Category Archives: Women Harmonica Players

Blues Harmonica Player!

Hello Harmonica Lovers!

I’m going to be talking about a blues harmonica player one that if you know anything about blues harmonica players then you will probably know who I’m going to be talking about he performed at “Woodstock” in the 1960’s. Born December 17th 1942′ Paul Vaughn Butterfield was an American blues singer and harmonica player who grew up jamming with “Muddy Waters” in Chicago at jam sessions. After a lot of jam sessions Paul Butterflied was ready to perform with his fellow musician friend Elvin Bishop.

“Paul Butterfield”

Paul Butterfield formed his own band called “the Paul Butterfield Blues Band” in 1963′ and did several albums with that band in the late 1960’s.  The Paul Butterfield Blues Band went on to perform on the festival circuit in New York City, San Francisco, Canada but the festival that the Paul Butterflied blues band is so famous for is “Woodstock.” The Paul Butterfield Blues Band was known for electric Chicago blues mixed with rock and jazz fusion that very few bands in that era were known for in 1960’s.

The band broke up in 1971′ but Paul Butterfield formed another band called Paul butter field’s Better days and continued to tour with his friend and mentor “Muddy Waters.” Paul Butterfield was known and still known as one of the best blues harmonica players in his era. Paul Butterfield was inducted into the (Blues Hall of fame) in 2006′

Paul Butterfield died in 1987′ due to a heroin overdose at age 44 years old. He is greatly missed today but you can experience his music and his amazing harmonica playing on videos.

I have an example of Paul Butterfield performing in a video below that you can check out!

In this video Paul Butterfield is playing a Hohner Marine Band that you can see and purchase here through my website click here>hohner marine band.

 

Did you know who Paul Butterfield was?

Have you ever seen Paul Butterfield?

Have you ever heard Paul Butterfield play harmonica?

Did you know that Paul Butterfield learned to play the harmonica from Muddy Waters?

Have you ever heard of Muddy Waters the harmonica player?

Have you ever heard muddy Waters play harmonica?

I would love to get your feedback on this please leave any comments or questions below and I will reply as soon as possible.

Thank you for visiting my website please come back in the future as I’m always adding new and exciting content!

larry@allaboutharmonicas.com

Have a blessed day!

Larry

 

 

Harmonica History Beginnings!

Hello Harmonica Lovers!

I’m going to be talking about the harmonica history and where the harmonica first came from. The harmonica began in china with an instrument called the Sheng which had 17 pipes with a long curved mouthpiece designed with bamboo reeds and metal reeds one of the oldest instruments from china that dates back to 1100 BCE which is sometimes an abbreviation used in place of B.C. it’s meaning is “before the Common Era.”

The Sheng was used as an instrument that accompanied other instruments on solos. It was used in Chinese Opera and in large Chinese Orchestras both for accompaniment and melodies. The Sheng is still being used today with some modern changes made to it increasing the pipe to 32 making a bigger air chamber that changes the tone allowing you to play chords and harmonies on the instrument.

I show you an example of the Sheng in the picture below.

 




In the 19th century the first harmonica was manufactured by a German harmonica designer named Matthias Hohner and founder of the hohner harmonicas which is still one of the No. 1 harmonica manufactures in the world today.

The harmonica was first known as the French harp or mouth organ as it’s known is a free reed instrument played worldwide in all type of music.

Have you ever heard of a Sheng?

Have you ever seen a Sheng?

Did you know what a Sheng was?

Do you know about harmonicas?

Have you ever heard of Matthias Hohner?

I would love to get your feedback on this please any comments or question below and will reply as soon as possible.

Thank you for visiting my website please come back in the future as I’m always adding new and exciting content!

larry@allaboutharmonicas.com

Have a blessed day!

Larry

 

Country Blues Harmonica!

Hello Harmonica Lovers!

