Yes it’s Christmas again and at about this time of year everyone in business has a party and the secret Santa gift syndicate takes place. You know your colleagues chip in a fiver or a tenner and go out to find the most inappropriate piece of nonsense they can find for you. Well show this article to a friend or a relative who is stuck for what to give you some christmas ideas for the harmonica player.
When you seek blues harp lessons on the internet, it doesn’t take too long before you come across Adam Gussow who for over 3 years now has taught so many of us tips and tricks on playing the blues harp through his nifty 10 minute lessons on Youtube. Although he has always previously claimed that he doesn’t sing he has now produced an album called ‘Kick And Stomp’ which is solo all the way just beat and some really neat question and answer between the vocal and the harmonica. The album tracks are as follows:
Effective tone control when you learn to play harmonica is an essential skill but not as hard as some harmonica gurus would have you believe. If you listen to the great players of the past like Little Walter with your eyes shut and headphones on you can almost hear the resonation of sound coming from deep within. When I first started to play harmonica in cross position I was introduced to a recycled lesson (pre internet days) from a mate who said you had to make lots of vocal sounds to get tone control and good tone. Read the rest of this entry »
This Harmonica lesson for beginners shows you how to make a single note on the harmonica. This is the first ordeal for the would be harmonica player. Watch this video and with a little patience you can be blowing a single note in no time at all.
A begining harmonica player who has mastered the nack of nailing a single note now needs a harmonica set. Chances are you already have a diatonic harmonica in the key of ‘C’. Whilst there are advanced players who can get a full chromatic scale out of one ‘C’ harmonica this requires a lot of skill and is generally impractical, but for a modest outlay compared to buying any other form of instrument …
When starting out on the harmonica it pays to practise jamming to a diverse number of classics. So many beginners give up in frustration because they cannot bend a note and the harmonica is put down as one of those I tried it once experiences. Alternatively they manage a couple of bends after a while and get bored of everything sounding samey ‘da da da duh’ followed by ‘Woke up this morning… etc.’. Also they hear the perfection of ‘Blues’ or ‘Country’ harmonica masters and despair of ever being or sounding original. Here is the inspirational cure.
After a leave of absence this fantastic solo by Sonny Boy Williamson is back on youtube.
One of the first riffs which inspired me to learn blues harp was ‘You Gotta Help Me’ as recorded by Sonny Boy Williamson the piece is in the key of ‘F”, so you will need a diatonic harmonica in the key of ‘Bflat’. John Mayall’s blues breakers also recorded this.This piece is also a classic example of a riff loop which constantly cycles with Sonny Boy diving in and out of the loop to solo when required. If you can learn how to go back in and out of the loop your playing will sound far more rhythmical to the listener. During the solos you can hear the precision with which the tremolo effect is applied to the notes. Every time I hear this piece I always hear something different. This makes the piece a harmonica riff classic for me.