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beginner forum: for novice and developing blues harp players > Breathing exercise
Breathing exercise
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6227 posts
Oct 26, 2019
5:47 PM
I feel like sharing this exercise
This is really foundational stuff.

In the first instance it’s about taking control of your nose.

You can do this but it seems many people have a bit of trouble doing it ‘intentionally’ with a harmonica or just in an abstract context.
A lot of harmonica technique is like that I think. It’s stuff you can do in some other context but it takes a little practice and patience to apply it to the contrived circumstance of playing harp.

The first thing is to just breath through the mouth, no harp, and fill your lungs all the way, and empty all the way, 3 or 4 times

Next, in through your mouth, out through your nose a few times. Keep your mouth open but direct the outward breath through the nose.
Then in through nose, out through mouth. Same deal, don’t close your mouth.

If you have trouble breathing through nose with mouth open, close your mouth and pay attention to what else you change to breath through your nose. Then open your mouth but do that same thing you did to direct the air through your nose.

Once you have the hang of this, try it again with enough pressure that you can sense the kind of ‘click’ when you switch from mouth to nose. Do it a few times.

The idea is just to really take control of the process. Don’t overdo it. If you do this a few times over the course of several days it becomes quite easy.
I suppose it may not be so easy if you have congestion or inflammation back there but just do what you can.
I recall it was tough for me at times as I did seem to find my nose often a bit blocked.

Eventually this will move on to vibrato, but for now it’s just about getting more in touch with the working parts of your breathing apparatus.

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