Answers and AdviceCheck out our new PRO PAGE, where top players in country, blues, jazz, and rock harmonica talk about what they listen to, the instruments they play, and the gear they use! Harp-L Harp-L is an Internet mail list whose subscribers include many of the world's best harmonica players in every style. The site provides access to a list of harmonica related current events and resources on the Internet. Also includes online archives that contain answers to many beginners' questions. Answers to most other questions can usually be obtained by posting inquiries to Harp-L. SUBSCRIBE TO HARP-L! Harmonica Beginner's "To Do" List A page by John Watts that provides plenty of useful advice for beginners. Down-to-earth, concise, hits a lot of the important stuff. Recommended. NOTE: as of October 1998 this site has recently been upgraded, and in my opinion is now one of the best harmonica resources on the Internet. Michael Will/The Diatonic Harmonica Reference - an outstanding site full of dead-on harmonica info, including great links, instructional material, illustrations, etc. Society for the Preservation and Advancement of the Harmonica (SPAH) SPAH provides a lot of resources for harmonica players, including links to pages for many leading players, links and addresses for harmonica resources such as manufacturers and technicians, and so on. A very important site for harmonica players. BassHarp's International Harmonica Gig List A comprehensive listing of performances by harmonica players worldwide. Updated weekly, maintained by Danny Wilson
InstructionBreathing Exercises Beginners often want to know how to get a big sound on the harmonica, and a big sound requires strong breathing. This page will tell you how to breathe for a big sound. Pouring Rain Music: pages on Huang Harmonicas, Jon Gindick's Harmonica Instruction Catalog, artists and label promotion, publishing and distribution plus other blues and harp related links Jack's Gospel Harmonica Page - informative site offering lots of harmonica-related info plus Christian philosophy. Note: we're not endorsing the philosophy per se, but it's a big part of the site, so we feel obliged to mention it. Harmonica-related information is in big supply at the site also.
Instruments, Software, and ToolsCoast to Coast Music Coast to Coast offers some of the best prices anywhere on a wide range of harmonicas, amps, and other tools. We've done a lot of business with them over the years. Angela Instruments Terrific site for amped players, offers lots of information on amp construction, including schematics, info on tube choices, etc. Great source for tubes and other parts too. Doc Doc's Place: MIDI Files Terrific collection of MIDI files, including drum tracks and patterns, blues, etc. Great for jamming along if you've got a General MIDI sequencer/synth (or even just a soundcard). Guitar Amp Tone, Guitar Effects Placement, and Techniques for Tube Amps and Hybrid Guitar Amps A terrific site loaded with information about tube amps and their applications, including specific info on amps for harp. Recommended.
- It sounds good. Not just sorta good. Good.
- It's inexpensive and durable.
- It will be useful long after the beginner has graduated from novice status.
Note: this information was originally published in a post to Harp-L in 1996.
Recent posts to the list have requested breathing exercises. Three that have worked well for me are described below.
1) The purpose of this exercise is to give the player a "feel" for proper i.e. diaphragmatic breathing. It's sometimes difficult for players to recognise and distinguish between chest and diaphragmatic breathing. This exercise will introduce the player to the physical sensation of breathing from the diaphragm.Read more
It occurred to us recently that lots of players we know seem to constantly buy new gear, and some of those players don't think much about how to get more out of the gear they've got. With that in mind, we've put together a few thoughts for our visitors on our philosophy for getting the most out of your gear.Read more