C G The Cycle of Fifths D E A B Gb / F# Eb Ab F

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C G The Cycle of Fifths D E A B Gb / F# Eb Ab F
30.
MAJOR SCALES - CYCLE OF FIFTHS - KEYBOARD ILLUSTRATION
C
Major scales adding b’s
Major scales adding #’s
F
G
C maj C D E F G A B C
F maj F G A Bb C D E F
Bb
Ascending 4ths
Descending 5ths
(anticlockwise)
Ascending 5ths
Descending 4ths
(clockwise)
C maj C D E F G A B C
D
G maj G A B C D E F# G
Bb maj Bb C D Eb F G A Bb
Eb maj Eb F G Ab Bb C D Eb
D maj D E F# G A B C# D
The Cycle of
Fifths
Eb
A
Ab maj Ab Bb C Db Eb F G Ab
Db maj Db Eb F Gb Ab Bb C Db
E maj E F# G# A B C# D# E
Ab
E
Gb maj Gb Ab Bb Cb Db Eb F Gb
Cb maj Cb Db Eb Fb Gb Ab Bb Cb
A maj A B C# D E F# G# A
B maj B C# D# E F# G# A# B
F# maj F# G# A# B C# D# E# F#
Db
B
C# maj C# D# E# F# G# A# B# C#
Gb / F#
Created by
Gary Collinson
31.
SCALES, CHORDS and HARMONICA POSITIONS.
32.
Ascending chromatic scale commencing on C
C C# D
D# E
F F# G G# A A# B
C
Descending chromatic scale commencing on C
C Db D Eb E
F Gb G Ab A Bb B
C
Using the chromatic scale, create the major scale using the W W H W W W H ( T T S T T T S ) principle.
C chromatic scale ( ascending )
C major scale
C C# D D# E F F# G G# A A# B C
C
D
E F
G
A
B C
Using the degrees of the major scale, create the I, IV and V chords.
The I, IV and V chords are also referred to as the Tonic chord, Subdominant chord and Dominant chord.
C major scale C D E F G A B C
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
I
IV V
I ( Tonic )
= C chord
IV (Subdominant ) = F chord
V ( Dominant )
= G chord
The I, IV and V chords are used to play a 12 bar blues. These chords will always have the same relationship to
each other having been formed on degrees I, IV, and V of a major scale. These three chords can be either Major,
Minor, or 7th Chords depending on the type of character you want your music to have.
To play diatonic harmonica as an accompaniment to these 3 chords, choose a harmonica which contains notes
the same as the 3 chords ( I, IV and V ). Use the Note Layout Chart to assist you.
C major scale I, IV and V chords = C chord, F chord and G chord.
Diatonic harmonica notes required to accompany = C, F and G.
C major diatonic harmonica note C 1st hole blow, 4th hole blow
( first postion )
note F 2nd hole draw bend 2 semitones,
note G 2nd hole draw, 6th hole blow
5th hole draw
F major diatonic harmonica note C 2nd hole draw
( second position )
note F 1st hole blow, 4th hole blow
note G 1st hole draw, 4th hole draw
Bb major diatonic harmonica note C 1st hole draw, 4th hole draw
( third position )
note F 2nd hole draw
note G 3rd hole draw bend 2 semitones,
6th hole draw
Created by Gary Collinson, 98 Essex Street, Wembley 6014, Western Australia. Tel. 08 – 93873030 ( tuition, performance, recording )
33.
C
F
Bb
G
Ascending 4ths
Descending 5ths
(anticlockwise)
Ascending 5ths
Descending 4ths
(clockwise)
D
Diatonic
Harmonica
Positions
Eb
A
using
Ab
Db
The Cycle of
Fifths
E
B
Gb / F#
The Cycle of Fifths is a musical
theory diagram which can be used as
a reference for determining which
diatonic harmonica to use.
Once the key of the music is known,
start at that point and move
anticlockwise to determine the
harmonica positions from the 1st to
the 12th position.
For example, to accompany music in
the key of C, you can use
C harmonica in 1st position
F harmonica in 2nd position
Bb harmonica in 3rd position
Eb harmonica in 4th position
and so on.
The Cycle of Fifths can also be used
to determine the I, IV and V chords.
