Why play the Blues Harmonica?Well if you love the sound of Blues Harmonica, you will already know that it lends itself to blues in a natural and soulful why. Its African-American origins developed over time from the field hollers and chants sung by slaves working in the Deep South. A key blues trademark is its soulful expression of the raw emotion and suffering of the era. It’s no coincidence that when you feel the blues, you feel soulful and you are reminded of the sorrow and salvation (the ups and down) of life.
Feel the Blues Harmonica
If you’re feeling it, you are likely to have a much better chance of learning to play the Harmonica. Half the battle to is to feel the music, when you learn the basic techniques and you feel the music you can jam away and go with the flow but if you don’t feel it you’re gonna be on to a hiding to nothing.
In the big scheme of things Blues is the most important harmonica style. On learning the basics of the Harmonica, if you have the feel of it, you can play anywhere. The reality is, with practise and experience you’re playing will evolve and so learning the blues can and should be a lifelong project.
Diatonic Blues Harmonica
The diatonic Blues Harmonica has the best Bluesy sound that’s why it is the most popular for playing the blues. The chromatic harmonica is mostly used for jazz, rock pop and classical music. There is a button on the side allowing for the playing of the normal major scale and the half steps in between with the button pressed. This allows you to play pretty much any scale, in any key.
Probably the easiest key to play on the blues harmonica is the key of C. The most common key of an accomplished player is probable the D, G & A key.
If you are just starting out a Hohner Marine Band is recognised as an excellent harp. Obviously, buy one in the key of C to start with it will help, this is the most basic 10-hole diatonic Harmonica. This historically the world’s most popular harmonica, so why not start out with the best.
When playing the Blues Harmonica there is a technique called Bending which is used a lot in blues playing, and it allows you to reach notes that are not on the diatonic scale. This is something you’ll need to be able to master but relax practice and you will soon master it, it’s all part of the learning curve.
It is harder to bend notes well with the chromatic harmonica, which is why the average player doesn’t generally get the same Bluesy sound as the diatonic Harmonica.
They do say that the Blues consists of a bit of bending and a lot soul, I think this is a great analogy and one to bear in mind when you start your journey into learning the Blues Harmonica.
Learnin the Blues Harmonica
There are many books and modern harmonica online lessons out there, but George Goodman produces some of the best Modern Blues Harmonica Lessons online. JP can teach you the awesome sound of the harmonica ‘The Easy Way’. It’s an innovative way to learn and does not tie you download to long drawn out monotonous scale practice sessions etc.
His lessons will take you by the hand; lead you from absolute beginner to a fully capable harmonica player in a step-by-step way. Every lesson skilfully builds on the preceding one in a way that you don’t even grasp you’re in a learning process.
Don’t take my word for it head over to his site and find out more about learning the Blues Harmonica.