So you have played the guitar for some time now, and you want to start expanding musically. You also remember those cool Bob Dylan videos, and that guy you saw once in a concert or just in some campfire who was playing the harmonica and got you really excited with the harmonica sounds that you still remember a long time later. You are fantasizing about learning it and being able to play your guitar and the harmonica (which is also called “mouth organ” in a lot of languages) at the same time with the harmonica rack. Time to learn harmonica man!
Well, good news my friends, because playing the harmonica and getting really good on it is actually far easier than what you might think. Here are a few reasons you should actually go for it starting from TODAY:
For later assistance and if you choose to, you are welcome to read the Harmonica Buying Guide.
9 Reasons To Learn Harmonica As A Guitarist:
1 – The Harmonica Is The Easiest Instrument To Become Good At Very FAST
The harmonica is not a complicated instrument at all. You will be surprised that within a month of even not-so-regular practice it is totally reachable to start astonishing people with your harmonica jamming skills. It is extremely easy to pick up, especially if you learn harmonica from a website that uses an organized and systematic approach. I like the one on harmonicaacademy.com, but even if you do not want to spend those few extra bucks so some places on YouTube can easily help you on your first steps and from there it’s a lot about “feeling” and hearing the music and going along with it. I myself have created a few beginner harmonica videos that you are welcome to check out and were shot in some beautiful landscapes.
2 – You’ll Be Turning Any Song You Play Into A Very Special Version Of It
Imagine hanging out with some people when a guitar player starts playing Knocking On Heaven’s Doors. You’ve heard it 10,000 times already, it’s not special unless he has extremely good singing or guitar skills. But NOW imagine the same song with one or two mind-blowing harmonica solos scattered along the song. Suddenly it turned from a plain and overdone song into an “awesome” performance!
3 – Harmonicas Are ULTRA CHEAP!
Show me another musical instrument where you can get the top-of-the-line instruments from the best brands for less than 50$! This is another thing that makes it so accessible for everyone to learn harmonica. Here you can have a look at the prices of various harmonicas.
4 – The Harp Turns Heads And Gives You The Musical Edge™
You can say a lot of things about the harmonica, but no one can stay indifferent to it, especially when you are playing it with a guitar simultaneously. People are going to enjoy, and people are going to remember. This is what lifts you above millions of other guitarists.
5 – Jamming With Other Instruments Is A Hard-To-Miss Game
The harmonica is a diatonic instrument. That means that when you jam and improvise on a harmonica that is on the key of C to a song that is on the key of C, there are literally no “bad” or off-key notes that you can hit, because all the notes on your harmonica will be on the same key of the song. Of course some notes will fit certain spots much better than others, and this is what the art of improvisation is all about, but you have the best starting point you can have out of all instruments and it’s pretty hard to fuck it up.
* There are also chromatic harmonicas which contain all the notes but they are much more expensive, and a different story. About 90% of the harmonicas out there are diatonic and this is what I am referring to.
6 – You Can Get Ultra-Creative And Add An Harmonica To Songs That Are Least Expected To Feature It
And you know what? Usually it’s going to sound surprisingly awesome. Get out of the usual harmonica in acoustic rock-folk-blues box. Become a fusion player. Mix elements from different genres! Think about “The Joker” with a funky harp solo. “Brown Eyed Girl”. “Californication”. “Proud Mary”. There’s no end to the amount of fun and new doors you can open with this little funbox.
7 – The Harmonica Develops Your Ears And Your FEEL For The Music
The harmonica is much more of a melodic instrument unlike the guitar which is more harmonic (although both can do both), which simply means that every single note is much more prominent. The harmonica was the first instrument I played that made me “give respect” to each individual note because when you play only one note it sounds much more prominent than playing a single note on an acoustic guitar. (If you wanna take this to the extreme to understand my example, try thinking of a trumpet blowing a note vs. an acoustic guitar playing a single note…) This lets you start FEELING the music and will make you a better musician. It is also relatively easy to play around and find song melodies on it, And the best part is that all these improved skills are translating back to the guitar immediately. (and any other instruments as well)
8 – It’s One Of The Most Compact Instruments
You can easily stick the harmonica in your guitar case, or even 2 and 3 harmonicas, and you will not even feel they’re in there. Or it can always have it ready in your pocket when you are in a jam. There’s no competition to the harmonica in the size department considering the amazing and full music that you can play with it.
9 – Your Music Coordination And Even Everyday Multi Tasking Skills Will Get Better Very Quickly
Playing two instruments simultaneously (the harmonica on a rack while playing the guitar) is going to take you into a new level of musicianship and sound coordination, not to mention that it also puts your brain into some pretty serious divided-attention exercises that are going to help with other life areas as well according to many studies. (did somebody just mentioned mathematics…? )
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