The I chord is the same as the key of
the music starting point.
Moving one step anticlockwise
equates to the IV chord.
Moving one step clockwise equates to
the V chord.
WHEN ACCOMPANYING, ONCE YOU KNOW THE KEY OF THE MUSIC,
WHICH DIATONIC HARMONICA DO YOU SELECT ?
Created by Gary Collinson
WHICH HARMONICA POSITION DO YOU CHOOSE ? ( tuition, performance, recording )
1st
position
harmonica
C
G
D
A
E
B
F#
Db
Ab
Eb
Bb
F
2nd
position
harmonica
F
C
G
D
A
E
B
F#
Db
Ab
Eb
Bb
3rd
position
harmonica
Bb
F
C
G
D
A
E
B
F#
Db
Ab
Eb
KEY
of
Music
C
G
D
A
E
B
F#
Db
Ab
Eb
Bb
F
I chord
Tonic
1st degree
C
G
D
A
E
B
F#
Db
Ab
Eb
Bb
F
IV chord
Subdom.
4th degree
F
C
G
D
A
E
B
Gb F#
Db
Ab
Eb
Bb
V chord
Dominant
5th degree
G
D
A
E
B
F#
C#
Ab
Eb
Bb
F
C
Major Scale
for key of music
CDEFGABC
G A B C D E F# G
D E F# G A B C# D
A B C# D E F# G# A
E F# G# A B C# D# E
B C# D# E F# G# A# B
F# G# A# B C# D# E# F#
Db Eb F Gb Ab Bb C Db
Ab Bb C Db Eb F G Ab
Eb F G Ab Bb C D Eb
Bb C D Eb F G A Bb
F G A Bb C D E F
This is a reference table for the commonly used 1st, 2nd and 3rd harmonica positions displayed across the 12
music keys. The respective major scale and the associated I, IV and V chords are included. These three chords
can be either Major, Minor, or 7th Chords depending on the character you want your music to have.
For example, to accompany music in the key of C, the player can choose
a C harmonica in 1st position, an F harmonica in 2nd position or a Bb harmonica in 3rd position,
For music in the key of C, the associated chords are C, F and G, being the I, IV and V chords respectively.
These are derived from the 1st, 4th and 5th degrees of the C Major scale, C D E F G A B C ( 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 ).
The note matching the key of the music, played on a harmonica in 1st position is the 1 and 4 hole blow,
played in 2nd position is the 2 hole draw, whilst played in 3rd position is 1 and 4 hole draw.
For example, using the music key of C, and referring to “ Note Layout Chart for Diatonic Harmonicas ”,
playing a C harmonica in 1st position, the music key note is the 1 and 4 hole blow, which are C notes,
playing an F harmonica in 2nd position, the music key note is the 2 hole draw, which again is a C note,
whilst for a Bb harmonica in 3rd position, the music key note is 1 and 4 hole draw which are also C notes.
34.
CREATING THE CYCLE OF FIFTHS USING THE 12 MAJOR SCALES
Ascending chromatic scale commencing on C
C C# D D# E
F F# G G# A A# B
C
C Db D Eb E
F Gb G Ab A Bb B
C
Descending chromatic scale commencing on C
Using the chromatic scale, create the major scale using the W W H W W W H ( T T S T T T S ) principle.
C chromatic scale ( ascending )
C major scale
C C# D D# E F F# G G# A A# B C
C
D
E F
G
A
B C
C major scale repeated across 3 octaves C D E F G A B C D E F G A B C D E F G A B C
Descending 4th of C major scale C D E F G A B C
Ascending 5th of C major scale C D E F G A B C
1 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 1
Descending 5th of C major scale C D E F G A B C
1 7 6 5 4 3 2
Ascending 4th of C major scale C D E F G A B C
1
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 1
Major scale with ascending 5th underlined
C
F
C major C D E F G A B C
G
G major G A B C D E F#
Bb
Ascending 4ths
Descending 5ths
(anticlockwise)
Ascending 5ths
Descending 4ths
(clockwise)
D
A major A B C# D E F# G# A
Diatonic
Harmonica
Positions
Eb
E major E F# G# A B C# D# E
A
Db
The Cycle of
Fifths
B major B C# D# E F# G# A# B
F# major F# G# A# B C# D# E# F#
using
Ab
D major D E F# G A B C# D
Gb major Gb Ab Bb Cb Db Eb F Gb
E
Db major Db Eb F Gb Ab Bb C Db
Ab major Ab Bb C Db Eb F G Ab
B
Gb / F#
Created by Gary Collinson, 98 Essex Street, Wembley 6014, Western Australia.
