Blues Harmonica – Intermediate

Do you play blues harmonica - but think you need to know more to go to the next level in your playing? Here is your chance to sound even better - understand the hows and whys of good playing.

This course is to help you understand what you are doing on your blues harmonica, so you can build on it and expand your skills even more.

  • Half day mornings - Monday to Friday - 9:00 am to 12:00 pm
  • Suitable for ages 18 to adult
  • Intermediate
  • Places available

Course Info

By the end of the week, you will
  • Understand what cross harp means, the first five different positions and play the minor pentatonic scale in 2nd, 3rd and 4th
  • Play the scale blues scale in 2nd position smoothly
  • Improve your tone using vibrato and hands
  • Play a range of moveable riffs and fills up and down the first six holes
  • Play 2 + shuffle rhythms
  • Understand and play along to a 12-bar blues progression
  • Improvise to a blues backing track using the learnt scales, and patterns, and add your own free style
  • Combine all of the above to either play on your own or jam with others
  • Sound like a legend!

Day One

  • Explore the first five cross harp positions. Understand the holes and notes on your C harp
  • Practice bending
  • Develop and practice the best hand position for you
  • Learn the minor pentatonic scales
  • Play a shuffle rhythm in 2nd position
  • Practice a basic improvisation

Day Two

  • Learn the blues scale in the second position
  • Learn a vibrato technique
  • More minor pentatonic scale work
  • Learn a ‘Pat Ramsey’ lick and practice in different positions
  • Practice playing an F on hole 2, a Bb and A on hole 3, and a Db on hole 4 (bending)
  • More improvising

Day Three

  • Recap and practice what’s been learnt so far
  • Learn a moveable triangle lick and play in different position
  • Learn how to play along to the 12 Bar Blues
  • Start to develop your own favourite licks
  • Add holes 8, 9 and 10 to your licks
  • Improvise in 3rd position

Day Four

  • Learn some new scale intervals
  • Add some hand wah wah
  • Mix some different licks together with some sustained notes
  • Understand and practice turn arounds
  • Practice increasing speed on licks
  • Learn some new blues licks in various positions
  • Improvise in 4th position

Day Five

  • Review and practice all of above
  • Talk about home practice and what to do
  • Talk about mics, amps and effect pedals
  • Prepare own solos for concert
  • Practice as a group for the concert
This course is for

People who already play a blues harp but would like to improve.

People who have attended a previous blues harp course

Ukelele, banjo, piano players etc. who would like to add another instrument.

Please bring the following on your first day of class:

  • MUST have a good quality blues harp in the key of C – Hohner (Marine Band), Special 20, Pro Harp, Blues Harp, Tombo – Lee Oscar or Seydel (Session Steel)
  • Having a backup harp is a good idea – either C or an F harp can cover you
  • Two notepads – one for scribbling notes and one for transcribing
  • Pencil and a rubber
  • A clipboard for handouts

Happy Camper Reviews

Neil Buckley
Course Tutor

Neil Buckley

I started out as a brass and keyboard player, from my start in music at the age of six. After gaining a Diploma Music Specialist in 1974 from Alexander Mackie CAE, I taught high and primary school instrumental and concert bands from 1975 to 1984 on the northern beaches in Sydney. At the same time, I played sax with a rock and roll band, with gigs all over Sydney.

Over the years since leaving the public school system, I’ve played with A Grade brass bands and concert bands here and in the UK.

I took up blues harp as an aside to jam with guitars in the 80s while I was playing sax. This was after doing a gig with an amazing blues player – before that, I didn’t know anything about them.

My main gigging these days however is solo – looping a 4-string CB guitar and percussion while singing and then playing over it with harp and keys.

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