In this article, I want to review few more mistakes commonly made by beginner harmonica students. Read this and be mused to see if you can't find yourself there, secure some useful advices to improve your skill to play harmonica. Let's begin:
Don't you own a harmonica yet? Here you can find one!
1. Considering the phrases like 'studying little', 'studying badly' or 'studying another time', banal.. but actually it's not. l've met many people, not only musicians, who apply the formula of 'little' in whatever they do and usually they are the ones who get easily diverted by distractions, learning the art of procrastinating quickly and really well. As stated before, if you study too few (or too bad) you don't get much as a result and subsequently feel less inspired. In order to get motivated for the study you need to achieve good results consistently. lf you are studying something and you don't see any improvement after, let's say every two weeks, there's something wrong with it and it should be fixed.
2. Cleaning, disassembling and tweaking the instrument even when not required. Every day I read requests for help on how to clean the harmonica. Someone advises to disassemble it completely and immerse the body in a chemical solution, some suggest to use ultrasound waves. Though I agree that the harmonica must be kept well-maintained, but there is no need to disassemble it every now and then. A normal cleaning involve light brushing using a soft toothbrush that can be followed by rinsing it with warm water to clean the outer part (shell and the area around the holes and back side of the harmonica). With a toothbrush, the residue around the screws of the shells also can be neatly removed. If you like you can remove residue from the inside of the holes too, with a toothpick after taking due precautionary measures. Make sure that you hold the harmonica with the holes facing down so as to allow the removed residue particles to slip away so, there isn't left any in the instrument.
Disassembling the harmonica means exposing it to a risk. The reeds are fragile and those present on the lower plate are even protruding also, so it is easy to bend or move them. For these reasons I open harmonica only if I feel a dire need to clean otherwise not. Before you start to play, rinse your mouth well in case you have had your meal lately.
Why is it always a good habit to wash your mouth before playing the harmonica? The reason is because bits of anything; let's suppose peanuts for example, can end up stucking inside the instrument, and also avoid sugar candies that make the saliva sticky.
In general, if you are a newbie, you can consume your time in playing the harmonica, practising and learning more.
3. Spending a lot of money buying microphones, amplifiers, cables, effects, or any other gear for the instrument before even you need them really. If you are learning harmonica, you are lucky to have chosen a small, light, transportable and smart instrument. In the beginning, your investments should revolve around only learning how to play it rather than how to accessorize it. The harmonica emits great sounds on its own, and you may develop a good tone without the aid of devices to pump bass and harmonic sounds therfore, you don't need to imitate or pretend like the other adept harmonica players out there. Every one of us is unique, remember!
Do not risk buying many acessories too early, as they could end up either jammed in a drawer or stuck on a shelf, catching dust.
4. Buy a minor tuning harmonica to play that minor song you like more. I know it happens, it is normal in the beginning; you go to YouTube and listen to the song that makes your tear drop, it will make you decide you want to learn it now!
This song key is C minor, but it can't be played with a minor tuned harp. The player, an expert and pretty charming too, is using a normal diatonic B flat harmonica and she is playing in third position. The minor tuned harmonica must be purchased only when you know what to do with it, for example playing minor chords easily.
I hope you enjoyed reading this article and see you soon. Good harping!