Tel. 08 – 93873030 ( tuition, performance, recording )
Eb major Eb F G Ab Bb C D Eb
Bb major Bb C D Eb F G A Bb
F major
F G A Bb C D E F
35.
36.
HARMONICA PHYSICS
HARMONICA CONSTRUCTION - SIDE VIEW
COVER - Top
Blow
REEDPLATE with attached REED over SLOT
LIPS &
MOUTH
COMB with 10 chambers
REEDPLATE with attached REED over SLOT
COVER - Bottom
Draw
The 10 hole diatonic harmonica has
- top and bottom exterior cover plates
- an inner comb with 10 chambers of varying sizes
- top and bottom reed plates with reeds secured to the plates over slots
The result is a harmonica with 10 holes, 20 reeds, 10 blow notes, 10 draw notes,
giving 19 different notes ( 2 draw is the same note as 3 blow ), spanning 3 octaves.
The 1 hole blow note represents the key note of the harmonica and associated major scale
For example, on a C harmonica, 1 hole blow is the note C,
and the harmonica is tuned to the C major scale ( C D E F G A B C ). See Note Layout Chart.
It may be useful to purchase a cheap harmonica which you can disassemble to view the
inner construction and workings of the diatonic harmonica eg.Hohner’s budget “Silver Star”
Blow Notes
Blow reeds are secured at front of the top reed plate.
The reeds sit inside the comb chamber.
When air is blown into the comb chamber the blow reed vibrates towards the reed plate slot.
Draw Notes
Draw reeds are secured at the back of the bottom reed plate.
The reeds sit outside the comb chamber.
When air is drawn into the comb chamber the draw reed vibrates towards the reed plate slot.
Created by Gary Collinson, 98 Essex Street, Wembley 6014, Western Australia. Tel. 08 – 93873030 ( tuition, performance, recording )
37.
HARMONICA PHYSICS
KEYBOARD ILLUSTRATION OF CHROMATIC SCALE
Ascending chromatic scale commencing on C
C C# D
D# E
F F# G G# A A# B
C
Descending chromatic scale commencing on C
C Db D Eb E
F Gb G Ab A Bb B
C
NOTE LAYOUT FOR C DIATONIC HARMONICA
overblow
bend 2 semitones
bend 1 semitone
Blow
C harmonica
Draw
bend 1 semitone
bend 2 semitones
bend 3 semitones
overdraw
C major scale
C
Eb
C
1
D
Db
Ab
E
2
G
Gb
F
C
G
3
B
Bb
A
Ab
Eb
C
4
D
Db
Gb
E
5
F
Bb
G
6
A
Ab
C
7
B
Eb
E
8
D
Gb
G
9
F
Bb
B
C
10
A
Db
F
Ab
Db
D E F G A B C
Created by Gary Collinson, 98 Essex Street, Wembley 6014, Western Australia. Tel. 08 – 93873030 ( tuition, performance, recording )
HARMONICA PHYSICS - BENDING
38.
Apologies - this page is under revision.
Created by Gary Collinson, 98 Essex Street, Wembley 6014, Western Australia. Tel. 08 – 93873030 ( tuition, performance, recording )
39.
Marion “LITTLE WALTER” Jacobs’ career took off when he recorded as a bandleader for Chess' subsidiary label Checker Records on May 12th, 1952.
The first completed take of the first song attempted at his debut session was a hit.
"JUKE" was on the Billboard magazine R&B charts for 20 weeks beginning in September 1952, including eight weeks at #1.
It is still the only harmonica instrumental ever to become a #1 hit on the R&B charts.
Three other harmonica instrumentals by Little Walter also reached the Billboard R&B top 10.
"Off the Wall" reached #8, "Roller Coaster" achieved #6, and "Sad Hours" reached the #2 position (while Juke was still on the charts).
