There’s precious little Big Walter footage around and I must confess I’d never seen this before. Maybe not the greatest performance in the world but man it’s good to see Walter in his element. Looks like he’s really digging this, and getting the respect he deserves from a large audience. Very cool.
Whenever I tell a beginner harmonica player we’re going to look at improvising there’s always a flash of fear in their eyes. BUT there is a great way of thinking about and approaching the improvisation process taught by David Barrett. It’s called Chorus Forms. The document linked below is an introduction to the concept with… Continue reading About Improvising
On this site and in my private lessons I always talk theory as if we’re playing a C harmonica. And I only ask you to memorise the notes of that one key. I’ve written about this already here: Why Do We Talk About C Harmonicas All The Time? What I haven’t explained is how easy… Continue reading Memorising Your C Harmonica – Worth It
David Barrett on the Musicality Podcast talking blues harp, musicianship, improvisation and more. There’s a lot of great info packed in here which should be of interest to players of all levels.
Recently completed Level 7 of David Barrett’s harmonica program. These are the videos I submitted of two study songs – Half Steppin’ and Blues for Paul DeLay. Both have minor errors and flubs, and David advised me to keep a close eye on my 3 draw bends (you always gotta pay close attention to that… Continue reading Always Working
First broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in March 2016, this is a cute little show about the harmonica. Obviously it’s aimed at a general audience rather than the hardcore harp nerd I’m sure you are, but it should be of interest to new players as well. There’s some good history stuff and contributions from Joe Filisko and David Barrett.
I’ve not come across this software before but it’s very interesting and can do a number of useful things for someone learning harmonica. Like the Amazing Slow Downer, which I use extensively, it allows you to slow down audio files, and also to change the pitch. Slowing down songs is essential for close listening and… Continue reading Riffstation Going Free
I know a few of the new harmonica players I meet are interested in blowing amplified harmonica. These mics don’t appear all that often in the UK (and postage from the US is crazy money). It’s a Shure 588SA, often called the James Cotton mic since he was pictured with and known to play one at… Continue reading “James Cotton” mic on Ebay
This is one of the most valuable tips (along with practicing slowly) you may ever get, so please pay attention. I speak from experience, and I don’t want you to suffer the same setbacks I’ve had. Here’s the tip: If you do frequent, short practices you will improve faster than if you do infrequent, long… Continue reading Frequent Practicing trumps Long Practicing
I’m fortunate that I get to help people take their first steps on the harmonica. For some folks this has been a lifelong ambition, and I love sharing people’s enthusiasm and helping them overcome the challenges. There are a few things that regularly catch people out right at the start. The harmonica is a very… Continue reading My 2 Draw is Broken! (No, it isn’t)