Brand new to the Harp!

Hello everyone. I am very new to the Harp. I have messed around with the little “Made in China” Hohner harmonicas and am looking to advance my Harmonica playing and maybe one day play some gigs. I like what I see with the JP Allen’s Lessons. One of my questions with that is; how are the lessons later for more advanced after we get done with the basics?

I also was looking at Adam Gussow’s beginner harmonica lessons. I love his teaching method. Anyone have any experience with his beginner lessons? I am debating which one to start out with. Wonder if I should start with JP then use Gussow’s lessons. I could do both, but want to focus on 1 right now. Also, funding this is another reason.

Anyways, thanks for reading and I am looking forward to start Harping with the rest of you. Gonna buy my Hohner Special 20 tonight.

Thanks everyone!!


Hi birdog,

For me I started out with a little David Harp harmonica book very very basic came with a free harp. Found it at borders on the discount rack for like 8 bucks.

From there bought JP’s bundle, Click here

And that advanced me enough to go on to

So I highly recommend JP’s course that will definitely get you going in the right
direction. Take your time with it and you’ll soon be playing tunes and blues.

harp on!!

The Special 20 is a pretty good harp. I’d say it and the Lee Oskar and Suzuki HarpMaster are all pretty good harps.
Only “problem” I have with Adam’s stuff is his use of the Bb harp. Most harp lessons on in C but he said he went with Bb to cull out the “newbies” from the lessons since they’d not have that key lying around.
Personally, I love my A Major, Harmonic Am, Natural Dm and my Chromatic harps better then the C or Bb harps so go figure,LOL.

Either way playing harmonica is fun and you can keep a few of em’ on you when you go places for “instant” music. I couldn’t do that with my acoustic guitar which is probably why I’ve not really tried all that hard to get back into playing guitar.
Anyway, welcome and we’ll see ya’ on the forum.

Howdy Birdman!

Glad to hear you found harmonica, hope you stay with it for your own enjoyment and personal goals!

When I got into harmonica, a few months shy of two years now, I sat down and did a lot of research through the wide & vast Harmonica Universe.

From the compendium of sites available – I found forums like Harmonica Club and Harmonica Boogie; information sites like JT-30 and Pat Missin; not to mention the hundreds if not thousands of Youtube clips on any and all subjects harmonica.

Along with them, I also knew I’d be purchasing harmonicas, books, CDs and DVDs of all things I was interested in.

I found and signed up for JP Allen’s lessons; watched the Adam Gussow, Dave Barrett, Jon Gindick and other clips too.

All have products for their teaching methods. But I had to figure out who I wanted to go with and what I wanted to with it once I did.

In studying all these things harmonica, I came up with a criteria to follow. This being: Investment, Support, and Value.

Adam, Dave, Jon, and others are heavy on and only offer Blues. That’s their big time mainstay. The only one who didn’t offer just Blues was JP Allen.

Adam, Dave, Jon, and others provide lessons in sections; bits and pieces. I had to sit and figure out if I get this, then I’ll get that and so on. But how much will all this cost?!

The only one who did offer/provide lessons in a whole complete system was JP Allen.

By comparison of cost and ongoing purchases, the only one logically for me and my budget was/is JP Allen’s world’s best selling, most favorite DVD set bundle at a relatively low one-time only price.

As I discovered, from picking up a few books and training CDs while waiting for my order to arrive, JP Allen really packs a lot of information in all of his lessons. More than I’ve ever found from anybody else, even Howard Levy!

So my Investment was of great Value to me.

When it came to Support – Well I was pleased with the customer services to be sure.

Yet honestly in other matters, I found that even those who provided package deals for their products, still had very few followers to converse with.

{With the sole exception of Adam who really has a busy forum to be sure. However, it is mostly all Blues; and again quite crowded at that.}

Without going into all the details, as they’ve been documented throughout this forum, I proposed a JP Allen forum to JP Allen, and he accepted – And well, the rest they say is history and here we are.

