Learn to Play Blues Harp Harmonica
Progressing/learning blues harmonica?

Okay, I’ve started playing blues harmonica for about 2 months now. I’m good at getting single notes and bending on a draw. What should I do next? How do I get from the really beginner level to something a little bit higher? I don’t know what to look for or what to work on to progress farther. Adam Gussow had to start somewhere and I’m wondering how he got to be so good (other than a lot of practice).  What should I work on to keep progressively getting better? I know there’s room for criticizing me here, but I’m just asking for some help/guidance at becoming a better harmonica player.



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Technorati Tags: blues harmonica, Blues Harp Harmonica, harmonica player, Harping the Blues, learn to play harmonica

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4 Comments for 'Progressing/learning blues harmonica?'

    1 Finger Willy
    January 21, 2011 | 3:49 am

    Paul Butterfield. watch, listen and learn, theres tons of his stuff on You tube but this is one is my favorite with The Band at Winterland SF 1975, yea I was there.
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    January 21, 2011 | 4:12 am

    Hi learn the basis of all blues songs a 12 bar running Blues or boogie woogie you will be able to jam with guitarists Learning songs is great but learn the 12 bar first then pick the songs you wish to play learn them when it gets frustrating belt out a 12 bar have some fun
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    Dixon Steele 1 to 1
    January 21, 2011 | 4:30 am


    I’m just now getting back into harmonica playing myself. And I made the decision to do it properly this time. Meaning it’s no longer necessary to teach yourself and/or learn on your own. So like me, whatever you wish to invest in now, from practicing, playing, etc. will definitely pay off for years to come.

    Since there’s so many places to start with whether you’re a beginner, intermediate wishing to grow to play this darn ol’ thing for fun, friends, parties and so on – or you’re wishing to be a master pro like Jason Ricci (see him on youtube vids…mind blowing stuff!) — I recommend checking out the following sites to help your journey along the way.

    Good luck and licks with your harpin’!
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    January 21, 2011 | 4:58 am

    Hi, Maverick,

    How is your knowledge of chords and theory? There are many variations on just the 12-bar form to make it interesing, for example, in C: C / Cdim / C / C7 / F7 / F7 / C / A7 / D7 / G7 / C.

    This is a blues pattern used a lot in early jazz, and it’s a great variation to start with and give you blues playing more variety. Try to have your ideas make musical sense and build on each other – not just playing one lick followed by another. This is what I work on. I’m trying to get my single-note runs down so I don’t always have to fall back on the shakes and trills. I can see this is going to take a LOT of practice in my case. In short, go beyond repeating someone else’s licks and cliches and slowly build your own style.
    Try working in third position – not just the blue notes (b 3, #4), but the ‘between’ notes, which will give you the full dorian mode, which is great for anything minor.
    Work on your octaves, blow and draw, so you’ll always execute them cleanly.
    I’m not an advanced player by any means. The foregoing are just the the things I’ve been working on myself. Good luck.
    References :

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