Not enough breath!

Hey there,
I’m very excited to get started, I love the harmonica and am happy to finally learn how to play it.
I’m finding that I run out of breath quickly even on the first OUT (end of lesson one, medium and faster in lesson two). I’m trying very hard to relax my mouth and breathe from my stomach, but still not good

Does it get better with time? Thanks


Hi @viennacarroll and welcome to the forum!

Yes, breathing will improve with practice and time. My first instrument was the flute and I remember getting so dizzy while practicing!! But the problem eventually went away.

By the way, the harmonica is also used by some respiratory therapists to help people improve their lung function. You can also do breathing exercises to improve your own lung function, but it’s a lot more fun to do that while at the same time learning how to play the harmonica! :sunglasses:


– Slim

1 Like

Thanks for the encouragement Slim!

J.P. Allen promotes a simple warm-up breathing exercise at the beginning of each practice or gig. Takes a couple of minutes and consists of: slowly taking two deep breaths while you raise both extended arms. Stop briefly at the top then two big exhales as you lower your arms. Relax very briefly and repeat once or twice.


Sleazy Bob
London :canada:

Thanks, I’ll give it a try!

What harmonica are you playing? - Scotty

Hello , and welcome. I’m really new as well. I found the chugging exercise and the train whistle exercise helpful. Bc your breathing in as well as out. Also there is out gasing. Which means some times up get full of air while playing and need to let some out while still playing. You do this thru your nose or by loosening you lips and blow air out the top and bottom not through the harmonica.

Hohner Blues Harp

OK thanks, I haven’t got that far yet but I’ll give it a try.

Hi, initially I just matched the inhale to the exhale and that, mostly, left me ‘neutral’. It DEFINITELY gets easier, though I still don’t manage it all the time with the later songs etc.