There are many kinds of players: those just learning to play on their own as well as those who have extensive experience and even complete mastery, with lots of lessons and practicing at home.
It might take you a few years before you can play on your own, as you have to learn the techniques and how to be more consistent at this stage.
A lot depends on your technique. A good practice player will already know the basics but if they only can manage to play the piano one or two octaves high, playing a tune, they don’t stand a chance. But if you want to work harder at being consistent and becoming more flexible and powerful you need to study and work on what is needed for certain repertoire.
The following list is the basic harmonica exercises you should try to improve. But the list might depend on a lot of things so it’s really up to you if anything is too easy or too hard.
Harmonizing a melody
The harmonica is the perfect instrument for playing melody together with harmony. Even beginners can be better when they combine their playing with harmony, for example, they tend to play the first measure with the first harmony (Bb) before going to the second harmony (C). This creates an interesting harmony with C and Bb going at the same time, where they can share and make use of notes that are different. Playing the melody together with harmony can often be difficult until a certain point, once you have mastered the first piece with a certain sound (in this case the first) and have also learned how to harmonize notes.
Playing the melody together with harmony, and also the chords with the melody, can add to the complexity of the piece. The harmonica has a really complex sound and we should focus in making sure that we get all the notes that are needed by harmonizing each part separately so that we don’t get into repeating themselves too much. The following is an illustration, in this case the first couple of measures:
When playing with a tune that you’ve harmonized, you can play a number of different melody parts with the same harmony. If it can be played like this, and has a different sound to the original (because there is a slightly different chord progression going on), and with different chords, you can always play the melody part like this if you want.
Harmonize A A C E A minor major C
Harmonize B C C minor C major major C
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