Little Walter scored fourteen top-ten hits on the Billboard R&B charts between 1952 and 1958, including two #1 hits, the second being "My Babe" in 1955.
Following the pattern of "Juke", most of Little Walter's single releases in the 1950s featured a vocal on one side, and an instrumental on the other.
Many of Walter's numbers were originals which he or Willie Dixon wrote or adapted and updated from earlier blues themes.
SING - ALONG “ DO - RE - MI ”
40.
ROGERS AND HAMMERSTEIN’S “ THE SOUND OF MUSIC ”
As well as playing the harmonica, being able to sing greatly increases your performance opportunities.
Singing is also very good for your musicality.
Why not start now with this perennial favourite, “ Do – Re – Mi ”, which superbly illustrates the major
scale. Alternatively, you could “ Whistle whilst you work ”.
Do – re – mi – fa – so – la – ti – do
Doe, a deer, a female deer.
Ray, a drop of golden sun.
Me, a name I call myself.
Far, a long, long way to run.
Sew, a needle pulling thread.
La, a note to follow sew.
Tea, a drink with jam and bread.
That will bring us back to Do oh, oh, oh.
Doe, a deer, a female deer.
Ray, a drop of golden sun.
Me, a name I call myself.
Far, a long, long way to run.
Sew, a needle pulling thread.
La, a note to follow sew.
Tea, a drink with jam and bread.
That will bring us back to,
Do – re – mi – fa – so – la – ti – do,
Do – ti – la– so – fa – mi – re– do.
As well as learning to sing, it will be very useful if you can read music and understand music theory.
Why not commence learning these three important musical skills at the same time as you learn how to play
the harmonica.
Created by Gary Collinson, 98 Essex Street, Wembley 6014, Western Australia. Tel. 08 – 93873030 ( tuition, performance, recording )
Key To The Highway – Big Bill Broonzy
Hate To See You Go – Little Walter
You’re So Fine – Little Walter
I've got the key, to the highway,
billed out and bound to go
I'm gonna leave here running,
because, walkin' is most too slow
Girl left me, left me here to cry
Know I love her, know she's my desire
Know she's my desire
Know she's my desire
Know she's my desire
Know she's my desire
You're so fine,
wanna love you all the time
You're so fine pretty baby,
let me love you all the time
I'm goin' back to the border,
where I'm better known
Because, you haven't done nothin',
but drove, a good man away from home
Give me one more kiss, mama,
just before I go
I'm gonna leave this town,
girl I, won't be back no more
When the moon peep over the mountain,
honey, I'll be on my way
I'm gonna roam this highway,
until the break of day
Well it's so long, so long baby,
I'm gonna say goodbye
I'm gonna roam this highway,
until the day I die
Came home this mornin', about half past four
Found that note, layin' on my floor
Gone away leave you, you just don't know
heard some bad talk, somethin' that you said
Somethin' that you said
Somethin' that you said
Come on back baby, honey please don't go
Whoaw I love you, you'll never know
You'll never know
You'll never know
You'll never know
My kind of baby, you know it's so
I can tell you, you know it ain't no joke
No it ain't no joke
Come on back baby, don't do me wrong
You know I love you, please come back home
Come on back home
Come on back home
41.
Well I got a girl she's fine and brown,
what I like about her, she's mine all mine
She's so fine,
yes, she's so fine
You're so fine pretty baby,
let me love you all the time
Well I wanna give you all my money,
buy you diamond, everything
Till you be mine, baby,
then we will make amends
You're so fine,
yeah, you're so fine
You are a fine healthy thing,
I wanna love you all the time
Now you fill my conversation baby,
made me talk myself to death
I'm in love with you baby and I don't want nobody else
You're so fine,
yeah, you're so fine
You are a fine healthy thing,
I wanna love you all the time
Yeah you're so fine baby, let me love you all the time
Harry’s Blues Lyrics Online
blueslyrics.tripod.com
( scroll to the bottom of the home page
to find the menu which includes
blues history, language and lyrics )
Now you know I love you baby,
and I just can't help myself
I'm goin' crazy 'cause you're lovin' someone else
You're so fine,
yeah, you're so fine
You are a fine healthy thing,
let me love you all the time
42..
RESOURCES
The more you search, the more you find.
