If you’ve seen the previous week’s Friday Flash, you’ll know that I’m a harmonica player!
(Psst.. If you haven’t checked it out, do it now! Here’s the link! Friday Flash- Harmonica!)
The featured image is our harmonica ensemble! It is called as the ‘Hamsanada’, founded by our harmonica instructor Sam sir (name changed!) It is India’s only harmonica ensemble of kids! ❤
Harmonica, or the mouth organ, often confused to be a wind instrument, is actually a reed instrument. It is widely used in blues music. Harmonica is a very unique instrument. A class apart from the others, a cut above the rest. Be it western or classical music, slow tunes or fast tunes- it can all be played in the harmonica. The most striking feature of the harmonica is that, unlike all other instruments, it can never produce an unpleasant sound! There are many types of harmonicas.. Tremolo, chromatic and diatonic are some of the common ones. Hohner and Suzuki are popular manufacturers of the harmonica. The rythmic blowing and drawing of breaths produce sound on the harmonica. Beginners are given the tremolo harmonica and the chromatic harmonica is given once you ‘graduate’ :p 😉
Harmonica is an instrument that weaves magic with its sweet, soothing, lingering notes. It has the innate capability to transport you to an entirely different world- a world devoid of worries, a world filled with pure bliss. The very sound of the harmonica has a calming effect on the entire body and all you want to do is keep listening to the harmonica perpetually. The effect is more profound if you’re the one playing it! It can be said without a shade of doubt that harmonica is a gift sent to us earthlings from heaven! A harmonica can pump your spirits on a bad day or share your joy on a good day. The rythmic blowing and drawing of breaths produce sound on the harmonica.
As said before, the harmonica is a very unique instrument. It’s so unique that a person cannot use another person’s harmonica! To quote our very dear harmonica instructor, ” The harmonica is as personal as a toothbrush… Perhaps more personal than a toothbrush!” The harmonica is a very fragile instrument too. Dropping the harmonica can prove fatal to the reeds in the harmonica and can result in loss in quality of the sound produced. The harmonica should be played only after half an hour after you eat. Otherwise, food particles from your mouth might go into the harmonica(while you’re so engrossed playing it!) In the excitement of playing the harmonica, or out of pure love for the harmonica, if you blow too hard, it is certain to damage the reeds! Another golden rule is to never laugh into the harmonica 😉
So..yes.. To play the harmonica, you have to follow a lot of rules. Plus, if your harmonica has the slider i.e, it is a chromatic harmonica, unnecessary fidgeting of the slider will surely break it. Continuous practice is necessary for learning the harmonica. In the words of our harmonica instructor, ” The harmonica is an instrument easy to learn, but difficult to master”. There are many techniques like bending of notes and vamping to enrich the quality of sound.
Being a harmonica player, I can assure you all that nothing beats the joy of playing the harmonica. The first time you feel the cool of the harmonica against your lips, the first note you play, the first song you learn, the first time you hold the chromatic harmonica in your hands are the moments to be cherished forever. I consider myself extremely lucky to be able to play this wonderful instrument and to have an excellent instructor who is the very embodiment of perfection and panache! ❤ Proud to be a harmonica player!!!!! 🙂
Are you passionate about any other instrument?? Let me know in the comments 🙂
Deek 🙂 😀