I’m going to be talking about country blues harmonica and when it’s used and who uses it. Country Blues is acoustic guitar driven blues accompanied by the harmonica became called (folk blues) and targeted the audience of the white college age population. Then in the 1960s soul, rhythm and blues came on the scene and blues harmonica players like Sonny Boy Williams 11 now became known as folk blues artist. Another country blues harmonica player named “Sonny Terry” performed with a guitar player named “Brownie McGhee” and toured the folk festival circuit calling themselves (Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee).

There are a lot of different styles of country blues harmonica just to a name a few would-be Memphis blues, Texas blues, West Coast blues, Swamp blues, Delta blues, Kansas City blues, and hill country blues and more.

Country Blues Harmonica is different from Country Harmonica the difference between the two are that in Country Blues Harmonica you are playing in the “Cross Harp Position” using a lot of lower end bend on the harmonica drawing with your breath on holes 1-6 and in Country Harmonica you’re playing in the “Straight Harp Position” using a lot of melodies and blow notes and your bends are usually at the  upper end of the harmonica holes 7-10 drawing in with your breath I wrote an earlier post on different positions on the harmonica that you can access here>Harmonica Beginners!

Here is a list of a couple of Country Blues harmonica players!

    • Deford Bailey (born December 14th 1899 – July 2nd 1982) he was an early blues country harmonica player from Tennessee.
    • John Cephas (born September 4th 1930- March 4th 2009) He was a singer, guitar player and harmonica player in the Piedmont blues style.
    • Little Buddy Doyle (March 20 1911- ?) he was a Memphis blues style and country blues harmonica player who was a singer, harmonica and guitar player.
    • Sonny Boy nelson (born December 23rd 1908- November 4th 1998) he played a lot of different instruments like the banjo, harmonica, guitar, mandolin and the violin.
  • Here’s a video of “Country Blues Harmonica” that you can hear and see below.

The harmonica being used in this video is a Hohner Marine Band Crossover that you can purchase and see here>Hohner Crossover 

Have you ever heard Country Harmonica?

Have you ever heard of Country Blues Harmonica?

Have ever heard any of the Country Blues Harmonica players I listed?

Have you ever played Country Blues Harmonica?

I would love to get your feedback on this please leave any comments or questions below and I will reply as soon as possible.

Thank you for visiting my website please come back in the future as I’m always adding new and exciting content!

Have a blessed day!

Larry

 

Harmonica Beginners!

Hello Harmonica Lovers!

“Harmonica Beginners” Starting off Right!

(Choosing your first Harmonica)

 

I’m going to be talking about harmonica beginners and how to get started the correct way.  To start with to learn how to play the harmonica as a beginner you need to choose a quality harmonica and spend a few more dollars than trying to buy and learn from a cheap harmonica.

Harmonicas that are less expensive tend to be not airtight which makes them harder to play and harder to learn on.  Harmonicas that are a little bit more expensive are airtight and designed to be more comfortable in your mouth to play because of the curved cover plates and the flush design on the face of the harmonica it makes it mustache friendly also. The harmonica I would suggest for you to purchase is a Hohner Special 20 key of C which you can purchase right here through my website click here>hohner special 20 if you decide you would prefer a different harmonica rather than the one that I suggested you can also find those through this link> harmonicas.

(Holding the Harmonica)

When you’re holding the harmonica in your hand you want to make it feel comfortable in your hand which I wrote in an earlier page about the proper way to hold the harmonica with pictures  and instructions that you can see here>Hand Positions for Holding a Harmonica!

 

Step 1 correct

Step 2 correct

 

Step 3 correct mouth over the harmonica
Step 4 incorrect mouth in front of the harmonica

(First position playing on the Harmonica)

Everyone that starts to learn to play the harmonica for the first time starts right here with first position playing which is also called (Straight Harp) meaning that you blow most of the notes when you’re playing in the harmonica. You start playing simple songs like “row row row your boat” and “Mary had a little lamb” simply songs like those you learn chords and single note playing which I wrote an earlier post on learning to play the harmonica that you can see here>Learn Harmonica!

