Tag Archives: Playing Harmonica

Harmonica MasterClass (Rob Paparozzi)

Hello Harmonica Lovers!

Rob Paparozzi”? 

Who is Rob Paparozzi? He was born in 1952′ in New Jersey as Robert Steven “Rob” Paparozzi and is still alive today performing at age (64) with his band “Psychotic Blues Band.”  Rob Paparozzi is well known in the harmonica world as a Grammy nominated American harmonica player who plays blues and blues rock who also sings along with being a session harmonica player of all styles blues, rock, jazz, classical, folk, pop, funk and country and records on CD’s and commercials.

Rob Paparozzi was first in interested in the harmonica in the 1960s’ when he heard Bob Dylan, Stevie Wonder and the Beatles with harmonica in their music on the radio. Then he heard Paul Butterfield playing the harmonica like it was a Saxophone or a Horn in his band called “Paul Butterfield Blues Band”  which really made Rob Paparozzi want to learn to play the harmonica and make him the Harmonica MasterClass he is today.

So, how come you’ve probably never heard of Rob Paparozzi?

That would be because he primarily played in the New Jersey area he did get to open with his band called the “Psychotic Blues Band” several times for “Bruce Springsteen” in New Jersey. He is also a member of the Original Blues Brother’s Band and lead singer for the famous band called “Blood Sweat & Tears.” In the 1960s’  Rob Paparozzi was interested in the sound of the harmonica when he heard Bob Dylan, Stevie Wonder and the Beatles music that had harmonica in it on his radio. But he really wanted to learn to plat the  harmonica when he heard Paul Butterfield playing the harmonica like it was a Saxophone or a Horn in his band the “Paul Butterfield Blues Band.”

Rob Paparozzi also has another band called “The Hudson River Rats” and have cut a couple of CD’s in 1994′ and 1999,’ In 2009′ Rob Paparozzi did a solo CD named “Etruscan Soul” Rob Paparozzi is consider one of the Harmonica MasterClass players of all time and has toured with great performers like George Jones, Cyndi Lauper, Dolly Parton, Judy Collins, Whitney Houston and many more…..

Rob Paparozzi has toured with a lot of different artist and styles of music which you can see by all the artist named above.

In 2017′ Rob Paparozzi is currently performing with his band called “Psychotic Blues Band”

Rob Paparozzi started out playing a $2 Hohner Marine Band key of C but when he realized that you have to have different harmonicas for all 12 keys he learned how to play the Chromatic harmonicaand learned all different styles of harmonica from blues to jazz to classical.

Rob Paparozzi & Toots Tillman

Here’s a picture of “Rob Paparozzi” with famous harmonica player “Toot Tillman.”

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s a video of Rob Paparozzi 

 

Here’s a video of Rob Paparozzi and “The Husdon River Rats”

Have you ever heard of Rob Paparozzi & The Hudson River Rats?

Have you heard Rob Paparozzi?

Have you ever heard of a Harmonica MasterClass player?

Do you know what a Chromatic harmonica is?

Have you ever played a Chromatic 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 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

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Harmonica Tunes!

Hello Harmonica Lovers!

 

This post is going to be on harmonica tunes for beginners, first of all you need a C harmonica, as most songs are in that key to start off with, when playing Straight Harp for simply melodies like “Mary had a little Lamb” and “Row, Row, Row your Boat.” Some of the easiest song to learn are these below. I have an example of a couple of the songs below, “Row, Row, Row your Boat” and “Mary had a Little Lamb”

 

  • Amazing Grace
  • Home On The Range
  • Oh Susanna
  • Heart Of Gold
  • Hey Jude
  • Piano Man
  • Somewhere Over The Rainbow
  • Happy Birthday

“Row, Row, Row your Boat”  key of C Harmonica (B-Blow)  (D-Draw)

4B 4B 4B 4D 5B                                                                                                                                                       5B 4D 5B 5D 6B                                                                                                                                                       7B 7B 7B 6B 6B 6B                                                                                                                                                   5B 5B 5B 4B 4B 4B                                                                                                                                                   6B 5D 5B 4D 4B