{And too, when I proposed this forum, Adam’s site, like a few others, was actually closed off to new members because of hackers and spammers at the time. Yes, we eventually had our own to deal with; but now this site has its followers and fine members as Adam and others have theirs! Cool beans! Be that as it may…}

So my original criteria of Investment, Support & Value has been realized through JP Allen and his brand of teaching/lessons etc. et al.

One thing to understand is that all methods and/or teachers start at the Beginner’s levels. Why? They have to, that’s just the business as it is. Each too, has their own personalities, their own approaches.

So when it comes to getting more advanced lessons – Well, what exactly does that mean?

If you have the basics and have worked on them for a good amount of TIME – Then you’ll have the foundations to go where you want to go and want to do.

Sure, if you want to purchase some more books by Dave Barrett’s Blues Harmonica courses - you can.

However, most everyone of them will offer you personal one-on-one lessons at a price. You can go to Jon Gindick’s Jam Camp; as well as get phone lessons from him too. You can join Howard Levy’s school and submit videos for him to critique at a price. And so on and so on…

So what’s your definition of advanced lessons?!

JP Allen was my beginning; from there I’ve followed Adam, Jon, and others. At the same time, several of us here have gone over to and would meet up in Seamus’ Harmonica Club chat room. But since things go in cycles, well, we’re not as heavy as we used to be in it; and perhaps one day we will be again…Nevertheless…

Whichever way you go, whatever you do in the vast & mighty Harmonica Universe –

Have fun on your own personal journey through it lest it’s not ever going to be worth anything. On that fine note then:



Keep On Harpin’!

Thanks for the warm welcomes. I am really excited to get down and playing the harmonica. “If it ain’t fun, then you are not going to play it.” That’s how I look at it.

What is advanced for me? Well, I am a blues person. Just love it. So being able to jam to a blues band or get up on stage and havea great time would be awesome. Also, want to learn how to improv better if people are just jamming.

So I guess, I will start with JP and learn what I can from him. Then go more focused into the areas I want to explore. I hope I do it right. I definetly want to get the basics down and understand the “whats” and “whys” and “hows” of doing something on the harp.

One great thing about going on and learning an instrument is to find inspiration to play with. So, sit down and enjoy the music and try to play along or see how someone played something. I want to be able to get to that point as well. I am only 29 years old so I figure I can have a nice long life of harp playing and eventually teach my 18 month old and the next one on the way music.

Have you posted some videos or audio files to listen too? I think it would be great to document my first time playing then every so often so I can always take a look at where I came from and where I advanced too.

Really appreciate the feedback. Anyone live in Michigan that plays?


Well Wolverine –

Amongst the 10 or so disks in the bundle, one is a Jam Tracks CD which has several styles of music to play along with and get your chops moving when you’re ready for them.

And yet another reason why I and others personally like JP Allen’s world’s best-selling most favorite home harmonica course DVD set!

Insofar as my having any music posted anywhere – Well, I’m working on it. {Part of my 2011 New Year’s resolution list! Hehehe!}

However, please feel free to check out the posted clips by our fine members here who do. {And will all be found in the Harmonica Stage block once I get around to moving them there too! Mwuahahaha!}

Keep On Harpin’!

It’s less busy since he kicked me off.LOL.
Also, if/when you get tired of Major tuned harps give a Harmonic Minor and a Natural Minor a try, they’ve helped to renew my interest in playing again.

Well TNF –

Just between you and me, ol buddy, ol pal – I’d watch-ay my comments-ay around here, eh?! :-X

Seems this guy Joseph is some kind of hard ass or sumthin and got his finger on some sort of zapper button:

But chickie-chickie nix-nix, I wouldn’t know cuz me and youse is both still going strong, huh?!

Ooh, I see the Screw coming now! I’m outta here! Laters…

Anyone here do the Harmonic Academy? Is that something worth doing after JP Allen?


Nope, pretty much learned what I know from YouTube and my God Given natural music talent. I just kind of have a knack for picking up music on whatever I want to play. Not quite like August Rush(you HAVE seen the movie, right?) but not much different then that either.
I’ve already started playing little tunes on my Chromatic and I’ve had it less then a week. It’s just all about figuring out what sounds are made how and where then using my “ear” to play the tunes that are in my head. ;D

Yes I’m there and you definitely want to get through JP’s Video lessons before you start. I did.

