Rack Harmonica / Guitar

> Information about Eddie Martin


Requirements for participation

  • Technical level: intermediate to advanced

  • Language: English



Apart from hand cupping techniques you can do anything on a rack harp that hand-held harmonica players can do. So the sky is the limit as to what music you can make with your rack harmonica, from simple chord accompaniments to complex soloing and even duet soloing with your other instrument. From Folk to Blues to Jazz to Singer songwriting, any genre can have a place for rack harmonica playing.

The course will introduce rack players to these styles of playing, looking at songs by key stylists. In the later part of the course more intermediate/advanced harmonica techniques (for example direct bending and tongue blocking ) will be taught on the rack using simple guitar accompaniments where appropriate. More advanced guitar and harmonica accompaniments will also be illustrated and taught and the possibilities offered for duet soloing also. 


1. Getting Started

Rack Essentials

Checklist for comfortable and secure rack construction.

A secure comfortable rack is a prerequisite for getting anywhere with rack-harmonica playing. Although many models will work, the single best model I recommend is the Hohner Flexrack. I will check your rack to make sure it is suitable for you, suggesting modifications where necessary.


The particular requirements of the rack for amplified playing will also be covered.


Simple Folk Accompaniment in 1st Position

“Blowing in The Wind” Bob Dylan
Guitar Part (key A, capo 7th Fret)
Harp Part (A 1st Position)

“Heart of Gold” Neil Young
Guitar Part (key A, capo 7th Fret)
Harp Part (A 1st Position)


Simple Blues “Vamping” in E

“Kansas City”
Guitar Part (key E, standard Tuning)
Harp Part (A, 2nd Position)


Simple Blues Soloing in 1st and 2nd Position

“Bright Lights Big City” Jimmy Reed
Guitar Part (key A, standard Tuning)
Harp Part (A 1st Position)

“Big Boss Man” Jimmy Reed
Guitar Part (key E, standard Tuning)
Harp Part (A 2nd Position)


Riffing in 2nd and 3rd position

“Help Me” Sony Boy Williamson II
Guitar Part (key A, standard Tuning)
Harp Part (D 2nd Position or G 3rd Position)



2. More Advanced Techniques

Direct Bending

“Stone Fox Chase”
Guitar Part (key E, standard Tuning)
Harp Part (A 2nd Position)


Tongue Block Licks and Effects in Slow Blues Soloing

Blow Bending in 1st Position

3rd Position

Duet Soloing in Blues Scale / Myxolydian Mode


Workshop entitles you to the following:

  • Minimum 11 teaching units of 75 min. or 90 min.
  • Admission to the sessions in the Kesselhaus on Wednesday
  • Admission to the Harmonica Masters Concerts on Thursday, Friday and Saturday
  • Admission to supporting program events on all days


> register now   



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