Posted by Patrick J. McKenna on August 10, 2001 at 15:17:52:
In Reply to: HELP! posted by Zeke on August 09, 2001 at 20:23:47:
: I need help i really want to learn the harmonica, but i have no idea where to begin, i can play the easy songs that they give you on this site, but i have no idea where to go from there..... thanks alot
What's this nonsense about you having "no idea where to begin" playing harmonica? You logged in to www.harmonica lessons.com. You already recieved a response from Bluzharper, who is one of the resident experts (seriously, he knows his stuff). It seems to me that you already are on a great start.
If you are still seeking help, my advice is to check out various recordings, from old vintage blues artists, such as Sonny Boy Williamson; 1960's "British Invasion" bands, such as the Yardbirds, John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers (who recorded covers of some all-American black blues recordings); C&W, such as Charlie McCoy; and even some of the classic-influenced music of the late John Sebastian (whose son left a mark on popular music with the 1960's band the Lovin' Spoonful) and Claude Garden. There are numerous other artists, who very much deserve mention. Harmonica isn't just for R&B clubs or campfire singalongs.
As for more advice, I recommend that you learn to read both standard music and tab. In case you're thinking, "I just wanna play by ear," if you learn to read and practice, you will develope an
ear for music. The more that you practice, the more proficient you'll be.
Books that come to mind, which I recommend are:
1. You Can Teach Yourself Harmonica (Mel Bay Publications) This is a good book, which covers the basics. The only drawback is that some of the page spaces are wasted with photographs of subjects such as farms, graves, RR stations, etc. It's still a good book. It features over 40 songs which are written in both easy standard music and tab. In case you have a guitarist willing to work with you, the music also includes the chord changes.
2. The Best Harmonica Method-Yet! (Lewis Music Publishing Co., Inc,) I don't know if this book is still available. (My copy must be about 25 years old.) It covers some of the basics of music and features 92 songs, which are written in both standard music and tab. (Chord changes too.)
3 Rock'n'Blues Harmonica by harmonica vituoso Jon Gindick. This book skips over basic music notation and is not what I'd consider conventional. It is, however, a very informative course and one that I highly recommend for both the beginner and the seasoned pro. Jon also has a web site and is very approachable. If you send him an e-mail, you can depend on Jon to reply almost immediately!
Before I sign off, there is still more advice. I recommend that you learn from various players, books, recordings, etcetra. When you're making music, develope a varied reportoire. Don't play just R&B or just C&W. I think that I've said enough...for now.
Wishing you success in your endeavors,
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