INTERNET WEB SITES
Harmonica West - The Harmonica Club of Western Australia
43.
www.harmonicawest.org.au
The Diatonic Harmonica Reference
www.angelfire.com/tx/myquill
( very comprehensive, non commercial )
Artist Listing - Harmonica Masterclass Co.
www.harmonicamasterclass.com/artist_listing.htm
( extensive list of relevant harmonica players, along with CD recordings including track lists with harmonica keys
and positions )
You Tube www.youtube.com search for artist, song or topic
Amazon.com www.amazon.com online.
( retailer of music plus books, movies etc, use search facility to check out and sample various artists’ recordings )
David Barrett’s Harmonica Masterclass Company.
www.harmonicamasterclass.com
( blues harmonica education including workshops, instructional material, vintage collection, lesson series, links )
David Barrett’s BluesHarmonica.com www.bluesharmonica.com
( online blues harmonica education website, monthly subscription $16.95 US via paypal )
SPAH Society for the preservation and advancement of the harmonica
www.spah.org
Wikipedia The Free Encylopedia Harmonica
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harmonica
Wikipedia The Free Encylopedia Blues
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blues
The Blues Harp
www.bluesharp.ca
( virtual harmonica museum , biographies with photos of blues harmonica legends )
Harmonica Links.Com – everything harmonica online
www.harmonicalinks.com
Harmonica Instruments ( Cbel harmonica instruments music sites )
( over 150 links to harmonica related web sites )
www.cbel.com/harmonica_instruments
HarpTab.com www.harptab.com
( harmonica tablature for hundreds of songs, also links to other sites including Harp Links www.harplinks.com )
Jim' giant harmonica songbook www.volcano.net/~jackmearl/songs/index.htm
( 605 songs in alphabetical order tabulated for you )
You're Darn Tootin' ! Glenn Weiser's Harmonica Pages
www.celticguitarmusic.com/harppage.htm
JT 30.com www.jt30.com
( site named after the legendary Astatic JT 30 microphone )
Modern Blues Harmonica – Adam Gussow www.modernbluesharmonica.com
( also see You Tube - Adam Gussow’s Dirty South Blues Harp Channel - Blues Harmonica Secrets Revealed )
Created by Gary Collinson, 98 Essex Street, Wembley 6014, Western Australia. Tel. 08 – 93873030 ( tuition, performance, recording )
44.
RESOURCES
INTERNET WEB SITES
The more you search, the more you find.
Overblow.com www.overblow.com
( overblow technique, harp modifications, chord and scale finder )
Harp Amps www.harpamps.com
( guide to harmonica amplifiers )
Harp On ! Chromatic Harmonica Reference
www.angelfire.com/music/HarpOn
Hohner Harmonicas www.hohnerusa.com/harmonica.htm
Lee Oskar Harmonicas www.leeoskar.com
(harmonicas with standard and altered tunings, replacement reed plates, harmonica links )
Brendan Power www.brendan-power.com
( professional harmonica player and maker, custom harps, instructional material, music downloads )
Mando Harps www.mandoharp.com
( instrument sales including harmonicas and microphones based in rural north NSW,
Dane Clarke is the friendly sales representative, email [email protected] , telephone 02- 65685545 )
Coast to coast music www.coast2coastmusic.com/diatonic
Joe Filisko www.filisko.com
( customizer , historian, performer , educator )
Ozwinds brass & woodwind www.ozwinds.com.au
( internet sales of harmonicas, Melbourne )
Harry’s Blues Lyrics Online // blueslyrics.tripod.com
( scroll to the bottom of the home page to find the menu which includes blues history, language and lyrics )
Howard Levy www.levyland.com
( biography, CD’s, DVD’s, discussion of overblows and overdraws, gig guide )
Carlos Del Junco www.carlosdeljunco.com
( biography, CD’s, harmonica links )
Pat Missin www.patmissin.com
( biography , FAQ , harmonica gallery , links , articles )
Toots Thielemans
www.tootsthielemans.com
( legendary jazz chromatic harmonica performer )
Franz Chmel – Classic Harmonica www.chmel.at
( chromatic harmonica player specialising in classical music )
Harmonica museum www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/
( amazing collection of harmonicas titled “ mouthorganman's photostream ” 174 items over 10 pages )
Created by Gary Collinson, 98 Essex Street, Wembley 6014, Western Australia. Tel. 08 – 93873030 ( tuition, performance, recording )
RESOURCES
INTERNET WEB SITES
Living Blues Magazine
The more you search, the more you find.
