Top Reasons to Start Playing the Harmonica

Are there are any good reasons at all for you to start playing the harmonica? Have you always wanted to learn a new musical instrument, but you have no idea where to start?

While the guitar and piano are two of the most common and popular options, why not try something different? The harmonica or accordion is a type of classical musical instrument. To make things even more exciting, learning how to play it offers a lot of exciting benefits in the long run. 

Below are some of the top reasons to convince you to start learning how to play the harmonica.

It Develops Hand Strength

Trying to play the accordion can be a bit physically demanding. You need to use your fingers and hands to operate this instrument and apply varying amounts of pressure while moving through the song.

Regular accordion practices can help improve not only the dexterity but even the overall strength of both your fingers and hands. You might soon notice that your grip has gotten stronger when doing other activities outside your practice. 

Playing the harmonica
Playing the harmonica

If you also like to play sports, this improved strength of your hands and fingers can give you a better grip on the ball as well as an edge over your opponents. Simply put, playing the harmonica can cause a physical change to an important body part in such a way that can benefit you throughout your whole life. 

Take Advantage of a Complex Musical Education from the Beginning

Some musical instruments only focus on specific kinds of harmonies. Some instruments only focus on the melodies, and some emphasize chords or create solid bass. 

Styrian harmonica
Styrian harmonica

Harmonicas are complex musical instruments and throughout the time of learning how to play them, you also get to learn about basslines, chords, and melodies all at the same time. 

After mastering how to play the harmonica, you will have already acquired the much-needed musical education that will let you pick up a different instrument more easily. 

It Sets You Apart from the Rest

Those who want to learn how to play a new musical instrument often consider the guitar, the piano, or even the drums. However, the accordion is a rarer and more classical option, which means that playing the harmonica will make you stand out from the crowd. 

It is not that uncommon to meet someone who plays the guitar or piano well, but it is not every day that you get to meet someone who plays the harmonica. 

Is It Difficult to Learn Playing Harmonicas?

Just like any other instrument, it takes practice to learn how to play the harmonica. Some people think that the instrument looks daunting or confusing when they see one for the first time. The button accordion in particular can be quite different to play, unlike the piano accordion that looks more familiar. 

How to Play Steirische Diatonic Button Accordion – Lesson 1 – Harmonika Basics – Daj Daj Srcek Nazaj

However, the truth is that it is not that hard to learn to play the accordion. As long as you practice daily, you can start feeling comfortable with playing it in a matter of 3 to 4 months. Probably the tricky part when it comes to playing the accordion is how you will make your hands work independently to press the buttons and keys and move the bellows back and forth at the same time. 

Learning the Piano and Button Accordions

There are two primary types of accordions, and these are the piano accordion and the button accordion. As its name suggests, the piano accordion features keys similar to a normal piano. These keys create the same sound when pumped in or out. Learning how to play piano accordions will be easier for you if you are already good at playing the piano. 

Button accordions, or also known as Irish or Cajun accordions, feature buttons that play different notes based on the way you squeeze their bellows, whether in or not. Button accordions are more difficult to play compared to piano accordions since you need to memorize every button.

But the moment they become familiar with all the buttons, many musicians find it easier to play the button accordion compared to the piano accordion. This is because the buttons are closer together and smaller unlike the piano keys on piano accordions. This closer proximity also makes it easier and simpler to transition on a button accordion from low to high notes. 

One more factor that makes it difficult to learn the harmonica is the fact that in addition to the buttons or keys found on the right, the left side features some buttons as well. There are guitar players who have an easier time learning the chromatic button accordion because of the basic scale patterns and chords that require almost a similar fingering manner as the scales and chords of a guitar. 

Buying the Right Harmonica for You

For you to learn playing the harmonica faster and in such a more enjoyable way, it is a must that you pick an instrument that suits you best depending on several factors. Such factors include your budget, age, height, and the specific musical style you wish to play. 

You will have an easier time learning the piano accordion if you already know how to play the piano. But if you are a guitar player, you might be better off with a chromatic button accordion. Of course, an accordion with just a few treble keys and buttons will be easier for you to learn compared to one with more keys and buttons. It is best to begin playing the accordion with only a few keys and buttons to prevent getting overwhelmed. If you wish to learn a new musical instrument and you are unsure where exactly to start, the harmonica is an unusual and very intriguing option you can consider. Learn playing the harmonica and before you know it, you will have the hand strength and skillset required to learn other types of instruments soon.  

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