The finer points of blues harmonica
Wednesday (1/2 Day) - Dynamics
One of the things which differentiates mediocre playing from incredibly expressive playing is the use of dynamics. We’ll run through exercises to develop dynamic volume and tonal control on your instrument and approaches for how to start using more dynamics in your playing right away. All skill levels may attend this class. Student should have an A Harmonica for this class.
Thursday - Blues Bass Lines & Hooks
Playing bass lines on the harmonica is really fun and sounds great. Playing bass lines is also the best way to learn chords in a very intuitive way. Knowing the chords of the 12 Bar Blues is vital for good accompaniment playing and for making strong musical choices in improvising.
A hook is a small lick that’s repeated throughout a song to make it special. If a song lacks a hook and is boring with “nothin’ goin’ on,” play one of the hooks I’ll teach you to make it cool. Basic skills in bending are required to attend this class. Student should have an A Harmonica for this class.
Friday - Minor Playing
Harmonica players commonly run away from the bandstand when a song is called in minor. There is an approach to playing in minor, and it’s not as hard as you may think. We’ll explore the approach for 3rd Position (extremely intuitive) and 2nd Position (not so intuitive, but familiar), as well as the less-common 4th and 5th Positions. Basic skills in bending are required to attend this class. Students should bring their G, A and D Harmonicas for this class.
Saturday (1/2 Day) – High End Playing
Most recorded harmonica music in 2nd position is played on holes 1 through 6. Every now and again an artist goes to the upper register and this can be extremely exciting, but due to the lack of recorded material, it’s challenging to find good examples to study. In this class we’ll study artist licks that I’ve collected over the years. We’ll also examine scales that work great on the high end and improvising concepts such as octave substitution (moving licks from an area of the harmonica that you’re familiar with to an area that you’re not). All skill levels may attend this class.
Workshop entitles you to the following:
o Minimum 11 teaching units of 75 min. Wed – Sat
o Admission to the sessions in the Kesselhaus on all days
o Admission to the Harmonica Masters Concerts on Friday and Saturday
o Admission to supporting program events on all days