Reply To: Getting started

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Mitch GraingerMitch Grainger

Hi Matt,

Thanks for leaving the post here. They’re all really great questions for everyone that is checking out the site (and harmonica) to know. It’ll be my pleasure to answer them.

1. Yes, you certainly will, I started my music career on harmonica without any prior experience and as for reading music, it’s not needed. In my 20 year plus career I have come to the conclusion that it is best to learn the harmonica by ear, especially if you are interested in playing blues, rock, folk and most of the styles the harmonica is known for. The two exceptions where reading music would be very helpful are classical, and Jazz, but I would not suggest covering those styles until you had completed the advanced course, as that is where I introduce some music theory that is applicable to all instruments.

2. Regular practice time at the beginning is key. It’s kinda like going to the gym (for your lips) at first. You need to build up the muscles in your face to be able to pucker, while staying relaxed, and I suggest a minimum of 10 minutes a day. Most people have that time and it is actually better then say 2 hours once a week.. Hopefully you enjoy it so much you loose track of time, but if you can do 10 mins a day your golden, and the 2 week interval will be perfect between lessons.

3. Yes. That’s possible now with a free or paid account by taking the pdf full screen and printing it from your browser. If you join the site, then a download button appears also, allowing downloads of the documents for convenience.

4. Yes getting a Hohner Special 20 would be much better and make a big difference. A Seydel Session is also a good choice. The Victory will make learning harder. As with any musical instrument you learn, it is essential to have a good quality instrument, otherwise you start to think you are no good, but it really is your tools!

5. That’s a great question, someone should start a thread on that! Favorite harp books! I think you should check out Harmonicas, Harps and Heavy Breathers, by Ken Field. It’s a great book that covers it all.

There you go mate, I hope that answers your questions? and helps many other members too.


P.s Roseanne made it down to Australia too. I know that bluesy theme. 🙂