If you want to play the harmonica with a strong and steady rhythm knowing how to breath is key. If you aren’t breathing correctly you will create weak and airy notes and may find yourself getting out of breath.
So, what exactly is the best harmonica breathing technique? Here’s how: Learn how to BREATHE FROM YOUR BELLY (aka Diaphragmatic Breathing or what I like to call “Belly Breathing”). Diaphragmatic breathing will be the key to your speed, control, tone, timing, and your ability to play for extended periods of time without getting dizzy. Do you know how to breathe from your diaphragm? If not, just follow the 6 easy steps below.
No chest breathing please… if you chest breathe, not only will you hyperventilate and get dizzy, your rhythm will also be choppy and stiff.
Here’s the best way I know to learn Belly Breathing that will support your harmonica playing:
Step 1: Lay flat on your back.
Step 2: Place one hand on your belly and one hand on your chest.
Step 3: Inhale deeply so that the hand on the chest remains still and the hand on the belly moves with each inhale and exhale.
Step 4: As you inhale and exhale, make sure the hand on the chest remains relatively still.
Step 5: As you inhale, the hand on the belly rises up. As you exhale, the hand on the belly falls down. You can imagine you have a balloon in your belly. When you inhale, the balloon fills with air, and when you exhale, the balloon empties.
If you practice this technique regularly then soon enough you’ll find yourself breathing correctly when you play, automatically! When this happens your harmonica playing will move to a whole new level 🙂