If your goal is to become a good harmonica player, take a couple of minutes to read this content, and you’ll understand what a good study plan should include.
In the past, I had a full-time time job for 25 years. In addition to playing the harmonica, I was a technician and traveled the world – for this reason, I always had to look for ways to continue doing what I liked (playing and teaching) and doing it in the best way and saving time. I quit that job 2 years ago and decided to dedicate myself completely to harmonica teaching. In my home country of Italy, I’ve become one of the reference points for the study of the blues harmonica. Outside the country, things are a bit more complicated, but I feel quite satisfied because things are finally moving; the online school has started to gain a good number of subscribers, and people often contact me for private lessons, especially on specific topics like bending, playing rock and other styles, and tongue blocking. Many people also ask me to make transcripts of songs they want to play and then teach them one-on-one how to play it.
Let’s go back to the topic at hand – how to learn the harmonica. As I told mentioned, I left my previous job to devote myself to teaching, but I still have the impression of that way of working, so I like to analyze things and create patterns to better understand their nature. Today, I wanted to prepare for you a clear example of how you can learn to play the harmonica well – and I want to emphasize ‘well’. More specifically, I’ll show you how to do so via my online harmonica school by offering you two different solutions.
Be aware that learning to play a musical instrument can litterally change your life!
If you want to learn the harmonica, you should be aware of exactly how you’re going to do it. What kind of lessons do you want? What kind of music do you want to play? Do you prefer to have all the material available in the same place, or do you want to jump from one website to another to se what’s on offer? Do you want to learn alongside a teacher by taking real lessons, maybe online, or do you just want to study by watching videos?
All these questions are fundamental, and to help you get a clearer picture, you’ll find all the necessary details on this page to plan out your study path with me and in my school. You’re about to find out how to become a good harmonica player in about 3 years, and studying for about an hour a day. Yes, you will have to study for at least an hour a day. I’m a serious and professional teacher, and I have to be clear and honest: you can’t learn to play an instrument well by practicing for only 7 minutes a day, as some people say. You can’t even learn to play the harmonica well in 30 days as others claim. And you definitely can’t learn harmonica from your social buddies or from simply reading a book. All this is nonsense. To become a good harmonica player, you have to work hard at it almost every day – 40 minutes is doable, 60 minutes is better, and if possible, 2 hours per day is optimal. If you work that way for 3 years, you will find success.
Having said that, my goal, in addition to living by teaching music, is to present to students something that will really help them fulfill their dream of playing the harmonica at every level, and allow them to reach their maximum potential.
In my school, there are 11 courses for all levels. Here you'll find the list
Chugging a train imitation course,
20 Technical exercises course.
As I said before, I like to be clear and straightforward: there some aspects in learning the harmonica that cannot be taught profitably simply with a video. That’s why I strongly suggest that serious harmonica learners take some real lessons (even online with one-to-one meetings) for those topics. This will have a tremendous impact on your learning journey. So, let’s look at how to integrate the previous scheme with some key lessons at certain points.
Starting to play harmonica: Breathing, embouchure, single note playing, and so on.
Bending introduction: Bending takes time, but in two lessons, we can start to work on it and troubleshoot your practice. You’ll then practice every day for several months, and you don’t need to take lessons continuously for this.
Position playing introduction
Tongue blocking articulations: If you want to use the tongue blocking technique, you should learn how to play the single notes and how to use your tongue to produce all the features offered by this technique – flutters, slaps, pulls, and so on.
The above lessons will make your work with the online courses much easier.
Consider what’s included in this plan: progressive learning, play-along “listen and repeat” system, material for beginners to advanced players, multi-style playing (this is important – do you want to learn only the blues or do you want to be able to play every genre?), improvisation. Everything in the same place, and a unique methodology from the beginning to the end.
Now, let me sum everything up for you. If you’re serious about learning the harmonica and can study for about an hour per day for 3 years, with these two options, you can do it. No miracles, just the truth. It might be that it will take 4 years for you, or maybe 2 if you’re like me and get easily obsessed with your hobbies, but this is the deal.
Learning to play a musical instrument is a journey, and I wish you a WONDERFUL JOURNEY!