Introducing myself - beginner

Hello, my name is Donald. I’m 77 years old and learning to play the harmonica to keep my brain sharp. I’ve had other music training on both piano and trumpet. I bought a Hohner Special 20 in C and have been playing about a month now. I can get a pretty good 2-draw and can go up and down the C scale fairly cleanly if I go slow. The trouble is, when I’m playing a song I can’t transition easily from note to note without getting that hissy multi-note effect. What’s the best way to practice for that? I think I have a pretty good pucker by now and use lip blocking to isolate the notes if I do it slow.

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Hello Donald, @dowap,
welcome at our place!
Don’t worry, isolating tones will come gradually. It is important to play the C major up and down at the beginning to loosen up and warm up. If you can do it cleanly, increase the speed.
Then you’ll soon be able to play along with simpler songs. You have the advantage that you have already played the trumpet, among other things. So you have many good prerequisites that we had to and still have to build up first.
The Hohner Special 20 is a fine harp!
If you have any further questions or ideas, you’ve come to the right place and you can usually find a solution.
Greetings from Astrid :woman_in_lotus_position:

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Thank you Astrid, good advice. I’ll warm up on the C scale and gradually increase speed.

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Hi Donald - welcome to the forum. So happy to have you hear. So it sounds like you are allowing your lips to widen a little bit when you’re moving from hole to hole. Draw those corners of the mouth as close together as you can, but also make sure your top lip stays relaxed and deep on the top cover plate. Even though there’d be a lot of review in this video, watching it and following along could possibly lead to an “aha”:

But is it only happening when you try to play fast? If so, then @AstridHandbikebee63’s advice is just exactly on point. Only play it as fast as you can to have it sound good. Speed will come with time and repetition.

Hope that helps!

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Thanks Luke, your video on playing single notes is right on and I refer to it often. The biggest issue I have to work on is keeping my jaw and upper lip relaxed. I’m making progress slowly but surely.

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If relaxation is your aim, you are definitely on the right track my friend. Don’t try harder, try EASY! :wink:

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