Harmonica Country

Lesson Six

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How come the professionals sound so much better than you? I am not speaking about technique. But their sound is much different from your harmonica. Is it because they are using a more expensive harmonica?

Most professionals have help. They use special microphones and amplifiers that actually change the natural sound of the harmonica. But in all fairness I should tell you that what you hear from your harmonica is not the same sound that someone standing directly in front of you is hearing. You are hearing it partially from the inside, through your throat, nasal passages and up into your ear canal.

For a more realistic sound listen, play your harmonica inside a shower stall (without the water running). Then you will hear more of what others hear as the sound bounces off the walls.

Also everyone has a slightly different harmonica voice. The tone is partially produced inside our mouth. Children, with smaller mouths. will sound different than adults. Men will sound different than women. Big men will sound different than small men. But you can have some control on your tone.

In general a gentle blow will have a more pleasant tone than a blast of air. Blowing from deeper in your throat will sound different than puffing from your cheeks. As you can change how your voice sounds, you can also change how your harmonica sounds.

Experiment around a little. See if you can produce noticeably different tones by the way you shape your mouth, jaw and tongue. The experienced harmonica player will have developed his ear to the point that he can tell the difference.

Practice Songs
Old Folks At Home
On Top Of Old Smokey