www.livingblues.com
The official Little Walter biography website
www.littlewalter.net
Customized diatonic harmonicas www.customharmonicas.com
( customized diatonic harmonicas made by Joe Filisko, Richard Sleigh and James Gordon )
Richard Sleigh
rsleigh.com/
( harmonica tools, harp tech instruction, customized harmonicas, playing instruction )
Neil Graham Custom Harmonicas www.neilgraham.com.au
Perth Blues Club
www.perthbluesclub.com
Bluzmail - To keep up with Blues around Perth and W.A., Contact Warren at [email protected]
Write down your favourite web sites here.
Created by Gary Collinson, 98 Essex Street, Wembley 6014, Western Australia. Tel. 08 – 93873030 ( tuition, performance, recording )
45.
RESOURCES
46.
LOOK LISTEN LEARN
RECORDED MUSIC
Listen to and play along with the recorded music of the many great harmonica players.
For a comprehensive list of relevant harmonica players,
along with their CD recordings, including track lists with harmonica keys and positions,
refer to the internet web site, Harmonica Masterclass Co. ( Related Topics – Artist Song Listing ).
www.harmonicamasterclass.com/artist_listing.htm
READING
Harmonicas, Harps, and Heavy Breathers ( updated edition ) by Kim Field.
Blues With A Feeling - The Little Walter Story by Tony Glover, Scott Dirks and Ward Gaines.
Can’t Be Satisfied - The Life And Times Of Muddy Waters by Robert Gordon.
How To Read Music by James Sleigh and Mike Sheppard ( free bonus material downloadable to your computer )
The Music and Performing Arts Library ( State Reference Library / Alexander Library ) has instructional
music books for loan.
DVD - Watch the performances of the great harmonica players in action on DVD.
TASKS FOR COMPUTER / INTERNET - tasks you can do on your computer.
1. HARMONICA MASTERCLASS - ARTIST LISTING
Access the web site and go to artist listing pages.
Harmonica Masterclass Co. ( Related Topics – Artist Song Listing ).
www.harmonicamasterclass.com/artist_listing.htm
This is a comprehensive list of harmonica players along with their CD recordings, including track lists
with harmonica keys and positions.
2. AMAZON - Check out and sample the artists’ recordings, go to amazon and search.
www.amazon.com
3. YOU TUBE - View performances of the great harmonica players in action, go to you tube and search.
www.youtube.com
4. WMP ( Windows Media Player ) ENHANCEMENTS - Using WMP to adjust Play Speed Settings.
To study artist recordings in detail, you may want to use Windows Media Player to slow down the play speed
of the recording.
Once the recording has been ripped to Windows Media Player, you can adjust the play speed without altering
the pitch, using the enhancements option. .
Apply the Play Speed Settings option of Windows Media Player by clicking your computer mouse and
following the steps for either pathway.
To adjust the play speed settings, use the mouse left click and hold to drag the Play Speed cursor along the
play speed bar.
To replay a section of the track, use the mouse left click and hold to drag the Seek cursor along the play time bar.
Windows Media Player > View > > Enhancements > Show Enhancements > Play Speed Settings
WMP > Now Playing > Click to access options > Enhancements > Show Enhancements > Play Speed Settings
5. ONLINE EDUCATION David Barrett’s BluesHarmonica.com
www.bluesharmonica.com
( online blues harmonica education website, monthly subscription $16.95 US via paypal )
Created by Gary Collinson, 98 Essex Street, Wembley 6014, Western Australia. Tel. 08 – 93873030 ( tuition, performance, recording )
RECOMMENDED READING
Available online from
The Book Depository
www.bookdepository.co.uk
Recommended by Gary Collinson, 98 Essex Street, Wembley 6014, Western Australia. Tel. 08 – 93873030 ( tuition, performance, recording )
47.
ROADMAP FOR THE PATH OF PROGRESS
In the words of Sir Simon Rattle, conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,
“Music is no mere luxury, but instead a fundamental need.
