Overcoming Beginner’s Twitch

What is beginner’s twitch?

It happens when you first start learning the harmonica. You hit a bum note, so you extend your arms from the elbows to visually locate the right hole on the harmonica, while shaking your head and tutting. By the time you bring the harp back under your nose, the hole’s gone out of focus, you miss your note again, so you tut and extend your arms… That’s beginner’s twitch!

Why do I do it?

Because you’re not keen on playing ‘blind’. That’s perfectly understandable. On every other instrument, you can see what your fingers are doing. On the harmonica your mouth is providing the wind and locating the notes simultaneously. It’s doing what your fingers would otherwise do. That’s just not normal!

What’s the solution?

You haven’t yet developed the navigational systems to locate the right hole without actually seeing it. Think laterally. Ask yourself how you would play the harmonica in the dark? (more…)