running out of breath from drawing

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  • This topic has 6 replies, 4 voices, and was last updated 2 years ago by IanIan.
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  • #12096

    Hi everyone,

    I’m wondering if there are tips about running out of breath when drawing. I’ve finally cracked the two hole draw so I’m practising what mitch calls the clown. holes 1-4 first all
    blow then all draw. After a few rounds of this I run out of breath because I’m taking in more than is going out. What to do?


    Hi Anthony,

    good to see you are practising and have the 2 draw cracked 😉

    Getting out of breath is a common thing,
    try to focus on relaxing when you are breathing just like you breathing without the harmonica
    Breathing out before you start the playing first helps to
    another good practice is drawing a note as long as possibel start with one you do best first and builth it up try to focus on playing the note clean the whole time, then do it with all of the notes.
    record yourself while doing this.
    as always take it slow and focus on what you are practising after some time you will see improvement
    relaxing at all times when playing is the key, the moment you feel tension you are of the track 😉

    hope this helps you a bith
    take a look at the step-by-step course Mitch has covered this for sure.

    harping greetz,


    Hi Anthony,

    For me it helped to breath through the harmonica and not to breath into and out of it. It’s just a change of mind but it got me more relaxed while playing.
    When your lips or throat muscles are to tense the air can’t flow freely.
    Sometimes it helps to relax your lips while breathing out – so the air can flow above and below the harmonica as well.

    Have fun

    • This reply was modified 2 years, 1 month ago by UdoUdo.

    Thanks guys. I will do the exercises you’re suggesting and of course I’ll continue on through the videos from mitch.
    How much time a day do you spend practising?
    Maybe its cause I’m new to it but I find 10-15 minutes and I have tingling feelings and I have to take a break.

    Take care



    I try to practice 30 minutes a day. While practicing I record what I play and listen to it – so I don’t inhale and exhale 15 minutes straight through.
    It makes a difference if you breath shallow (chest breathing) or deep (abdominal breathing) while playing. If you breath shallow you tend to get dizzy because of the higher breathing frequency.
    Try to switch to deep breathing using your diaphragm. This breathing helps to play more relaxed.

    Have fun


    Hi Udo,

    Great tips, thanks very much.


    It’s a totally normal problem to have.
    One thing I picked up along the way is to allow some air to escape around the harp on blow notes, where there are way more draw notes in a song. Just loosen your lip grip and let some extra air out when you exhale. Kinda evens things up.

    Secondly, practice lightly. If you can get good intonation and tone at a quiet volume you will get better control when you do go all in!

    Finally, much like udo said, if you are feeling tingly you are hyperventilating. That doesn’t always mean you are breathing too quickly just that you are breathing too much! Slow things down and give yourself some space and time. After a while you will be able to play seemingly loud and hard but without putting In much actual effort.

    Good luck.

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