Very Very advanced when you get to Junior year.

I’ve been there I think almost 2 years now.

Harp On!!

Frank, You should post some of your playing would love to hear you play.

Are you on Youtube at all.

Harp On!!

Anyone here do the Harmonic Academy? Is that something worth doing after JP Allen? ~Birddog~
Here's my response to this from another thread:

And if you put “Tony Eyers” in Search (without the quotations), you’ll find some other responses too!

Good luck!

Keep On Harpin’!

I have an old tune that I made up and put on YouTube last year. It’s ok I guess but not “World Class”,LOL. My YouTube is tnfrank1 so you can look me up. I’ve also got a song about Edward Freels, who came over to the U.S. in 1753. He was the first(and maybe only?) Freels to come to the U.S. and is a great, great, not sure how many greats Grandfather of mine. I was born a Freels but was adopted after my birth mom died 9 days after I was born. Long story don’t want to get into it here. Wish I was a tenor on the song but you go with what ya’ got.LOL

Welcome to our forum! I am also with the academy. It has 2 sets of lessons, fast Irish fiddle tunes and blues lessons. I like the fiddle tune lessons because is pushes me to play fast and gain control/accuracy. I’m not sure what I think about the blues lessons. I have taken many lessons from Gindick, JP, Gussow and others, I have learned many riff and 12 bar progressions but still can’t seem to connect the dots and make it sound good. Maybe it is just the inner critic but I’m not giving up.
Good luck on your harpin’ journey. Sometimes it’s a breeze, sometimes a b!t(h. But it’s always a BLAST.

Pleased to meet you!

I have not done the Harmonica Academy, but it is next on my list, as I have heard awesome things about it!


Thanks for the info. I think I read the SPDude said that you need to have a plan. So, I think I have it so far. I am going to go through JP’s lessons and absorb everything I can there. Then do Gussow’s cuz I’m a blues man. Then def. go through the Academy and see what I can pick up. I have watched the first ‘free’ videos from JP and just working a few kinks out before I purchase the set.

Also, tonight, I popped my Harp cherry and went and bought a Hohner Special 20 key of C. Then I think I might get an A for blues but thats down the road. Even to my noob ears of Harp, I can definetly hear a huge difference between the Special and a cheap made in China harp; the Blues Band one that is now in the hands of 17 month old.

Keep on Harpin!


Here’s my two and a half bits about advanced training.
If you seek symphonic performance, you need an established professional as a teacher /mentor. If you’re after pop, rock, blues, etc, you need to get a basic foundation under you, and then find as many opportunities as possible to play and to emulate the best you find. When I started on trumpet, I got some basics in school. When I was 13, I fell in with a jazz band from the big easy. I performed with them for a while, and talked to every great horn man I could find. You’d be surprised how many big names love to give new players tips and experience. I got help from Preservation Hall, Al Hirt, and Pete Fountain (and many others ). At the same time, I continued my conventional training, winning a scholarship and earning 1 1/2 degrees. Both paths were superior education. One helped the other …

So far I have had no luck finding one in my area that teaches Harmonica. I will keep looking. If anyone knows anybody in Michigan preferbly suburbs of Detroit, let me know please!!

Hi birddog and welcome to the forum.

I started with JP’s bundle and I can tell you it is well worth the asking price. It has everything you will need to get started and serve you well years to come. I used my again last weekend to do a refresher on bending and found it to be very beneficial.

If you have an interest in the Blues style you might like to have a look the following. Very cost effective and well worth the asking price.

I also belong to www.Blues with David Barrett and again a very good site for anyone interested in learning the Blues. More expensive than the supertutor but a great place to learn over the long term.

With either of the above you need an understanding of the harp and be able to play the single note with ease so I would go with JP’s bundle and go through the DVD’s and if necessary go through again.

Have fun learning this little instrument and keep us up to date with your progress.