane due mainly to the lousy weather everywhere, and its best here.

57 is a good young age to start ie by the time you are my age you will be a really good player if you do everything these nuts tell you to do. I don’t! Only joking ie they are a great mob even if we all are a little crazy!

Where in Brisbane are you? I’m at The Gap ie when I’m not at Peregian Beach or off travelling somewhere.

Can be a fun/ frustrating instrument to learn. Don’t bottle it up ie share everything here. They are all keen to help.
It’s a long fun journey.

[color=red]SPD[/color] - 4 to 5 harp players in Aus… well, I see that David T is close by to me, what a small world.

[font=Verdana][color=red][font=Verdana]Joe[/font][/color] [/font]- We may be in summer, but it’s rained all over Christmas in my part of the world. You’ve got blizzards, the U.K is under feet of snow ~ just imagine how bad it would be if we didn’t have global warming ;D

[font=Verdana]DavidT[/font], I’m in Burpengary, midway between The Gap and Peregian Beach, my job takes me to both of your suburbs as well as many more places as well.

Thanks for the welcome people, I do appreciate it !

Hi Pestmaster,

I also live in Brisbane at Sunnybank Hills. I have had JP’s bundle since September and working through the DVD’s and progressing. Like you, I have no previous music experience and at times have felt disappointment with my progress but back on track and having fun.

Feel free to email me anytime if you think I can assist or just discuss harmonicas in general.
I am down the GC over Xmas so I will get back to you Early next week.


Thanks Keith, I’ve sent you a message.


Sounds like we have an Aussie Down Under Harpin’ Band going on!

Can’t wait to hear the first tracks of “David T. & The Pez Dispensers” - “David T. & His Harpin’ Mates” - “David T. & The Other Two Guys” - “David T. & …”

you will be a really good player if you do everything these nuts tell you to do. I don't!

Yeah, David T., payback’s a bee-yotch! Mwuahahahahahaha!!! J/K!!!


Rock on, yo!


and all within driving distance ~ pretty cool in a country this size… 8)

Lucky Guys! ;D

Can see the big hits rolling now! :slight_smile:

David T. & His Harpin’ Mates along with:
Rolf Harris ::: Beatles ::: Tie Me Kangaroo Down Sport (with lyrics)

lol… funny thing is that I’m actually from Liverpool originally (home of the Beatles) also.
And Rolf Harris (Australian), has lived in England for years , did ya follow that SPD ?? lol

Yeppers…Syzygial Synchronicity…Got It! :wink:

Hey Pestmaster,

I am so stoked that you were able to overcome that hurdle with a little practice…very cool!

Glad to have you on board…

Your harmonica buddy,


Thanks J.P. I appreciate that.
Keep up the good work spreading the word. I’m sure that you touch many people that you will never even hear from.
All the best for the New Year