(Straight Harp)

Howard Levy teaching you how to play the first song you need to learn when starting out to play the harmonica “Row, Row, Row, Your Boat.”

(Second position playing on the Harmonica)

This position of playing the harmonica is often referred to as (Cross Harp) meaning that you draw most of the notes instead of blowing the notes on the harmonica which allows you to do more on the harmonica like bending notes which is what you hear a lot of blues harmonica players doing using this technique. You can bend notes in first position also but it not used as much as it is in blues music. Other styles of music other than blues like country or rock use the second position playing as well. There are more positions on the harmonica but those are more advanced and I will be talking about the other positions of playing the harmonica in a future post.

 

(Cross Harp)

This is a training video on how to play in the cross-harp position or second position playing.

Have you ever wanted to play the harmonica?

Did you know about the different positions of playing a harmonica?

Have you ever heard the term Straight Harp playing?

Have you ever heard the term Cross Harp playing?

I would love to get your feedback on this please leave any comments or questions below and I will reply as soon as possible!

Thank you for visiting my website please come back in the future as I’m always adding new and exciting content!

larry@allaboutharmonicas.com

Have a blessed day!

Larry

 

Famous Harmonica Player?

Hello Harmonica Lovers!

I’m going to be talking about a very famous harmonica player in the harmonica world that you may have heard of or possibly not heard of he is famous for his unique style of playing the Richter tuned diatonic harmonica playing the chromatic scale I explain more about his style of playing below.

“Howard Levy” Harmonica Master

Howard Levy is known for his chromatic playing style on a diatonic harmonica in 1970′ he discovered  techniques on the harmonica called overblow and overdraw which allows him to play the chromatic scale on a Richter tuned diatonic harmonica and play all the missing chromatic notes because of theses techniques.

Howard Levy can plays in a lot of different styles because of his skills such a Classical, Folk, Rock,Jazz, Blues, Latin and World music.  As you can see he covers about every style there is to play the diatonic harmonicawhich most other harmonica players stick to one style or the other like Blues or Country.

Here’s a video interview on Howard Levy the Master of the Harmonica!

 

 

Have you ever heard of  Howard Levy?

Have you ever seen Howard Levy?

Have you ever heard of the  overblow technique?

Have you ever heard of the overdraw technique?

Have you ever used these techniques?

I would love to get you feedback on this please leave any comments or question below and I will reply as soon as possible.

Thank you for visiting my website please come back in the future as I’m always adding new and exciting content!

larry@allaboutharmonicas.com

Have a blessed day!

Larry

 

 

 

 

 

 

Folk Harmonica!

Hello Harmonica Lovers!

I’m going to be talking about folk harmonica which is played in what is called the first position on a harmonica. This style of playing the harmonica is called straight harp and the harmonica is in the same key as the guitar or the song being played.

So, for example if the guitar or song is in the key of G the harmonica is also in the key of G. In first position or straight harp as it called in the harmonica world you blow most of notes and your home note or root note is hole 4 blow which can also be played as a chord. Blow note hole 4 is your home note that you use on the major diatonic scale and play do, re, me starting with blow hole 4 then you work around the home note to give the music some flare then go back to the home note blow 4 as you’re playing the melody.

The ten hole diatonic harmonica is used the most in folk music in North America and also found in Celtic and English music.

Some of the well known harmonica players that use this style are “Bob Dylan” and “Neil Young” which I’m sure you have probably heard of before. These two harmonica players are the most well known for first position playing.

They are other harmonica players that use this style as well but not as well known as the two I mentioned above. I wrote an earlier post on Bob Dylan that you can check out here>More Famous Harmonica Players

I stated earlier that folk harmonica is mostly blow notes but there are some draw notes involved as well. Some of the draw notes are also called bent notes because you bend the tuning of the reed down to the lower pitched reed. This is done by lowering your jaw and relaxing your mouth which brings the pitch down and is usually done on what is called the  higher register of the harmonica holes 7-10 in first position playing.

