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Beginner Harmonica Lessons: "Row Row Row Your Boat"

Are you ready for a beginner harmonica lesson on an all time childhood favorite song? In this sample harmonica lesson Howard Levy uses the classic tune "Row Row Row your Boat" to demonstrate the basics of the harmonica. We'll go over some tips so that you can begin playing harmonica to this tune in no time. So let's get started. 

It can get a bit nerve racking when you first start off playing harmonica and you don't really know what you're doing yet. Especially when you have an audience of friends or even complete strangers listening in on you.

So here goes the first tip for all your beginner harmonica players: if ever you hit the wrong note while playing, don't stop! Keep the air going through the harmonica. By keeping the air blowing through the instrument, you will eventually find the note. But, if you stop blowing air and look around for it... you won't find it. As a matter of fact, chances are that once you blow air into the harmonica you will hit the wrong note and your rendition will be off.

So remember  - always keep blowing. That way your audience won't even know you made a mistake. You may have to pull off an extended version of the rendition but eventually you'll find your note if you remember to have fun with it and keep blowing.

Watch Howard's Free Harmonica Lessons

Second tip in this beginner harmonica lesson is to articulate your notes. There are two major ways of doing this. The first way is to blow into the harmonica with a 'clearing of your throat' sound. It sounds similar to "ehm ehm" and you will immediately feel that it is a different kind of blowing. The second way to do this is by what is called Tonguing. Tonguing is also used in bending and when doing harmonica overblows, and it can also be used to change the tonality of your notes. Howard goes over tonguing later in much greater detail in other harmonica lessons from his online school. In the meantime just keep both of these tonguing techniques in mind.

The third harmonica tip is to always keep your air blowing when you're going down notes. Have consistent motion when you go up and down notes. If you can do all this with one long smooth breath, that will be even better (check out Howard's harmonica lesson on Smooth Breathing below). If you slide up and down notes fast enough, no one will even know that you're going over certain notes. You can also play the rendition chordally with the harmonics on top. Howard demonstrates this by blowing into the top and bottom halves of the harmonica at different times to create rhythmic patterns.

That's it! It's pretty easy to get started playing this song on harmonica. Give it shot and be sure to check out more of Howard Levy's harmonica lessons by filling out the form!



harmonica lessons with Howard Levy

Check out more free harmonica tutorials at Howard's online harmonica school by filling out the form get started on more free harmonica lessons today. This unique 24/7 online "virtual" harmonica school enables you to submit practice videos and get personalized feedback from Howard himself.  Learn more at www.HowardHarmonica.com!

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