Harmonica for the Musically Hopeless (Hopeful) by Jon Gindick

Jon Gindick’s written a shiny new version of his book, Harmonica for the Musically Hopeless (Hopeful.) I’m glad he’s giving it a second go, since his first version only sold 2 million copies. :wink:

It seems that Jon and I see eye to eye on a heck of a lot with harmonica, such as:

  • Everything starts with relaxation and proper breathing
  • Lip blocking is the fastest way to learn how to play single notes
  • The Deep Relaxed Mouth Position must never be sacrificed for single notes
  • You can play killer blues harmonica solos with just a few basic riffs like -2 -3’ 4 -4’ -4

Anyways, I thought I’d give you a heads-up on Jon’s new book as I often get asked, "I’ve been through the Beginner to Boss course twice, as well as JP’s Breakthrough Blues course. What should I do now?”*

Well, this book could be helpful not only to reinforce important fundamentals from a fresh perspective, which can be valuable in and of itself, but also to give you a deeper dive into the world of bending.

If you’d like to get a feel for Jon, here’s an awesome vid of him teaching some of the fundamentals needed for jamming.

BTW - he’s not paying me anything to share this with you. Just wanted you to be aware of it!

Keep on rocking the harmonica, fam!


I have a copy of this that I have started reading and I am wondering what it means to articulate the syllable of the song? Page 24, 26. What is the syllable of the song?
Is this the articulation on page 46?
Not sure about the throat muscle but I do notice the front of the tongue moving.
Is this articulation used on draw only?
Is this to repeat a note without stopping breathing?
Thank you


Articulation is how you start notes, and also how you break them up. Yes, it is a way to repeat a note without stopping your breath. Common ways to articulate are with the ta motion of your tongue, the ka motion of your throat. Often one articulates, or creates syllables of the lyrics of the song one is playing. When you hear “wa, wa, wa!” You are hearing articulation. Hope this helps.


Hey Tom - I see you got an answer from Jon himself! :slight_smile:

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Hey @Jon_Gindick - welcome to the forum, so happy to see you here! This fascinates me:

Common ways to articulate are with the ta motion of your tongue, the ka motion of your throat.

I’ve never before considered “ka” to a throat motion (unless your talking about that machine gun kinda sound we used to make when we were kids, which is used for tremolo and vibrato effects?)

When I used the syllables “Ta” and “Ka” I’ve always thought of those as the tip of the tongue on the front of roof of the mouth, and the back of the tongue on the rear of the roof of the mouth, respectively.

I’d love to hear any further thoughts you have on the subject?

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https://youtu.be/_gg3GnZitEc I made a brief video that explains how and why I use the “K” consonant to channel my airstream.


Thank you for the video, Jon @Jon_Gindick ! :+1:

You were my first “virtual” blues harp teacher with your books for the musically hopeless – that was about at least 25 years ago :flushed: :scream:

– Slim :sunglasses:


Thanks for this tip . . . very useful!