Music must be a vital and essential element in the life of each individual.”
The Five Fold Path
Utilise the comprehensive Five Fold Path to approach all aspects of harmonica playing simultaneously.
Playing Technique eg. bending
Repertoire eg. tunes, melody, phrases, improvisations
Format / Structure of music eg. chord progressions such as the 12 bar blues
Music Theory eg chromatic scale, cycle of 5ths
Harmonica Construction and Physics eg. how reeds respond when bending notes
PEP
PEP practice, enthusiasm, perseverance. These three things in combination ensure success.
Practice makes progress. The more you practice, the better you get.
You do not have to be great, you just have to participate.
Short, frequent, regular practice sessions are preferable to infrequent, longer practice sessions.
Utilise a practice journal. There is a practice journal page in your course notes.
The amazing portability of the harmonica is one of its advantages.
Keep a harmonica in your pocket and play it often.
Incorporate informal practice into your daily living.
Sing, whistle or hum tunes as you do other tasks. Count the 12 bar blues as you walk.
Memorise the Cycle of 5ths, the piano keyboard and the chromatic scale.
Copy the relevant pages of your course notes, paste them up around the house so you can study and
memorise them during your daily activities.
Utilise Available Resources
There are so very many resources available to assist you on your musical journey.
For example
- your course notes including the Resource pages
- CD’s and music files
- instructional books ( see recommended reading )
- You tube
- the internet ( free or subscriber eg. David Barretts online education site BluesHarmonica. com )
- windows media player with track speed enhancement or purchased software Amazing Slow Downer
Learn the Playing Techniques
Technique allows you to express yourself musically.
In the words of flautist, Sir James Galway, “If you don’t have the technique, you can’t produce the goods”.
The solid foundation of playing technique allows you to play along with recorded music,
learning the melody, phrases and improvisations of the tune.
Mastery of bending requires ongoing practice.
Play Along
Gather a library of harmonica musical material. The website www.amazon.com informs you what recorded
music ( CD’s and MP3 tunes ) is available plus allows you to preview the tracks.
To play along with your selected harmonica repertoire, you need to know :
the key of the music, the key of the harmonica and the position the harmonica is played in.
To play along with harmonica artist recordings, you need the correct key harmonica.
To get this information, you can refer to the Harmonica Masterclass website.
It has a link to Artist Listing.
www.harmonicamasterclass.com/artist_listing.htm
This link provides an extensive list of relevant harmonica players, along with CD recordings including track
lists with harmonica keys and positions.
Created by Gary Collinson, 98 Essex Street, Wembley 6014, Western Australia. Tel. 08 – 93873030 ( tuition, performance, recording )
48.
Copy
Copy the melodies, phrases and improvised solos from harmonica artist recordings.
Utilise the computer program, windows media player (wmp), enhancements, play speed settings,
to slow down the track speed of the music file loaded onto your computer. See course notes.
The pitch and key of the music remains unchanged when the track speed is adjusted.
Slowing the music down makes it easier to copy what the player is doing.
Control is more important than speed. Play it slow and get it right.
Repeat the musical phrases correctly, printing them into your brain’s motor / muscle memory.
Break down the phrases you are trying to master into smaller component parts.
Identify and work on the notes you are finding the most difficult.
Join the component parts together.
Gradually increase your speed and fluency whilst maintaining accuracy.
Do not practice and inadvertently memorise your errors.
By copying recorded material, you are storing the raw material needed for playing, improvising and
performing.
Save as much as possible into your memory bank account ensuring you have plenty of material to choose
from when making withdrawals during your playing.
49.
Improvise
Play along with your selected harmonica repertoire.
Know the key of the music, the key of the harmonica and the position the harmonica is played in.
Copy the melodies, phrases and improvised solos from harmonica artist recordings.
Build up a memory bank of tunes, melodies, phrases and improvised solos by playing along.
Play unaccompanied, alone by yourself, to develop your own style, sound and interpretation.
Put the copied material, along with your varied musical influences, plus your own style and material,
all into the big melting pot. Stir it up to create your own very unique, distinctive, individual style and sound.
