Harmonica teachers in the Baltimore/Washington area

I’m a guitarist and singer who supplements my (mostly solo) performances with a racked harmonica. I play a fairly basic, bluesy style, mostly in the second-position. I learned from book and CD lessons, and was able to pick things up pretty quickly. But it’s been years since I made any progress.

I’ve always loved the playing of chromatic masters like Toots Thielmans and Larry Adler, and while I realize that kind of playing is probably beyond my reach, I’d like to expand beyond simple second-position blues soloing.

I’d like to increase my fluency at playing single-note melodies exactly, which I have found more challenging than improvising around basic blues riffs. I know there are limits to this when you play a 10-hold diatonic harp. But I was always able to do this early on with other instruments I’ve learned, and I’m finding it trickier with the harmonica.

I need to improve my tongue-blocking, especially when playing single notes. When doing this, I also sometimes have trouble getting a good, tight fit without exerting too hard. I’m wondering if a few in-person lessons would be the best way to improve on these things.

I’m not opposed to DVD or online video lessons, but I think it will be important for me to get feedback on my progress, which would seem to point to one-on-one instruction.

Recommendations and advice are appreciated.


There are plenty of very advanced diatonic lessons free on line.
Adam Gussow has wads of them on youtube.
If you want to play in the style of Toots and Adler though, you
will need a good chromatic. Get a 64 (16 hole). The twelve holers
such as the Hohner 270 (old workhorse) are fine but lack the lower
octave of a 64. Ten hole chromatics are limiting though some swear
by them. I have both (make that all three)…many actually.
After the chromatic of course, you will want to learn chord harmonicas
and then bass. It goes on and on. This is a great harmonica world.