So, you just enrolled in a harmonica school. Congratulations! You have now taken the first step in mastering this amazing instrument. But have you ever wondered what you can expect to learn there?
To give you a good idea, here are the things that a harmonica school teaches their students:
Can you play the harmonica quickly and properly at the same time? Or do you stumble over some sections? If the second question got a yes for an answer, it is important to practice as slowly as possible.
You can try using a metronome. You can play the notes slowly with a beat in time. Once you get everything right three times in a row with no rough bits or stumbling, that is when you can try speeding it up a bit. It is recommended to speed up in increments of 5 beats per minute.
Avoid pushing too far in a single go. Many people have the tendency to make some remarkable improvements only to get worse afterward. Try making some improvements, feeling comfortable, and taking a break.
You can then pick up where you left off the next day and see if you still feel comfortable playing at the specific speed that you achieved the previous day. If not, you can take things down several notches then build them back up from there.
Practice in Context
Another thing that a harmonica school will teach you is that when learning something new, make sure that it fits into the musical context. The moment you can technically play the music you like; you can then play it at different speeds in different speeds with different backing track styles.
The main reason why you should practice this way is that once you join a jam session with the guitarist not playing the exact right rhythm, you wouldn’t get thrown out. It is important to be flexible. You can try putting several backing tracks then see how you will be able to play the sound in different styles. You can then practice putting together the amazing sound with the other ones you play. Check if there is something you can do so that everything will flow together properly.
Practice on Several Keys
Every different key will respond differently. This is why it is important to try your new sound on your instrument’s different keys. Higher key harmonicas are much easier to play fast, which means you should try practicing some fast sounds on the lower-key harmonicas. Doing this is going to pay off big time later on as this will make you stronger and even more confident.
Ask any harmonica school and they will surely tell you that the fastest way of improving your playing is recording yourself during your practice. Now, this recording is not for others to listen to. This is exclusively for yourself. Listening to yourself during your practice will make you hear things you would probably miss otherwise. You can then start making the necessary changes to make your playing better.