I wrote an earlier post on bending which you can check out here>Harmonica Bending! WOW!

Here’s a video of Bob dylan in 1963′ he’s using a harmonica holder around his neck so he  can have his hands free to play the guitar and the harmonica at the same time this is used quite a bit in folk  music.

 

Here’s another video of “Neil Young” using the harmonica holder around his neck also like Bob dylan in the first video playing a folk song that’s called “She Rides a Harley Davidson” 1993′ on the Jay leno show.

 

Some of the harmonicas used in this style of playing are the suzuki folkmaster , Hohner Marine band, Hohner Special 20 and the hohner crossover are just a few of the harmonicas offered for folk harmonica.

Here’s a instruction video on playing in the first position on a harmonica for folk music.

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I hope I’ve helped you to understand a little bit more about folk harmonica and straight harp or first position playing on the harmonica.

Have you ever heard of  folk harmonica?

Have you ever heard of straight harp?

Have you ever heard of first position on a harmonica?

Have you ever heard of Bob dylan?

Have you ever used a harmonica holder to play the guitar and the harmonica at the same time?

Have you ever heard of Neil Young?

Have you used this style of playing?

I would love to get your feedback on this please leave any comments or questions below and I will reply as soon as possible.

Thank you for visiting my website please come back in the future as I’m always adding new and exciting content!

larry@allaboutharmonicas.com

Have a blessed day!

Larry

 

 

Play Harmonica like the Greats!

Hello Harmonica Lovers!

I’m going to be talking about how to play harmonica like the greats like the title says. To play harmonica like a great harmonica player it takes time, patience and proper instructions to become a great harmonica player.

Every great harmonica player had to start from the beginning just like someone starting out to learn to play the harmonica for the first time. I wrote an earlier post on that subject that you can check out here>Learn Harmonica!

A lot of the earlier great harmonica players from the past didn’t have access to all the great harmonica teaching like they have now because of technology and the internet. Most of the harmonica players back then just learned from trial and error and imitating sounds that they heard on the radio.

Little Walter probably learned to play the harmonica by listening to vinyl records and imitating the other instruments that he heard on the record. Little Walter played a Hohner Marine Band Original 1896 Classic because that is what was available back then in the 1800’s.

Here’s an example of the harmonica he played back then click on the image for pricing! 

Today you can learn to play like the great harmonica players of the past and present by online instructions from professional harmonica instructor’s that can teach you the proper way to learn the harmonica,

You can also go online a bring up videos of great harmonica players and watch and play along with them. But of course to do this you would at least need to know the basics of playing the harmonica which I gave you in a link above in a highlighted text “learn harmonica”.

Here’s a video of Little Walter that you can watch and play to if you have the skills to.

 

This is one of Little Walter’s most famous songs “Juke”

Have you ever hear a great harmonica player?

Have you ever heard of Little Walter?

Have you ever played a Hohner Marine Band Original 1896?

What kind of harmonica do you play?

I would love to get your feedback on this please leave any comments or questions below and I will reply as soon as possible.

Thank you for visiting my website please come back in the future as I’m always adding  new and exciting content!

larry@allaboutharmonica.com

Have a blessed day!

Larry

Harmonica Bending! WOW!

Hello Harmonica Lovers!

I’m going to be talking about harmonica bending which always seems to be a subject that beginning harmonica players are scared of. Bending notes on a harmonica gives you that bluesy sound out of the harmonica that you hear a lot in blues and rock music.

There are some other kinds of music that use the technique of bending also such as Country Blues, and Jazz which Stevie Wonder who was famous for bending the chromatic harmonica. Normally the diatonic harmonica is the one most used in bending but the chromatic harmonica can be bent also like I talked about earlier with Stevie Wonder I wrote an earlier post about him that you can check out here>More famous Harmonica Players

“Bending”

The technique of bending changes the pressure of the airflow which allows the harmonica player to bend the pitch of the higher tuned reed down towards the pitch of the lower tuned reed.

