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How to play the mouth harp

Hey there!  Since today is National Buy a Musical Instrument Day, I thought I’d give you some quick instructions on how to play one of the least expensive musical instruments around.  It’s the mouth harp!  And it’s not hard to play.  You don’t have to know notes or anything.

So to begin with, the mouth harp looks like this and is easily held in your hand.

What you want to do is grab it by the big round part, shown by the arrows.

Next, you put it up to your mouth and put your top and bottom teeth against the beveled parts, as shown in this shot.

This will cause the sound to use your jaw as an amplifier.  (That’s why this is sometimes called a jaw harp.)  Make sure to keep your teeth on the bevels away from the inner part so they’re not in the way of the black bar.  It’ll hurt a bit if you hit your teeth with the black bar.

Now, with your teeth against the bevels, you repeatedly pluck the black bar.

You should get a sound something like this:

Then, you can move your tongue around to shape the sound:

There.  Now you’re fully qualified to do a cover of “Join Together” by The Who!

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