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Blues Harmonica for Beginners

Mr Harmony’s Blues Harmonica for Beginners Course is an introduction to blues harmonica for either complete beginners, or those with very limited experience of playing. Each week discover simple licks and tunes as examples of the style from early acoustic Delta blues through to the amplified harmonica of Chicago in the late 40s and 50s. This is a hands on (and lips!) course. In this course students will be taught a brief history of the harmonica, from its beginnings as a German folk instrument in the 1860’s, through to it becoming synonymous with African American blues music around the early part of the 20th Century. We will examine the style of the early acoustic Delta blues through to the amplified harmonica of Chicago in the late 40’s and early 50’s. Please bring your harmonica to the first lesson.

Course Outline

The outline below is indicative only, and may be subject to change to suit the level of ability found in any given class.

  • Introduction to blues harmonica with a brief history
  • Demonstration of playing
  • Holding the harmonica/cupping
  • Single Notes
  • Playing chords
  • Learning to chug out a “train”
  • Why blues harmonica is played in “2nd Position”
  • Tongue articulation – the “dit dits” and the “dah dahs”
  • Description of a 12 bar blues
  • Playing chords along to a 12 bar blues backing track
  • “Bending” notes – technique
  • “wah wah” and “fanning the harp” techniques
  • The “sweet” notes in playing the blues (the b7, b5 & b3 notes)
  • Learning to play “You Gotta Move” (Misissipi Fred McDowel)
  • Learning some simple riffs/licks
  • Expressive sounds on the harmonica, baby crying, train etc.
  • Vibrato – hand and throat techniques

Please Note: No prior experience nor musical knowledge is required for this course, however, the simple ability to play single clean notes will be a definite advantage.

Please Bring

  • Notepad and pen
  • Harmonica in the key of D Major

*The tutor recommends either a Hohner Special 20 harmonica, or a Hohner Silver Star harmonica These can be purchased at Mona Vale Music at a discounted rate if his name Kelvin Carlsson is mentioned

Please Note: NBCC is not liable to for any loss incurred if a class is cancelled please check with the college by calling 02) 9970 1000 or emailing before purchasing materials.

This course has no current classes. Please the waiting list.

Contact us

Community College Annex: 1525 Pittwater Road
North Narrabeen NSW 2101
Post: NBCC Reply Paid 1966, Dee Why NSW 2099

Phone: 02 9970 1000

Registered Training Organisation Code 90113