March 19, 2017

Three Major Categories of Harmonica Playing to Practice


You want to learn how to play Harmonica.

You go online to find some tips and ideas to help you…

And there are a lot of places that you can go on YouTube…

But…without a systematic approach you will miss out on three major categories of harmonica playing…

These three are: Solo Harmonica, Accompaniment Harmonica, and Self Accompaniment Harmonica.

What is cool is that BluesHarmonica.Com actually provides training in all three of these arenas.

What are they?

1) Solo Harmonica.

This is perhaps one of the places where you can find a lot of help online. There are a lot of YouTube channels and training that provides this kind of help.

Here you simply take a harmonica and play the melody of a song.

Often people provide harmonica tablature for you to follow.

At some point I hope to provide tablature as well cause a few folks say that creation of tablature can help your ear and make you a better harmonica player…

At any rate, this is the kind of harmonica playing where you can find a lot of training. Go on Youtube and find a song to play.

2) Accompaniment Harmonica

This is the style of play where you are playing fills and the like behind the soloists. There is not as much of this kind of training on YouTube. This is how you become a side-man.

The Gospel Harmonica Community has a presentation from Mike Caldwell on this style of harmonica playing. So go join up and check out the archives.

Again, BluesHarmonica.Com has systematic training in this area as well.

At any rate, this is very important if you are going to join a duo or group. You are not going to only play solo.

3) One Man Band or Self Accompaniment Harmonica

You can see some examples of this kind of playing where you either accompany yourself as you sing or you accompany yourself as you play a background and a melody on the harp.

Here you can play in two different styles which makes it appear as though you are more than one player.

Again there ain’t a lot of this kind of training, but you can find it also on BluesHarmonica.Com.

In the end, I am attempting to tailor my learning in all three areas by practicing all three areas. If you are going to be well rounded and you are going to increase your chances to play, you probably should hit all three as well.


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