I have spoken with many people who wish to learn to play an instrument. Naturally, my advice is to learn how to play harmonica, the friendliest of instruments. You can place this little baby in your pocket, take it out if the urge hits you and bang- minute music. Even if you barely know how to playwith, the humble harmonica is quite obliging- put your mouth anywhere and blow, and a significant chord comes out. Do the same thing about the inhale, along with a seventh chord, a ninth chord, or even a minor chord will come out. It’s the only wind instrument that can play chords- not to mention rhythms, and of course, single notes. Or combinations of chords, chords and only notes, and sometimes even counterpoint! There is so much music concealing inside this small instrument! As you learn harmonica, it will pleasure you, impress your friends, fill you with a sense of wonder, even joy, in the hidden treasures you slowly unlock as you play more.
It’s also the only tool that is TOTALLY INVISIBLE into the player as he plays, and does not utilize the hands or hands to receive any notes, but just to shape the tone. Learning how to play the harmonica is part no- brainer (pick this up and breathe in and out and receive chords), part decision (figuring out how to get 1 note at a time), part like learning how to ride a bicycle (figuring out that odd inside-the-mouth balancing act you want to flex notes).
At each step along the way there are things which are frustrating, but when you”get it”, wow, what a feeling! Playing Blues harmonica is one of the coolest feelings that you can have from the area of music. It is one of the most amazing accidents that an instrument invented in Germany from the 1820’s to play folk music too is the world’s best Blues instrument. Bending notes on the harp feels fantastic to the player, and people go nuts to the noise. It’s primal, emotional, honest, unique- no other instrument can do this thing.
At the Howard Levy Harmonica School, I try to show harmonica players how to play the harmonica in every possible manner, with a thorough grounding in proper ways to breathe, maintain the instrument, learning basic concept, how to play simple tunes- to bending notes, playing the Blues in its many forms – then branching off into as many different styles of music as the students could ever want to play, together with the understanding of more And I instruct how to do all of this and everything else you need to learn harmonica on line at the Howard Levy Harmonica School.