Develop an instinctive pulse for rhythm. The 12 bar blues progression should be automatic like breathing,
This is achieved through lots of listening, counting the beats and bars, feeling the chord progressions and
rhythms. You need to be immersed in the rhythm and progression of the music without having to focus on it.
This frees you up to concentrate on your playing.
Perform
When playing or performing with other musicians remember to be a team player.
Team : together everyone achieves more.
Do not overplay. Sometimes less is more. Contribute to the sound of the music but do not dominate.
Knowledge of music theory ensures you can quickly choose a harmonica key and position to accompany
other musicians. Also it allows you to converse in musical language.
Be multi-skilled, able to play acoustic or amplified, fast or slow, loud or soft ( dynamics ).
Be able to play in the common positions over a variety of rhythms and chord progressions
( 12 bar, 8 bar, 16 bar ).
Ensure your playing is competent, complementary, tasteful and exciting.
Music
Music is an endless journey of discovery.
Listening to and playing music offers a lifetime of enjoyable activity.
So get on board and ride that music train.
Created by Gary Collinson, 98 Essex Street, Wembley 6014, Western Australia. Tel. 08 – 93873030 ( tuition, performance, recording )
QUALITIES OF A MASTER PLAYER
To be a master of the blues harmonica, you need the following skills.
To be able to
Play the techniques which create the sound and music.
Play those techniques across the range of diatonic harmonica keys.
Play in a variety of positions including 1st, 2nd and 3rd position, on the diatonic harmonica.
Play the chromatic harmonica in 3rd position.
Then advance to be able to play the chromatic using the button and in other positions.
Keep time and place through a variety of chord changes eg. 12 bar, 8 bar, 32 bar.
Play over a wide variety of speeds and rhythms eg. slow blues, fast blues, shuffle, funk, swing.
Improvise imaginatively.
Play behind vocal accompaniment, play solos, play horn riffs and play instrumental tunes.
Play acoustically or amplified.
Listen and play as a team member of a duo, trio, quartet or band.
To achieve these skills you require practice, enthusiasm and perseverance ( PEP ).
Practice makes progress. The more you practice, the better you get.
You can be guided by the greats that have gone before us.
eg. Little Walter, Sonny Boy Williamson, Walter Horton, Junior Wells, James Cotton etc. etc.
You can access a wide variety of resources including recordings, videos and information from the Internet.
Created by Gary Collinson, 98 Essex Street, Wembley 6014, Western Australia. Tel. 08 – 93873030 ( tuition, performance, recording )
50.
51.
“Try to control the flow of saliva, so that you play with a comparatively dry mouth.”
“Naturally one should not play a harmonica while chewing gum or eating candy,
as this may have a very bad effect on the reeds.”
1958, M. Hohner Inc.
BLUES HARMONICA COURSE CHECKLIST
PLAYING
PLAYING TECHNIQUES
posture
holding
single notes, lip blocking
tongue articulation
lip lift off
bends
trill
glissando
hand effects
octaves, split notes , tongue blocking
overblows, overdraws
vibrato
12 BAR BLUES
tap and snap, walking blues
2d 4b 2d 4d 4b 2d 1d progression
TUNES
PHRASES
HARMONICA POSITIONS
play C harmonica in 3 different keys
play 3 harmonicas in the same key
NON PLAYING
PEP
practice, enthusiasm, perserverence
DO RAY MI
major scale
singing
CHROMATIC SCALE
ascending
descending
MAJOR SCALE
creating major scales
DEGREES OF MAJOR SCALE
I, IV & V chords
CYCLE OF 5THS
anti clockwise
clockwise
HARMONICA POSITIONS
INTERNET RESOURCES
artist listing
web page review
HARMONICA CONSTRUCTION
major scales
chords
reeds, plates, chambers, covers
blow, draw, bend, overblow, overbend
Created by Gary Collinson, 98 Essex Street, Wembley 6014, Western Australia. Tel 08-93873030 ( tuition, performance, recording )
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PRACTICE JOURNAL - PEP practice enthusiasm perserverance - Practice makes progress.
- The more you practice, the better you get.
- You do not have to be great, you just have to participate.
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Created by Gary Collinson, 98 Essex Street, Wembley 6014, Western Australia. Tel. 08 – 93873030 ( tuition, performance, recording )

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