As you can see from the example above, this is what they call First Position Playing, which is also referred to as Straight Harp Playing, which is mostly blow notes when played on the harmonica. Here’s another example of a beginners song “Mary had a Little Lamb” (B-Blow) (D-Draw)

5B 4D 4B 4B 5B 5B 5B                                                                                                                                           4D 4D 4D 5B 6B 6B                                                                                                                                                 5B 4D 4B 4D 5B 5B 5B                                                                                                                                           4D 4D 5B 4D 4B

 

As you can see, there are a lot of similarity of the song above this one “Row,Row,Row your Boat” has basically the same pattern of Blow,and Draw for First position Playing. This is also a lot of Melody Songs, to learn the basics on the harmonica, everyone starts  here when they start, learning to play the harmonica.  I did when I first started to learn the harmonica, you have to start from somewhere. I would suggest to purchase a quality harmonica to start off with, the Hohner Special 20 key of C is a really good harmonica from beginners to professionals.   It’s better to spend a little more money, to get a quality harmonica,  which will make it a lot easier, and more pleasurable to learn on, than a cheaper harmonica that is not airtight. You can purchase a quality harmonica from my website Here>Quality Harmonica!

I hope this post helps someone out, that may be thinking about learning to play the harmonica!

Have you ever wanted to learn the harmonica?

Have you ever tried to play the harmonica?

Have you heard other people play the harmonica?

Would you purchase a harmonica from my website?

Do you need help finding the right 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, and please come back in the future as I’m always adding new ,and exciting content!

larry@allaboutharmonicas.com

Have a blessed day!

Larry

Harmonica Lessons!

Hello Harmonica Lovers!

This post is going to be on harmonica lessons. I wrote a post earlier on harmonica lessons, which I talked about the difference between, when I first started to play the harmonica there was no internet, or free online courses like they offer now. The way that I learned how to play the harmonica, was from a book, with lot’s of practice, patience, and time with my own motivation.

Now because of technology, and the internet it’s a lot easier to learn faster with less bad habits, and professional instructors teaching online for Free! Yes I said Free! There is a lot of free professional instructor courses online, that also offer the ability to purchase online courses with CD Packs so you can practice over, and over at you own pace.

One of my earlier post talks about what’s Hot, and what’s Not! You can check that out right here>harmonica lessons     

The harmonica book that I learned from is called “How to play the Harmonica Instantly” which I paid $10 for it in the 60’s  the same book is offered now, but comes with a blues harmonica, and a blues CD Pack for $27.99 more money but more value.

The best way to get harmonica lessons if you can afford it, would be with a professional Instructor one, on one, lesson which are usually $100 an hour. That is why most people learn from books, CD’s, or online courses. Some of the lessons that they offer are for beginners to professionals from A-Z they teach you everything from the basics, of  learning simple melodies to playing single notes.

Some of the online instructors are David Barrett, Ronnie Shellist, Jason Ricci, Adam Gussow, Howard Levy, and J.P. Allen which is an instructor that I suggest I purchased a CD lesson Pack thru J.P. Allen that has helped me become a better harmonica player, even after playing for 25yrs.

You can always learn something new, you’re never too old, I’m 65, and still learning new skills on the harmonica.

Have you ever taken harmonica lessons?

Did you know about free online lessons?

Have you ever hear of, any of these harmonica instructor’s?

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, and please com back in the future, as I’m always adding new, and exciting content!

larry@allaboutharmonicas.com

Have a blessed day!

Larry

 

Playing Harmonica!

Hello Harmonica Lovers!

I’m going to be talking about playing harmonica a long time ago, when I learned to play the harmonica, you learned from a harmonica book that taught you the basics of playing chords, and melodies, and single note playing, and simple songs like “Mary had a Little Lamb,” and “Row Row Row your Boat.”  It took time, a lot of practice, and self motivation because you had to do everything for yourself, without personal help from harmonica instructor’s online like you can get now because of technology.

