How to Put Your Mouth on a Harmonica and Make Beautiful Music

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Are you interested in learning how to put mouth on harmonica? Have you been looking for an easy-to-follow guide on mastering the art of playing this uniquely versatile instrument? If so, then you’ve come to the right place. In this article, I will provide a step-by-step guide on how to put mouth on harmonica so that you can start playing the harmonica like a pro in no time!

Materials Needed

Materials Needed

Item Description
Harmonica Blues harp or diatonic harmonica
Mouth Your own mouth!
Breath Your breath

Positioning the Harmonica

Positioning The Harmonica

  • Hold the harmonica firmly in one hand with the left hand at the top and the right hand at the bottom.
  • Place your mouth over the top of the harmonica so that your lips are sealed against the reed plates.
  • Your lower lip should be pressed against the lower reed plate, while your upper lip should be pressed against the upper reed plate.
  • Your tongue should be slightly curved, but not touching the reed plates.
  • Your breath should be directed over the reeds, not against them.
  • Press the harmonica firmly against your lips and cheeks to create a seal.

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East top Diatonic Blues Harmonica Key of C, Blues Harp Mouth Organ 10 Holes 20 Tones 008K with Blue Case, Standard Harmonica For Adults, Professionals, Beginners and Students
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Bestseller No. 2
JDR Harmonica Set of 7 (Key of C D E F G A Bb) 10 Holes 20 Tones Blues Harp Diatonic Mouth Organ armonica with EVA Protective Case for Adults Kids Beginner Professional Intermediate Student Gift Black
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Bestseller No. 3
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  • Key of C
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Holding the Harmonica

Holding The Harmonica

Position Description
Right Hand Place the harmonica in a cupped shape in the palm of your right hand, with the longest side parallel to your palm.
Left Hand Place your left hand over the right hand, to keep the harmonica in place and to reduce the gaps between the holes, allowing you to cover them with your lips.

Hold your harmonica firmly with both your hands, as if you’re holding a small bird. Make sure that your hands are not covering any of the air holes and that your hands are steady.

Forming the Embouchure

Forming The Embouchure
The embouchure is the way the lips and mouth are placed around the harmonica when playing. To create the right embouchure, the lips should be slightly pursed and the edges of the harmonica should be placed between the lips, with the air hole closest to the chin. The corners of the lips should be slightly rounded and the mouth should be slightly open. Try to create a seal between the lips and the harmonica and fill the space inside the mouth with air. The tongue should be placed behind the lower teeth to form a tongue block. This creates a thin stream of air that is directed through the air hole of the harmonica.

Breathing Techniques

Breathing Techniques

Technique Description
Diaphragmatic Breathing This technique involves breathing in deeply through the nose and exhaling through the mouth. It should be done in a slow and controlled manner. The aim of this technique is to control the air flow and to increase the amount of air that is inhaled and exhaled.
Circular Breathing This technique involves breathing in a circle by inhaling through the nose and exhaling through the mouth. The aim of this technique is to increase the amount of air that can be exhaled in a single breath.
Mouth Breathing This technique involves breathing in through the mouth and exhaling through the nose. It should be done in a slow and controlled manner. The aim of this technique is to control the air flow and to increase the amount of air that is inhaled and exhaled.
Nasal Breathing This technique involves breathing in through the nose and exhaling through the mouth. It should be done in a slow and controlled manner. The aim of this technique is to control the air flow and to increase the amount of air that is inhaled and exhaled.

Playing Techniques

Playing Techniques

  • Tongue Blocking: The most common way to play a harmonica is to block the air with your tongue when you draw in breath. This blocks the air from passing through the reeds and produces a single note. As you move your tongue up and down, you can switch between the different notes in the harmonica.
  • Lip Blocking: Similar to tongue blocking, but using the lips instead of the tongue. This technique is often used to produce a deeper, more resonant sound.
  • Draw Bending: This technique is used to produce a vibrato or warble effect in the sound. To do this, you press your tongue against the reed and then draw in breath, causing the pitch to change slightly.
  • Blow Bending: This technique is used to produce a sharp, nasal sound. To do this, you press your tongue against the reed and then blow out breath, causing the pitch to change slightly.
  • Overblowing: This technique is used to produce higher notes on the harmonica. To do this, you draw in breath and then press your tongue against the reed, causing the pitch to rise.
  • Vibrato: This technique is used to produce a vibrato effect in the sound. To do this, you draw in breath and then press your tongue against the reed, causing the pitch to fluctuate rapidly.



