Practice/training

Hi Guys,

I would like your thoughts on what practicing you do. I have only recently started harmonica and just started with JP’s video bundle. After a few weeks playing I practice by, doing a twenty minute session with JP, then do a bit of doodling around just learning by playing around and then finish with a few minutes of trying out a song or doing some stuff playing by ear.
What do the rest of you guys do to improve? I need to be inspired lol.

Cheers,

Geoff

Carry a harmonica every where you go. You never know when you’ll get an opertunity to play! ;D

Tyson is 100 percent right on that one…

I also practice ummm always…

No seriously an hour in the morning and then just play off and on when
I get the chance.

But what you described blueguern, what your practice schedule is you should
be improving… Have fun!!

Harp On!!

With the harmonica there are limitless opportunities for practice. I never venture anywhere without a harp or some harps in my pockets. Thank God for cargo shorts I think they are designed for us harmonica nuts.

I think the harmonica is much maligned & thought of as a childrens toy and hence must be easy to learn. Also those sites that advertise 'learn blues in a day" or ‘become a harmonica player with only a few minutes daily practice’ do a lot of damage to perpetuate the perception. My understanding is that the Harmonica is no easier to learn than any other musical instrument. However it does offer the opportunity for a lot more practice than what might be possible on another instrument. Hence a years practice of eg a formal 45min daily + informal here and there of another 45min could equate to 3 or more years of practice on another instrument.

To become a master on any instrument it is supposed to take 10,000hours of practice. Practice must include scales & arpeggios. But, most of us would find that really boring & 10,000 hours is 27 years of 1 hour each day. Thats why most of us only want to play well & have fun.

My practice is generally learning new stuff ie ca 30 min a day. But my harps are like a good book ie something I find comfort with in solitude to just noodle away on.

David’s Youtube Channel

http://www.youtube.com/user/harpoldie
http://www.youtube.com/user/harpoldie

Ok Guys,

I agree that taking the harmonica everywhere is the thing to do but what exactly do you do when practicing. Perfecting a song, scales, chugging, phrasing, all the above. Also when you learn a song how long do you think you take to get it right. I know you can always add things to a basic song to make it sound better. But a basic song, how long. I’m doing Ode to Joy at he moment and it’s taking a while but I’m really enjoying it even if the wife and dog aren’t so keen.

Cheers,

Geoff.

I have always just noodled around and never put very much strictness into it, but now that I’m learning to play the piano I’ve realized that strict practice can do wonders! It’s incredible how fast you learn when you sit down and devote yourself to work something out. Two days ago I was given a tip, use the metronome when you play! I’ve always figuered rhythm to be something that you can’t learn like that. It’s a feeling you have inside of you, but after having done some excercises on the piano with a metronome I’ve realized that rhythm is a lot more than that feeling that pounds on your heart. When you use the metronome you get more of an overview of the music. It seems like you are forced to always keeo at least half of your mind one bar ahead.

Daily practice should in my opinion include:

Arpeggios
Scales & positions
Improvisation
Chords (get a chord instrument like a keyboard)
Ear training

When it comes to learning a song this is something that will take a little less time for each song you learn, and some songs will always be harder.

What you do is you play the scales up and down in varying rhythms, and as you do so you listen to each change. Learn to use the scales musicaly.

I recorded some scale practice on the piano now (I have big chunk of tobacco under my lip so I can’t use the harp). I switch from the regular C scale to the blues scale and then to the hijazz scale. This will give you an idea of how this can be done fun. You don’t have to play them up and down like a boring old aunt. The key here is to experiment and explore, but without loosing focus on the subject.

Scales.mp3 - 1.02MB

Welll…I do a few things:
–First…I carry a harp everywhere…it is mandatory for me.
–I play ‘Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring’ a lot…faster and faster trying to be as clean as possible.
–I just start improving…random…anytime/anywhere just start spittin’ the notes out! (And when you do that, people think you are really good, evven if you are average)

Thanks my advice…take it or leave it!

–BT

OMG I just noticed the headline banner ‘Want to Sound Amazing On the Harmonica…in just 7 minutes a Day?’. This is what I refer to as being deceptive, misleading and ultimately giving the harmonica the image of being a toy and really easy to learn. Of course its a hook to catch more players who will ultimately realise that it takes much much more time & effort. But for someone, who may not be interested to play the harmonica, the message is cemented & the myth perpetuated.