I just found the harmonica book, that I learned from, on amazon through my website. The name of the book is “How to play Harmonica Instantly ” by- Marcos. When I bought the book back in the 70’s it cost ($10) now you get the same book a harmonica, and a Blues CD Kit for ($27.99) that’s a great deal. I guess what worked then, still works now, just with the CD it makes it a little easier to learn. You still have to be motivated, and practice a lot.

This day an age most people learn how to play the harmonica, from free online instructors you can google harmonica lessons, and you will come up with a number of different harmonica instructor’s that are free. They have Training CD Packs, and products that you can purchase online, that help you to learn to play the harmonica. Some examples are Ronnie Shellist, Adam Gussow, David Barrett, Howard Levy, Jason Ricci, JP Allen, and more. I have a link on an earlier post I did you access here> harmonica lessons.

I’ve actually been playing harmonica for about 25yrs and have purchased CD lessons from JP Allen, and I’ve learned a lot online from Ronnie Shellist, and Jason Ricci to name a few. You’re  never too old to learn something new, I’m 65yrs old, and play professional harmonica now, 100 shows a year part time.  If I can help you out, to learn to play the harmonica the proper way, instead of learning bad habits, from the start, that will make you a better player in the long run, if you continue to pursue the harmonica.

I hope this post gives you a little bit more understanding on what it takes to play the harmonica.

Have you ever tried to play the harmonica?

Have you ever used books to learn to play the harmonica?

Have you ever used online instructors, to learn how 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@allaboutharmonicas.com

Have a blessed day!

Larry

Different Pricing of Harmonicas

Hello Harmonica Lovers!

“Harmonica Prices”

I’m going to talking about the best harmonica for the price depending on the quality and craftsmanship of the harmonica. Harmonicas range from $10 to $100 or more depending on if it’s a custom harmonica which can be more expensive than a manufacture like Hohner or Lee Oskar or Suzuki these brands have harmonicas that are in the range around $60 but purchased through my website they range around $40 so you save money. Ok less talk about the less expensive harmonicas and the craftsmanship and price of these harmonicas.

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A less expensive harmonica would be a Silver Swan diatonic 10-hole harmonica that sells for around $10 with S&H purchased from my website normally around $15. Harmonicas that are less expensive are not airtight which makes them harder to play and you must put more air through them but are still a playable harmonica. It’s all about what you’re looking for in a harmonica and personal choice.

One of my favorite harmonicas and the one I use mostly in my Shows is the Hohner Special 20 Major Diatonic 10- hole harmonica which sells for about $60 but purchased through my website they sell for about $40 you save money again. The Hohner Special 20 is used by Harmonica Great “John Popper” from the (Blues Travelers Band) and other great harmonica players.

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The Special 20 is a Quality harmonica that is airtight and easy to play right out of the box and easy to bend notes this harmonica is used in Rock, Country, Blues & Folk music. I prefer the Hohner Special 20 over the Hohner Marine Band because I perform a lot of shows on the beaches of Florida which has salty ocean air which is not good for your harmonicas especially the Hohner Marine Band because it has a wood comb in it which causes swelling and shrinking where the Hohner Special 20 has a plastic comb and can withstand the elements of the weather better than the wood comb. I covered this in an earlier post about the care of your harmonica!  

The Marine Band 1896/20 named for the year it was brought into the harmonica world famous for its twenty reeds this harmonica has been one of the most popular models from Hohner for years. The Marine Band has a wood comb which I mentioned earlier that can swell and shrink so better used indoors than outdoors. Some of the harmonica greats that play this harmonica are Bob Dylan, John Lennon, Bruce Springsteen, Neil Young and Little Walter this harmonica is used for Blues and Rock primarily. Over the years Hohner has perfected their craft and introduced several new models that can handle the elements of the weather better such as the Hohner Crossover which has a bamboo comb and is sealed for avoiding moisture which causes swelling and shrinking in the Marine Band. I have an earlier post on Hohner Crossover that you can check out tells you all about the hohner crossover harmonica and all the upgrades that it has and it’s pricing.