Problem Solution
Harmonica produces no sound Check if it is properly set up (reed plates in place and properly aligned) or if there is a blockage in the airway
Harmonica produces too much air Check if the airway is not blocked and if the reed plates are correctly aligned
Harmonica produces too much sound Check if the airway is not blocked, if the reed plates are correctly aligned and if the mouthpiece is not too close to the reed plate
Harmonica produces out of tune sound Check if the reed plates are not damaged and if the mouthpiece is in the correct position and not too close to the reed plate

Advanced Techniques

Once you have the basics down, you can start to explore more advanced techniques. These include using different types of tonguing, varying your volume and speed, and experimenting with vibrato. You can also practice bending notes, which involves changing the pitch of the note by applying pressure to the reed. You can also try lip blocking, which involves covering the reed with your lips to produce a different sound. Finally, you can practice tongue blocking, which involves using your tongue to block the reed and create a unique tone. All of these techniques take some practice, but you can use them to create a unique sound with your harmonica.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Type of Harmonica Should I Use for Putting Mouth on?

The type of harmonica you should use for putting mouth on depends on your skill level and the style of music you are playing. If you are a beginner, it is best to use a diatonic harmonica. This type of harmonica is widely used for folk, blues, and rock music. If you are playing jazz or classical music, you should use a chromatic harmonica. Chromatic harmonicas have more notes and are more versatile.

How do I position my mouth for playing the harmonica?

To play the harmonica, you need to form a tight seal with your lips around the harmonica. Your bottom lip should cover the bottom half of the harmonica, while your top lip should cover the top half, and your tongue should press against the back of your top teeth. This will help create an airtight seal, ensuring that air doesn’t escape while you’re playing. You should also keep your tongue flat, and your chin slightly raised to help create a tight seal. You may need to practice forming the correct seal until it feels comfortable and natural.

Are there any specific techniques for playing the harmonica with my mouth?

When playing the harmonica, the most important factor is the correct placement of the mouth. There are two main techniques – single hole and multiple hole. To play a single hole, the player should press the harmonica firmly against their lips and blow or draw a single breath. For multiple hole playing, the harmonica should be pressed firmly against the lips and the player should blow and draw in rapid succession. To get the best sound, the player should use the tongue to block off certain airholes and create different sounds.

What is the Best Way to Learn How to Put Mouth on a Harmonica?

The best way to learn how to put mouth on a harmonica is by starting with the basics. Begin by understanding the basic principles of playing the harmonica, such as how to hold it and where to place your mouth. Practice making different sounds and tones by practicing with a metronome or other type of sound device. Once you have mastered the basics, it is important to practice regularly to develop your skills. Additionally, you can find helpful tutorials online or read books about playing the harmonica. Finally, attending lessons with an experienced harmonica player can help to further your progress and give you additional tips and tricks.

Are there any tips I should keep in mind when putting mouth on a harmonica?

Before playing the harmonica, make sure your mouth is in the right position. Place your lips around the harmonica, but not too tight. Keep your tongue flat and relaxed, and direct the air in the same direction as the reeds. Ensure the harmonica is held at an angle that allows air to flow through the reeds. Play slowly and evenly and avoid any sudden movements or hard blowing. Finally, keep your mouth moist and use lip balm if needed.


By following the steps outlined in this guide, anyone can learn how to play the harmonica quickly and easily. With practice and patience, you can become a pro harmonica player in no time. First, you must understand the basics of harmonica playing. Then practice the proper breathing technique, and finally, learn how to put your mouth on the harmonica. With the right practice and guidance, any harmonica enthusiast can learn to master the harmonica and make beautiful music.


About the author

Hey, my name is John Peters, and I’m a co-founder and Jack’s co-editors. My country sole was born when I was not more than 4 years old and my dad brought several country records home. These were the records by Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Asleep at The Wheel, and Neil Young. I fell in love with the genre forever back then. Before entering the university, I managed to gather a collection of over 1200 vinyl records with both classic and modern country releases.

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