I had the massive pleasure of supporting The Small Change Diaries at the launch of their new album a couple of weeks ago. I did a harmonica solo for the album and have sat in with them a few times. At this gig I was also invited to sit in with multi-instrumentalist Phil Doleman on… Continue reading The Small Change Diaries and Phil Doleman
I’ve been playing with Music Note Sight Reading Trainer. It’s a very simple and very effective app for iOS that “gamifys” the often daunting task of learning the note layout on the staff. If this is new to you here’s a diagram to get you started. The notes that sit on the staff lines are… Continue reading Music Note Sight Reading Trainer
(Note: The purpose of this post is not to teach about five hole octaves. It’s simply a tip for those already starting to use them in their playing.) Learning to switch between four five hole octaves can be a pain. Something I found useful is learning major scale folk melodies in the upper register and… Continue reading 5 Hole Octaves – Practice Tip
We’ve been working this traditional gospel tune up as a High Hollers number but I think it works quite well as a solo harmonica piece too. I was inspired to record this after watching TJ and the Suitcase perform a rousing version last night at Al’s Dime Bar in Bradford.
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