Useful Chromatic Harmonica Exercises

I'm going to start putting little helpful, semi-helpful, and helpful-adjacent bits up here for my students and for anyone else interested.

This is going to be a page for basic "learning the instrument" exercises, and there will be a page for Drug-Crazed Jazz Players.

Nothing here yet, but there's a small bit over on the Jazz Exercise area.

OH, but wait......I see there's a great exercise on a page here. Yeah, that interval exercise is great for knowing where each note is on the instrument, I'll paste it below here, but if it's not confusing enough, there's more confusing descriptions of it here.

Speed is not what you want to work on on this exercise. The more slowly you do it, the better it'll work out in the end. Doing it quickly detracts from the educational opportunities, as far as I can tell. Probably because at slow tempos there's more room for errors.

So here's another "interesting" exercise for players of the chromatic harmonica machine, showing how the unfortunate decision to take up chromatic harmonica in the first place has doomed you to being scoffed at by players of almost any other instrument, at least, when you work on this exercise, but probably at other times as well.

Any piano player with the normal number of fingers can, with one hand, in ONE breath, sightread this at tempos that put us to shame.

All keys, at any damn tempo, but perhaps aiming to play it cleanly at about one second per bar.....or any other tempo, for that matter. Start very very slowly, speed isn't important at first, if ever.

Corona Boredom Syndrome???

Chromatic Scales for smoothness, in theory.

Play all variations very slowly, slurred, keeping things sounding smooth, hiding any draw-blow differences. Obviously you can, if you love to torture yourself, use ANY number of notes per beat and accent on the beats, or not......


You could go watch netflix.

You probably could benefit from doing the reverse...starting high, going low.....for you Jazzers out there, that's not the kind of high I meant.....BUT if you DO get high before you practice that kind of exercise, it will probably sound better to you than it should, and you'll have to find someone else to tell you if you're playing evenly or not.

I've heard that you can also try accenting one note in the series, perhaps starting with a note that's on a beat, but being able to purposely accent other notes (I've heard) can be helpful.

The aim, as usual, is to play the music and not the harmonica.

If you can play that kind of silly stuff and not hear any unevenness between blow and draw notes, tone sounding the same on each, you're either not paying attention or you have mastered a very tiny bit of the chromatic harmonica, and get the satisfaction of something, not sure what. Let me know how it works out and I might try it myself......

I usually hire others to practice for me, but this "stay at home" thing is making that less workable.