Harmonica Beginners


Start at the basics - and finish playing one of the best known blues songs ever!

This 4 session course is structured to allow you to learn different skills in each session, practice between the lessons, and then revise in the next class and use them to lean new songs. Thus building upon your knowledge and skill base each lesson. 

Start at the basics – a nursery rhyme – so that you don’t have to worry about the song, just concentrate on getting to know the harmonica. After 4 sessions, you’ll finish playing one of the best known blues songs ever – Hoochie Coochie Man!

You will need to practise each day in between the classes in order to become proficient – about 30 minutes a day minimum. But who can stop at 30 minutes?!

Dates for Term 3 are: 

  • Day 1: 15 August
  • Day 2: 29 August
  • Day 3: 19 September
  • Day 4: 26 September

Day 1

The Diatonic Harmonica and how it works

Producing a single note

The Major Scale

Simple tunes (Nursery Rhymes & Amazing Grace)

Day 2

Multiple Notes & Playing Chords

Being expressive: The Wah and the Slide

Introduction to bending Notes

Heart of Gold (Neil Young)

Day 3

Train sounds (obligatory for a Blues player!) 

Chugga Chug

The Whistle

Practise Bending

Mystery Train

Day 4

Bending

Head Rolls

Hoochie Coochie Man (Muddy Waters)


Materials List

You will need a Diatonic Harmonica (often called a Blues Harp) in the Key of C. I recommend (and can supply at cost) the Hohner Special 20 – a robust, inexpensive, professional instrument. All teaching material will be supplied – bring a pen to make some notes.

Tutor: Matthew Roberts

Trained in Harmonica by the great Jim Conway, Matthew has been teaching almost as long as he can remember. As a multi-instrumentalist he understands what the harmonica can do for a band as well as solo playing. Since he was originally trained as a guitar player, Matthew is able to accompany the students as they master the harmonica skills through the course. He has played with Phil Manning (Chain), Robert ‘Soul Kinda Feelin’ Susz, George Washingmachine, and many others.