Just thought I’d say hello ;D

I picked up a harmonica a few weeks ago and have been browsing the site,this is my first official post here.

I’ll be 49 in a couple months and my kids think it’s kinda funny that I wanna learn an instrument at my age . . . go figure LOL I listened to them play from grade school thru high school but really have no musical background myself.After going thru JPs emailings I can produce single notes fairly easy and can play oh susana as well as taps and almost what a wonderful world so I guess thats not to bad for just getting started.Looking forward to browsing here and getting better I figure it will take some time but so far its kinduv addicting


According to the good Jon Gindick, David Harp, others and my own experiences – I know we all have music inside of us. What that music is or what it will sound like once it gets out – Well, the harp is a great way to discover that for yourself!

Like so many others before you and certainly those who will come after – JP Allen has given us the basic structures and tons of information to begin our own wonderful, wacky journey through the wide & vast Harmonica Universe!



Keep On Harpin’! 8)

Hi swampbuck and welcome,

This is a great forum and the guys are only too willing to help and give advice. Don’t worry about your age (I wish I was 49 again) when you get up and running the kids will want to join you then it will be your turn.

Make sure you let us know how you are going and we love to hear your playing so keep us posted.


Welcome! Others of us have started much later in life than you! As long as your having fun and enjoying yourself, who cares what others think! You will show them old farts like us can still get down and back up!!! Keep us posted on your progress and we at the forum will keep you on track and moving forward.
Enjoy your harp journey!

Pleased to meet you bro!

Best of Luck on the Harpin’!


Thanks guys !! From what I’ve been reading it looks like I got lucky finding JPs free video’s first thing.Been working on the deep relaxed mouth position quite a bit and single notes seem fairly easy.I got the intro to single notes on the day I was doing a 2hr drive for vacation and had the taps down pat by time I got there . . . helps I suppose that I was the only one in the truck LOL and that the taps is a fairly easy one to learn with only 4 total all blow notes

Taps on the blow side is okay…

But why limit yourself and stop there?!

Taps on the draw side (hint: start with 1 Draw) is a great intro to learning Cross/2nd Position Harp…

Then playing Taps from blow to draw and back will really get your juices flowing…

BTW – During all my years over the road, somebody playing a harmonica was the mildest of the things I’ve seen through the windshield!! Hehehe!

Keep On Harpin’!

ok the draw side is a bit harder LOL

I seem to fill up with air to fast and the #2 draw seems tuff to get on the first try. to get it it seems like I need to breath in thru my nose at the same time as the draw which makes me run outta room that much faster. I suppose it’ll get easier as I go since I’m only a month into this venture , perhaps I’ll try it on the D harp since I ended up picking up my second SP20 in D the first being a C

any tips on not useing so much air on the draw side??

As my vocal teacher says, music is balance.
I am guessing that you are trying to suck air in through the harp, instead of breathing it in.

Try to be very relaxed. What I do sometimes if I am feeling tense is just putting the harp in front of my mouth and breathing through it. In, Out. In, Out. Unless you are trying to really play loud, you need to just relax and breathe through it!

Try to visualize the harmonica not as an instrument, but as another part of your breathing cycle.

Do you get me? I might just be rambling!


Well Swampum…

As one of my mentors in other disciplines would say: “Now you’re learning!”

Meaning, as simple as Taps is – Still, playing it in Cross/2nd Position is really a challenge for beginners!

And as you’ve discovered, it can be a real lung buster/popper working on your breath.

So congratulations on that part!

Now then, taking BT’s fine suggestions, and no need to elaborate further – With a little work, and over TIME - You probably can/will get through it all no worse for the wear.

However, as simple as Taps is – Still, what most beginners overlook is ‘how’ the harmonica is set up.

Meaning, on all straight diatonics (no Paddy Richter tuned harps here) – The 2 Draw and 3 Blow are the same note!

Therefore, instead of trying to kill yourself on the much harder all draws versus the much easier all blows on the same harmonica –

If you can know where and when to do the substitutions of 2D/3B – You will still be playing Cross/2nd Position Harp; but undoubtedly too you’ll learn some valuable lessons the ‘old timers’ used; not to mention amaze yourself and your friends when you play Taps as simple as it is!

Good luck!

Keep us posted!

Keep On Harpin’!

I was able to do it with my D harp but I’ve been working on the blue’s scale with that harp and it seems easier to draw than the C ,that said I cheated and held my nose and was able to do it with either one .Seems I’m breathing in thru my nose to much while drawing which I imagine I’ll get worked out in time. I can do “oh susana” and have been working on “what a wonderful world” which has a bunch of draws but higher up the scale.

I do keep going back to the “too too ta ta” and “tucka ticka” drills just to make sure I dont get ahead of myself tring to learn songs but is is kinda cool to be able to play simple songs so quickly.

I’ll try that trick with the 3 blow vs the 2 draw however I must ask you said to start with the 1 draw and on the blow version I start with 3 3 4 than 3 4 5 if 3 blow is the same as 2 draw than why start with 1 draw

Thanks again TomM

Well Swampum…

Playing the same tunes on different key diatonic harps does make a difference – As you no doubt discovered for yourself. Cool beans!

Since we’re not together face-to-face mano-e-mano in person – There’s no way to know how you’re breathing on blows/draws and everything in between. But it sounds like you’re beginning to work it out too. Cool beans again!

Okay: Starting Taps, as easy as it is, on 3 Blow and using all blow notes – {have you figured out you can to start on 6 Blow and use all blow notes as well? give it a shot! nevertheless…} – you are playing in Straight/1st Position.

Starting Taps, as easy as it is, on 1 Draw and using all draw notes or substituting the 3 Blow for the 2 Draw (the same note) when necessary to save your breath – Either way, you are playing in Cross/2nd Position!

[Please note: I did not tab out Taps with 1 Draw and throughout. Why? I very well could have; yet this is one song that you can (learn to) play by ear, henceforth giving you the added bonus and experience of not having to depend on tabs all the time. If you want to tab it out on your own, have at it! Cool beans! Be that as it may…]

The whole point of these exercises is to get your lips to move around the harp playing the same song in different positions. It helps if your brain and other functions are attached and in use at the time so that you can begin to understand and comprehend how the instrument along with the scales/notes are laid out.

Of course, playing tunes and melodies in Straight/1st Position will be easier. And when you get to those same songs for Cross/2nd Position, they will require some bending to get the proper sounds. And those come with TIME!

However Taps, as easy as it is, is the primer to get you ready for opening up your harp world evermore!!

Hope this helps!

Keep On Harpin’!

Actually I have done the taps starting up on the 6 after hearing a young girl play the long version on the trumpet so yes I’ve been playing around mixxing it up some.While holding my nose and doing it on the draw side I messed around kinda Hendrix style at the ends . . . make’s me wanna learn the National anthem

I suppose at this point I should post ??s on another section here as this is the introduce yourself area.I have picked up some stuff reading other folks intro’s on the forum and will browse more when I can . . . I’m at work sooooo LOL

Here’s that version of taps I mentioned hope you enjoy