Harmonica Warm-Ups and Workout

Simple practice routines to improve your tone, tempo and breathing.

Welcome to the Harp Surgery’s Physiotherapy Department. The Good Doctor is often asked about ways to warm up, develop breathing and keep all those important harping muscles in trim. Well ultimately everyone has their own regime. The Doc himself oscillates between a good glass of New World Merlot and Marathon runs. And we all suffer from poverty of time when it comes to¬†practising, but no pump, no jump. On which note, we are proud to announce the addition of our Warm-ups and Workout page to the Harp Skills menu. We like to think of it as our harmonica gym.

Gym and tonic

There are a number of basic exercises we use at Harp Surgery sessions which help players to focus, warm up, tone their embouchure, improve their movement across the harp and increase stamina. These same exercises provide a solid platform from which to explore and develop more specialist skills later.

Or not.. we are also keen to encourage ‘unstructured practice’. There is much to be gained from abandoning books, recordings, tabs, bendometers and metronomes, and just going where the fancy takes you. So don’t develop a guilt complex about not following a prescribed regime. Go with your own imagination and curiosity too. It’s a good thing.

As, of course, is a healthy balance of structured and unstructured practice, learning set pieces, improvising, personal development and public performance. But if you are stuck for somewhere to start, get with our online gym regime HERE or scroll down our Harp Skills menu at the top of the page. You’ll be ripped up and ready to blow your cover plates off in no time. And just to get you in the mood, here’s Jackie Wilson with a very important message…

One thought on “Harmonica Warm-Ups and Workout

  • October 22, 2009 at 9:27 pm

    Wilf, this is an outstanding resource… meat’n’potatoes harp tuition. Those middle-to-upper octave breathing reps are going to add a new dimension to my practise routine. Sadly I spend more time blogging at harpsurgery.com than I do working on my playing. Maybe I should take time out and working with these exercises…


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