Please let me know what you think about the different pricing of harmonicas?

Please let me know what you think about the difference in the qualities of the harmonicas that I talked about?

What kind of price and quality do you prefer in a harmonica?

I would love to hear 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 & exciting content!

Have a blessed day!

Larry

 

The Care of your Harmonica!

Hello Harmonica Lovers!

(Take Care of your Harmonica)

I’m going to be talking about harmonica maintenance taking care of your harmonica so that it performs better and is clean inside and out to be able to give you a long enjoyable time with your harmonica. It also allows you to not have to replace your harmonicas so quickly. Just like other wind instruments harmonicas get moisture in them which can create a problem when playing them it also can create rust on the outside cover plate. The best way to keep your harmonica clean while playing it is to tap your harmonica on your hand to get the moisture out then wipe it off with a soft cloth.

Always store your harmonicas in a case the best cases are hard cases to protect your harmonica from the weather and from dropping it and keeping it from dust. If you look into a single case for your harmonica you can choose the one you need they come in hard and soft style if you need a case for more than one harmonica you might want to look into cases for harmonicas in different sizes and styles which can store 12 diatonic a couple of larger harmonicas and even a your microphone it’s a smart investment.

Here’s a picture of a couple of harmonica cases that mentioned above!


Harmonica Case (Hard Style) holds 12 diatonic harmonicas and one Chromatic harmonica
Harmonica Case (Soft Style) ‘holds one diatonic harmonica


Avoid extreme temperatures if you’re using wood comb harmonicas as they are susceptible to temperature change subjected to shrinking and swelling. Plastic combs are more tolerant to weather and temperatures and have a longer lifespan than the wood combs. Avoid excessive moisture (NEVER DUNK YOUR HARMONICAS INTO WATER, BEER OR ANY KIND OF LIQUID!) Even if it’s a plastic comb harmonica it can rust the reed plates, reeds, bolts and screws. Avoid dust and any other particles in your harmonicas dust can interfere with the movement of the reed making it sound different. Never eat and play your harmonicas food particles can clog up your harmonica. Avoid the Beach if possible salty air can cause rust on your reeds which shortens the lifespan of the harmonica.

Routine Cleaning: After playing your harmonica shake it a little bit and tap it against the palm of your hand to knock the moisture out of it wipe it off with a clean soft cloth. Every so often use rubbing alcohol and cotton balls to clean the cover plates and mouthpiece

Heavy Cleaning: 1: Lay a towel down remove cover plate screws some cover plates use Phillips head screws and some use Flat head screws use the appropriate screwdriver to remove the screws from the cover plates “don’t lose the screws.” Spray both sides of the cover plates with rubbing alcohol then wipe with a clean soft cloth.
2: Remove reed plates: remove screws from the reed plates and place in a safe place for reassembly.

3: Soak the reed plates: soak the reed plates in a solution of warm water and vinegar or lemon juice let soak for a half hour.

4: Clean the comb: while the red plates are soaking clean the comb with soap & water if it’s a plastic comb use a soft toothbrush to remove the deposits off the comb. You can also spray the comb with rubbing alcohol and brush it with a soft toothbrush.

5: Clean the reed plates: Remove the reed plates from the soaking solution use a soft toothbrush to brush the reed plate gently brush the reed plates along the reed from the rivets down don’t brush against the reeds or snag it this can damage the reeds. Then run the reed plates under warm water to rinse it off.

6: Reassemble: Let all parts of the harmonica dry completely before reassembly tighten all the screw evenly and gradually before tightening them as far as they go. make sure you put you put the right screws into the reed plates & cover plates they are different screws.

 

“TAKE CARE OF YOUR INSTRUMENT AND IT WILL HAVE A LONG HAPPY LIFE!”

Please let me know what you think about my post on the care of your harmonica?

Have you ever used any of these suggestions on the care of your harmonica?

How long do your harmonicas last?

I would love to hear your feedback and know what you think 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 to my website!

Have a blessed day!

Larry