  • Diatonic Harmonica – holes 1-6 can be bent down by drawing in on the harmonica and holes 7-10 can be bent by blowing on the harmonica.
  • Chromatic Harmonica- holes 1-7 can be bent on draw & blow notes both. Holes 8-11 can only be bent on draw notes.  Hole 12 can only be bent  on blow notes.
  • Draw Bends: Lower your jaw while raising the back of your tongue keeping  the air flow at the back of the tongue.
  • Blow Bends: Lower your jaw while raising the front of the tongue slightly keeping the airflow slightly behind the teeth.  

The hole that can be  bent the most is hole 3 on a C harmonica you can draw bend the hole from an Ab down to a G# an in between those notes.

Here’s a video on harmonica bending so you can see and hear an example of bending.

 

 

Have you ever heard of bending on the harmonica?

Have you ever heard a harmonica player do bending on the harmonica?

I would love to get your feedback on this please leave any comments or questions below and I  will reply as soon as possible.

Thank you for visiting my website please come back in the future as I’m always adding new and exciting content!

Have a blessed day!

Larry

Learn Harmonica!

Hello Harmonica Lovers!

I’m going to be talking about what it takes to learn harmonica and different ways that are available for you to learn. The way that I learned to play the harmonica was by listening to cassettes by all the great harmonica players for hours and hours on end trying to figure out what key of harmonica I needed to play along with them. Then I bought a book called “How to Play Harmonica Instantly” that’s a link to an earlier page that I wrote about Harmonica Books.

To learn harmonica today it’s a lot easier and  faster but you still have to put in the time   effort and practice. But there are a lot of other ways to learn than the way that I had to because of how advanced everything is today with the internet and videos you can now learn from professionals harmonica instructor’s online for free.

Here’s a couple of examples of harmonica books that you can check out below.


How to Play Blues Harp Instantly! DVD, Book & Hohner Harmonica
Hohner Kids PL-106 Musical Toys Play and Learn Harmonica

 

 

 

 

 

 


These are just a few of the books you can purchase right here through my website.


Now I’m going to show you an a how to video on learning to play the harmonica!


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This instructional video is just the first basic lesson in learning to play the harmonica.

I hope this post has helped you to better understand on what it takes to learn to play the harmonica.

Have you ever seen any of these way of learning to play the harmonica?

Have you ever seen either of the books above that I showed you?

Have you ever used any of these ways on learning to play the harmonica?

I would love to get your feedback on this please leave any comments or questions below and I will reply as soon as possible.

Thank you for visiting my website please come back in the future as I’m always adding new and  exciting content!

larry@allaboutharmoncas.com

Have a blessed day!

Larry

Diatonic Harmonica!

Diatonic harmonica is speaking about the different kinds of single-key harmonicas, that are available other than the chromatic harmonica. Like the Tremolo harmonica, Octave harmonica, and of course the most used diatonic harmonica the Blues harp!

Tremolo harmonica

The harmonica in the picture above is a harmonica with two reeds per note called  the Tremolo harmonica  this is referred to as the “Asia diatonic”

Octave harmonica

There’s the Octave harmonica with a curved look with two reeds per note just as the tremolo harmonica above and tuned with Weiner Octave tuning.

Blues harp

Then there’s the most popular diatonic harmonica the blues harp used in the United States and Europe. These harmonicas are Richter-tuned ten-hole harmonicas that are used in most music from Folk, Blues, Rock, Country, Jazz, and Beatbox.

Have you ever heard of a diatonic harmonica?

Have you ever seen a Tremolo harmonica?

Have you ever heard of the Tremolo harmonica called the “Asia diatonic”?

Have you ever seen, or heard of the Octave harmonica?

Have you ever heard of the term Blues harp?

I would love to get your feedback on this please leave any comments , or questions below, and I will reply as soon as possible.

Thank you for visiting my website, please come back in the future as I’m always adding new, and exciting content!

larry@allaboutharmonicas.com

Have a blessed day!

Larry