This morning I’ve rebuilt an old Special 20 of mine for a student. A multitude of issues can be solved by simply disassembling, cleaning and screwing back together. Gunk on the reeds or in the tight gap between the side of the reed and the reed slot is common. The method I use is to… Continue reading Reviving Old Harmonicas
Grant Dermody is absolutely one of my favourite living harmonica players and – by all accounts – fine gentleman.
I’ve watched this clip with Frank Fotusky on guitar more times than I care to remember and it never fails to impress. Grant’s skill with texture, rhythm, space and sensitive accompaniment is admirable.
Last time we defined the major scale and discussed how it’s built. Now we’re going to add another way of thinking about and referring to notes in the scale. Take for example the G major scale. Remember that the major scale is built using notes from the chromatic scale in this sequence: whole-tone, whole-tone, semi-tone,… Continue reading Music Theory for Harmonica Players Part 4 – Scale Degrees
There’s a great article form Richard Sleigh in the latest issue of Harmonica World magazine on the music notation used by David Barrett in his teaching material at bluesharmonica.com. I completely agree with the sentiment. At first I was reluctant too. The whole thing appears arcane and unappealing but a little bit of effort pays… Continue reading The Musical Cartography of David Barrett
Last time we looked at the chromatic scale and learned that this scale contains all the notes available. Here’s the piano keyboard again for reference. Remember the distance between one note and the next (or one piano key and the next) is called a semi-tone, and that a distance of two semi-tones is called a… Continue reading Music Theory For Harmonica Players Part 3 – The Major Scale
Music theory is intimidating for a lot of new players but that’s usually down to misconceptions. Although it can appear arcane, stuffy and overly formalised that needn’t be the case. In this series of posts I’ll attempt to present the essential information in a clear and straightforward way and demonstrate how the application of even… Continue reading Music Theory for Harmonica Players Part 1 – Introduction
Last week, a day earlier than I was expecting, I received a package from Cain Hamilton (aka Sugar Cain) containing this, one of the first of his new “Semi-Custom” Marine Band harmonicas in A. This is the entry level line in his range. Not fancy, but a good honest workhorse. The comb is sealed and… Continue reading Sugar Cain Semi-Custom Marine Band
I’ve been going through something of a Big Walter phase (obsession) for some time now. The man had giant tone like nobody else and a wonderful sense of rhythm. I love this publicity photo for Arhoolie with guitar player Johnny Young. Bob Corritore has many more collected on his website. Among my favourite of his… Continue reading Big Walter Photographs